5 Must See Spots in Budapest
Hungary, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, traces its origins back to the Magyars – a group of tribes which arrived from southern Russia in the ninth century. The country is divided into 3 climatic zones and is home to Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. The capital is Budapest, a vibrant city visited by almost 3 million tourists every year. Here are some places which should be on your checklist before you embark on your trip to Budapest.
Budapest boasts the world’s third largest parliament. The Parliament House, over a century old building, is a jaw-opening example of neo-gothic architecture. Guided tours are available to view the magnificence of this building which has 691 rooms and 20 kilometers of stairs. One would be amazed by the things on display, such as the Hungarian Crown Jewels which were lost and stolen countless times.
The Chain Bridge is another major attraction and spans across the Danube. It is famous for the annual summer festival called Summer on the Chain Bridge. During this festival the bridge is closed for traffic and is crowded with pedestrians who flock to the bridge to experience and enjoy the colourful activities that are held there. The festival takes place on weekends in July and August.
The Hungarian Opera House is an elegantly-decorated building and is considered one of Hungary’s architectural masterpieces. Although the outside facade of the building may turn you off, you are in for a treat once you set foot inside. Splendid murals cover the arching ceiling of the foyer, which is breathtaking with its brilliant marble columns. It even has an enormous staircase which adds to the grandeur of the building and is created with the purpose of allowing ladies to show off their flowy evening dresses in style. Tourists are recommended to visit the Opera House and be thrilled by the performances which are held here frequently.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
The church was named in honour of the first King of Hungary and is the largest Roman Catholic Church in Budapest. Built in 1851, the church also houses the largest bell of the country, weighing over 9 tons. From the left tower visitors can have an unimpeded view of the entire city and this is one of the major reasons why the church is on the checklist of most tourists in the city. Another interesting fact is that the mummified fist of Saint Stephen I is open for viewing in the reliquary of the Church.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Castle Hill houses some of Budapest’s oldest and most famous medieval monuments and museums. Situated right next to the Danube, Castle Hill is considered as Budapest’s unmissable sights. Buda Castle is the most prominent building located here and was built in 1265 for the Hungarian kings. The area is considered a photographer’s delight as it provides spectacular views of the Danube and the Pest side of the city.
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