My wife and I recently visited Budapest, at the end of our Viking river cruise and then for four days afterward. It was nice to remain in one spot for a few days and experience these and other Budapest sights.
Following are some Budapest sights we enjoyed, certainly not everything we saw, nor everything Budapest has to offer, and not necessarily the “best” Budapest sights.
Please enjoy and let me know what are some of your favorite Budapest sights.
8 Great Budapest Sights
1. Chain Bridge
Our Viking River cruise docked next to Chain Bridge connecting Buda with Pest over the Danube River. When we left the boat, the first thing we did was walk across the Chain Bridge. Our local tour guide, Rita, told us that it is a mystery whether or not the lion statues have tongues. Across the Danube River is the Buda Castle, also called the Royal Palace, housing the National Gallery museum.
Walking from Pest to Buda on Tuesday afternoon, we encountered the below scene. We learned that taxi cab drivers form this protest line between 4pm and 6pm every Tuesday to protest Uber and Lyft services.
2. Little Princess Statue
The Little Princess statue is a short stroll from Chain Bridge. Yes, it looks like a boy. Rita told us that it is definitely a princess but the model was a boy. Rubbing the legs is said to bring good luck. Another legend is that speaking your wish between her legs will make it come true, so you are likely to see some odd situations if you wait long enough.
3. View From Buda
From the viewpoint on Castle Hill, at the top of the funicular, the view is magnificent. We could see our ship, Viking Freya, docked next to Chain Bridge. The tallest building in view is St. Stephen’s Cathedral (more about that place later).
In spite of the Budapest Parliament building being so massive, it is possible to get unobstructed views, although I do like this view with some greenery.
Yes, that is a large commercial jet and they do not usually fly this low to ground over Budapest. This Wizz Air Airbus A321 flew over the Danube River as part of the Budapest Air Show on May 1, 2016. While there were hundreds of great viewpoints through the city, we chose to watch the air show from our hotel window. Not a bad view, right?
4. Margaret Island
Margaret Island, Margitsziget, is a public park on an island (of course) in the middle of the Danube River. You can rent a bike or other vehicle, run on the perimeter track, or visit historic ruins, botanic gardens, or a zoo. Did you see my video of the musical water fountain? This gorgeous massive tree is in the middle of Margaret Island.
5. Great Market Hall
The Great Market Hall in Budapest is a gathering place for residents to buy fresh food and other household items. For visitors, it is a wonderful place to mingle with locals, eat some Hungarian food, buy some souvenirs, and just people watch. make sure you go down to the lower level to visit the fish market; it smells like fish and pickles.
6. Shoes on the Danube Memorial
Between Chain Bridge and the Parliament Building is a solemn memorial to Jewish residents of Budapest in the 1940s. They were ordered to line up along the Danube River, remove their shoes, and were then murdered by militia gunfire.
7. Evening Danube River Cruise
Be sure to take a boat ride at night because Budapest looks glorious after sunset.
8. Budapest Quirkiness
Budapest has its fair share of quirkiness and I cannot possibly cover it all in this article. Here are a few quirky Budapest sights.
See the two glasses of beer on the table? My wife and I sat in this dilapidated car one afternoon. This place, Szimpla Kert, is one of the first Ruin Bars of Budapest and has fun, kitschy decor all around.
Remnants and relics of Hungary’s relatively recent Communist past are somewhat celebrated around Budapest. This East German made vehicle is permanently parked on the main street on the Buda side.
While walking around the Buda side, we stumbled upon this filming location. We watched for a few minutes but did not stay long enough to see any actual action.
I found this coolness along Dob Utca in the Jewish district of Budapest.
Can you believe I wrote an entire post without mentioning food? What is your favorite food from Budapest?
Have you been to Budapest? What were some of your favorite Budapest sights?