Cities Direct

Budapest

Top Attractions in Budapest

BUDA CASTLE / ROYAL PALACE

BUDA CASTLE / ROYAL PALACE

Set atop Castle Hill and overlooking the River Danube, Budapest’s imposing Buda Castle, also known as the Royal Palace, is a striking edifice playing host to a tumultuous history. The first royal castle was built in the hills above Budapest in the 13th century, rebuilt after the Turkish occupation of 1686 and again after World War II. Today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll also find the city’s National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum located here.
CASTLE HILL

CASTLE HILL

Buda’s Castle Hill, a 1km-long limestone plateau towering imposingly over the River Danube some 170 metres beneath, plays host to some of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in the city. Take the funicular up from Chain Bridge and wander the intimate cobbled streets, soaking up glorious architectural gems including Matthias Church, the Royal Palace and Fishermen’s Bastion. Underground, you’ll discover a labyrinthine 28km network of natural caves and man-made passageways, used extensively during war time.
CHAIN BRIDGE

CHAIN BRIDGE

One of Budapest’s most famous landmarks, this magnificent suspension bridge was built in the 19th century to connect the once separate cities of Buda and Pest. The first permanent crossing to span the Danube in Budapest, the Chain Bridge survived a bombing by the Austrians during the War of independence in 1848, however was destroyed by the Germans in 1945. Reopened in 1949, the bridge is an exact replica of the original structure.
FISHERMEN’S BASTION

FISHERMEN’S BASTION

Situated just behind Matthias Church amidst the architectural splendours of Castle Hill, the Fishermen’s Bastion was built in 1905 and offers sweeping panoramic views over the city and Danube beneath. Named after the medieval guild of fishermen responsible for defending this portion of the castle wall, the Bastion is easily recognisable as one of Budapest’s most distinctive landmarks, its fairytale-like white spires symbolising the seven Magyar tribes that settled here in 896.
MATTHIAS CHURCH

MATTHIAS CHURCH

Built over 700 years ago and scene of many a Hungarian King’s coronation, Matthias Church represents one of the many stunning buildings you’ll find in Budapest, its steeple the highest point on Castle Hill. Officially called the Buda Church of Our Lady, the church has been commonly known as Matthias since the 15th century in celebration of the king who married here and many treasures of his reign, including the Matthias Chalice, are displayed here. 
HEROES’ SQUARE

HEROES’ SQUARE

Starting point for any Budapest itinerary and a natural focal point for large city events, Heroes’ Square pays homage to Hungary’s great leaders and acts as the main entrance to City Park. To the north of the square sits the Museum of Fine Arts whilst on its southern edge, you’ll find the prestigious Mücsarnok exhibition hall. In its centre is the Millennium Monument, built to commemorate the 1000-year history of the Magyar tribes. 
ST STEPHEN’S BASILICA

ST STEPHEN’S BASILICA

Budapest’s largest church, St Stephen’s Basilica is dedicated to the first Christian king of Hungary – his right hand is enshrined in one of the chapels – and took over half a century to construct. Its crowning glory is its majestic dome, towering nearly 100 metres above the city; climb up the 302 steps to its terrace (or take the lift if you prefer) to take in some stunning panoramic city views.

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