When heading to a new city, you don’t want to miss the iconic attractions. Head to these top spots in Budapest and do a quick tour so you have time left over to simmer in the cultural flavors of the city.
Budapest is known for its magnificent Buda Castle towering up over the river. The castle is an incredible sight and is home to some of the best spots in the city. Enclosed inside its fortified stone walls are many incredible attractions. This is the best place to start your cultural journey through the city. The buildings are a work of art and are bound to get your camera shutter going. Grab your gear and be prepared to be impressed. If you only have one day to explore the most iconic parts of the city, this guide to Budapest`s attractions will get you to all the must see places.
The Gothic Matthias Church
This wonderful church, also known as Matyas Templom, is a Roman Catholic Church that lies at the heart of the old town around Buda Castle. Its gothic walls reach up into the sky and have done so for over 700 years. The structure is home to both concerts and a museum, as well as being a sacred place to connect with God. Take a walk around and inside and then cross the road to Fisherman’s Bastion.
© Matthias Church
The fairy tale Fisherman’s Bastion
Like something pulled right out of a Disney film, the pointed roofs and wide arched windows of Fisherman’s Bastion make it one of the top attractions in the city. Built in the 19th century to celebrate the 1,000th birthday of the Hungarian State, this viewing terrace looks over the Danube River water towards the Hungarian Parliament. Buda Castle Hill was once heavily fortified with thick castle walls; however, after suffering much damage during wars and occupations, this bastion was built to replace a section of the wall. Step into a fairy-tale and get that perfect photo.
When walking around the grounds at Buda Castle you would never guess there is a world hidden underneath your feet. The Buda Labyrinth has been in use for hundreds of thousands of years. Historians believe these stone tunnels were home to historic Homo Sapiens, as prehistoric tools were found here. Later, in the 11th century, people lived in these caves in carved out houses. During times of war they provided protection. Now, visitors are welcome to dig deep into Budapest’s history and step through the various caves and tunnels in the labyrinth.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Heading away from Buda Castle Hill there are a number of great sights you shouldn’t miss. The Neoclassical wonder, St. Stephen’s Basilica, took 50 years to build and even collapsed partially once during construction meaning builders had to start again. This is one of the tallest buildings in Budapest featuring beautiful stained glass windows and delicately carved pews. Made for Hungary’s first King, St. Stephen who converted the local tribes to Christianity, this structure can house up to 8,500 people and is now home to Stephen’s mummified hand!
Impossible to miss when stepping around the city, the Hungarian Parliament imposes itself upon all those that walk past. You can’t leave Budapest without a snap of this incredible structure and a tour of the inside. Check out architecture at its finest and be awed by the scale of things. Enormous staircases take you up and around gold columns with intricate fixtures and walls framed with statues. This is certainly a place to visit for those interested in architecture and style.
In order to get the best view of the best of Budapest`s attractions, you can take a river tour. If you want to get a quick look at everything, hop on a RiverRide Floating Bus Tour, where you drive through the city before heading straight into the river Danube where the bus seconds as a boat.