The BUDA side of Budapest is full of history, imperial grandeur and charm and is an area well worth exploring properly. The hilly landscapes to the West of the great Danube River offer stunning panoramic views. The historic area of Buda is sometimes referred to as the 'Old Town' and is a stark contrast to the vibrant and lively neighbourhoods of Pest, just across the river, but there are plenty of amazing sights and interesting alleys to discover.
Even if you’re not a castle or palace person, the Royal Palace in Budapest is impressive and should be on your things-to-do list! From there, you can admire the unique tiled roof of Matthias church as you walk around the cobblestone streets. Budda Castle is located in the southern tip of Castle hill and is famous for the old medieval style houses, churches, and buildings. Walking around this area is like stepping into a storybook based from the baroque and medieval era.
You have to work for the best view, but we think it was worthwhile - take a look for yourself in our YouTube video of us exploring the BUDA side of Budapest.
Fisherman’s Bastion - This Neo-Gothic terrace was built in 1905 and gets its name from the fishermen who defended this part of the city in the Middle Ages. Today it is one of the most visited spots in Budapest where you can appreciate the architecture, the statue of King Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary, and most impressively, enjoy the incredible panoramic views of the whole city. It's also a great spot to sit and people watch while taking in the historic atmosphere and the architecture.
Matthias Church - Also known as The Church of the Assumption of the Buda Castle, this seven-hundred-year-old Matthias Church is one of the jewels of Budapest, unmistakeably neo-Gothic in style and decorated with coloured shingles and elegant pinnacles. It is a historic building with an important history as two Kings of Hungary were crowned within its walls. It also makes for stunning photographs.
Sándor Palace - Located adjacent to Buda Castle Complex, Sándor Palace serves as the official residence and workspace of the President of Hungary since 2003. If you can, try to time your visit for the hourly changing of the guards. From here, you can continue to explore the Buda Castle Complex and adjacent ruins.
Buda Castle - First completed in 1265, Buda Castle overlooks the city from Castle Hill. This is where Hungarian kings once lived and today the Buda Castle Complex is home to two museums, the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. The Buda Castle Funicular first opened in 1870 and is the second oldest funicular of its kind in the world. This funicular is the fastest way to get to the top of Castle Hill but is also slow enough such that you can still enjoy the panoramic views out across the Danube on your way up. It is not necessary to visit the museums, we enjoyed just roaming around and through the castle grounds.
Liberty Statue - Erected in 1947, this statue commemorates “all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary”. The panoramic views from here are stunning and definitely make the climb to the top of the hill well worth it.
Citadella - Located on the top of the hill behind the Liberty Stature, the Citadella was built after the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in 1848. This fort is a symbol of the city and now houses a restaurant, a hotel and a museum.
Csúszdapark - This is just one of the many big playgrounds situated on the grassy green Buda Hills. This park has slides and trampolines and is a good place to keep the kids entertained or just to relax.
Hike The Buda Hills - For the best and most peaceful views out over Budapest, spend some time hiking around the beautiful green Buda Hills between the Citadella area and Gellért Hill Cave. Be sure to find one of the many Kilátóterasz (observation decks) or even just a good rock, for the best views over Budapest!
Gellért Hill Cave - This cave is part of a network of caves within Gellért Hill where a monastery and church are carved into the rock and decorated with striking Neo-Gothic turrets. Even if you don't go inside, take a look up at the main entrance to the cave from the Danube waterfront.
Gellért Thermal Baths - The complex was originally built between 1912 and 1918 in an Art Nouveau style, but was extensively renovated in 2008. It is one of the grandest spas in the city and includes three outdoor pools, two effervescent bath sections, a Finnish sauna, and a range of other saunas and plunge pools. If spas are your thing, you could easily spend all day here!
View The Hungarian Parliament Building - Although the building is impressive up close, in order to see the whole building in its full glory, it is worth viewing it from the West side of the Danube River. The best time to do so is around sunset when you can also wait for it to get dark and for the building to light up in all its magnificent glory. There is plenty of place along the West bank of the Danube River to grab a seat and enjoy the beauty of Budapest.