4 historically Important Buildings in Budapest For the History Buff

Budapest is not only one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe, it is also a city that is extremely rich in history and culture. The stunning river setting Budapest was built around is no coincidence – the Celts settled here because the majestic Gellért Hill offered them protection against invaders.

Learning about the history of a city we are visiting for the first time is of utmost importance, for doing so can help us understand how it became to be what it is today. We have compiled a list of the 4 most important historical buildings in Budapest that we believe will help you connect with this majestic city and its people.

1. The Buda Castle

Built in the 13th century, the Buda Castle was originally inhabited by King Béla IV of Hungary. The Ottoman Turks invaded the castle in 1541 and ruled it until 1686, when it was mostly destroyed in a siege carried out by the Austrian Habsburgs. The castle’s stunning Baroque appearance was since restored, keeping the medieval street pattern and much of the architectural features of the building.

What is unique about the Buda Castle is that people still inhabit the area today. Only people who live there and taxis are allowed to drive up to the surrounding areas of the castle.

Opening hours of the Royal Palace: Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00, closed on Mondays

Entrance: Free (entry fee to visit the museums and the Hungarian National Gallery)

Address: Szentháromság Tér

Metro stop: Moszkva Tér

2. The Fisherman’s Bastion

Built in the years between 1895 and 1902, the Fisherman’s Bastion was originally constructed to protect local fishermen against the Mongolian army. Today, this majestic construction is best known for its panoramic views over the city.

The architectural style of the Fisherman’s Bastion is a combination of both Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque. With its white-stoned walls and seven majestic towers, it looks like straight out of a classic Disney movie.

Opening hours: 9:00-18:00

Entrance: Free (small entrance fee to go up into the towers)

Address: Szentháromság Tér

Metro stop: Moszkva Tér

 

3. St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest. It was built to honor Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen, whose mummified right hand is still housed inside the church.

We recommend you take one of the guided tours offered (for 2.000 HUF) to learn about the history of the Basilica in more detail. If you enjoy classical music, ask whether there is an organ concert held during your stay. For visits from April 1st to Oct 31st, take the chance to admire some beautiful panoramic views by climbing up to the dome’s observation deck. After visiting the Basilica, head to St. Stephen Square for a cup of coffee and some people-watching.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00, Sat 09:00-13:00, Sun 13:00-17:00

Entrance: Free (except the lookout in the dome)

Address: Szt. István tér

Metro stop: Arany János utca

4. The Hungarian State Opera

The opera house in Budapest is known to history and architecture lovers as one of the most beautiful Neo-Renaissance buildings in all of Europe. It was built in the mid to late 19th century and was constructed using marble and frescos by some of the best artisans of the era. After being opened in 1884, the Hungarian State Opera quickly became the most prestigious musical institution in Europe and it is still today considered as one of the best opera houses in the world.

 

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00

Entrance: HUF 2900

Address: 1061 Budapest, Andrássy út 22.

Metro stop: Opera

This is a guest post sponsored by The Corinthia Hotels and written by Steve Ewins. An avid Traveller who has visited more than 80 countries.