Often described as the “Little Paris of Middle Europe”, Budapest is famous not only for the monuments reflecting its own 1,000-year-old culture, but also for the relics of others who settled here. Remains from both Roman occupation and much later ruled by the Turks can still be seen in the city. After the Ottoman Empire the union with Austria has a particular influence on the city’s form and style.
Here’s 10 Reasons Why Budapest is Called Little Paris Of Middle Europe
1. Buda Castle Hill
This World Heritage Site is easily visible from everywhere in Budapest. Exploring Castle Hill’s beautiful buildings and cobblestone streets can occupy an entire day. The central Trinity Square fills daily with tourists visiting the famous Matthias Church. The Fishermen’s Bastion and the Royal Palace, together with the Hungarian National Gallery, are also popular sights.
Buda Castle Hill gives home to several large-scale festivals and events throughout the year, so it’s a good idea to time your visit around one of these major events: Festival of Folk Arts– a 3-day festival around 20th August, International Wine and Champagne Festival – first half of September, Pálinka & Sausage Festival in October on the Savoy Terrace of the Royal Palace.
If you do not like crowd then avoid these events, and time your visit in the low season: early or mid-spring, or mid-autumn.
2. Chain Bridge
Another well-known Budapest attraction is the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) spanning the Danube at the foot of Castle Hill.
Built in the middle of the 19th century the stone bridge with the lion bridgeheads was the first permanent connection between Buda and Pest.
The bridge used to hosted an annual summer festival titled the Summer on the Chain Bridge during which it is a pedestrians only bridge with colourful programs on weekends in July and August.
The Danube promenade -also part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage program- runs along the river between Chain bridge and Elizabeth Bridge.
Crossing the bridge is just a short walk and no matter which direction you go, the view is beautiful. It’s also well worth a visit in the evening, when the bridge is all lit up. In the summer, festivals are held on the bridge almost every weekend. The Buda-end of the bridge is at Clark Ádám Square, where the Funicular takes you up to Castle Hill, and the Pest-end of the bridge is at Széchenyi István Square, a busy square in the city center, named after the former U.S. president. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Gresham Palace are also located in the square. Zrinyi Street, a pedestrian precinct, leads from Széchenyi István Square to St. Stephen’s Basilica.
3. Central Market Hall
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Central Market Hall (officially called ‘Központi Vásárcsarnok‘ in Hungarian) is the largest indoor market in Budapest. Among other things, on the ground floor you’ll find a large treasure trove of sausages, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. On the second floor, there are food stands and plenty of vendors selling handicrafts, clothing, embroidery, chessboards and other souvenirs. Paprika and Tokaji are also sold here. In the basement, there is a fish market, a small Asian grocery store, a supermarket, and a small drugstore. While focusing on Hungarian products, on International Gastro Days (held on Fridays and Saturdays), the Central Market Hall also features the food and cuisine of a foreign country.
The spacious market at the Pest end of Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd) however is famous for its architecture too. Built at the turn of the 19-20. centuries it was one of the most modern indoor markets not only in Budapest but in the whole world.
For fish and game take the escalator to the basement level. My favorite store selling Asian specialties, and a wide variety of herbs and spices is located at that level too.
4. Gellért Hill
Gellért Hill (Gellért-hegy) offers some of the best panoramic views of Budapest. Starting your sightseeing here is not just a wonderful experience and a good first impression of the city, but it also makes orientation much easier. It’s like laying out a map of Budapest in front of you. You can see the structure of the city and the difference between the hilly Buda side and the flat Pest side, with the Danube dividing the two.
The dolomite cliff in Buda is one of the loveliest green spots in Budapest. Gellért hill is one of our favourite places for weekend outings.
Winding walkways lead up to the top where the Citadella, a former fortress and the Liberty Statue stand.
The hill is dotted with groves and flowery parks; an excellent place for Sunday afternoon walks for the family or nice rendezvous spot for couples.
Get Around and Things to Do In Budapest Hungary
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