Insider tips for visiting Budapest


Budapest – the Hungarian capital is one of the Must-See cities of Eastern Europe. Here are some insider tips from Zsuzsanna Molnar from Hungária Koncert Ltd.

1. Heroe’s Square

It is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The square lies at the outbound end of Andrássy Avenue next to City Park (Városliget).

2. The Danube Promenade

It starts from Chain Bridge to Elizabeth Bridge and gives the chance to see the beautiful panorama of Buda side along with the Buda Castle and Gellért Hill. You can also admire the House of Parliament, which was built in Neo-Gothic style and is located on the bank of the Danube. It serves as the permanent seat of the National Assembly. The building has 691 rooms, is 268 metres long and the dome is 96 metres high. Since 2000, the Hungarian coronation symbols — St. Stephen’s crown, the sceptre, the orb and the Renaissance sword — have been on display in the Parliament.

3.Budapest History Museum—Castle Museum

The collection of the Budapest History Museum is made up of three major parts: architectural findings, object materials from the city history and work of art. A visit through the exhibition is a virtual time journey, which gives you the opportunity to have a look at relics of the past raging from architectural findings that are more than 40,000 years old, to posters from the 20th century. After a walk across the collection, you will know everything about the history of Budapest from the Roman ages until the present day.

4. St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephan's Basilica

It is the largest church in Budapest: the 96-metre dome can be seen from virtually all parts of the city. The Basilica’s construction began in 1851, before being taken over by Miklós Ybl, one of the leading architects of the time in 1867 and completed by József Kauser in 1905. The Classicist-style building houses Hungary’s most sacred relic: the Holy Right, which is the mummified right hand of St. Stephen, after whom the Basilica was named. Famous masterpieces in the church include statues by Alajos Stróbl and a painting of St. Stephen, offering his country to the Virgin Mary by Gyula Benczúr. Organ concerts are usually held in the building with the most famous arias.

5. Dohány Street Synagogue

It is the largest synagogue in Europe and the world’s second largest Jewish temple, following Temple Emanuel-El in New York. The buildig was designed by a German architect, Ludwig Förster, a teacher at the Vienna Academy. It shows features of Moorish style. Budapest has the biggest Jewish community in Middle – Eastern Europe, with an active religious, artistic and historical heritage. Through centuries the Hungarian and Jewish history has been so entwined that it is almost inseparable. See for youself and join the Jewish Heritage Tour.

6. Gellert Hill

Statue of liberty

Gellert Hill is a 235 m high dolomite rock. It was named after Bishop Gellert who was a Venetian monk and helped King Stephen to convert the people to Christianity. The Citadel, with souvenir shops and restaurants, can be found on the top of the hill. On the very top stands the Liberty Statue. The Garden of Philosophy and its statues are on the side of the hill meanwhile on the southern slope of the hill is a Cave Church. It was built for the Pauline Order. Nowadays it is opened for the public. Next to the hill stands the Gellert Hotel and Baths. It was built between 1912 – 1918 in Secessionist style. The bath has 5 thermal pools, a swimming pool and 2 outdoor pools.

7. Dobos cake, the unique Hungarian pastry

When he first created the eponymous cake in 1884, József Dobos (1847—1924), the famous Pest confectioner, wanted to prepare a cake which could be consumed and enjoyed for a long time, despite the cooling techniques of the period. He presented the cake in 1885 for the first time at the first General National Exhibition in Budapest, and Queen Elizabeth and Franz Joseph were the first ones to taste it. As the custom goes, one of the most important ingredients of the cake, the sweet butter cream, was the result of a mistake committed by the master’s assistant, who churned the butter. The assistant accidentally added salt into the churning bowl instead of sugar, and the confectioner created the sweet masterpiece, which has become world-famous since then, with the “spoilt” butter. József Dobos travelled all over Europe to make the Dobos cake popular, which was transferred from his workshop to the cities of Western Europe on a cart filled with salted ice.

8. Dinner on board, with traditional Hungarian Music

Budapest has many faces. This vibrant city calms down a little bit at nights, lights are lit up, and a new city comes out from the twilight. While you admire the wonderful view of the city, swimming in lights in a romantic candlelight atmosphere, you can have a romantic dinner on a boat with live music. The meals are prepared by Chef Molnárka Péter. The salon music is performed by 3 members of the Zoltán Kodály Awarded Hungária Folk Orchestra, including the world-famous violinist Zsigmond Vidák who was awarded the Bronze Merit Cross of the Hungarian Republic.

9. Great Market Hall

The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall (Hungarian name is: “Nagycsarnok”) is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest, Hungary. It is located at the end of the famous pedestrian shopping street Váci utca and on the Pest side of the Liberty bridge at Fővám square. Most of the stalls on the ground floor offer produce, meats, pastries, candies, spices, and spirits such as paprika, tokaj wines, túró rudi, and caviar. The second floor has mainly eateries and souvenirs.

10. Morrison’s Opera

The charming English-style pub is located at the heart of Budapest – next to Andrássy Avenue and the Opera House. With its unique design and special decoration, for instance the vintage train passing above the central bar, it attracts a great number of locals and tourists, even over the age of 30. Discover a real friendly night spot in a perfect location!

Text: Zsuzsanna Molnar

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