9 Things to Do in Budapest – Hungary

Budapest is a stunningly beautiful city that once used to be two cities. Buda and Pest joined in 1873 to become the capital of Hungary and the country’s most populous city. The city is packed with fun things to do and plenty to see, so start by adding these places to your itinerary.

  1. Fisherman’s Bastion


Right across from Buda Castle stands the Fisherman’s Bastion. Running parallel to the Danube River, it features seven stone towers, each one a symbol of a Hungarian Chieftain. The Bastion offers unparalleled city views, especially from the towers that top the Buda Castle hill. The Bastion is divided, with the southern part housing a bronze statue of St. Stephen and the northern part containing statues of Gellert and Julius monks. You’ll also find a restaurant in the Bastion where you can sample Swiss cuisine. The Bastion is open 24/7, and entrance is free before 9 AM and after 7 PM. Admission fees between those times start at 500 HUF.


  1. Stephen’s Basilica

st stephens basilica

The basilica stands proudly in St. Stephen’s Square and is the biggest in the country. It was dedicated to the first king in Hungary and took more than 50 years to build. Inside, you’ll find a glass cabinet adorned with rubies and gold, and inside is “the Holy Right Hand,” the mummified right hand of St. Stephen. You can also enjoy stunning views over Budapest from the terrace and enjoy some amazing stained glass windows and wood carvings. There is also a wide range of frescos, statues, mosaics, and works of art on show, and the right tower is home to a 9-ton bell, the biggest in Hungary. The basilica is open all year round, Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM, and Sunday from 1 PM to 4 PM. Admission starts at 1500 HUF, and guided tours are also available.

  1. Szechenyi Chain Bridge


This bridge permanently connected Buda to Pest and features two carved stone lions at each bridgehead. The bridge provides some of the city’s best views and the Danube. It took over 50 years to build, is 16 m wide and 375 m long, and is a suspended bridge that looks amazing when lit at night. Some of the biggest cultural events are held here on summer weekends, and close by are the Clark Adam Square, Castle Bazaar, and Royal Gardens, all worth a visit.


Szechenyi Chain Bridge

  1. Heroes Square


You’ll find Heroes Square between the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts. Here, you can see high-rise statues of some of Budapest’s leaders and freedom fighters, with the central statue rising 40 m. In 2002, Heroes Square gained UNESCO World Heritage status and was built as a tribute to the seven Hungarian tribes, the founders of Hungary. The Square is the venue for some major events and there are plenty of art exhibitions taking place all year. Nearby, you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts, the Palace of Arts, the City Park, and Vajdahunyad Castle.

  1. Buda Castle

buda castle

Perhaps the highlight of any visit to Budapest, Buda Castle is a Gothic Palace in Varhegy. Often called the Royal Palace, the castle is home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Library, and the Budapest Historical Museum. The castle’s green dome can be seen from all over the city and a visit allows you to see many historically important statues and the Matthias Well. Nearby, you’ll find Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion. The castle is open all year round, Tuesday to Sunday, and entrance is free.

buda castle

  1. Danube Promenade

danube promenade

The Danube Promenade runs along the Danube River between the Elizabeth Bridge and the Szechenyi Chain Bridge. It is lined with cafes and restaurants and offers amazing views over the Danube from Pest to Buda. The Danube is the perfect place for a stroll and also offers a good choice of 5-star hotels. From the promenade, you can see Buda Castle, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Vigado Concert Hall, and Gellert Hill, not to mention a row of sculptures along the walkway. Here, you can also see the famous Shoes sculpture, a memorial built in 2005 to commemorate the Jewish massacre during World War 2.

Danube Promenade

  1. Matthias Church


Matthias Church

Matthias Church can be found opposite Fisherman’s Bastion, in the middle of the Castle district. It is considered the most unique church in Europe and is about 700 years old. Inside, the construction is Gothic, and it is painted in warmer yellows, browns, oranges, and golds. This has been the site of royal weddings, coronations, and baptisms, but very little is left of the original church. The outside is traditional, but inside, it has a modern look and is now home to the Ecclesiastical Art Museum, with plenty of medieval paintings, sculptures, and artifacts on display. The church is also the venue for musical evenings and concerts, including the Matthias Church Choir and Orchestra shows.


You can also visit the Bastion, Trinity Square, and St. Stephen’s statue from the church. Opening times are Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, Saturday, 9 AM to 12 noon, and Sunday, 1 PM to 5 PM. Admission costs from 1200 HUF, and guided tours are available.

  1. Liberty Bridge

liberty bridge

One of the more popular places for tourists, Liberty Bridge offers stunning views over the Danube and Budapest city. This is the second bridge to connect Buda and Pest and it was first opened for public access in 1896 to honor 1000 years since Hungary completed their Carpathian Basin conquest. Originally called Franz Joseph Bridge, it was renamed after the Second World War to reflect Hungarian independence.

Liberty Bridge

  1. Liberty Statue


Standing on Gellert Hill, the Liberty Statue overlooks Budapest, and visitors can wander the path at leisure or catch the cable car to the hilltop. It was erected in 1947 to commemorate Hungary being liberated from the Nazis, and it stands 14 m tall on top of a 26 m pedestal. It is an important historical symbol for Hungary, a tribute to its long fight for independence and freedom. It is open every day, and there are no admission fees. There is a fee if you want to climb the pedestal and enter the observation deck.

Hungary is a beautiful country and Budapest is the jewel in its crown. With so much to see and do, Budapest is a must-visit city for any trip to the country, so add these places to your itinerary and enjoy every minute you spend in this beautiful city.

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