Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and home to a number of UNESCO world heritage sites. This metropolis maintains its history and cultural heritage through various ancient buildings, museums, and memorials, which makes Budapest one of the most attractive tourist destinations.
Every year, Budapest attracts at least 20 million visitors from all corners of the world. Want to know what interesting places you can visit when you go to Budapest?
1. Buda Castle
This Buda Palace is a very large palace complex located on a hill. The palace which was built between 1247-1265 actually had experienced various changes. The golden age of the palace was when King Matthias Corvinus married Beatrice from Naples, Italy in 1476. Many Italian artists contributed their expertise to decorate the palace.
In the era of World War II, Buda Palace was repeatedly attacked until it was level with the ground and had to be rebuilt. Now, the palace has become one of the world heritage sites and is a historical place that attracts tourists.
There are a number of tour packages offered for tourists who want to visit here. You can choose a tour by bus that travels around the palace complex or follows a walking tour around the palace as well as Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion which is included in the Buda Palace district. The price of tour packages varies from € 10 to € 40.
2. Fisherman’s Bastion
If you want to see the sights of Budapest City from a height, then you can visit Fisherman’s Bastion, which is part of the Buda Palace district (Buda Castle). The lookout tower built in 1895 to 1902 is the place that presents the best panorama of Budapest.
Fisherman’s Bastion has seven towers depicting seven Magyar tribes, indigenous tribes in Hungary. The walls of Buda Palace were once protected by fishermen, which is why the building was called Fisherman’s Bastion.
3. Matthias Church
Not far from Fisherman’s Bastion, there is the Matthias Church or Matthias Church, a Roman Catholic church which was originally built in 1015. The church was reconstructed using the Gothic style in the 14th century and restored in the late 19th century. Originally the church was eaten by The Church of Mary but later its name was changed to Matthias in the name of King Matthias who came to power in 1458.
Many historical events took place in this church, one of which was the coronation of King Charles IV in 1916, who was the last emperor of Austria and the last king of Hungary. This church was also used as a refuge by German and Soviet soldiers in 1944-1945 during the Soviet occupation of Hungary.
4. Gellért Hill
The Gellért Hill is named after a bishop named Gerard (Gellért) who was thrown from a hill to death by pagans during the war against Christianity in 1046. The statue of the bishop holding a cross was then built facing the Elizabeth Bridge. This statue can be seen from various angles of the Pest region.
At the top of the hill is the Citadel (Citadella), a fort built by the Habsburg Dynasty after defeating Hungary in the war of 1849. This place stands the Statue of Liberty (freedom) built in 1947 to mark the end of Nazi Germany after World War II.
5. City Park
City Park is the largest green park in Budapest and the place for a variety of interesting attractions for tourists. One of the interesting attractions is the Szechenyi Medicinal Bath or hot spring pool. In the largest hot spring pool in Europe, you can not only get health benefits but also enjoy a luxurious baroque architectural style.
Not only that, in this park there are also Zoological and Botanical Garden, Budapest Transport Museum, and Tivure Pleasure Park, as well as Vajdahunyad Castle built in the Middle Ages.
6. The side of the Danube River
The Danube River is a long river that crosses 10 countries in Europe, from Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, to Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, and ends in the Black Sea in Romania. In Budapest, this river separates the regions of Buda and Obuda on the west side and the Pest area on the east side. There are many interesting places that you can find on the sides of the Danube River. One of them is a memorial shoe, which is a shoe-shaped statue-lined up on the edge of the Danube River. This line of shoes was a memorial for Hungarian Jews who were shot dead in 1944 and 1945.
The victims were lined up by the river before being shot. The victims deliberately released their shoes before being shot, because at that time shoes were considered valuable items.
7. Heroes’ Square
Heroes ‘Square (Heroes’ Square) is the square of the largest city in Budapest which was first built in 1896 to commemorate the 1000 years of the history of the Magyar tribe. In the middle of the field, there is a statue of the angel Gabriel standing on the main pillar, holding a holy crown and a double cross. The seven chiefs who lead the Magyar tribe in Hungary are also located on the underside of the pillar. While king statues and other important historical figures stand on both sides of the central pillar.
When the monument was built, Hungary was part of the Habsburg Empire of Austria, so there was a section of statues of members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. However, the statue was later replaced with a statue of Hungarian independence fighters, when the monument was rebuilt after World War II.
8. Széchenyi Chain Bridge
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the first permanent bridge in Hungary that was built across the Danube River and combines the territories of Buda and Pest. The bridge was designed by a British engineer, William Tierney Clark, in 1839. However, the bridge was only officially used in 1849, a year after the Hungarian Revolution. On each side of the bridge boundary is the Lion Statue which is considered as a protector.
9. Museum of Fine Arts
Art lovers must visit this one museum, which is also the most important art gallery in Budapest. This museum is home to the largest collection of maestro painters in Europe.
The collection consists of ancient paintings from Italy, Spain and the Netherlands which are exhibited in the building with nuances of the classic 19th-century architecture. The museum is also divided into six different departments that offer a variety of works of art, ranging from Egyptian art, ancient art, ancient sculpture galleries, galleries of ancient painters, to modern art collections.
10. St. Stephen’s Basilica
This church is the largest church in Budapest that can accommodate up to 8500 people in it. Although the architecture is more like a cathedral, the church was given the title ‘basilica minor’ by Pope Pius XI in 1931.
It took 50 years to build this church. Stephen’s name is taken from the name of the first king of Hungary. The king’s right-hand part that has been preserved can also be seen on the left side of the chapel near the main altar. The beautiful interior of neo-renaissance style inside the church is also an attraction for tourists.