Budapest is a city full of secrets, surprises, wonders and hidden spots to explore. It is one of the oldest yet youngest cities in the world, fusing its historic and its metropolitan selves. Among the many names the city was given over the years, the most telltale one is “the Pearl of the Danube” as Budapest is divided in two by the most “European” of all rivers, the Danube. It is quite a sight with those elegant bridges arching over to connect the two parts. You should start to explore the city at the top, with the magnificent Buda Castle and Castle District.
Cross the river for the most grandiose building on the Pest embankment, the House of Parliament. For sacred wonders, visit the tallest building in the city, the Saint Stephen Basilica, and one of the largest synagogues in the world in the Dohány Street. Heroes’ Square will give you a peek into the romantic past of the country, and for a bit of romance we suggest you to stroll along the Danube promenade or head to the leafy Margaret Island. Budapest is known for its vibrant cultural life. It offers a wealth of cultural programs such as concerts, exhibitions and dance performances. This is the city where being bored is not an option.
With its Mediterranean atmosphere, Szentendre is the town of artists and open-air museums. The settlement with its colorful houses, narrow alleys and two-dozen museums is the most frequently visited tourist destination along the Danube. The location, the proximity of the Danube, the architecture and the townscape, bearing all the historic marks; together form the beauty of the town.
Visegrád is rich in natural and historic attractions. There are sites at three heights: the Main Street, the Salamon Tower and the Castle on the top of the hill, that also offers a wonderful view of the Danube Bend. The Palace of the great Renaissance ruler, King Matthias was one of the most luxurious royal residences of its time.
Esztergom is the seat of the Roman Catholic Primate of Hungary. The Cathedral is the largest church in the country. Rebuilt in the 19th century in classical style, it has the largest altarpiece in the world painted on a single piece of canvas. The Cathedral Treasury holds the richest collection of Hungarian ecclesiastical treasures.
In Gödöllő the Royal Mansion is one of the largest palaces in the country and is a significant piece of Hungarian Baroque architecture. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’s ruling couple, Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Queen Elizabeth (known as Sissi) frequently stayed here. Classical concerts, major festivals and cultural events are organized in the palace regularly.