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Sights to see
Castle Quarter and Castle Hill
Part of the World Heritage. Due to its excellent features it was settled as early as the 13th century; King Béla IV built a castle here after the Tartar invasion, and he chose this spot as the seat of royal rule. The Castle quarter on the Castle Hill stands 180 m above sea level. It is around 1.5 km long and in places it is 500 meters wide. It boasts three churches, six museums, many historical buildings, monuments, streets and squares, a theatre, four hotels, numerous atmospheric restaurants, cafés, galleries and gift shops. Breathtaking panoramas open from the Fishermen’s Bastion and the promenade in front of the National Gallery.
1st District (Buda), with public transport you can take the Funicular up from in front of the Tunnel or take the Castle Bus.
I., district Castle quarter (Castle bus, Funicular)
One of the symbols of the nation, the palace has witnessed wars and occupation from the 13th to the 20th century. The Turks occupied it, as did the Habsburgs, it was destroyed three times and then rebuilt, each time in the architectural style of the age. Today’s neo-Classical style was taken on after the Second World War. The building hosts several distinguished institutions: the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest History Museum, National Széchényi Library and the Ludwig Museum.
Fishermen’s Bastion (I., Szentháromság tér - Castle bus)
A relatively youthful structure next to Mathias Church. Building started in 1895 on the designs of Frigyes Schulek. It was sited on the place of the medieval fish market and the walls protected by the guild of fishermen, where the name. The neo-Romanesque bastion has only ever had a decorative role: it is a popular place to look out over Pest.
Parliament (V., Kossuth Lajos tér , Metro 2: Kossuth tér, Bus: 15, Tram: 2, Trolleybus: 70, 78 )
Tel.: 317-9800, Visits by guided tour only.
The largest building in the country, the permanent site of the national assembly, Parliament sits on the Danube embankment with its entrance looking out over Kossuth Square. The neo-Gothic building is the work of architect Imre Steindl, and was constructed between 1884–1902. It has 691 rooms, is 268 m long and its cupola rises 96 m into the air. The staircase is embellished with fine frescoes by Károly Lotz and sculptures by György Kiss. The painting The Conquest Hungarian painter, hangs in the congress chamber. Since 2000 the general public has been able to view the Hungarian coronation regalia here: St. Stephen’s Crown, the scepter, orb and Renaissance sword.
Heroes’ Square (XIV, City Park Metro: Hősök tere, Bus 4, Trolley 79)
The most spectacular square in the capital, is sited at the entrance to the City Park. Anyone coming up Andrássy Boulevard can see from afar the 36-m-high column in the centre of the Millennium memorial, on top of which there is a statue of the Archangel Gabriel holding the Hungarian Holy Crown and apostolic double cross. Quarter-circular colonnades extend to both the left and rig ht of the column. Between the pillars of the colonnade are figures of the ‘greats’ from Hungarian history, while the butt piers are embellished with emblematic sculptural ensembles (work, welfare, knowledge, honor and peace). The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is positioned in front of the monument. The magnificent buildings of the Palace of Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts to the right and left of the monument enhance the fine architectural entity of Heroes Square.
The Statue of St Gellért (XI. Gellérthegy Bus: 27 Tram: 18, 19, 47, 49)
The statue of Bishop Gellért, who died a martyr in the 11th century, stands opposite Elizabeth Bridge on the south side of Gellért Hill. According to the legend, this is the spot from where pagans pushed the missionary bishop, sealed in a barrel, down into the Danube. The striking statue is ornate by the semicircular colonnade behind, and the natural spring which rises to surface at this point turning into a waterfall bellow the statue.
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (V. Roosevelt tér 19. Tram: 2, Bus: 16)
The oldest and most significant building on Széchenyi Square. Its perfect neo-Renaissance design was created in the studio of Berlin architect Stu¨ler, and it was built between 1862-64. The grand gala hall decorated with pictures by Károly Lotz is also used for staging concerts. There are lecture and session rooms, and a valuable scientific library. The allegorical sculptures in the imposing foyer and on the facade are the work of Miklós Izsó and Emil Wolf
The Statue of Liberty (XI, Gellérthegy Bus 27, Tram 19, 18, 49, 47)
The 14-m-high statue, the work of the outstanding architect Zsigmond Kisfaludy Strobl, was raised in 1947 in memory of the country’s liberation. The statue has become an indelible part of the cityscape, so it was left untouched even after the change of regime. There are two other sculptures at the foot of the female figure holding aloft the palm of victory: one is an allegory of progress, the other symbolizes the fight against evil.
Places to go
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest is centrally located at the end of the renowned Chain Bridge, with panoramic vistas of the Danube and the hills of Buda. A unique art nouveau landmark, the recently transformed Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest combines historical elegance with ultra-modern comforts. Széchenyi István Sq. 5-6, 1051 Budapest
The Budapest Marriott Hotel offers both elegance and convenience for business and leisure guests. Perched on the banks of the Danube River in the city centre, our award-winning hotel welcomes you with elegantly furnished, spacious rooms and suites and excellent amenities. All of our accommodation features spectacular Danube River views, as well as luxurious bedding, recently updated bathrooms, and smartly shaped work areas with Wi-Fi access. Apaczai Csere Janos St. 4, 1052 Budapest
Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest
Located in the heart of Budapest, close to thriving business districts, Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest is a stylish accommodation choice for business and leisure travellers. One of the most popular apartment hotels in the city, Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest offers 97 spacious studio, one and two bedroom apartments all with modern styling and features. Each apartment includes a kitchen, lounge and spacious bathroom to cater to all your needs while away from home. Hegedűs Gyula St. 52, 1133 Budapest
Michelin Star Restaurants
Quality gastronomy without compromises:
- Onyx Restaurant (5th District, Vörösmarty Square 7): Right in the heart of the city is this glamorous restaurant, where you sit on gilt chairs under sparkling chandeliers, surrounded by onyx adornments. Highly skilled, detailed cooking keeps classical Hungarian flavours to the fore but also presents some interesting modern twists.
- Borkonyha WineKitchen (5th District, Sas street 3): Bustling wine-orientated restaurant close to the Basilica. The fortnightly menu features well-executed dishes with an elaborate modern style and subtle Hungarian influences. Top ingredients are sourced from the surrounding countries. 48 of the 200 wines are offered by the glass; many are from local producers.
- Costes Restaurant (9th District, Ráday street 4): A sophisticated restaurant with immaculately dressed tables, run by a confident, experienced service team. The talented chef uses modern techniques and a deft touch to produce accomplished, innovative dishes with clear flavours. Most diners choose the 4-7 course set menus and their interesting wine pairings.
- Costes Downtown (5th District, Vigyázó Ferenc street 5 – inside Prestige Hotel): The more informal sister to Costes has chic bistro styling and a friendly atmosphere; ask to be seated in one of the booths. Refined modern dishes follow the seasons and feature excellent texture and flavour combinations.
Reminiscent of the Old Days
- Gundel restaurant (14th district, Gundel Károly way 4.): The name GUNDEL could rightly stand for the history of modern Hungarian gastronomy and hospitality. Károly Gundel refined the Hungarian cuisine and created delicious dishes of his own taste. His pioneering work placed Hungary on the world map of gastronomy. The New York Times wrote that the Gundel Restaurant did more for Hungary’s reputation than a shipload of tourist brochures.
- Baraka : To the front is a beautiful cocktail bar with a cosy lounge and to the rear is an intimate black and white dining room. Every table has a view of the open kitchen, where the chefs prepare creative modern dishes with Asian touches.
- NOBU Budapest (inside Kempinsky Hotel)
- Arany Kaviár (1st District (Buda side), Ostrom street 19): An elegant winter garden restaurant with a small, opulent side room. French and Russian influences guide the cooking; Hungarian and Siberian caviar is a speciality. The impressive wine list offers a great selection of champagne. Must try the caviar tasting menu and for the brave: the vodka tasting menu.
- KNRDY (5h District, October 6. street 15): Stylish New York style steakhouse with designer furnishings and a street scene mural. Choose your steak from the display: they specialise in large cuts, including porterhouse and T-bone. Meat comes from America, Australia and Argentina.
Relaxed Restaurants for a Sunny Day
- Robinson (14th district by Városligeti lake – few minutes on foot from Heroes’ Square): Mediterranean environment, homely atmosphere, live Latin guitar music and an excellent kitchen guarantee a memorable evening spent here.
- Kiosk (5th District, Marcius 15 square – at the foot of Elisabeth Bridge on the Pest Side)
Relaxed Atmosphere and good food that the locals love as well
- Vakvarjú (6th District – Paulay Ede utca)
- Godunov restaurant (5th district Sas way 4.): Operating in the spirit of Russian-Hungarian frendship, which is totally unique on the European continet, sparkles in the shadow of St. Stephan’s Basilica in the heart of Budapest. Gastronomical wonder is created in the kitchen of the restaurant: the chefs create the fusion of the traditional recipes from an enormous empire and, as a result, Russian-European fine dining is provided.
- Trattoria Toscana restaurant (5. district Belgrád rakpart 13-15.): It is said, mostly by the Italians themselves, that there is no ’Italian’ cuisine, only Tuscan, Sicilian, or Neopolitan cuisines. The Italian cuisine is very broad and diverse which is why, we decided to develop our own profile by opening up Budapest’s first Trattoria.
Baths in Budapest
The honorable title of our capital is not a usual one. The denomination is an indication, similar to those distinguished titles awarded to high-grade families or communities, of the recognition and a privilege to its bearer. Making Budapest a ”Spa City” was a long process of raising its’ natural treasures to a noteworthy rank.
All-year baths: Csillaghegyi, Dagály, Dandár, Gellért, Király, Lukács, Pesterzsébeti, Rudas, Széchenyi, Újpesti. Seasonal baths: Csepeli, Palatinus, Paskál, Pu¨nkösdfu¨rdői, Római Since ancient times, springs have been surrounded by a respect usually attributed to holy sites. Water, as a revitalizing element, has been revered since antiquity.
The habit of bathing, intertwined with religious practice, was first observed in the followers of the Hindi religion. The most ancient evidence of bathing culture, some five thousand years old, was found in the valleys beside the river Indus where an ancient culture with water ducts, bathrooms and bath pools existed. Yet beyond the purification of the souls, it was likewise purported to heal illnesses of the body. Indeed, water is a natural healing agent. It’s therapeutic use, applied in the simplest way, has been a component of life preservation, refreshing, renewal and healing from very early times in history.
The city, situated on both banks of the Danube, embraced its islands, and established baths at a rate exceeding its overall pace of development, meeting the demands of the age, and even looking ahead to shape them into healing, recreating and refreshing sites for the future.
In the early 1930s, Budapest, as the capital possessing the most healing thermal water springs in the world, was awarded the title ”Spa City”. At the initiation of the Budapest Fürdőváros Egyesület (Budapest Spa City Association), the first International Balneological Congresswas organized in Budapestin 1937. The seat of the International Balneological Association was established at the Gellért Thermal Bath in Budapest. This was motivated by the Congress with the following: ”…no city can put forward a stronger claim to this than Budapest. Endowed by nature with a wonderful generosity of excellent thermal waters and unrivalled natural beauty; additionally, its high medical professionalism, the excellent equipment of its healing institutions, the high level of scientific research, makes Budapest the optimum choice for international affairs of balneology to be handled from here…” Guided spa tour to Széchenyi Thermal Bath, to one of the largest –but surely the most beautiful and authentic- spa complexes in Europe.