10 Things to do in Budapest for First Time Visitors

In the present, Budapest tends to be best-known to people for being the capital of Hungary. However, it is interesting to note that it predates Hungarians in the region, seeing as how it started out as a Celtic settlement before it was turned into the Roman settlement of Aquincum. Regardless, there can be no doubt about the fact that modern Budapest is a reflection of the Hungarian experience, thus making it one of the most fascinating cities that can be found in the whole of Europe.

1. House of Parliament

The Hungarian House of Parliament is one of the more impressive examples of its kind that can be found in Europe. In fact, it is so immense that when it was built on the banks of the Danube, it had to have a concrete foundation built for the purpose of supporting so much weight. Interested individuals can check out the interior of the building by going on one of the offered tours, which can prove to be a very educational experience.

2. Buda Castle

Buda Castle was completed around the middle of the 13th century. However, it has not been static over the course of its existence, as shown by the construction of the Baroque-style palace in the 18th century. This makes sense because Buda Castle is the historical seat of the Hungarian kings, thus making it a place of immense symbolic importance.

3. Hungarian National Museum

To learn more about the Hungarian experience, there are few places better than the Hungarian National Museum, which is housed in a Neoclassical building that was constructed in the 19th century. Like its name suggests, the Hungarian National Museum covers art, history, and even archaeology related to Hungary and Hungarians.

4. Hungarian National Gallery

One of the reasons to visit Buda Castle is the fact that it is home to a number of important institutions. For instance, there is the Hungarian National Gallery, which covers the full range of Hungarian artists. Due to this, its collection encompasses everything from the Medieval to the Gothic and the Baroque, thus making it quite comprehensive in nature.

5. Museum of Fine Arts

Meanwhile, the Museum of Fine Arts specializes in international art, though there is some overlap between it and the Hungarian National Gallery. Regardless, this is the place that people should visit if they want to check out the artworks of Antiquity as well as more modern artworks from more recent cultures.

6. Heroes’ Square

Heroes’ Square is the most impressive of the squares in Budapest. In part, it sees a lot of visitors because of both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Art. However, it should be noted that it is a much-visited place in its own right because of its place in important historical events as well as its statues representing important historical figures.

7. Hungarian State Opera House

Hungarian opera has a well-deserved reputation. As a result, it is worth checking out the Hungarian State Opera House, which is a 1,261-seater with some of the best acoustics in Europe as proven by a study carried out in the 1970s. Even now, it is a place that sees outstanding performances as well as important social events on a regular basis.

8. Aquincum

As stated earlier, Budapest was once a Roman settlement of some importance called Aquincum, which served as a focal point for the surrounding region. Nowadays, it is in ruins, which have been turned into an open-air museum for people who are interested in seeing some of the furthest reaches of the once-mighty Roman Empire.

9. St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of the most important church buildings in the whole of Hungary, not least because it is the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic primatial seat in said country. The basilica is named for St. Stephen I of Hungary, who played an important role in converting the Hungarians to Christianity as the first King of Hungary.

10. Budapest Zoo

Found in the City Park, Budapest Zoo is one of the oldest institutions of its kind. Nowadays, it is home to more than 800 animals, which combines with its convenient location to make it a popular attraction for people in Budapest.


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