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Things to do in Budapest

The eclectic, repeatedly rebuilt Royal Palace of the Castle District reflects Budapest's grand and turbulent past. Across the Danube, the huge neo-Gothic Parliament and dome of the Basilica of St Stephen are part of today's Pest. The House of Terror and Statue Park detail Budapest's more recent communist history. A positive hangover from this period exists at the Children's Railway. Museums and attractions are open daily, although some take a break on Monday.

Children's Railway, Budapest. Courtesy of Gyermekvasút

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Museum of Fine Arts - Museums and Galleries

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    Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. Courtesy of Hungarian National Tourist Office

    Budapest's Museum of Fine Arts is next to Pest's monumental Heroes Square. It is noted for works by Spanish golden age artists including El Greco and Goya. It also houses outstanding ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities.Show this on map

    Cost

    Permanent exhibitions: Ft1400; concessions Ft700; temporary exhibitions vary

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-5.30pm (temporary exhibitions until 6pm)

    Address

    41, Dözsa György út, Budapest 1146

    Telephone

    + 36 (1) 469 7100

    Transport

    Hösök tere Metro station

    Website

    Museum of Fine Arts Website

  2. 2. House of Terror - Museums and Galleries

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    House of Terror, Budapest. Courtesy of House of Terror Museum

    The House of Terror is set on Pest's graceful Andrássy utca. It was the headquarters of Hungary's ultra-right Arrow Cross Party, and later the Communist secret police. The interrogation rooms and cells remain as a tribute to victims of these regimes.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft1800; concessions Ft900

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-6pm

    Address

    60, Andrássy utca, Budapest 1062

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 374 26 00

    Transport

    Vörösmarty utca Metro station, or trams 4 or 6 to Oktogon

    Website

    House of Terror Website

  3. 3. Ludwig Museum - Museums and Galleries

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    Ludwig Museum, Budapest. © Ludwig Múzeum

    The Ludwig Museum resides on the Danube in Pest's upcoming District IX. Based on the private collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig, contemporary works from Hungarian artists as well as Picasso and Warhol are displayed.Show this on map

    Cost

    Permanent collection Ft700 (concessions Ft350); temporary exhibitions vary

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 10am-8pm

    Address

    1, Komor Marcell utca, Budapest 1095

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 555 3444

    Transport

    Number 2 tram to Millenniumi Kulturális Központ

    Website

    Ludwig Museum Website

  4. 4. Museum of Applied Arts - Museums and Galleries

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    Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. Courtesy of Iparmûvészeti Múzeum

    It's worth the trip to District IX to see Odön Lechner's 1896 Museum of Applied Arts. A fusion of Art Nouveau and Hungarian folk elements, its colourful Zsolnay roof is justly famous. Hungarian porcelain and French furniture feature inside.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft2500 (valid for all exhibitions); concessions Ft1250

    Opening hours

    Tue 2pm-6pm; Wed-Sun 10am-6pm (until 10pm Thu)

    Address

    33-37, Ülloi utca, Budapest 1091

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 456 5100

    Transport

    Ferenc Körút Metro station

    Website

    Museum of Applied Arts Website

Attractions

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  1. 5. Royal Palace - Attractions

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    Royal Palace, Budapest. Courtesy of Hungarian National Tourist Office

    The turquoise dome caps off the eclectic Royal Palace, which has been bombed, burned and rebuilt repeatedly in Buda's Castle District. After viewing Hungarian paintings in the National Gallery, visitors enjoy stunning views of Pest from the courtyard.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free; museums from Ft500

    Opening hours

    Daily all day; museums daily 10am-6pm (closed Mon in winter)

    Address

    I. Budavári palota, Budapest 1014

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 244 3700

    Transport

    Bus 16 to Dísz tér vá, or Castle bus 10 to Szentháromság tér

    Website

    Buda Castle Museum Website

  2. 6. Parliament - Attractions

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    Hungarian Parliament, Budapest, Hungary.

    Dramatically located on the Pest banks of the Danube, the Parliament is the vast 1902 creation of Imre Steindl. The 96-metre high dome and neo-Gothic maze of golden halls house Hungary's national assembly. Protesters and tourists gather outside.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free for EU residents; Ft2950; concessions Ft1480 for non-EU residents

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 8am-4pm; Sun 8am-2pm; English language tours daily at 10am, 12pm and 2pm. Tours also in German, French, Russian, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish.

    Address

    1-3, Kossuth tér, Budapest 1055

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 441 4904

    Transport

    Kossuth tér Metro station

    Website

    Hungarian Parliament Website

  3. 7. Heroes' Square - Attractions

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    Heroes' Square, Budapest. Courtesy of Hungarian National Tourist Office

    Built in 1896, Heroes' Square lies at the end of UNESCO-listed Andrássy út in Pest. Equestrian statues of tribal leaders who founded Hungary in 9AD are flanked by Hungarian heroes. The central 36-metre column can be seen from across Budapest.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Hösök Tere, Budapest XIV

    Transport

    Hösök Tere Metro station

  4. 8. Great Synagogue - Attractions

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    Great Synagogue, Budapest. Courtesy of Hungarian National Tourist Office

    The Great Synagogue has been restored to its Byzantine onion-domed glory. Theodore Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, was born on the site. A weeping willow monument remembers WW2 casualties from the District VII Jewish Quarter in which it sits.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft1600; concessions Ft750

    Opening hours

    Mar-Oct: Sun-Fri 10am-5.30pm (until 2.30pm Fri) Nov-Feb: Sun-Fri 10.30pm-3.30pm (until 1.30pm Fri)

    Address

    2, Dohány utca, Budapest 1078

    Telephone

    +36 70 5335696

    Transport

    Astoria or Deák tér Metro station

    Website

    Great Synagogue Website

  5. 9. Basilica of St Stephen - Attractions

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    Basilica of St Stephen, Budapest. Courtesy of Hungarian National Tourist Office

    Building began on Budapest's neo-classical Basilica of St Stephen in 1845. The collapse of its dome in 1868 set back completion of this Pest landmark until 1905. St. Stephen's right hand is preserved in the Szent Jobb chapel.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (Tower Ft500, concessions Ft400)

    Opening hours

    Summer: 9am-5pm (from 1pm Sun); winter: 10am-4pm

    Address

    33, V. Szent Istvan tér, Budapest 1051

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 317 2859

    Transport

    Arany János utca Metro station

    Website

    Basilica of St Stephen Website

  6. 10. Matthias Church - Attractions

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    Matthias Church, Budapest. Courtesy of Hungarian National Tourist Office

    The neo-Gothic spire, gargoyles, and multi-coloured Zsolnay tilework of eclectic Matthias Church on Castle Hill reflects Budapest's turbulent history. It has been an exclusive wedding venue ever since King Mátyás got married there twice, and was once a mosque too.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft700; concessions Ft480; under-6s free

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 9am-1pm; Sun 1pm-5pm

    Address

    2, Szentháromság tér, Budapest 1014

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 35 556 57

    Transport

    Bus 16 to Dísz tér vá, or Castle bus 10 to Szentháromság tér.

    Website

    Matthias Church Website

Special things to do

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  1. 11. Children's Railway - Special things to do

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    Children's Railway, Budapest. Courtesy of Gyermekvasút

    Originally part of the socialist youth movement, the 11-kilometre-long Children's Railway runs through the Buda hills and is officiated by children aged 10-14. Adults drive the trains and children do the rest. A steam engine runs at weekends.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft500-Ft700 one way; concessions Ft300-Ft350

    Opening hours

    May-Aug daily 9am-7pm; Sep-Apr Tue-Sun 9am-5pm

    Address

    Széchenyi-hegyi, Gyermekvasút, Budapest 1281

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 397 5392

    Transport

    Tram 59 or 61 to Városmajor, the cog-wheel railway Fogaskerekü Vasút to Széchenyi-hegy

    Website

    Children's Railway Website

  2. 12. Chain Bridge - Special things to do

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    Chain Bridge, Budapest. Photo by Robert Smyth

    The ornate Chain Bridge is the work of Hungarian moderniser István Széchenyi and Scotsman Adam Clark. It was the first permanent bridge to connect Buda and Pest in 1849. Lit at night, it's a romantic way to cross the Danube.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Roosevelt tér & Clark Adam tér, Budapest V

    Transport

    Tram 2 to Roosevelt tér

  3. 13. Széchenyi Baths - Special things to do

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    Built on thermal springs in Pest's City Park, the neo-Baroque Széchenyi Baths and sauna complex draws bathers all year round. Visitors swim the lengthy pool, or sit in the steamy circular pool and take on the locals at chess.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft2500

    Opening hours

    Daily 6am-10pm

    Address

    11, Állatkerti krt, Budapest 1146

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 363 3210

    Transport

    Széchenyi fürdö Metro station

    Website

    Széchenyi Baths Website

  4. 14. Margaret Island - Special things to do

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    Margaret Island, Budapest. Photo by Robert Smyth

    This green island, three kilometres long and 500 metres wide, lies between Margit and Árpád bridges. Here, Budapesters relax and exercise at the Palatinus lido and Alfréd Hajós swimming complex. Light shows at the Music Fountain are popular in summer.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    Budapest 1138

    Transport

    Tram 4 or 6 to Margitsziget or bus 26 from Nuygati tér.

  5. 15. Statue Park - Special things to do

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    Statue Park in Memento Park, Budapest. Courtesy of Memento Park

    Rather than destroy statues of the hated former Communist regime, they have been grouped together in Statue Park outside Budapest. Hungary's first communist leader Béla Kun shares the space with Lenin, Marx and Engels, and a host of out-of-favour martyrs.Show this on map

    Cost

    Ft1500; concessions Ft1000; Hungary Card holders -30%

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-sunset

    Address

    , Balatoni utca & Szabadkai utca, Budapest 1223

    Telephone

    +36 (1) 424 7500

    Transport

    Bus from Deák tér for Ft4000 return (Ft2500 with Budapest Card), includes entrance fee

    Website

    Statue Park Website

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