Walkable Destinations in Budapest3 min read
You might have heard that Budapest is actually two cities—Buda and Pest. But did you know there is a third city? The third section of Budapest, Obuda, is wedged right in between the northern parts of Buda and Pest. Confused yet? Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe, and you can tackle most of it in a quick day trip. Listed from Buda to Pest, here are the 5 tourist attractions you can absolutely fit into a day-trip!
Castle Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Buda side of Budapest that contains Buda Castle, the house of many kings past. It stands today as a symbol of the fortunes of the Hungarian people. Castle Hill (appropriately named) is located on an elevated hill that drops off into the Danube river, making the grounds seem as though they are looking down upon the city. Within the grounds is the Fisherman’s Bastion, a viewing terrace that offers, arguably, the most beautiful panoramic views of Budapest. Also within the grounds is Matthias Church, an 11th century Roman Catholic church that was used for the coronation of Hungarian Kings for centuries.
The Chain Bridge
The Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge to connect Buda and Pest. Before this bridge, the only way to cross the Danube was by ferry or by a temporary bridge that would be constructed in the summer and disassembled for the winter. Built in 1849, it was regarded at the time as a wonder of the modern world and asserted economic, social, and cultural significance for the country, just as the Brooklyn Bridge did in New York. Today, it is seen as a symbol of the linkage between East and West.
The Danube Promenade
Once you cross the Danube to get to the Pest side, the first thing you will see is the Danube Promenade. Lined with restaurants, cafes, shops, it is a scenic place to soak in some Hungarian culture and performances. From this side of the Danube, you can also see the most beautiful sunsets as the sun drifts behind Castle Hill. As you walk along the elevated river bank approaching the Hungarian Parliament Building, you will see old shoes lining the bank. These shoes are actually a memorial known as “Shoes on the Danube Bank” that honors the people who were killed at the site during WWII. Victims were ordered to take off their shoes and were shot at the edge of the river so that their bodies would fall in and be carried away. The shoes are meant to symbolize the shoes left behind.
Hungarian Parliament Building
Located just across the Danube on the Pest side, this magnificent structure is the largest building in Hungary and the tallest building in Budapest. In fact, it is so big that the best view you will get is from across the Danube. You’ve probably seen this building many times, as it is one of the most notable landmarks of Hungary. The Parliament Building was originally built as a representation of the unification of Buda, Obuda, and Pest. It took over 100,000 people to construct and 40 million bricks and is still the seat of the National Assembly (parliament of Hungary).
Traveling farther into Pest leads you to another UNESCO World Heritage site: Heroes’ Square, the largest square in Budapest. This square was constructed to commemorate the thousandth anniversary of Budapest. In the center of the square is a statue known as the Millennium Monument with the Millennium Column rising up into the sky. At the top of the column stands Archangel Gabriel. Around the square are many other statues of famous men who have become a part of Hungarian History. On either side of the square is the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art.