Budapest Things to Do Tips by zadunajska8
Budapest Things to Do: 3,235 reviews and 6,592 photos
Ethnography Museum - Néprajzi Múzeum
It doesn't sound fascinating does it - the Museum of Ethnography? You'd be suprised though. It's actually quite an interesting place showcasing traditional ways of living in the Hungarian part of the old Austro-Hungarian empire with good explanations in English and some interesting displays which are not all locked away in glass cabinets so you can't get close.
They also had some interesting temporary exhibits when we visited - in particular one about indigineous cultures in the Amazon.
It seems suprising considering the good information provided for each exhibit but the museum seems a bit low on signs showing you the way around. It's also quite dark in many places (possibly to protect the exhibits from bright lights?) and this can make it difficult to read the information provided.
The building itself is actually well worth seeing. It was originally built as the Palace of the Supreme Court. Entry is free if you have a Budapest Card. Like other museums in Budapest you have to buy an extra photography ticket if you want to use your camera (no flash) and you must leave your bag at the cloakroom (free).
Address: Kossuth Tér, Budapest
Directions: Opposite Parliament
This building on Andrassy Avenue at number 60 was the headquarters of the secret police first under the Fascist Arrow Cross regime (who called it the "House of Loyalty") and then the communist regime. The building now operates as a museum telling the story of the repression of the Hungarian people under these two regimes (with a heavy emphasis on the communist regime).
The route around the building starts on the 2nd floor and works down to the basmement where you see the cells that many of the regimes' victims were incarcerated in. The displays are on the whole evocative and emotive (with atmospheric, foreboding background music) rather than informative. The information is conveyed instead through printed A4 information sheets which you pick up as you enter each room (in Hungarian or English). Each room does provide a great deal of information in this way and you can take these info sheets away with you. Many of the rooms also have screens showing interviews with people who are telling their stories about the actions of these regimes (victims and staff).
Address: 1062 Budapest, Andrassy ut 60.
Directions: On Andrassy Avenue, at Vorosmarty utca station of the Millennium Underground Railway (M1).
Phone: +36 1 374 26 00
Imre Nagy Monument
This monument as short walk from the Parliament building shows the reform communist Prime Minister of the 1956 uprising against Soviet domination, Imre Nagy. He stands on a footbridge facing the Parliament complete with his hat and umbrella, looking like a very ordinary and human figure.
Address: Vértanuk Tér, Budapest
Directions: Between Szabadság Tér and Kossuth Tér, diagonally opposite the Parliament building.
The Hungarian Parliament - (old upper chamber)
The Hungarian Parliament is gothic grandeur in it's extreme. It's clearly built to impress and I would have guessed it to be larger than the Houses of parliament in London - but the guide said it isn't. Apparently it is Europe's 3rd largest parliament after Bucharest and London.
The Parliament was built to accomodate an upper and lower house and so has 2 debating chambers (which I'm told are identical) but as the Hungarian state now only has a one chamber parliament only one is now used and the other is shown to tourists and rented out for conferences etc.
You can only visit the Parliament on a guided tour. English language tours start at 10am, 12 noon and 2pm. We were told (and read in many guidebooks) that you had to get there early (ticket office opens at 8am) to get tickets for the days tours. There didn't seem to be any problem with availability when we went but this was November and so very off peak - it may be very different in summer. At the front of the building on Kossuth Square you will see that there will be a guard by two signs - 1 which says "with tickets" and one that says "without tickets". When you go to get your ticket you go to the "without tickets" sign and you will be directed towards a door into the building marked "Gate XI". The ticket office is in here. If you are an EU citizen then show your passport and you get your ticket for free. You will be told what time you tour is and to be at the "with tickets" sign 10 minutes before that time.
If you did find that all the English tours have gone then you could try joining another one. If you speak another language then obviously go for that but actually the commentary was so difficult to hear most of the time it probably doesn't matter too much if you go on one where you don't understand a word of it!
When you go back for your tour you wait at the "with tickets" sign (there is no shelter here from wind or rain) and when the guide is ready you will be asked to follow them to the side entrance where you pass through security. It's just the same as airport security so all metal objects into your bag etc. Once through you can retrieve your camera and start snapping away as you see fit.
The tour takes only about 40 minutes and you see the main stairwell of the Parliament which is very ornate and then you are taken to the Hungarian crown jewels which are guarded by 2 soldiers who walk around the jewels in a circle every 15 minutes and every now and then they 'present arms' so stand at least 2 metres away unless you have any limbs you want removed! Then you are taken through a series of other lavishly decorated rooms to the old upper house debating chamber. Here you will be given some interesting commentary on the Hungarian Parliament (if you can hear and understand) before being escouted back out of the building.
Address: 1055 Budapest, Kossuth tér 1-3.
Directions: On Kossuth Lajos ter; metro M2, trams #2 2A, trolley-buses #70 78 and bus #15 to Kossuth Lajos ter stop
Phone: + (36) 1 441-4000
Shoes on the Danube Holocaust Memorial
This is a very moving memorial to the Jewish adults and children who were massacred on this spot by the Fascist Arrow Cross Regime in Hungary during the second world war. The victims were taken to this spot and forced to remove their shoes and coats before being machine gunned and their bodies thrown into the Danube. Their coats and shoes were then earmarked for use by German civilians.
The spot is now marked by dozens of pairs of tossled shoes cast in iron alongside the Danube. Very touching.
Address: Széchenyi Rakpart, Budapest
Directions: On the Danube embankment just to the south of the Parliament building.
This prominent square in Budapest is one of those which is changing it's name. The authorities have decided to change the names of a number of places in the city and Roosevelt Square will soon cease to be as it becomes Széchenyi István Tér after the man who commissioned the famous chain bridge which arrives in Pest on the Western side of the square. However, at the moment both street names are in place, but the tram stops have been changed to just "Széchenyi István Tér".
Besides the confusion over names that may come from this the square should be much nicer than it is. It's really just the traffic roaring (somewhat chaotically) around the square which ruins it as it has some lovely buildings around the square. On the Eastern side of the square is the excellent Art Noveau Gresham Palace (now a Four Seasons Hotel). The chandelier in the lobby is amazing. You can see it as you walk past but it's better if you just pop in for a coffee.
On the Northern side of the square is the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, another impressive building. Also at the Northern end of the square is the statue of Count Széchenyi István after whom the square will now be named and this faces at the southern end the statue of 19th century Hungarian politican Ference Deák.
Address: Roosevelt Tér/ Széchenyi István Tér, Budapest
Directions: Besides the Danube at the Pest (Eastern) end of the chain bridge.
The Mátyás church has a beautiful, richly decorated interior, but not in the glintzy, overly shiny way that so many catholic churches do. Somehow this church seems much more tasteful. There is a small museum upstairs in the gallery exhibiting some of the churches riches and even the stone spiral staircase up to this level in wonderfully decorated in such great detail.
The church is also the burial place of King Bela III and his wife and nearby to their sarcophagus is a replica of the Hungarian crown jewels.
There is a fee to enter the church and this must be paid at one of the windows opposite the entrance to the church marked "CASSA". There is a 10% discount on the price if you have a Budapest card.
Address: 1014 Budapest, Orszaghaz utca 14
Directions: In the Castle District, next to Fisherman's Bastion. 'Varbusz' service from Moszkva ter metro to Szentharomsag ter or bus #16 from Deak F. ter to Disz ter.
Phone: (+36 1) 489-0717
St Mary Magdalene Tower
This Tower and a rebuilt Gothic window are all that now remain of this church in Buda's old town. Apparently the church was once used by the local Hungarian christians becuase only German people could use the Mátyás church. It later became a mosque under the Ottoman occupation but was damaged during the liberation of Buda from Turkish rule. Eventually everything apart from what you can see now was pulled down after WW2.
Address: Országház Utca, Buda, District 1, Budapest
Directions: At the northern end of Országház Utca (Parliament Street) - no where near the Parliament - it's on the Castle Hill in Buda.
The National Archives
The National Archives in Buda's Old Town at the end of Fortuna Utca looks both forbidding and slightly fairy-tale to me. There doesn't appear to be public access to the building and I know nothing about it's history but I just thought it was interesting and attractive, particularly when viewed in the context of the colourful old buildings along Fortuna Utca.
Address: Budapest, District 1
Directions: North of Holy Trinity Square
Szentháromság Tér - Holy Trinity Square
Holy Trinity Square sits at the heart of the old town of Buda, outside the Mátyás Church, the House of Hungarian Wines and the Fisherman's Bastion.
In the middle of the pretty square is the Holy Trinity Column which was originally sculpted in the early eighteenth century and restored in 1967. It's purpose was to commemorate the dead of the plagues that hit Buda in 1691 and 1709.
The House of Hungarian wines has wines from all over Hungary (as the name suggests) to try and to buy.
Address: Szentháromság Tér, Buda, District 1
Directions: In Buda at the junction of Tárnok Utca and Országház Utca, outside the Mátyás Church.
More Reviews (4)
zadunajska8's Related Pages
Budapest Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Budapest - My dear hometown! :)"
- "Budapest, the "Phoenix bird", my lovely home city"
- "A fantastic town along the Danube River"
- "A New Year, A New City"
- "SUCH A GORGEOUS CITY"
- "I could get used to this!"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Budapest
- Hotels in Budapest
- Transportation in Budapest
- Nightlife in Budapest
- Restaurants in Budapest
- Shopping in Budapest
- Warnings and Dangers in Budapest
- See All...
Explore the World
- Lawnton Hotels
- Leucadia Hotels
- Naranjo Hotels
- Canouan Hotels
- Island Cottage Beach
- Faroe Islands
Badges & Stats in Budapest
- 26 Reviews
- 68 Photos
- 3 Forum posts
- 6 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (12)
Have you been to Budapest?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Budapest
- Posted in Travel Belgium Forum "Re: Things to do"
- Commented on one of zadunajska8's Budapest travel pages
- updated a Budapest Travel Page "Buda & Pest - A Tale of Two Cities"
- Wrote a Review Ethnography Museum - Néprajzi Múzeum about Ethnography Museum - Néprajzi Múzeum in Budapest Things to Do
- Uploaded a Photo to "Ethnography Museum - Néprajzi Múzeum"
Photos in BudapestSee All Photos (68)
Top 10 Pages
- Venice Intro, 35 reviews, 128 photos
- Brussels Intro, 29 reviews, 110 photos
- Innsbruck Intro, 16 reviews, 121 photos, 6 travelogues
- Igls Intro, 12 reviews, 89 photos, 5 travelogues
- Rome Intro, 24 reviews, 76 photos
- Paris Intro, 21 reviews, 75 photos
- Budapest Intro, 26 reviews, 68 photos
- Ardingly Intro, 9 reviews, 78 photos, 5 travelogues
- London Intro, 15 reviews, 70 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Wattens Intro, 16 reviews, 57 photos
FriendsSee All Friends (8)
Latest Budapest hotel reviews
- Mandragora Hostel
- 26 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 24, 2013
- Best Western Grand Hotel Hungaria
- 204 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 28, 2013
- Radisson SAS Beke Hotel Budapest
- 228 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 19, 2013
- Le Meridien Budapest
- 1059 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 7, 2013
- Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal
- 2032 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 8, 2013
- Mercure Budapest Korona
- 465 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 3, 2013
- Marco Polo Hostel
- 90 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Oct 22, 2013
- Mercure Budapest City Center
- 451 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 6, 2013
- Boscolo New York Palace Hotel Budapest
- 693 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 4, 2013
- Budapest Apartment 4 (Locust Tree Apartments)
- 159 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 5, 2013
- Art'otel Budapest, by Park Plaza
- 701 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 30, 2013
- Domina Inn Fiesta
- 55 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 22, 2013
- Four Seasons Gresham Palace
- 666 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 8, 2013
- City Panzio Pilvax
- 127 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Nov 13, 2013
- Novotel Budapest Congress
- 164 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Dec 1, 2013
- Buda Castle - Budavar- 261 Reviews, 539 Photos
- Szechenyi Bath - Szechenyi furdo- 60 Reviews, 109 Photos
- Fisherman Bastion - Halaszbastya- 163 Reviews, 332 Photos
- Heroes' Square - Hosok tere- 130 Reviews, 283 Photos
- St. Stephen's Basilica - Szent Istvan Bazilika- 130 Reviews, 302 Photos
- Market Hall - Grand Market Hall - Nagyvasarcsarnok- 45 Reviews, 100 Photos
- Parliament - Orszaghaz- 161 Reviews, 320 Photos
- Gellert Hill - Gellert Hegy - Citadella- 103 Reviews, 213 Photos
- Synagogue - Dohány Street Central Synagogue- 67 Reviews, 157 Photos
- Mathias Church - Mátyás-templom- 103 Reviews, 208 Photos
See All Budapest Things to Do