Planning a Euro trip in 2016, and have Budapest as one of your main stops? Make the most of your time in one of the grandest cities in Central Europe by filling in your itinerary with the top cultural attractions in Budapest.
1) St. Stephen’s Basilica
Begin your culture scavenger hunt in Budapest by checking out St. Stephen’s Basilica. Named in honour of the first king of Hungary, it is one of the biggest churches in the entire country, and it is well-known for its prominence (tallest building in the city), its giant bells, and its spectacular interior, which boasts an unbelievable background to its altar.
2) Hungarian Parliament Building
The seat of government is not normally the first place that travelers seek out when they go looking for attractions in a foreign city, but in Budapest, the Hungarian Parliament Building is a work of art that cannot be ignored.
Located on the banks of the Danube River, this Gothic Revival style structure can be toured by requesting tickets through its official website before you depart for Hungary. It’s worth the trouble though, as this national treasure contains the Hungarian crown jewels, magnificent frescoes, and has numerous statues of famous Hungarian military and political figures throughout history.
Want to be able to reach the Parliament Buildings without having to battle your way through traffic from the other side of town? There are hotels and cheap hostels near the Danube that will put you within walking distance or a quick subway ride from its front doors.
3) Shoes on the Danube Bank
Another attraction located on the Danube is one of a more sombre nature, as it pays tribute to victims of the genocidal violence that was prevalent in Budapest and across Europe during World War II.
The cast iron shoes signify the fact that fascist militia ordered Jews to take off their shoes before they shot them on the edge of the Danube, which carried their bodies away.
Dress appropriately when visiting, and conduct yourself in a respectful and quiet manner while observing this sad testament to the worst impulses of human nature.
4) Buda Castle
Finally, no visit to Budapest can be concluded without a spending at least a half day crawling the grounds of Buda Castle.
Serving as the home of Hungarian royalty from the mid-13th century, there is much to see here – from labyrinths in the basement, to its chapels and the Grand Throne Room, the variety of environments within will make it tough to leave at the end of the day.