Top things to see and do in Budapest
Known for its rich history, stunning architecture and amazing spa treatments, knowing where to start your sightseeing in Budapest can seem difficult. From grand Synagogues and impressive neo-Romanesque architecture to extravagant Hungarian thermal baths and bustling markets, there’s so much to see and do in Budapest. If you’re short on time, or if you don’t want to miss out on any of the city’s highlights, then these are the things to see in Budapest you just can’t miss.
Home to over 40 statues, plaques and busts of some of the most well known, and unknown historical figures, Memento Park is like Disneyland for socialists. Some of these impressive relics of Lenin, Marx and Béla Kun have been foraged, rescued, replicated and renewed and now find themselves in one impressive collection. Gaze upon some of the most impressive social realism in Hungary, and enjoy the many displays and short films of Budapest’s past. If you are a fan of socialism, or if you’re just into the word, a visit to Memento Park is one of the top things to do in Budapest.
This stunning building is the second largest Jewish house of worship in the world. Built in 1859, its beauty is undeniable and its unusual architecture is definitely something to behold. In more recent times, the Great Synagogue has become a collection of both religious and lifestyle artefacts, and is also home to the eye opening Holocaust Tree of Life Memorial. Be sure to gaze up at the shimmering central rose window and impressive organ, built in 1902 by the Viennese architect Ludwig Förster. Apart from its glorious appearance, something that makes the Great Synagogue a must see thing in Budapest is its Hungarian Jewish Museum section. There you can see many interesting artefacts, interactive displays and even documentary films of 18th-century life in Hungary.
Nagycsarnok is the biggest market in Budapest, and since it’s renovation in 1996, has become one of the most popular places to go in Budapest. Every day, locals and tourists flock to this grand market in search of anything from fruit, vegetables, deli items and meat to traditional Hungarian folk costumes, hand-painted eggs and extravagantly embroidered tablecloths. If you get a little peckish after all your souvenir hunting, Nagycsarnok Market also has a great variety of gourmet food stands and traditional Hungarian snacks for sale.
This kilometer long limestone plateau towers an impressive 170 meters above the famous Danube river. If you are a history enthusiast or an architecture lover, then Castle Hill is definitely one of the top things to see in Budapest for you. Littered with some of Budapest’s more important medieval landmarks and museums, this UNESCO World Heritage Site will keep you busy all day. Two of the most important sections of this plateau are the Old Town and the Royal Palace, who’s dated juxtaposition gives great insight into ancient life in Budapest.
No list of the top things to see and do in Budapest would be complete without a thermal bath, and Gellert Bath is one of the grandest in the city. Built in 1918 in a lavish Art Nouveau style and heavily renovated in 2008, this sumptuous spa is the perfect blend of old and new, and it offers some of the most luxurious treatments and amenities in the city. Soak your troubles away in an effervescent swimming pool, rejuvenate in a Finnish sauna, cool down in one of the many plunge pools, and then indulge in some world-class spa treatments.
Gazing out at this breathtaking building is bound to leave anyone speechless. With its Eclectic-style architecture and exquisitely decorated rooms, Budapest’s Parliament is one of the most stunning buildings in the city. The extremely creative Imre Steindl completed this grand build in 1902 and chose an unusual mix of neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque, neo-Baroque design that couldn’t have blended more seamlessly.
Although you can take a tour of the Hungarian Parliament building, visiting the North Wing, Golden Staircase, Loge Hall, Congress Hall and the most famous Domed Hall, the best view is from the outside. Seeing this mighty building with its 691 rooms from the other side of the Danube river is the only way to truly take in its sheer size and might.