Thursday, 24 July 2014

Top 10 Things To See | Budapest

As promised, here is my first Budapest post! It really is a fantastic city, and here are some of my favourite things that I got to see. (N.B. This list is my no means exhaustive, we only had four full days to explore!)

1. Szent István Bazilika (St Stephen’s Basilica)
This is the largest (and in my opinion, most beautiful) church in Budapest. It’s dome is 96 metres high, the same height as the one on the Parliament building, and it sits proudly almost opposite the Chain Bridge. It is hands down my favourite building in all of Budapest.


2. Margitsziget (Margaret Island)
This island sits in the middle of the Duna, the river which separates the two sides of the city, Buda and Pest (I find the fact that the two different sides are called this a bit too funny). It is a beautiful expanse of sculpted green parkland with flowers, trees and shrubbery everywhere, and beautiful views of the city on either side.

3. Halászbástya (Fisherman’s Bastion)
On the Buda side of the city, Fisherman’s Bastion really is gorgeous. The cream-white walls and pillars and fantastical curving buildings, coupled with the fantastic view you get of Pest, prove it to be a photographers dream.

4. Mátyás-templom (Matthias Church)
If you visit Fisherman’s Bastion you will no doubt see Matthias Church. The roof really has to be seen to be believed. The tiles are native to Hungary and self-cleaning, meaning they don’t lose their colour, and cover the entirety of the church roof.

5. Széchenyi Lánchíd (Chain Bridge)
The most famous of Budapest’s many bridges, and you can see why. Guarded by two lions at either end, it’s architecture is really one that has to be seen to be fully appreciated, but rest assured it, and the view down the Duna you get from walking across it, are beautiful.

6. Az Országház (House of the Nation)
This building is the third largest Parliament building in the world - two metres longer than the Houses of the Parliament in the UK, which it was modeled on. As a result, it is very difficult to photograph, but it is a truly spectacular building, one that is definitely worth seeing.

7. Hõsök Tere (Heroes Square)
You may have seen a picture of this on my Instagram. Heroes Square is a little way out of the centre of Budapest, at the very end of Andrássy Avenue, but is very much worth the walk. Built in 1900 to celebrate the 1000 year anniversary of the seven Magyar tribes arriving in the area of now-Hungary, it is a Unesco Heritage Site, and also boats the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts.

8. Budavári Palota (Buda Castle)
We didn’t actually go and have a proper look in the grounds of the castle, however I wish we had spent a little more time there. It rest on Castle Hill, and has not only beautiful architecture, but beautiful views of the Pest side of the river. Next time!

9. Dohány Utcai Zsinagóga (Dohány Street Synagogue)
It is the second largest synagogue in the world, and actually influenced the architecture of the largest synagogue, New York City’s Central Synagogue.

10. The Architecture
You can’t help but glimpse Budapest’s wonderful, eclectic architecture as you’re walking round, but try to pay extra attention to it, as in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

I hope you're all feeling a major urge to jump on the next plane to Budapest, I know I am! Thanks for reading and happy travelling!

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