Budapest is a beautiful city, perfect for explorers looking to soak up the colourful culture and rich history on theirhen party. If you’re out and about and have a little extra time on your fun-filled hen weekend away, why not do some sightseeing? Here are some of the city’s must-see sights.
St Stephen's Basilica
The Basilica of St Stephen is an incredible and imposing display of neoclassical architecture. As Budapest’s most important place of Christian worship, it’s home to the mummified holy right hand of King St Stephen. Head inside for even more impressive sights, with beautiful interiors decorated by famous artists, stunning mosaics and vibrant stained glass windows. The building also features two large bell towers and a dome observation deck.
There are several outlets of this chain of wineries, but the most popular is the Bortarsasag Klassz Bistro. Hungary might not be well known for wine outside its borders, but you’ll find something here for every palate.
From crisp whites and fruity reds to a wide range of fizz, if wine tickles your taste buds then drop in. The Bistro location also means you can try out some fantastic modern takes on Hungarian cuisine while you enjoy a few glasses!
The Hungarian Parliament building is the shining centrepiece of the River Danube and the country’s largest, stretching for 268 metres. The distinctive neo-Gothic architecture was only recently built in the 20th century, inspired by Britain’s own parliament. The towering spires and domed roof are a real sight to behold and is home to the Holy Crown, the royal sceptre and 88 statues of rulers telling the story of Hungary’s history.
Must-see Castle Hill (known as the Var) is the incredible plateau towering over the Danube. Within the walls are two distinct areas: the Old Town with its cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, and the Royal Palace. Check out Fisherman’s Bastion, a pretty terrace that looks out onto the city for brilliant views. Hidden below is a network of natural caves formed by thermal springs and man-made passageways.
Citadella & Liberty Monument
Sat atop Gellert Hill, the Citadella offers one of the best views of the city, especially at night when it’s all lit up. It’s a fortress with a long and complicated history worth exploring, despite never seeing a battle. Nearby you’ll find the Liberty Statue, a woman standing tall on a pedestal holding a palm leaf. It can be seen from all over the city, a reminder of independence and freedom.
Just behind Heroes Square you’ll find Varosliget (aka City Park), Budapest’s largest park. Home to a Transylvanian style castle, a lake which offers boating in the summer or ice skating in the winter and the Szechenyi thermal baths. If you only visit for one thing, it will probably be the impressive baths which are a right of passage for visitors to the city. The park is also home to a sprawling zoo, several museums and a permanent circus.
Fisherman’s Bastion is a picturesque terrace overlooking the city, with panoramic views of the Danube and Pest. The white-stoned neo-Gothic architecture and ornate spired towers make it look like a castle straight from the pages of a fairytale. Take a stroll along and you’ll discover some of the best views in Budapest - especially since it was actually designed for its viewing platforms, rather than defence.
The city’s most visited site, the Royal Palace, sits atop Castle Hill in Buda. It was once the home of Hungarian kings, the current, huge Baroque-style palace dates back to the 18th century, despite being destroyed and rebuilt several times in its history. Now it’s home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Library, as well as statues, monuments and ornamental entrances worth checking out.
Great Market Hall
The impressive wrought-iron Great Market Hall has been attracting shoppers since 1897. Head in to take a look at the high-quality produce and soak up the bustling market atmosphere. You’ll find a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, baked goods, quality meat products, wines, street food and other Hungarian delicacies. Be sure to try traditional Hungarian dishes here like goulash and lángos, a favourite fast food option.
Heroes’ Square is Budapest’s largest square and one of the most visited sites in the city. At its centre is the impressive Millenary Monument, a tall pillar topped by the statue of Archangel Gabriel holding the holy crown and double-cross. This was built to commemorate the Magyars, the tribes of old. At the base, there are statues of the seven chieftains who led the Magyar tribes to Hungary, with kings either side.
The River Danube both divides and connects the hilly area of Buda with the flat Pest, which were once two separate cities. A cruise along the river offers fantastic views of the city, from the Parliament Building to Buda Castle. The Danube is the second longest river in Europe and actually originates in Germany and runs through ten countries including Austria, Croatia, Bulgaria and, of course, Hungary.
Unique to the city,Budapest’s ruin barsbegan to pop up in the early 2000s. Set in derelict buildings, these abandoned sites were given new life and transformed into some of the coolest drinking spots in the city. They’re still a big hit today with art, eclectic furniture and a quirky vibe, and the oldest, Szimpla, has become an iconic part of the city’s recent history.
The biggest medicinal baths complex in Europe is a quirky venue for celebrating special events. With 3 outdoor grand pools and 15 indoor ones, it’s one of the city’s top attractions. There are an additional 10 saunas and steam cabins, and a range of health and beauty treatments. The Baths are also close to Budapest’s main tourist sites.
Szechenyi Chain Bridge
The Szechenyi Chain Bridge is a special piece of Budapest’s history as the first permanent link between Buda and Pest, officially bringing the two cities and people together. The architecturally stunning suspension bridge is right in the heart of the city, guarded by lion statues and even better at night when the towers are all lit up. It’s a national symbol despite being designed and supervised by Brits.
Rising from the centre of City Park, this impressive and imposing castle is actually a relatively modern addition to the city completed in 1896. Built for the nations millennial celebrations, the castle is home to a museum of architecture and regularly hosts events such as concerts and markets.
Strolling the courtyard is free, but entry to the museum or special events will require an entry charge.
Many of Budapest’s incredible sights are an unmissable part of the city’s skyline, so these are just a handful of the best attractions for you to check out on your hen do. There’s much more to see and do, so be sure to take a look at ourBudapest hen do ideasfor inspiration. Whatever you end up choosing, buzzing Budapest won’t disappoint.