All about Hungary: Budapest


Posted on Apr 5, 2010| | | No comments:

- City 525.16 km2 (202.8 sq mi)
Population (2009)
- City ▲ 1,712,210
- Density 3,241.5/km2 (8,395.4/sq mi)
- Urban ▲ 2,503,205
- Metro ▲ 3,271,110
Time zone Central European Time (UTC+1) like Paris
- SummerCEST (UTC+2) like Paris

You must click on the pictures to see them in real size !

As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right (west)-bank Buda and Óbuda with left (east)-bank Pest.

The 525 km2 area of Budapest lies in central Hungary surrounded by settlements of the agglomeration in Pest county. The capital extends 25 and 29 kilometers in the north-south, east-west direction respectively. The Danube enters the city from the north; later it encircles two islands, Óbuda Island and Margaret Island. The third island Csepel Island is the largest of the Budapest Danube islands, however only its northernmost tip is within city limits. The river that separates the two parts of the city is only 230 m (755 ft) wide at its narrowest point in Budapest. Pest lies on the flat terrain of the Great Plain while Buda is rather hilly. Pest's terrain rises with a slight eastward gradient, so the easternmost parts of the city lie at the same altitude as Buda's smallest hills, notably Gellért Hill and Castle Hill. The Buda hills consist mainly of limestone and dolomite, the water created speleothems, the most famous ones being the Pálvölgyi cave and the Szemlőhegyi cave. The hills were formed in the Triassic Era. The highest point of the hills and of Budapest is János hill, at 527 metres (1,729 ft) above sea level. The lowest point is the line of the Danube which is 96 metres (315 ft) above sea level. The forests of Buda hills are environmentally protected.

The city has a temperate, transitional climate - somewhere between the mild, snowy weather of Transdanubia, the variable continental climate of the flat and open Great Plain to the east and the almost sub-Mediterranean weather of the south.

Population by nationalities according to the 2001 census, (Based on self-determination) :
  • Hungarians - 1,631,043 (91.2%, 56.75% in 1880)
  • Germans - 18,097 (1%, 34.3% in 1880)
  • Roma - 14,019 (0.8%, 0% in 1880)
  • Slovaks - 4,929 (0.3%, 6.1% in 1880)
  • Others (mainly Poles, Greeks, Romanians) - 16,762
  • No answer (unknown) - 93,071
According to Demográfiai Portré ("Demographical Portrait") estimation of 2009 95.6% of Budapest's population was native Hungarian (91% ethnic Hungarian, 4.6% Roma (Gypsi)) and 4.4% foreigner (mainly ethnic Hungarians from Transylvania, Romania and Voivodina, Serbia).

To read about its history, please click here !

View towards the hilly Buda side

The city is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (Dohány Street Synagogue), the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Széchenyi Medicinal Bath) and the third largest Parliament building in the world, once the largest in the world. The third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica) and the second largest Baroque castle in the world (Gödöllő) are in the vicinity. The metro line 1 (called Millennium Underground Railway) is the second oldest underground line in the world. The zoo park is one of the oldest in the world.

Aquincum (source)

The ancient city of Aquincum was situated on the North-Eastern borders of the Pannonia province within the Roman Empire. The ruins of the city can be found today in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. It is believed that Marcus Aurelius may have written at least part of his book Meditations at Aquincum.

Originally a Celtic settlement, Aquincum served as a military base (castrum), having been part of the Roman border protection system called "limes". Around AD 41-54, a 500-strong cavalry unit arrived, and a Roman legion of 6000 men was stationed here by AD 89. The city gradually grew around the fortress, and after Pannonia was reorganised by the Romans in AD 106, Aquincum became the capital city of Pannonia Inferior. The city had around 30,000 to 40,000 inhabitants by the end of the 2nd century, and covered a significant part of the area today known as the Óbuda district within Budapest. Ruins from the old Roman settlement can be seen in other parts of Budapest as well, notably Contra-Aquincum and the Amphitheater.

People living in the settlement could enjoy the achievements of the Empire, like central heating in the houses, public baths, palaces, or amphitheatres for social events.

The Aquincum is not indicated on the map above !

The Roman Empire in West Hungary (Pannonia) :

The amphitheatre is amoung those other ruins which are found in the city :

Parliament (source)

The Hungarian Parliament Building (Hungarian: Országház) is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube, in Budapest. It is currently the largest building in Hungary, and the second largest Parliament in Europe.

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the National Assembly resolved to establish a new, representative Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. A competition was published, which was won by Imre Steindl, but the plans of the other two competitors were also realized, facing the Parliament: one serves today as the Ethnographical Museum, the other as the Ministry of Agriculture.
Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896, and completed in 1904. (The architect of the building went blind before its completion.)
There were about one thousand people working on its construction in which 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms (88 lb) of gold were used. After World War II the diet became single-chambered and the government uses only a small portion of the building today. In the communist regime a red star perched on the top of the dome, that was removed in 1990. Mátyás Szűrös declared the Hungarian Republic from the balcony facing Kossuth Lajos tér on 23d October in 1989.

N° 6 on the Budapest map above !
It can be reached by metro line 2, Kossuth tér station.
The 1000 years old Holy Crown of Hungary in the central hall :

Castle Hill

 The Castle Hill, the River Danube embankments and the whole of Andrássy út have been officially recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Castle Hill and the Castle District; there are three churches here, six museums, and a host of interesting buildings, streets and squares. The former Royal Palace is one of the symbols of Hungary – and has been the scene of battles and wars ever since the thirteenth century. Nowadays it houses two impressive museums and the National Széchenyi Library. The nearby Sándor Palace contains the offices and official residence of the President of Hungary. The seven-hundred year-old Matthias Church is one of the jewels of Budapest. Next to it is an equestrian statue of the first king of Hungary, King Saint Stephen, and behind that is the Fisherman's Bastion, from where opens out a panoramic view of the whole city. Statues of the Turul, the mythical guardian bird of Hungary, can be found in both the Castle District and the Twelfth District.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle (Hungarian: Budai Vár, Turkish: Budin Kalesi) is the historical castle complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest, Hungary, first completed in 1265. In the past, it was also called Royal Palace (Hungarian: Királyi-palota) and Royal Castle (Hungarian: Királyi Vár).
Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill, next to the old Castle District (Hun: Várnegyed), which is famous for its medieval, Baroque and 19th century houses and public buildings. It is linked to Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular.
Buda Castle is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site, declared in 1987.

The first royal residence on the Castle Hill was built by King Béla IV between 1247 and 1265...

The Budapest History Museum is located in the southern wing and the castle also houses the Hungarian National Gallery.

Read more about history, the interiors and museums etc by clicking here !

N° 2 is on the Budapest map above.

Matthias Church

Matthias Church (Hungarian: Mátyás-templom) is a church located in Budapest, Hungary, at the heart of Buda's Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. It was the second largest church of medieval Buda and the sixth largest church of medieval Hungarian Kingdom.

Read more about it by clicking here !
N°1 on the Budapest map above.

Fisherman's Bastion

The Halászbástya or Fisherman's Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill in Budapest, around Matthias Church. It was designed and built between 1895 and 1902 on the plans of Frigyes Schulek. Between 1947–48, the son of Frigyes Schulek, János Schulek, conducted the other restoration project after its near destruction during World War II.
From the towers and the terrace a panoramic view exists of Duna, Margaret Island, Pest to the east and the Gellért Hill.
Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896.
The Bastion takes its name from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths.
A bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen between the Bastion and the Matthias Church. The pedestal was made by Alajos Stróbl, based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek, in Neo-Romanesque style, with episodes illustrating the King's life.
It was featured as a Pit Stop on the sixth season of The Amazing Race.

N°1 on the Budapest map above.

Gellért Hill

Gellért Hill (Hungarian: Gellért-hegy; German: Blocksberg; Latin: Mons Sancti Gerhardi; Turkish: Gürz Elyas bayiri) is a 235 m (771 ft) high hill overlooking the Danube in Budapest. It is part of the 1st and 11th Districts. Gellért Hill was named after Saint Gerard who was thrown to death from the hill. The famous Hotel Gellért and the Gellért Baths can be found in Gellért Square at the foot of the hill, next to Liberty Bridge. The Gellért Hill Cave is located within the hill, facing toward Hotel Gellért and the Danube River.
At the top of the hill is the Citadella (Citadel), from which a view is available down both directions of the Danube.

Read more about it by clicking here !
N°3 is on Budapest map above.
View from Gellért Hill


Árpád Bridge                                             1950/1984
Margaret Bridge (Margit híd)                         1876
Kossuth Bridge (dismantled 1960)                 1945
Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd)     1849/1949
Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd)                      1903/1964
Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd)                      1896
Petőfi Bridge                                               1937
Lágymányosi Bridge                                    1995

Széchenyi Chain Bridge 

Read more about it by clicking here !
N°17 is on Budapest map above.

Liberty Bridge

Read more about it by clicking here !
The bridge is between N°4 & 10 on Budapest map above.

Elisabeth Bridge

The first image is made before the 2nd World War about the first bridge

Read more about it by clicking here !

Saint Stephen's Basilica

The church is named for Saint Stephen I of Hungary (Hungarian: Szent István-bazilika), the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose incorruptible right hand is housed in the reliquary.
Equal with the Hungarian Parliament Building, it is the one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest at 96 metres (315 ft). It has a width of 55 metres (180 ft), and length of 87.4 metres (287 ft). It was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction. Much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up.
The architectural style is neoclassical; it has a Greek cross groundplan. The façade is anchored by two large bell towers. In the southern tower is Hungary's biggest bell, weighing over 9 tonnes (8.9 LT; 9.9 ST) . Its predecessor had a weight of almost 8 tonnes (7.9 LT; 8.8 ST), but it was used for military purposes during World War II. Visitors may access the dome by elevators or by climbing 364 stairs for a 360° view overlooking Budapest.

N°7 is on Budapest map above.
It can be reached by metro line 1, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ùt station.


The Great Synagogue, also known as Dohány Street Synagogue (Hungarian: Dohány utcai Zsinagóga/Nagy Zsinagóga, Hebrew: בית הכנסת הגדול של בודפשטbet hakneset hagadol šel budapešt) or Tabakgasse Synagogue, is located in Erzsébetváros, the 7th district of Budapest. It is the largest synagogue in Eurasia and the second largest in the world, after the Temple Emanu-El. It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism.
The synagogue is 75m long and 27m wide, and was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, based chiefly on Moorish models from North Africa and Spain (the Alhambra), according to a plan by German Ludwig Förster, with interior design partly by Frigyes Feszl.
Theodore Herzl's house of birth was next to the Dohány street Synagogue. In the place of his house stands the Jewish Museum, which holds the Jewish Religious and Historical Collection, built in 1930 in accordance with the synagogue's architectural style and attached in 1931 to the main building.
Dohány Street itself, a leafy street in the city center, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto.

Read more about it by clicking here !
N°8 on the Budapest map above.
It can be reached by metro line 2, Astoria station.


Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum is said to have been founded in 1802 when Count Ferenc Széchényi set up the National Széchényi Library. This would then be followed a year later by the donating of a mineral collection by Széchényi’s wife. This led to the creation of the Hungarian National Museum as being a natural history museum, and not only a library. In 1807 the Hungarian National Parliament passed legislation on the new institution and asked the nation to help donate to the museum.

In 1848 the Hungarian National Museum played a major role in the Hungarian Revolution. The Revolution was partially spurred by the reading of Sándor Petőfi’s 12 points and the famous poem Nemzeti dal on the front steps of the museum. This helped give the museum an identification as a major national identity for Hungary.

The building where the Hungarian National Museum is currently located was built from 1837-1847. The style of the main building was laid out in a neo-classical style and was added onto by other artists in the form of statues, paintings and other architecture. The statues of the Portico were done by Raffael Monti of Milan. One of these is a famous statue of the allegoric figure of Hungary, holding a shield with the Hungarian coat of arms on it. On the sides of this figure there is Science on one and Art on the other. In addition the paintings that have been in the staircase and on the ceiling since 1875 were done by Károly Lotz and Mór Than. There has also been a garden that is used primarily for various concerts. Various artists have performed here including Ferenc Liszt. Today the garden is the venue of the Museum Festival.


The Hungarian National Museum has seven permanent displays. The History of Hungary from the foundation of the state to 1990 Middle Ages is the first one that is mentioned. This display covers topics such as the age of the Arpads, the Turkish Age, Transylvania and the royal Hungary, etc.
The Museum also covers Modern and Contemporary History. The history section here begins with the Rákóczi War of Independence, in the display it shows different sections of his military attire and various coins. The history section then ends with the rise and fall of the communist system in Hungary where the various politics are looked at. In another hall on the second floor one can find out about the Scholar Hungarians who made the twentieth century.
On one side of the first floor there is the exhibit: On the East-West frontier: History of the people of the Hungarian lands from 400,000 BC to 804 AD. This section then goes to look at various time periods between the Paleolithic period and the Avars. On the other side of the first floor is the Hungarian coronation mantle.
The ground floor’s permanent exhibit is focused on Medieval and Early Modern Lapidary. This exhibit looks at various stone relics and the carvings that have been made into them. The majority of the items in this collection were discovered during the 60’s and 70’s since they looked for more relics post World War II.
The final permanent exhibit is placed in the basement of the museum. This is the Roman Lapidary exhibit, which is a collection of old roman stones. These are mainly inscribed and carved and have some reference to Hungarian history.

Read more about it by clicking here !
N°9 on the Budapest map above.
It can be reached by metro line 3, Kàlvin tér station.

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts (Hungarian: Szépművészeti Múzeum) is a museum in Heroes' Square, facing the Palace of Art.
It was built by the plans of Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog in an eclectic-neoclassical style, between 1900 and 1906. The museum's collection is made up of international art (other than Hungarian), including all periods of European art, and comprises more than 100,000 pieces. The collection is made up of various older additions such as those from Buda Castle, the Esterházy and Zichy estates, as well as donations from individual collectors. The Museum's collection is made up of six departments: Egyptian, Antique, Old sculpture gallery, Old painter gallery, Modern collection, Graphics collection. The institution celebrated its centenary in 2006.

Read more about it by clicking here !
Read also City Park below where the museum is found.
It can be reached by metro line 1, Hôsök tere station.

Hall of Art

The Hall of Art or Palace of Art (Műcsarnok in Hungarian) is an art museum in Budapest, located in Heroes' Square, facing the Museum of Fine Arts.
It was built in 1895, by the plans of Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herczog, in eclectic-neoclassical style. As the greatest exhibition hall in Hungary, it exhibits representative works of art of Hungarian as well as other artists and it regularly organizes themed exhibitions (like that of Dalí in the picture).

Read also City Park below where the museum is found.
It can be reached by metro line 1, Hôsök tere station. 

Museum of Applied Arts

This Art Nouveau building was built between 1893 and 1896 to the plans of Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos. It is one of the most characteristic and most representative forms of Lechner's Hungarian architectural style, first of all appearing in the Hungarian folk ceramics, including Zsolnay pottery and majolica, also showing Islamic and Hindu motifs (another example of this style is the Geological Institute not far from City Park).
It is located near the southern end of the Grand Boulevard in Ferencváros.

It can be reached by metro line 3, Ferenc körùt station.

Geological Museum

The Geological Museum of Budapest is the main museum on geology in Hungary. It is located at the Stefánia utca in the western part of Pest.
The building was originally the home of the Hungarian Geological Society, which was established in 1869. The building was designed by Ödön Lechner in 1896. It still houses the Geological Institute of Hungary.
Its collection consists of minerals, prehistoric footprints, general info on Hungarian geology and its history, and an exhibition dedicated to the building's architect, Ödön Lechner.

House of Terror Museum

Having survived two terror regimes, it was felt that the time had come for Hungary to erect a fitting memorial to the victims, and at the same time to present a picture of what life was like for Hungarians in those times. In December 2000 ˝The Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society ˝ purchased the building with the aim of establishing a museum in order to present these two bloody periods of Hungarian history. Dr. Mária Schmidt is the Director-General of the House of Terror Museum, which was completed in February 2002.
Website :   
Address: 1062 Budapest, Andrássy út 60. metlo line 1 (station Oktogon ?)

Ethnographic Museum

It was founded as the Ethnographic Department of the Hungarian National Museum in 1872. Its first director was John Xantus de Vesey.
It formally split from the National Museum in 1947 but moved to its building in Kossuth Square, opposite the Parliament building, only in 1973.
The grand building in which the Museum of Ethnography is now housed was originally built by Alajos Hauszmann for the Ministry of Justice.

Website :
It can be reached by metro line 2, Kossuth tér station.

Palace of Arts

The Palace of Arts (Művészetek Palotája in Hungarian) is a building in Ferencváros, Budapest, Hungary, officially opened in March 2005. It is located near Lágymányosi Bridge, accessible from the southern end of Grand Boulevard with a ten-minute walk or by HÉV, or by No.1, No.2, and No.24 streetcars. The National Theatre, which opened in 2002, is located next to it.
The imposing structure of the Palace of Arts covers a ground area of 10,000 m² and the total floor space of the building is 70,000 m², meaning that if all the areas were occupied simultaneously, it would house about 4,500 people - the population of a medium-sized village.
Under the common roof, the impressive lobby is shared by three main venues in addition to service areas and areas offering facilities open all day such as snack-bars, a restaurant, a café, an Internet café, a breath-taking panorama terrace, plus giftshop and bookshops.
It received the Prix d’Excellence of FIABCI in 2006.
Performing arts and other facilities

  • Bartók National Concert Hall is 25 m high, 25 m wide and 52 m long, providing a total capacity for 1,699 people. The concert hall features variable acoustics. The organ of the concert hall, inaugurated in 2006, has 92 stops and 5 manuals as well as 470 wooden pipes, 5028 tin pipes and 1214 reed pipes. It is one of the largest organs in Europe. A fully playable virtual version of this pipe organ named Palace of Arts Budapest Pipe Organ Samples was developed in 2008.
  • Ludwig Museum This is a state of the art Contemporary Art Museum with paintings by;Picasso("Musketeer With Sword"),David Hockney,Tom Wesselman,Richard Estes("Rappaport Pharmacy")plus paintings by these Modern Hungarian Masters;Imre Bukta("Officers at Pig Feast").Laszlo Feher,and Imre Bak.There are also creations by;Claes Oldenburg("Lingerie Counter"),Yoko Ono,and Markus Lupertz.
  • Festival Theater
The Festival Theatre, in the Eastern third of the Palace of Arts building , seats 452 and also has the most modern technology.

Statue Parc

Szoborpark or Statue Park is a park in Budapest's XXII district, with a gathering of monumental Soviet-era statues. These include statues of Lenin, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as well as local Hungarian Communist leaders such as Béla Kun. The park was designed by Hungarian architect, Ákos Eleőd, who won the competition announced by the Budapest General Assembly (Fővárosi Közgyűlés) in 1991.
After the fall of the Communist regime in Hungary in 1989, many of the Communist statues and monuments were immediately removed. These formed the basis for the current collection in Statue Park. On June 29, 1993, the second anniversary of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Hungarian territory, the park celebrated a ribbon cutting and grand opening as a public outdoor museum.
A life-sized copy of the tribune of the Stalin Monument in Budapest was built in the Statue Park with the broken bronze shoes on top of the pedestal in 2006. This is not an accurate copy of the original but only an artistic recreation by sculptor Ákos Eleőd.
Memento park also includes an exhibition and film theatre. The photography exhibition, called “Stalin’s Boots”, covers the 1956 revolution, the 1989-1990 political changes and Memento Park itself, with both English and Hungarian captions. In the barrack-theatre a documentary on the methods used by the secret police, titled The Life of an Agent and directed by Gábor Zsigmond Papp, is shown with English subtitles. The park also functions as a cultural and educational sight housing art projects, festivals, professional and public events. There are Retro Festivals, Film Festivals and several cultural programs.
The park opens every day from 10 o’clock in the morning until sunset. It is accessible by public transport as well as a special tourist bus.

Website : 

Music halls

Hungarian State Opera House

The Hungarian State Opera House (Hungarian: Magyar Állami Operaház) is a neo-Renaissance opera house located in central Pest, (a part of Budapest), on Andrássy út.
Designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, the construction lasted from 1875 to 1884 and was funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. The Hungarian Royal Opera House (as it was known then) opened to the public on the September 27, 1884.
It is a richly-decorated building and is considered one of the architect's masterpieces. It was built in neo-Renaissance style, with elements of baroque. Ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art of the time including Bertalan Székely, Mór Than and Károly Lotz. Although in size and capacity it is not among the greatest, in beauty and the quality of acoustics the Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the first few opera houses in the world.
The auditorium holds 1261 seats. It is horseshoe shaped and - according to measurments done in the 1970s by a group of international engineers - has the 3rd best acoustics in Europe after the Scala in Milan and the Paris Opera House. Although many opera houses have been built since, the Budapest Opera House is still among the best in terms of the acoustics. In front of the building are statues of Ferenc Erkel, composer of the Hungarian national anthem, and the first music director of the Opera House. He was also founder of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. The other statue is of Franz Liszt, the best known Hungarian composer.
Each year the season lasts from September to the end of June and besides opera performances the Opera House is home to the Hungarian National Ballet.
Many important artists were guests here including Gustav Mahler the composer who was director in Budapest from 1887 to 1891 and Otto Klemperer who was music director for three years from 1947 to 1950.
In the 1970s the state of the building prompted the Hungarian State to order a major renovation which eventually began in 1980 and lasted till 1984. The reopening was held exactly 100 years after the original opening, on the 27th of September 1984.

The second house of the Hungarian State Opera is Erkel theatre. It is a much bigger building and it also hosts opera and ballet performances during the opera season.

There are guided tours in the building in six languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Hungarian) almost every day.

It can be reached by metro line 1, Opera station.

Vigado Concert Hall

Vigadó (usually translated as "Place for Merriment") is located on the right-hand side of the Danube in Budapest. Although the acoustics of Budapest's second largest concert hall are lacking, the building itself, designed by Frigyes Feszl in 1859 makes a bold impression along the Pest embankment. Built to replace another concert hall on the same site (which was destroyed by fire in the 1848 War of Independence) Feszl's Vigadó was also badly damaged, this time during World War II. The post-war reconstruction, which took some thirty-six years to complete, remains faithful to his original design and continues to attract leading conductors and performers from around the world. The facade of the Vigadó was cleaned and restored in 2006.

It can be reached by metro line 1, Vörösmarty tér station.

Franz Liszt Academy of Music

The Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Hungarian: Liszt Ferenc Zeneművészeti Egyetem, often abbreviated as Zeneakadémia, "Music Academy") is a concert hall and music conservatory in Budapest, founded on November 14, 1875. It is home to the Liszt Collection, which features several valuable books and manuscripts donated by Liszt upon his death, and the AVISO studio, a collaboration between the governments of Hungary and Japan to provide sound recording equipment and training for students.

It can be reached by metro line 1, Oktogon station.
Notable alumni

City Park 

Városliget (German: Stadtwäldchen; literally City Park) is a public park (302 acres or 1.2 km²; a rectangle 0.9-mile (1.4 km) by 0.6-mile (0.97 km), or 1.4 km × 900 m) in Budapest close to the city centre. It is located in District XIV of Budapest. Its main entrance is Heroes' Square (Hősök tere), one of Hungary's World Heritage sites.

Gundel Restaurant
Municipal Zoological and Botanical Garden
– Municipal Grand Circus
– Budapest Amusement Park
Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool (see under "Spas")
Vajdahunyad Castle
Petőfi Hall
Transport Museum of Budapest
Heroes' Square
Museum of Fine Arts (see under "Museums")
Palace of Art (see under "Museums")

Heroes' Square

It lies at the end of Andrássy Avenue (with which it comprises part of an extensive World Heritage site), next to City Park.
Hősök tere is surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Palace of Art (or more accurately Hall of Art) on the right. On the other side it faces Andrassy Avenue which has two buildings looking at the square — one is residential and the other one is the embassy of Serbia (former Yugoslavian embassy where Imre Nagy secured sanctuary in 1956).
The central site of the hero's square, as well as a landmark of Budapest, is the Millennium Memorial (also known as Millennium Monument or Millenary Monument) with statues of the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century and other outstanding figures of Hungarian history (see below). The construction of the memorial was started when the one thousandth anniversary was celebrated (in 1896), but it was finished only in 1929 and the square got its name then.
When the monument was originally constructed, Hungary was a part of the Austrian Empire and thus the last five spaces for statues on the left of the colonnade were reserved for members of the ruling Habsburg dynasty. From left to right these were: Ferdinand I (relief: Defense of the Castle at Eger); Leopold I (relief: Eugene of Savoy defeats the Turks at Zenta), Charles III, Maria Theresa (relief: The Hungarian Diet votes support "vitam et sanguinem") and Franz Joseph (relief: Franz Joseph crowned by Gyula Andrássy) The monument was damaged in World War II and when it was rebuilt the Habsburgs were replaced by the current figures.
On the 16th June 1989 a crowd of 250,000 gathered at the square for the historic reburial of Imre Nagy, who had been executed in June 1958.
It is also a station of the yellow M1 (Millennium Underground) line of the Budapest Metro.

At the front of the monument is a large stone cenotaph surrounded by an ornamental iron chain. The cenotaph is dedicated "To the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence." While some guide books refer to this as a "tomb" it is not a burial place.
Directly behind the cenotaph is a column topped by a statue of the archangel Gabriel. In his right hand the angel holds the Holy Crown of St. Stephen (Istvan), the first king of Hungary. In his left hand the angel holds a two barred apostolic cross, a symbol awarded to St. Stephen by the Pope in recognition of his efforts to convert Hungary to Christianity. In Hungarian it is referred to as the double cross or the apostolic double cross.
At the base of the column is a group of seven mounted figures representing the Magyar chieftains who led the Hungarian people into the Carpathian basin. In the front is Árpád, considered the founder of the Hungarian nation. Behind him are the chieftains Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Töhötöm (Tétény). Little survives in the historical record about these individuals and both their costumes and their horses are considered to be more fanciful than historically accurate.
The back of the monument consists of two matched colonnades, each with seven statues representing great figures of Hungarian history. Topping the outer edge of the left colonnade is a statue of a man with a scythe and a woman sowing seed representing Labor and Wealth. In the corresponding position on the right colonnade is a statue of a man holding a statue and a woman with a palm frond representing Knowledge and Glory. At the inner top edge of the left colonnade is a male figure driving a chariot using a snake as a whip representing War, while on the facing end of the right colonnade is a female figure in a chariot holding a palm frond representing Peace.

This is a list of the statesmen who are portrayed by the sculptures in the semi-circular arcades of the monument. The topic of the relief below each figure is given below the name.

It can be reached by metro line 1, Hôsök tere station.

Vajdahunyad Castle

For the castle in present-day Hunedoara, Romania, see Castle of Vajdahunyad.
Vajdahunyad Castle, or Vajdahunyad-vár, is a castle in City Park, Budapest, Hungary, that was built between 1896 and 1908, designed by Ignác Alpár. It is a copy in part of a castle in Transylvania, Romania, that is also called Vajdahunyad, though it is also a display of different architectural styles: Romanic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
Originally it was made from cardboard and wood for the millennial exhibition in 1896 but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick.
Today it houses the Agricultural Museum.
The statue of Anonymus, also displayed in the Castle court, was a chronicler in the XII century (probably of King Béla III). He wrote the first history books on the ancient Hungarians, mostly based on legends. Superstition says that by touching his pen you will receive good luck.

It can be reached by metro line 1, between Hôsök tere & Szécheny fürdô stations.

Zoo & Botanic Garden

Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden (Hungarian: Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert) is the oldest zoo park in Hungary and one of the oldest in the world.
It has 733 animal species and located within the City Park.
The zoo opened its doors on August 9, 1866. The park has 1–1.1 million visitors every year. The area is a nature reserve, and has some valuable art nouveau buildings designed by Kornél Neuschloss and Károly Kós .

It can be reached by metro line 1, between Hôsök tere & Szécheny fürdô stations.

Gundel restaurant

A previous restaurant in the spot, Wampetics, opened in 1894. In 1910, Károly Gundel took over the Wampetics lease and operated the restaurant. His son Janos Gundel, who had learned the hospitality trade at other hotels and restaurants, took over the restaurant's management. He created a dramatic and luxurious style that increased its popularity and created an international reputation.
In 1939, the restaurant did the catering for the Hungarian contingent at 1939 World's Fair in New York City. In 1949, the restaurant was nationalized and operated by state company Hungar Hotels, but it was reopened by Americans Ronald S. Lauder and George Lang in 1992. Consultants Adam Tihany and graphic artist Milton Glaser assisted in its design.

One of Gundel's signature dishes is the Gundel palacsinta, a crepe with a filling made from rum, raisin, walnuts, and lemon zest, served with a chocolate sauce.

Victor Sassie, the founder of The Gay Hussar restaurant (in Soho, London) served his apprenticeship under Gundel. Sassie was sent to Budapest by the British Hotel and Restaurant Association when he was seventeen. On his return to London in 1940, he established first the Budapest restaurant and then The Gay Hussar, which was to become popular with left wing politicians.

It can be reached by metro line 1, between Hôsök tere & Szécheny fürdô stations.


Gellért Baths

Gellért Thermal Baths and Swimming Pool, also called Gellért fürdő or Gellért Baths, are a bath complex attached to Gellért Hotel, built between 1912 and 1918 in the (Secession) Art Nouveau style. They were damaged during World War II, but then rebuilt. References to healing waters in this location are found from as early as the 13th century. A hospital was located on this site during the Middle Ages. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire, baths were also built on this particular site.
The Gellért Baths complex includes thermal baths, which are small pools containing water from Gellért hill's mineral hot springs. The water contains calcium, magnesium, hydrocarbonate, alkalis, chloride, sulfate, and fluoride. There are two different thermal baths, according to the signs on the walls of the baths, one is around 36°C and the other around 38°C. The thermal baths are decorated beautifully with mosaic tiles. The complex also includes saunas and plunge pools (segregated by gender), an open-air swimming pool which can create artificial waves every ten minutes and an effervescent swimming pool. A Finnish sauna with cold pool and children's pool is also enclosed within the complex. Masseuse services are available.
Gellért Baths also offer a range of medical services.

N°4 on the Budapest map above.

Széchenyi Thermal Baths

The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest (Széchenyi-gyógyfürdő) is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs, their temperature is 74°F/23°C and 77°F/25°C, respectively.
The bath can be found in the City Park, and was built in 1913 in Neo-baroque style to the design of Győző Czigler.
It is also a station of the yellow M1 (Millennium Underground) line of the Budapest Metro.
The bath was named after István Széchenyi.

See also City Park above where the bath is found !
N°15 on the Budapest map above.
It can be reached by metro line 1, Szécheny fürdô station.

Rudas Baths

Rudas Bath or Rudas fürdő is a thermal and medicinal bath that was first built in 1550, during the time of the Turkish occupation of Hungary. To date, it retains many of the key elements of a Turkish bath, exemplified by its Turkish dome and octagonal pool. It is located at Döbrentei tér 9 on the Buda side of Erzsébet Bridge.
The baths were used as a location in the 1988 action movie Red Heat, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi.
It re-opened at the beginning of 2006, after a comprehensive renovation of its interior.
This is also the place where the Cinetrip have their Sparty's during the winter season

Kiràly Baths

Kiraly Bath or Kiraly fürdő is a thermal bath that was first built in the second half of the sixteenth century, during the time of the Turkish occupation of Hungary.
To date, it retains many of the key elements of a Turkish bath, exemplified by its Turkish dome and octagonal pool. It is located at the corner of Fõ utca and Ganz utca. Its address and entrance is Fõ utca 82-84 (green façade on the pictures linked to below) while the exterior of the bath proper is on Ganz utca (domed stone structure, ibidem).
The Kiraly Baths are open to both sexes but not on the same day, except on Sunday.

Margaret Island

Margaret Island (Hungarian: Margit-sziget) is a 2.5 km (1.4 miles) long island, 500 meters (550 yards) wide, (0.965 km² (225 acres) in area) in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. It belongs administratively to the 13th district. The island is mostly covered by landscape parks, and is a popular recreational area. Its medieval ruins are reminders of its importance in the Middle Ages as a religious center. The island spans the area between the Margaret Bridge (south) and the Árpád Bridge (north).
Today's appearance was developed through the connection of three separate islands, the Festő, the Fürdő and the Nyulak, during the end of the 19th century, to control the flow of the Danube. Originally, the island was 102.5 meters above sea level, but now has been built up to 104.85 meters above sea level to control flooding.

The island was called Nyulak szigete (English: Island of the Rabbits) in the Middle Ages, and it received its current name after Saint Margaret (1242–1270), the daughter of Béla IV of Hungary who lived in the Dominican convent on the island. Other names of the island were Nagyboldogasszony-sziget, Úr-sziget, Budai-sziget, Dunai-sziget, Nádor-sziget, Palatinus-sziget during different periods of its history. (The names mean Island of Our Lady, Island of Nobles, Buda Island, Danube Island, Palatine Island.)

What to see on the island : 

  • the Centennial Memorial of 1973, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the city's unification;
  • a small Japanese Garden with a mildly thermal fish pond;
  • a tiny zoo featuring a wide range of exotic waterfowl among other animals;
  • the "Music Well" (Zenélő kút), a small pavilion, which was originally built for open-air concerts (it is close to Árpád bridge);
  • the "Music Fountain" (Zenélő szökőkút), a fountain near which music is played and light shows are performed in summer (it is close to Margaret bridge);

  • an octagonal Water Tower of 57 m (built in Art Nouveau style in 1911, today functioning as a lookout tower and an exhibition hall, see picture).

The Music Fountain and the Water Tower are protected UNESCO sites.
The island houses various sports establishments, like the Palatinus water park (the largest open-air swimming complex in Budapest), the Alfréd Hajós sports pool (where the European LC Championships 2006 took place), a tennis stadium and an athletics centre.
Two hotels provide accommodation: the fin de siècle Grand Hotel Margitsziget, and the modern Thermal Hotel Margitsziget with thermal spa and various medical services. There is also an open-air theatre accommodating an audience of 3500, and several clubs and restaurants. For exploration and pastime, four-person cycle cars or small electric cars can be rented for use on the area of the island.

Ruins of a medieval church

Open air theatre with the Water Tower

Palatinus Water park

Hajòs Alfréd Sports Pool


New York Café

The New York Palace (Hungarian: New York-palota) is a luxury hotel on the Grand Boulevard of Budapest's Erzsébet körút part, under Erzsébet körút 9-11, in the 7th district of Budapest. Built by the New York Life Insurance Company as a local head office, its Café in the ground floor named New York Café (Hungarian: New York kávéház) was a longtime center for Hungarian literature and poetry, almost from its opening on October 23, 1894 to its closure in 2001, to reconstruct it into a luxury hotel, as it is now. The café was also reopened in May 5, 2006 in its original pomp, as was the whole building
The New York Life Insurance Company assigned architect Alajos Hauszmann, to plan the company's hall building in Budapest. Hauszmann, with Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl planned a four story eclectic palace, with a café on its ground floor. The building and the café opened on October 23, 1894. The statues and other ornaments on the front side of the building, as well as the ground floor café's 16 imposing devilish fauns, each one beside the café's sixteen windows, are the works of Károly Senyey.
The building was nationalized during the communist era. After the collapse of socialism, the palace was bought by Italian Boscolo Hotels in February 2001. The building was totally renovated, and reopened in May 5, 2006 as a 107 room luxury hotel, with the Café, also totally renovated, on its ground floor.

Gerbeaud Café

Opening hours: 9-21

gerbeaud cukrászda

The café was established by Henrik Kugler in 1858 and expanded by its later owner, Emil Gerbeaud, and by 1990 was already world-famous. Lovingly renovated in 1997, GERBEAUD shines with the cultured nostalgia of its original days: rich plaster work, magnificent chandeliers, marble tables, lavish fine wood paneling, and brocade wall coverings that characterise the elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere of this home of tradition.

Railway stations

Western Railway Station

Budapest Nyugati pályaudvar (Western railway station) is a railway station in the northern part of the Budapest City. It is one of the three main railway stations of Budapest (together with Keleti pu and Déli pu) and can be found in the 6th district.
The station was planned by August de Serres and was built by the Eiffel Company. It was opened on October 28, 1877. Previously another station stood in its place, the end station of Hungary's first railway line, the Pest–Vác line (constructed in 1846). This building was pulled down in order to construct the Nagykörút - Grand Boulevard which is now smaller than the outer ringroad (Hungária körút - Hungary Boulevard) and the recently opened express ringroad M0 (2008).
The station gave name to the immediately adjacent Nyugati tér (Western Square), a major intersection where Teréz körút (Theresia Boulevard), Szent István körút (Saint Stephen Boulevard), Váci út (Váci Avenue), and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út (Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue) converge. The square also serves as a transportation hub with several bus lines, tram 4 and 6, and a station of the M3 line of the Budapest Metro.

Beside the train station and partially above its open area there is the WestEnd City Center shopping mall.

The nicest McDonald in the railway station building

East Railway Station

Budapest Keleti pályaudvar (often abbreviated Budapest Keleti pu), Hungarian for Budapest East railway station is the largest among the three main railway stations (together with Nyugati pu and Déli pu) in Budapest. It can be found in the 8th district (Józsefváros), on Baross Square.
The building was constructed in eclectic style between 1881 and 1884 and was one of the most modern railway stations of Europe in that time. It was planned by Gyula Rochlitz and János Feketeházy.
The main façade is adorned with two statues of James Watt and George Stephenson.
Keleti pályaudvar is also a station of the M2 (East-West) line of the Budapest Metro. The metro station's length is 193 m, the platform length is 180 m, underground depth is 14 m. From about 2011 on, it will be a station of the M4 line, too.
It is also planned that fast train service would connect this railway station with the Budapest Ferihegy International Airport, maybe from 2009 on. The fact that the majority of Intercity services (36 out of 53) arrive at this railway station makes this decision more probable. Also, recently, almost all international trains serving Budapest call at Keleti station.

Great Market Hall

The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall (Hungarian "Nagycsarnok"), on Fővám Tér in the 9th district, is the largest indoor market in Budapest. It was designed and built by Samu Pecz.
A great number of stalls offer a huge variety of vegetables, fruit, cheese and meat. The roof has been restored to the distinctive Zsolnay tiling.
Most of the stalls on the ground floor offer popular souvenirs such as paprika, tokaji, and caviar. In the 1st floor you can find typical tourist articles, such as pictures, dolls, glasses, tablecloths, chess boards and clothes made in Hungarian style.
The market is closed on Sunday, opens at 6am on other days, and closes at 5pm Monday, 6pm Tue-Fri and 2pm Saturday.

Rails in Budapest

Metro Line 1

The Metro 1 (Officially: Millennium Underground Railway or M1) is the oldest line of the Budapest Metro system. Built from 1894 to 1896, it is the second oldest underground line in the world. In 2002, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This is one of the 4 metro lines in Budapest. The original purpose of the first metro line was to facilitate the transport to Budapest City Park, although the capital always opposed any surface transport on Andrássy Avenue – this has since become one of the most elegant roads of Budapest, part of the World Heritage. The National Assembly accepted the metro plan in 1870 and the German firm Siemens & Halske AG was commissioned for the construction starting in 1894. It took 2000 workers using up-to-date machinery less than two years to complete it. This section was built entirely from the surface (with the cut-and-cover method). Completed by the deadline, it was inaugurated on May 2 1896, the year of the millennium (the thousandth anniversary of the arrival of the Magyars), by emperor Franz Joseph. One of these original cars is preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
The train ran along Andrássy Avenue, from Vörösmarty Square (the centre) to City Park, in a northeast-southwest direction, but its terminus was the Zoo (this has since been replaced). It had eleven stations, nine underground and two overground. The length of the line was 3.7 km at that time; trains started in every two minutes. It was able to carry as many as 35,000 people a day (today 103,000 people travel on it on a workday).
  • 1896: Gizella tér (today Vörösmarty tér) - Artézi fürdő (today Széchenyi fürdő)
  • 1973: Széchenyi fürdő - Mexikói út

Metro line 2 and 3

Castle Hill Funicular

The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular or Budavári Sikló is a funicular railway in the city of Budapest. It links the Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge at river level to Buda Castle above.
The line was opened on March 2, 1870, and has been in municipal ownership since 1920. It was destroyed in the Second World War and reopened on June 4, 1986. A feature of the line are the two pedestrian foot bridges which cross above it. These were present when the line opened, were removed in 1900 when the castle's garden was extended, and rebuilt to the original design in 1983.

Cog-wheel Railway

Since 1868 a horse tramway ran on schedule from the Lánchíd (Chaine Bridge) to Zugliget set in operation by the Budai Közúti Vaspálya Társaság (~ Public Railway Society of Buda). Nikolaus Riggenbach (the designer of the first European cog-wheel train line of Vitznau-Rig opened in 1871) with a colleague of his as the representatives of the Internationale Gesellschaft für Bergbahnen applied for the construction of the cog-wheel train line leading to Svábhegy. The building permit was issued on July 3, 1873, and construction of the line began immediately, thus enabling the service to start up in the following year. The first introductory vehicle ran from 4 p.m. on June 24, 1874, and regular traffic began on the following day. The whole line was built according to Riggenbach's cog-wheel system. The normal-gauge single track railway was 2883 m (1.56 miles) long all the way uphill with a the difference in height of 264 m. The terminal point was built at the present Városmajor.

Successful operation of the cog-wheel railway raised the issue of extending the line. The plan was brought to fruition in 1890, when traffic started to the Széchenyi Mountain increasing the length of the line to 3700 m. From July 2, 1929, the new electrically powered vehicles ran every 15 minutes. 1973 saw a full reconstruction, during which the whole track was renewed and new vehicles introduced. The older trains last ran on 15 March 1973 and traffic using the new vehicles began on 20 August of the same year.

Children's railway

A children's railway is an extracurricular educational institution, where teenagers learn railway professions. This phenomenon originated in the USSR and was greatly developed in Soviet times. The world's first children's railway was opened Moscow, in Gorky Park in 1932. At the breakup of the USSR, 52 children's railways existed in the country.
Many children's railways are still functioning in post-Soviet states and Eastern European countries.
The Gyermekvasút works between the II. district (Hűvösvölgy - "Cold Valley") and XII. district (Széchenyi-hegy - Szécheny Hill) of Budapest. 11,2 km long way, it runs 235 m level difference, on one way track by 20 km/h speedness, 40-45 (summer time 50) minutes of the whole trip. Its original name is Úttörővasút (Pioneer railway), its official name today is : MÁV Zrt. Széchenyi-hegyi Gyermekvasút.
The first part of the railway was inogurated at 31st of July 1948.


The first idée came from junior Istvàn Hantos architect in 1933-banwho wanted to realise the first chairlift starting from Zugliget to János-hegy (Jànos Hill) (highest point of Budapest) but it has been realised only in 1968.

Sziget Festival

Hajógyári-sziget ([ˈhɒjoːɟaːri siɡɛt], or Óbudai-sziget) is a man built island, located in the third district. This island hosts many activities such as: wake-boarding, jet-skiing during the day, and dance clubs during the night. This is the island where the famous Sziget Festival takes place, hosting hundreds of performances per year and now around 400,000 visitors in its last edition. Many building projects are taking place to make this island into one of the biggest entertainment centres of Europe, the plan is to build Apartment buildings, hotels, casinos and a marina.
Read more about it by clicking here !

I continue tomorrow !

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