Budapest: 6 Buildings You Must See
We all know that Budapest is the cpaital of Hungary but what a lot of us don’t know is that it’s also one of the prettiest capitals we’ve got in Europe. From historical buildings, great views, to stunning scenery and delicious food, Budapest truly has a bit for everyone. Here are the top 6 buildings you gotta see whilst on your trip.
1. The Partliament
Of course, the first one to mention is the Parliament. An interesting fact about this gorgeous piece of architecture is that it’s the largest building in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest. It became the home of the Hungarian parliament after an open contest between the country’s three most famous architects who had a task to create the building that’s honorable enough to house the Hungarian political power. Funny enough, the “losers” from the contest are now standing right opposite the Parliament and house the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture. The Parliament was completed in 1904 and lies right on the of the Danube river so if you want to take good close in pictures of the building, you can jump on a boat trip along the river.
2. St Stephen’s Basilica
Located right at the heard of Budapest, you can’t possibly miss to see St. Stephen’s Basilica. Like the name suggests this Roman Catholic basilica was named in honor of Hungary’s first King Stephen. You gotta do a a free walking tour with the guys at Trip to Budapest. They tell the history of the basilica in a very entertaining way and you’ll have a good laugh whilst learning a bit but definitely do this before you go into the basilica! Important things to do once you’re in there are to look for the fist (I don’t wanna ruin it for you so you’ll know what I mean after the tour) and go at the top of basilica to see the city view. It’s quite cheap so don’t miss it 😛
3. Fisherman’s Bastion
This place was my absolute highlight. I had never seen anything like it. With its towers of a castle, the bastion really seemed like it had just come out of a fairy tale. Some even say that it looks like a logo of Walt Disney films, only nicer and older 😀 I can agree with that! This is the hot spot if you want to get a free panoramic view of Budapest. You can pay if you want to get a bit higher up and walk in between the turrets but the view from the ground is equally stunning.
4. Matthias Church
Bored of churches? Not this one! In the same square as the Fisherman’s Bastion on the Buda (“old”) side of Budapest, in what is knows as The Buda Castle Quarter, this church is certainly one of the finest and most unique ones in Europe. It was founded in 1015 by the same King you’ll hear tons about whilst in Budapest, yes Mr King Stephen. The church definitely has a history to tell. It was used as a coronation church by the Hungarian kings, as a mosque for over 150 years by the Ottoman Turks, was owned by the Franciscans, and is now a thriving Catholic church with holy masses, concerts, weddings and thousands of visitors each year.
5. Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is also on the Buda side and is part of what Hungarians call the Buda Castle District. What is really cool about this place, apart from the marvelous architecture, is that the grounds are open all the time so you can go wander around the Palace day and night. In the actual building you can find the Hungarian National Gallery, the Castle Museum, and the National Széchenyi Library. Even if you’re not into the history side of things, definitely check this place out as the views are just stunning, and free 😀
6. Vajdahunyad Castle
This place is a must see especially if you’re going to the Szechenyi thermal baths which are just a few minutes away from the castle. This place will bring you back to the fairy-tale that the Fisherman’s Bastion had started. It truly is a gorgeous romantic place located in the City Park (Városliget) by a boating lake which in the winter turns into a skating rink. The castle now showcases different architectural styles and house several festivals and concerts, including one whilst I was there. Really cool venue, that’s all I’m gonna say!
There is a lot more you to see in Budapest but these are the absolute must do’s! Hope you’ll enjoy them.
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