Budapest is the capital of Hungary. It is known as the “Pearl of the Danube River” and has the reputation of “Little Paris” because of its superior geographical location, beautiful natural scenery and urban architecture combined with classical and modern styles. Budapest used to be two cities that were called Buda and Pest. They faced each other on both sides of the Danube. Many bridges of historical significance have been built between Buda and Pest. And now these bridges have all become the hallmarks of Budapest. Budapest is a city where history and culture, scenery and passion coexist. Here is the list of top 10 most popular tourist attractions.
1. Szechenyi Chain Bridge
Szechenyi Chain Bridge is commonly known as the Chain Bridge. The Chain Bridge is the first bridge connecting the Buda and Pest on the Danube and is therefore considered a symbol of Budapest. The suspension bridge has a maximum span of 202 meters, which was the largest suspension bridge in the world at that time. The completion of the bridge was called the miracle of engineering construction in that era. In 1898, the bridge was officially named the Szechenyi Chain Bridge to commemorate the greatest politician and reformer in the modern history of Hungary, Estefan Szechenyi. He was also the main supporter and donor of the bridge. The bridge was blown up by the Germans during World War II and left just two piers. It was rehabilitated in 1949.
2. Parliament Building
The Parliament Building is the landmark of Budapest and the largest congress building in Europe continent (the second largest in Europe). The Parliament House was built during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was designed and supervised by the famous Hungarian architect Stendel Imre. There are 691 rooms, conference rooms and halls, 27 doors, and its total length of the stairs is more than 20 kilometers. The Parliament building blends the Hungarian national style and is a Neo-Gothic architectural building. The main body of the parliament is white and the red domes are surrounded by a number of white Gothic spires. The building is surrounded by flower beds and lawns with a very wild style. The half-high reeds and grass surround this solemn building, which looks very cute. The main halls of the Capitol are decorated with portraits, sculptures and giant murals of Hungarian historical celebrities. There is the dome hall under the red vault where major conferences and celebrations take place.
3. Fisherman’s Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion is a two-story white building complex that blends neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque and Hungarian local architecture. It faces the Danube and the Parliament and enjoys equal popularity as the Parliament and the Opera House. It’s named as the most impressive building in Hungary. In the Middle Ages, the fishermen here were responsible for defending this section of the city wall, and that’s why it’s called Fisherman’s Bastion. There is a patina statue of St. Istvan in the middle of the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Matthias Church.
4. Castle Hill
Castle Hill is only over 100 meters above sea level and is the highest place of the Buda area. The history of Castle Hill dates back to the 13th century. Walking on the Castle Hill Road, we find that the streets, the squares and houses along the way are all with medieval architecture. There are the National Palace, National Gallery, History Museum, the Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion and other attractions on the hills of Buda Castle. Castle Hill is like a huge museum showing the history of the city of Budapest and the past of the Hungarian nation. Standing on the top of the castle, you can see the Danube and the scenery of Pest: the Chain Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Markett Island on the river.
6. Matthias Church
The Matthias Church was originally built in 1015 as a gorgeous and dignified Gothic building. It was the second cathedral in the city of Buda in the Middle Ages. As Hugo said, the Matthias Church is a “symphony of stone.” The church was named after the king of Matthias. The king of Matthias lived in Hungary in the 15th century. He promoted the advanced science and culture, education system and legal system to Hungary. Hungary was not developed in those fields at the time. The king has brought the new achievements of the Italian Renaissance and established the largest library with the collection of history, philosophy and scientific achievements in Europe in the 15th century: the Colvena Library. In addition to his commitment to the national development of Hungary, Matthias also organized the establishment of the well-known standing army that is independent from the noble to defend against foreign invasions.
6. Buda Castle
Originally known as the “Royal Palace”, Buda Castle is located on the Castle Hill and accounts for two-thirds of the entire area. Buda Castle was built in 1247 and was built by King Beira IV of Hungary to defend against the invasion of the monks. Later, the king of Luxembourg Sigismund converted the original building into a Gothic palace. From 1541 to 1686, Ottoman Turkey occupied Budapest and then Buda Castle was used as a military camp and mosque. Until the 17th century, the Habsburg dynasty drove off Turkey and Buda Castle was rebuilt into a Baroque style. The castle is now a gallery and museum in Hungary for visitors to enjoy. Buda Castle was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
7. Heroes Square
The Hungarian people established the Heroes Square to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Hungary and set up a Millennium Monument in the center of the square. The square was completed in 1896. At the top of the Millennium Monument, there is a Gabriel angel. The angel holds the crown of King Esteban when he was crowned, which symbolizes that Hungary has transformed into a Christian country. Seven nomadic tribe leaders riding on the horse are at the bottom of the monument. It was they who led the Magyars to settle here in 896, the first of which was Albad. There are fourteen statues on the symmetrical colonnade built behind the square. They are the kings, leaders and historical celebrities of Hungary who have made important contributions to the country in the 1848 revolution, as well as the founding fathers.
8. Freedom Bridge
The Freedom Bridge that connects Buda and Pest is located in the southeast of the city center and cross the Danube. The bridge was built between 1894 and 1896 and with the imitation chain bridge that was considered the most beautiful at the time. Franz Joseph I attended the opening ceremony and personally installed the last silver rivet for the bridge. The bridge was originally named after the emperor. The bridge is 333.6 meters long and 20.1 meters wide. The top of the bridge column is decorated with four bronze statues of Turul, which are birds like falcons in ancient Hungarian mythology.
The yellow tram slowly pass on the blue bridge, which is the romance of Budapest.
The Danube is the second largest river in Europe second to Russia’s Volga River. And it’s also an extremely important international river in Europe with a total length of 2,857 meters. Budapest’s Danube is the most beautiful section. Whether you are on the shore, in the middle of the bridge, or on a boat trip, you see always the magnificent scenery. Europe’s mother river reflects the ancient buildings on both sides of the strait. Especially the old city of Budapest is like a faded watercolor painting, which is of lingering charm.
10. Stephen’s Basilica
The St. Stephen’s Basilica is a Catholic sacred sanctuary named after the first king of Hungary, Istvan, who placed his mummy right hand here.
The church was built in 1851 and completed in 1905. It was rebuilt in 1949. It is 96 meters high, 55 meters wide and 87.4 meters long. It is a neoclassical building with a Greek cross. There are two large clock towers on the facade. The South Tower has the largest clock in Hungary that weighs over 9 tons. Its weighed about 8 tons and was used for military purposes during World War II. Visitors can take the elevator or climb 364 stairs to reach the dome and overlook Budapest.