The Castle district (Fishermen's Bastion and Matthias Church)

The Castle hill, called also Castle district, is a calcareous 1 km long plateau that rises 170 m above the Danube. This area is separated in two parts: the Royal Palace and the old city. The quickest way to climb to the top is an unusual funicular that looks like three boxes stuck together. The most important church in the Buda's Castle district is the Matthias Church. The church is dedicated to King Matthias that married Beatrice here in 1474. The architectonic style is Neo-gothic, the church praises a beautiful roof made of coloured shingles and elegant pinnacles. It is better if you go to a private excursion in Budapest, because you can get a more comprehensive picture of the castle. The tour guide can show you many interesting things about the castle and bring you to places where you can not enter alone.

The interior is embellish by artistic glass walls and frescos. Just in front of the church there are the Fishermen's Bastions, a Neo-Gothic tantrum that most of the tourists (and also Hungarians) confuse with a Medieval construction. Built in 1905 as a panoramic point by the architect Frigyes Schulek, the Fishermen's Bastions owes its name to the namesake corporation that during the Middle Ages was responsible of the defence of this part of ramparts. The seven shining towers represent the seven magyar clans’ leaders that settled down in the Carpathian Basin at the end of the IX century. The Castle district offers stupendous panoramic views of the Pest cityscape and of the Danube River.

The Citadella of Budapest and Gellert Hill

Citadella is a must-see part of a journey in Budapest. This spectacle at the top of Gellert hill is a fortress that has never known struggles. It was built by the Habsburgs after the independence war of 1848-9 to defend the city from other insurrections. Later, the political climate changed, making the fortress obsolete. Today, the Citadella hosts some weapons and a war museum situated in a large air-raid shelter from WWII. It houses wax statues and a large exhibition with wartime photographs of Budapest. The bunker has three floors and 17 rooms. Enjoy the great view from the top of the hill over the city, the Danube and its eight bridges.

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Budapest was destroyed and rebuilt about 6 times. The Royal Palace, during its long history hosted Kings and Queens, but also invaders like the Turks. It was also a residence for some members of the Habsburg family. Nowadays the Royal Palace safeguards important museums, which we can visit during a trip in Budapest, such as the National Gallery, the National Museum and many statues and other monuments. The Royal Palace represents the main attraction of the Castle Hill district and one of the most visited sight of the Capital.

The Parliament

If the Royal Palace is the focal point of the Buda side, the building of the Parliament, on the opposite side of the Danube, is the nerve center of Pest. The parliament is a very popular tourist attraction in Budapest, as it is an amazing building and it is the biggest building in Hungary! The building expands on 268 meters along the Danube river and boasts of an incredible number of chambers (690), courtyards (10) and entrances (10). The Parliament building is the seat of the unicameral National Assembly, but several parts, including the superb dome room, in which is kept in the crown of Saint Stephen, can be admired during a guided visit.

The Basilica of Saint Stephen

This basilica is the largest and most important building for the christian cult in Budapest. The church is a neoclassical architectural jewel unique in its kind. Its completion took more than half a century (mainly because of a storm that collapsed the dome). Today it is possible to climb over the dome and enjoy a gorgeous view of the city while the inside hosts a rich collection of liturgical objects. The main attraction of the basilica is a holy relic of utmost importance in Hungary: the holy right hand of Saint Stephen. The relic is guarded in a richly ornamented reliquary behind the altar. If we dont know which Budapest city-tours is better, try to choose that, where you can view this wonderful building.

The Great Synagogue

The biggest building for the jewish cult, the Great Synagogue in Moorish Revival style, is one of the buildings of Budapest with the greatest impact. It was built in 1859 and has a capacity of 3000 people. The structure with the copper dome is bordering the Hungarian Jewish Museum and right by the side of the Holocaust Memorial Tree sculpted by Imre Varga. The weeping willow tree is cast in steel and holds silver leaves engraved with the names of victims of the Holocaust. If you passage Budapest sure to check out this place.

Memento Park

All decent Budapest guide show this place for the tourists. The park hosts the monuments and the statues of the communist period, and often referred to as the cemetery of the socialist errors or the dump of a dark history. The park is placed in the south part of Buda. There are about 40 statues of Lenin, Marx, Engels, and several Hungarian Communists. Even an old Trabant is on display, an iconic car of the communist era with a lightweight composite chassis propulsed by a two cylinder, two-stroke engine developing 26 HP!

Andrassy Avenue and Hero's Square

Andrássy Avenue is an elegant 2.5 km long tree-lined avenue that reaches out from Deák Ferenc tér to the City park. During a trip in Budapest we can pleasant things to see what became a UNESCO World Heritage site. The avenue is home to museums (House of Terror), magnificent buildings (Opera House), boutiques and cafés. At the end, the avenue opens out to the Hero's square which is the main entrance to the city park. The Millenary Monument erected in the center of the square in 1896 in honour of the ancestors of the homeland, commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of Hungarian tribes in the Carpathian Basin. This square is one of the most visited sights in Budapest. The square is surrounded by two important buildings, the Museum of Fine Arts on the left and the Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) on the right. The Heroes’ Square is also a station of the Millennium Underground (the first underground in Europe after the one of London).

Budapest restaurant and café guide

Budapest restaurant and café guide

Gundel Restaurant

Next to the Budapest Zoo and the City park is located the most well-known restaurant in Hungary: Gundel. Gundel is probably the only restaurant in Budapest with an international reputation. The restaurant was inaugurated in 1894 and anywhere in the world Hungarian gastronomy is mentioned, the name Gundel has a familiar sound for each one. The lovely and world famous Gundel Restaurant offers to their guests a superb mixture of traditional Hungarian cuisine and refined international grand cuisine, a fine selection of wines and live gypsy music nightly...

Price range: Exclusive
Address: 1146 Budapest, Gundel Károly út 4
Table reservation and information: +36 1 889 8100
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.gundel.hu

Costes Restaurant

This famous restaurant opened in 2008 and in few years with its top quality gastronomy and wine specialties it became the first ever Michelin Star Restaurant in Budapest. The restaurant’s philosophy is to merge the international cuisine with the traditional Hungarian one. The elegant and stylish ambience together with the excellent dishes and an outstanding selection of wines all seek to please the guests. Restaurant Costes is ideal for business meetings and special occasions both. It is located in Budapest downtown.

Price range: Exclusive
Address: 1092 Budapest, Ráday utca 4
Table reservation and information: +36 1 219 0696
www.costes.hu

Onyx Restaurant

With its top quality international and Hungarian gastronomy this restaurant has become the newest Budapest Michelin Star Restaurant. Located on Vörösmarty Square in the heart of Budapest, the Onyx restaurant, opened in April 2007. The creation of the Hungarian Evolution Menu with the use of the highest-quality ingredients and new technologies is a new interpretation of the Hungarian cuisine. The Onyx Restaurant has also been ranked number 3 in the Hungarian Best Restaurant Guide in 2010. The elegant interiors are adorned with crystal chandeliers and oversized flower motifs in a Neo-Baroque style.

Price range: Exclusive
Address: 1051 Budapest Vörösmarty tér 7-8
Table reservation and information: +36-30-508-0622
www.onyxrestaurant.hu

New York Café

One of the most famous restaurants in Budapest thanks to the richly decorations and its cuisine. The ceiling is embellished with beautiful frescoes by Gusztav Mannheimer and Ferenc Eisenhut, dating from the mid-XIX century. Luxurious Venetian chandeliers spread a magical atmosphere and golden stucco work covers the twisted columns with a fascinating effect. Enjoy the delights offered by barmen or chefs in this superb venue.

Price range: Exclusive
Address: 1073 Budapest, Erzsébet körút 9-11
Table reservation and information: +36 (1) 886 6111
www.newyorkcafé.hu

Mátyás Pince Restaurant

Cuisine, art, history and music meet in this restaurant. The traditional Hungarian style interior, the Hungarian and Transylvanian dishes, the wide range of wines and the live gypsy music make you feel the real tastes and customs of Hungary. The restaurant has been established in 1904 and named to King Mátyás; the myths and legends of his reign grace the walls. The frescoes and stained glass decorating the walls were registered as national monuments in 1973.

Price range: 7000-25000
Address: 5th district, Március 15. square 7
Table reservation and information: +36-1-266-80-08
eng.matyaspince.eu

Kárpátia Restaurant

Traditional Hungarian and international dishes in the courtyard of a former monastery. It was opened in 1877 and it is one of the oldest restaurants in Budapest. The gorgeous interior with its hand painted walls and the gipsy orchestra create a really romantic atmosphere.

Price range: 6000-10000 HUF
Address: 5th district, Ferenciek square 7-8
Table reservation and information: +36-1-317-3596
www.karpatia.hu

Halászbástya Restaurant

Royal interior, great panorama view on the Danube and the city, traditional and reformed Hungarian and international dishes is what the Halászbástya Restaurant offers to the guests. The Fisherman's Bastion Restaurant is open year-round with a variety of services. The main entrance to the restaurant is located just behind the Matthias Church in the Castle district.

Price range: 6000-10000
Address: Fisherman’s Bastion, North Tower, Buda Castle
Table reservation and information: +36-1-201-6935
eng.halaszbastya.eu

Múzeum Cafe and Restaurant

This nostalgic restaurant awaits its guest with a traditional Hungarian and international cuisine. It is located in Budapest downtown next to the National Museum. This historic Café and restaurant was opened in 1885.

Price range: 6000-10000 HUF
Address: Múzeum Krt, 12, 1088 Budapest
Table reservation and information: +36-1-201-6935
www.muzeumkavehaz.hu

VakVarjú Restaurant

After a pleasantly exhausting Budapest tour, good to know a friendly place, where you can eat something delicious and cheap food. VakVarjú Restaurant is probably the most kid friendly restaurant in the city, they offer a special menu for the little ones and a play corner. The restaurant's main dish is the typical Hungarian specialty 'Kenyérlángos' that seems to be a pizza with a huge selection of toppings. Live piano music is accompanying your traditional dinner at VakVarjú Restaurant.

VakVarjú has three locations.

Price range: 0-3500 HUF

Address VakVarjú Pest: Budapest, Paulay Ede utca 7
Table reservation and information: +36-1 268-0888

Address VakVarjú Buda: Budapest, Érem utca 2
Table reservation and information: +36-1 208-4027

Address VakVarjú Beach (seasonal): Budapest, Kopaszi gát 2, Buda
Table reservation and information: +36-70 339-6333

www.vakvarju.com

Opera House

When it was opened in 1884, the city shared the administrative duties of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with Vienna. Emperor Franz Joseph commissioned its design to the architect Miklós Ybl. The construction included the use of marble and frescos by some of the best artisans of that era. It's one of the most beautiful neo-renaissance buildings in Europe. The Opera House praises also the third best acoustic in Europe. The facade is decorated with well-known figures of the opera: Liszt, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and so on... Prepare yourself to be fascinated by the theatre, with the marble columns, the golden roof, the frescos and the chandeliers. Even if you couldn’t find a ticket to a play, don’t miss out on the guided tour.When it was opened in 1884, the city shared the administrative duties of the Austro-Hungarian Empire with Vienna. Emperor Franz Joseph commissioned its design to the architect Miklós Ybl. The construction included the use of marble and frescos by some of the best artisans of that era. If we are on a voyage in Budapest, we definitely have to visit the Opera house, because this is one of the most beautiful neo-renaissance building in Europe. The Opera House praises also the third best acoustic in Europe. The facade is decorated with well-known figures of the opera: Liszt, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and so on... Prepare yourself to be fascinated by the theatre, with the marble columns, the golden roof, the frescos and the chandeliers. Even if you couldn’t find a ticket to a play, don’t miss out on the guided tour.

Bridges of Budapest

Budapest is also known as the city of the bridges: the city is crossed by seven bridges that connect Buda to Pest.

The Chain Bridge:

Budapest’s first permanent crossing over the Danube river was completed in 1849 as a marvel of the 19th century’s technological advancements. Its name comes from the iron chains, on which the road-bed hangs. The chains are held by two 48-meter river piers in classicist style. At the time of its construction, the Chain Bridge was the suspension bridge with the second-largest span all over the world. The stone lions took their place only in 1852. They luckily survived the devastation of World War II. According to a legend, the lions of the Chain Bridge do not have tongues. The legend lacks any factual basis: in fact the lions do have their tongues but it is only possible to see their tongues from above!

Shoes on the Danube

This monument by Gyula Pauer (2006) is located just under the Parliament along the Danube bank. This is a memorial for the hungarian jews that were shot and thrown in the river by the nazis in 1944. The touching monument reproduce 60 shoes in bronze, abandoned by the victims. Maybe if you ask your private Budapest guide, then he will show you this place to you on the tour.

Aquincum

This area of the Pannonian region was at first settled by a celtic tribe (Eravasci). Around a.d. 41-54, 600 men of a Roman legion stationed here and gradually the city rises around the military settlement. In a.d 106 Aquincum became the Capital city of the Pannonian Inferior region. This area today is situated in the Óbuda district within Budapest. Acquincum is the Roman civil settlement, well-conserved throughout the centuries and converted today into a museum with inside and open-air sections. The Roman Ruins in Aquincum have been dated around the II and III century (a.d.). This area was the focal point of the commercial life of the Pannonian province. During the excavation works, the archaeologists have discovered many objects and monuments that testify the glory of this age. The ancient town had paved street and lavish houses with fountains, courtyards and mosaic pavements. Although today not all of those marvels remain intact, it is possible to distinguish their structure, such as the the market (Macellum), the public baths, the christian church and a temple dedicated to God Mitra, the most important divinity that in that period competed against christianism on this territory. The Aquincum museum (Aquincumi Múzeum), built at the south western edge of the ruins of the settlement, permits to contextualize the finds thanks to an outstanding collection of coins and mural paintings. A professional Budapest tourguide can show you the copy of the portable organ and the mosaic that shows how it worked. Settled at the north west of the ruins beyond the shafts of a roman aqueduct, rises the civil amphitheater where it is still possible today to see the cells in which the lions were kept and the death gate through which the corpses of the dead gladiators were transported. This is the biggest and most important monument discovered. It was realized during the I century (a.d). Its dimensions are 130x110 meters and its capacity is about 16.000 people. Another great discovery is the three-level aqueduct. The Aquincum Museum shelters a reconstruction of the hydraulic system, roman houses and the paintings that have been recovered.

Monument of the 1956 Revolution

The hungarian revolution, known also as Hungarian uprising, was an anti-soviet revolt that lasted from the 23 October 1956 to the 11 November 1956. The insurrection was repressed by the soviet tanks and opposed by the ÁVH (State Security Police). Died about 2.600 hungarian from both the sides (pro-against the revolution). The injured were approximately 20.000 and about 250.000 hungarian left from their country. The revolution started on the 23 October 1956 when about 20.000 students met next to the statue of Józef Bem. Here the president of the Writer’s Union, Péter Veres, red a manifesto to the crowd and the crowd started to sing the National poem that was censored: "This we swear, this we swear, that we will no longer be slaves." and one of them cut out of the Hungarian flag the communist emblem. After those facts most of the people cross the Danube to join the pacific demonstration in front of the Parliament where more than 200.000 people came together. In the evening a radio speech of the First Secretary Ernő gerő broadcast the condemnation of the writers and students. That night some protesters decided to pull to pieces the Stalin statue that was located on the edge of the City park (Városliget).In the meanwhile a large people met in front the building of Radio Budapest, guarded by the ÁVH and some rumors about the shooting of some demonstrates begun to spread. Tear gases were thrown out of the windows of the radio building and the ÁVH started to shoot on the people. During that night, the Hungarian Working People's Party Secretary Ernő Gerő demanded the Soviet military intervention to ease the situation and on the 24 the Soviet tanks came in Budapest.

Gellért Hill Cave

Inside the Gellert hill there is a cave network. During a sightseeing tour in Budapest you can visit this beautiful place. In the past, a hermit used to live on the premises and used the therapeutic water of the thermal source close to the cave to heal ill people. This water probably has been the same water that is used nowadays in the Géllert baths. During the 19th century a poor family occupied the natural cave. We know this fact thanks to a painting by Mihály Mayr (1860s) and a photo by György Klösz (1877). In the 1920s, the cave was occupied by a group of monks, members of the Pauline order, who constructed the modern entrance to the cave. The rock church was built according to the plans of Kálman Lux, architect and professor at the Budapest University of Technology, after a pilgrimage that some members of the Pauline order made during the 1920s to Lourdes (France). The monks were inspired by similar rock constructions of the French pilgrimage site. The Church has been consecrated in 1926, it performed its religious duties until 1951. In this year, the communists, that had already captured Budapest in 1945, closed the church and chased the monks. Ferenc Vezér, the monastery’s superior, was put to death and the other members of the order were imprisoned for more than 10 years. The chapel reopened in 1989 and by 1992 the Pauline Order had returned to the cave. Behind the chapel there is a monastery equipped with picturesque turrets in neo-gothic style. The church is located in a natural cave and the walls and they have leave in living rock. Worthy of attention is the room in which all the wooden ornaments have been carved by an observant. On the terrace in front of the entrance is placed a statue of Saint Stephen beside his horse. Today the religious functions are performed regularly. The backside of the Church is occupied by the monastery equipped with striking neo gothic turrets. The cave is a natural cave and its walls are in living rock. The natural living rock walls of the cave breath the thousand years of history it has experienced. Among the many rooms, worthy of attention is the one in which all the wooden ornaments have been carved by a devoted. On the terrace in front of the entrance is placed a statue of Saint Stephen beside his horse.

The Central Market Hall

The Central Market is one of the main tourist attractions of Budapest. It is the the largest and the oldest covered market in the city. The building was erected according to the plans of the Hungarian architect Samu Pecz in 1896. It was completely destroyed by an explosion during the World War II and then closed for some years. During the 90s a huge restoration work brought back it to its old beauty. The market affects the visitors for its exterior architecture and the size but also for its irresistible interior. At the entrance you will be overcome by the spectacular colors and smells of the local food and souvenirs. The Cover Market is settled just at the end of Vaci Street which is the main pedestrian street of the city center and close to the elegant Liberty bridge. If you are a tourist in Budapest and you looking for a classic Hungarian product, for example Paprika, Rubik’s cube or hungarian famous porcelains, this is the best place for you.

Széchenyi István Square

Dedicate at first in 1947 to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the American President between 1933 and 1945 and then renamed to the man that was the ideator of the plans of the Chain Bridge, Szécheny István. This square is located on the Pest side at the end of the Chain Bridge. At the southern edge of Szécheny István square rises a statue of Ferenc Deák, the Hungarian Minister that contributed in a decisive way to the signing of the Compromise of 1867 that lead to the institution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the western side of the square a statue representing two children that are holding their hands as a sign of peace, one is Austrian and the other is Hungarian. The Magyar kid is naked and uncombed while the Austrian is dressed in an aristocrat way and his hair are well combed. On the square overlook some beautiful buildings: the building in art-nouveau style, adorned with golden shingles, located in a central position is the Gresham Palace, built by an english company of insurance. Today this magnificent building hosts the Four Seasons Gresham Palace hotel. On the northern side is located the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia) founded by the count Széchenyi István. This square offers the possibility to admire one of the more striking panoramas of the Castle Hill from the Pest side.

Saint Elizabeth Church

This church was built between 1893 and 1901 in gothic style by the architect Imre Steindl who was also the chief architect of the Parliament building. Striking are the two 76 meters high spires that seem to drill the sky and dominate the underlying Rozsak Tere (Square of Roses). The church is dedicated to the Princess Elizabeth (1207-1231), the daughter of the Hungarian king Andrew II, who was made Saint thanks to her charitable activities. Saint Elizabeth is also represented in the statue that is located just in front of the Church. The facade is decorated by a rose window with a gothic style frame which is located right on top of the entrance. Figures of the Virgin Mary, the Patron of Hungary, Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislas are adorning the pediment. The interior of the church is noth less of worth, it was designed by relevant artists of the time such as the wood sculptor Mór Höltzi and the stained-glass artist Miksa Róth. It could be one of the best experience on a Budapest trip. A park open to visitors surrounds the religious building.