Essential Budapest

Tour Creator

Bori is a writer, a tour guide, and a local patriot to Budapest, Hungary. She travelled with a rural touring theatre, interviewed a metal band for children, and did plenty…Read More Bio »

Budapest

GPS-directed

Remote Tour Included

1+hr/3hrs(Extended itinerary)

1km/3km(Extended itinerary)

Take a walk in the ever-busy heart of Budapest to hear about the Chain Bridge, the iconic Parliament and the beautiful St. Stephen’s Basilica. While enjoying the well-known and less mainstream sights, you’ll learn how the downtown became the birthplace of the two revolutions that are commemorated as national holidays in Hungary. You’ll come to see the relation between art and these revolutions as you explore the oldest parts of Pest.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Created by an exceptional local tour guide

Written by a long-time Budapest tour guide and journalist

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Parliament, March 15th Square

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home

Itineraries

Essential Budapest – Extended

Essential Budapest – Pt 1

Essential Budapest – Pt 2

  1. Széchenyi Chain bridge The over hundred and fifty year old Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the first permanent bridge of Hungary and an innovative engineering marvel of its time. It bears the name of an iconic political figure of our 19th century history: Count Széchenyi, known among his kinsmen as “The greatest Hungarian”.
  2. Hungarian Academy of Sciences - This is our oldest and most prestigious learned society. Among other tasks it awards the title “Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences”. The foundation dates back to the early-mid 19th century, to the generous donation of Count Széchenyi.
  3. Shoes on the Danube shore - The bronze shoes on the Danube promenade are a memento to the victims of the Arrow Cross parties rule at the end of the Second World War. The origin of the far-right Hungarist party however can be traced back to the effects of the First World War.
  4. Margaret island and Bridge - The 2.5 km long island was joined from smaller islands at the end of the 19th century and is the largest and oldest park of Budapest. Baring the same name, the Margaret Bridge underwent multiple adjustments to include an embranchment leading to the beloved Park.
  5. Statue of Lajos Kossuth - Lajos Kossuth was a key political figure of the 19th century Hungary. He is portrayed here with the full ministry of the government of the Hungarian Revolution and Independence War of 1848, where he served as Finance Minister before rising to Regent-Governor of Hungary.
  6. Parliament - The imposing Parliament was finished over a hundred years ago after almost twenty years of construction. It is also called “House of the Nation” by Hungarians and houses the Hungarian crown jewels. While home to the parliament it is also open for tourist visits.
  7. Ministry of Agriculture bullet hole markers - The markers are placed in actual bullet holes from the second day of the 1956 revolution against the Soviet regime. What started out as a leaderless revolution soon found communist party Member Imre Nagy withdrawing Hungary from the Warsaw pact. He was trialed and executed for his role.
  8. Liberty Square - This square is already controversial in its name, called such in honor of martyrs of the 1848 revolution who were executed here. Home to one of the last Soviet monuments right next to a statue of Ronald Reagan, this is where Hungary’s bishop lived under protection of the US Embassy for fifteen years.
  9. The Fat Policeman Statue - This contemporary genre statue is a great contrast to the Soviet art Hungary mostly tried to remove after the regime change in 1989. Not only statues and memorials changed, public places also had to be re-named to their original names.
  10. Stephen’s Basilica - The Basilica is the largest church in Budapest, and its decorations one of the most in depth in detail. It is home to the Holy Right, an almost thousand year old relic of our first king, which was lost and found many times throughout our history.
  11. Deák Ferenc square - This is the main hub of Budapest, where the first three metro lines meet. The oldest of these is actually over a hundred year old with its small museum underground. The square is also home to Aqurium Club erected instead of a Theatre as well as the Michael Jackson Memorial Tree.
  12. Café Gerbaud - The over hundred and fifty year old confectionary has survived World Wars and nationalization under the communist regime and is a great place to enjoy a Hungarian cake in a historical setting. It is also the name giver of the zserbó cake a popular recipe in Hungarian households.
  13. Little Princess and Buda panorama The Little Princess is a trendsetter statue inaugurated for Children’s day into the landscape of a Soviet Budapest. Gazing towards the Vigadó building with her back to the Buda panorama, she became a beloved icon of Budapest.
  14. March 15th Square - The recently renovated square marks an ancient crossing over the Danube where a roman garrison once stood watch. The oldest church of Budapest was actually built into those ancient walls. On the far end of the square a tall statue of revolutionary poet, Sándor Petőfi stands over the viewer.
  15. Pilvax Coffee House - The unmarked place where the Pilvax Coffee House once stood is set in the collective memory of Hungary as the birthplace of the 1848 Revolution. This is where the Youths of March prepared their iconic Twelve points and where Petőfi wrote the famous National Song.
  16. Centrál Coffee House - An over hundred and thirty year old coffee house, the Centrál was a center of art life up until the second world war. Today it aims to recreate that atmosphere when great writers and poets would live their bohemian lives in such coffee houses.
  17. Szabó Ervin Library - The Metropolitan library was formed in the ex-palace of count Weinckheim and serves 12% of Budapest by itself. Organizing the first mobile libraries in Hungary, it continues to be a leading, modern provider preserving its historical interior.
  18. National Radio Budapest - The complex of the National Radio occupied century old palace buildings around this block before the medium was moved. One of them, the so called Studio Palace became the site, where peaceful demonstrations of 1956 formed into an armed revolution against the Soviet rule.
  19. Dohány street Synagogue - The synagogue built in Moorish revival style is the second largest synagogue in the world. Built to serve as a center to the Neolog Judaism of Pest, it became part of the Jewish ghetto during the Second World War and is home to the Emanuel tree, a memorial to the victims of holocaust.
  20. Szimpla - The first ruin pub of Budapest is a trendsetter and creator of the genre itself. Not only a pub but a community center hosting various events and aiding artists, Szimpla became an iconic stage of the urban nightlife of Budapest.
  21. Stumbling stones - The small mementos commemorating victims of Nazi oppression are found all over Europe but especially in the ghetto area and houses under diplomatic protection. Who aided survivors to escape their cruel fate? Most remain unknown, but some tales are widely remembered.
  1. Café Gerbaud - The over hundred and fifty year old confectionary has survived World Wars and nationalization under the communist regime and is a great place to enjoy a Hungarian cake in a historical setting. It is also the name giver of the zserbó cake a popular recipe in Hungarian households.
  2. Little Princess and Buda panorama - The Little Princess is a trendsetter statue inaugurated for Children’s day into the landscape of a Soviet Budapest. Gazing towards the Vigadó building with her back to the Buda panorama, she became a beloved icon of Budapest.
  3. Széchenyi Chain bridge The over hundred and fifty year old Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the first permanent bridge of Hungary and an innovative engineering marvel of its time. It bears the name of an iconic political figure of our 19th century history: Count Széchenyi, known among his kinsmen as “The greatest Hungarian”.
  4. Hungarian Academy of Sciences - This is our oldest and most prestigious learned society. Among other tasks it awards the title “Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences”. The foundation dates back to the early-mid 19th century, to the generous donation of Count Széchenyi.
  5. Shoes on the Danube shore - The bronze shoes on the Danube promenade are a memento to the victims of the Arrow Cross parties rule at the end of the Second World War. The origin of the far-right Hungarist party however can be traced back to the effects of the First World War.
  6. Margaret island and Bridge - The 2.5 km long island was joined from smaller islands at the end of the 19th century and is the largest and oldest park of Budapest. Baring the same name, the Margaret Bridge underwent multiple adjustments to include an embranchment leading to the beloved Park.
  7. Statue of Lajos Kossuth - Lajos Kossuth was a key political figure of the 19th century Hungary. He is portrayed here with the full ministry of the government of the Hungarian Revolution and Independence War of 1848, where he served as Finance Minister before rising to Regent-Governor of Hungary.
  8. Parliament - The imposing Parliament was finished over a hundred years ago after almost twenty years of construction. It is also called “House of the Nation” by Hungarians and houses the Hungarian crown jewels. While home to the parliament it is also open for tourist visits.
  1. Ministry of Agriculture bullet hole markers - The markers are placed in actual bullet holes from the second day of the 1956 revolution against the Soviet regime. What started out as a leaderless revolution soon found communist party Member Imre Nagy withdrawing Hungary from the Warsaw pact. He was trialed and executed for his role.
  2. Liberty Square - This square is already controversial in its name, called such in honor of martyrs of the 1848 revolution who were executed here. Home to one of the last Soviet monuments right next to a statue of Ronald Reagan, this is where Hungary’s bishop lived under protection of the US Embassy for fifteen years.
  3. The Fat Policeman Statue - This contemporary genre statue is a great contrast to the Soviet art Hungary mostly tried to remove after the regime change in 1989. Not only statues and memorials changed, public places also had to be re-named to their original names.
  4. Stephen’s Basilica - The Basilica is the largest church in Budapest, and its decorations one of the most in depth in detail. It is home to the Holy Right, an almost thousand year old relic of our first king, which was lost and found many times throughout our history.
  5. Deák Ferenc square - This is the main hub of Budapest, where the first three metro lines meet. The oldest of these is actually over a hundred year old with its small museum underground. The square is also home to Aqurium Club erected instead of a Theatre as well as the Michael Jackson Memorial Tree.
  6. Stumbling stones - The small mementos commemorating victims of Nazi oppression are found all over Europe but especially in the ghetto area and houses under diplomatic protection. Who aided survivors to escape their cruel fate? Most remain unknown, but some tales are widely remembered.
  7. Szimpla - The first ruin pub of Budapest is a trendsetter and creator of the genre itself. Not only a pub but a community center hosting various events and aiding artists, Szimpla became an iconic stage of the urban nightlife of Budapest.
  8. Dohány street Synagogue - The synagogue built in Moorish revival style is the second largest synagogue in the world. Built to serve as a center to the Neolog Judaism of Pest, it became part of the Jewish ghetto during the Second World War and is home to the Emanuel tree, a memorial to the victims of holocaust.

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