Budapest Attractions

Danube river 

Budapest Attractions is a must-visit for travelers seeking a vibrant and culturally rich experience. 

Explore the stunning Hungarian Parliament Building, stroll along the picturesque Danube River, or immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Great Market Hall. 

With its charming streets, thermal baths, and world-class museums, Budapest truly has something for everyone. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or simply looking to soak in the beauty of this enchanting city, Budapest will captivate your senses and leave you wanting more.

The second longest river in Europe flows through Budapest, dividing it into two separate parts: Buda and Pest. 

The river in Budapest reaches depths of around 10 feet and spans approximately 350 meters in width. 

It is also home to a small island called Margaret Island. 

From the iconic Chain Bridge to the majestic Buda Castle, this city offers a plethora of historical and architectural wonders. 

Eight bridges over the Danube in Budapest serve as both an essential component of the city’s transportation system and a top tourist destination. 

If you are wondering what to see in Budapest, book one of the Danube River cruises, and you will be introduced to the best things to see and do in Budapest.

Along the banks of the Danube River are several other notable landmarks, including churches, museums, sculptures, and hills with the scenic Danube River cruise.

Some of these are among the best places to visit in Budapest. Here’s a breakdown of the top Budapest attraction’s prices.

Budapest AttractionsStarting Price
Szechenyi Chain Bridge$181
Hungarian Academy of Sciences$86
Gresham Palace$83
Buda Castle Hill$12
Matthias Church$160
Fisherman’s Bastion$3
Hungarian Parliament$53
Shoes on the Danube$60
Margaret Island$30
Margaret Bridge$12
Museum of Ethnography$21
Elizabeth Bridge$13
Gellert Hill$83
Liberty Bridge$10
Rakoczi Bridge$104
National Theater$13

The Danube River cruises are the best option for seeing free attractions in Budapest because the cruise package includes all the Budapest attractions sightseeing.

Szechenyi Chain Bridge

Built in the middle of the 19th century, the Chain Bridge is the oldest permanent bridge in Budapest. 

Named after the “Greatest Hungarian,” Count Szechenyi, the bridge symbolizes Budapest. 

It is undeniably the most stunning and most photographed of all the bridges. 

Embark on a delightful night Danube river cruise starting from the Chain Bridge near the academy. 

Indulge in live music and savor a Hungarian dinner as you sail past various attractions, with the cruise culminating at the National Theater.

Choose the audio guide in your preferred language to learn more about this and other bridges over the Danube.   

Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Constructed in the Renaissance Revival architectural style in 1865, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences building by the Danube lies close to the Chain Bridge.

The Academy, founded by Count Szechenyi, promotes Hungarian culture and knowledge. 

The academy in Szechenyi Square borders other illustrious structures like the Gresham Palace and the 5-star hotel, Fours Season.

Enjoy live music and relish a delectable Hungarian dinner on this Danube cruise past different attractions. 

The cruise concludes at the National Theater, providing a memorable experience.

Gresham Palace

Built by the British Gresham Life Assurance business in 1906, the Gresham Palace used to provide housing and offices for its workers.

The building, treated like an ordinary residential structure during the Communist regime, is now part of a top luxury hotel chain, the Four Seasons Hotel.

Experience the Budapest attractions’ winter fun with the Christmas and New Year special Danube River sightseeing cruise.

Its meticulously restored Art Nouveau features, peacock ironwork gate, stylish elevators, and hotel rooms with a view of the Danube make it exceptionally expensive and unique. 

Are you staying at the Four Seasons? Why not enjoy to the fullest with a private Danube river cruise with wine tasting among beautiful city views? 

Buda Castle Hill

Renowned for its medieval, baroque-styled 19th-century homes, churches, and cobblestone streets, the Castle District sits on the top of the Castle District. 

Buda Castle, built in the 13th century, lies on the southernmost point of the Hill and is one of the best Budapest tourist attractions. 

The Hill also houses a variety of hidden attractions, such as labyrinths, nuclear bomb shelters, and a spy museum waiting to be discovered. 

You can learn more about the history of this and other attractions in Budapest if you choose a guided sightseeing Danube River Budapest cruise and watch the Budapest attractions for young adults. 

Matthias Church

Matthias Church
Photo by Alex Lucas on Unsplash

One of the attractions on Buda Castle Hill, the Matthias Church, was built in the eleventh century.

The church has a stunning, one-of-a-kind appearance, with the inside walls covered in romantic historical themes from the 19th century.

Fisherman’s Bastion  

Fisherman’s Bastion
Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

Constructed in 1902, the Fisherman’s Bastion is another popular attraction at Buda Castle Hill.

It includes seven towers which stand for the seven chieftains of the Hungarians who founded Hungary in 895.

This stunning neo-Gothic bastion/terrace honors the Fishermen’s Market in the Water Town neighborhood of the former imperial Buda.

Hungarian Parliament

The third-largest parliament building in the world is the Hungarian Parliament, one of the most well-known sights in Budapest.

The building won a global competition to design an appropriate house for the new Hungarian government, established in 1873.

This magnificent Gothic Revival building, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also the biggest in Hungary and is one of the best tourist attractions in Budapest.

The majority of visitors savor the sight of this majestic structure illuminated by brilliant lights in the evening during a sightseeing Danube river cruise

Experience the Budapest attractions’ winter fun with the Christmas and New Year special Danube River sightseeing cruise.

Shoes on the Danube

Shoes on the Danube
Photo by Durjay Sarkar on Unsplash

The bronze shoe sculpture, Shoes on the Danube, located on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade, stands to the south of the Hungarian Parliament.

The monument, made as a Holocaust memorial in memory of the Jews murdered in Budapest during World War II by fascist Hungarian militia, acknowledges the 3,500 people killed on the riverside. 

Shot at the water’s edge caused their bodies to fall in and be swept away by the river.  

The monument stands in for the shoes that they left on the riverside.

Margaret Island

In Budapest’s center of the Danube River, Margaret Island is a 2.5-kilometer (1.6-mile) long island.

This recreational park spans both sides of the Danube River, connecting Buda and Pest through the Arpad and Margaret bridges. 

It offers attractions such as parks, music fountains, thermal hotels, pools, and running trails for visitors to enjoy.

This is one of Budapest’s top attractions. If you want to explore the Budapest non-tourist attractions, try the festive and Jewish Quarter walking tour.

Formerly known as Rabbit Island, this island’s name comes from the daughter of Hungarian King Bela IV, who resided in the Dominican monastery on the island.

Reverse your place on the one-hour Danube River sightseeing cruise, including a Margaret Island stopover. 

Explore the island and its attractions, including the Japanese Garden and the UNESCO sites—Art Nouveau Water Tower and the Music Fountains.

Margaret Bridge

Margaret Bridge
Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

The Margaret Bridge is a three-way bridge that spans the Danube between the Buda and Pest districts while connecting Margaret Island to the banks.

A business owned by French engineer Ernest Gouin constructed this second permanent bridge, after the Chain Bridge, in Budapest between 1872 and 1876. 

The one-hour sightseeing cruise and the evening sightseeing cruise and unlimited prosecco both start from docks near the Pest side of Margaret Bridge. 

Museum of Ethnography

Housed in a building initially constructed for the Ministry of Justice, the National Museum’s Ethnographic Department relocated to the building at the end of the 20th century.

Numerous thousand folk artifacts, mainly from Hungary and the Carpathian Basin but also from other nations, are on display in the museum.

Unique and genuine handcrafts are also available at the museum gift shop.

Elizabeth Bridge 

Another famous bridge in Budapest is the 290-meter-long white suspension bridge, Elizabeth Bridge.  

The bridge, similar in design to the Chain Bridge, was destroyed by Nazi forces during World War II. 

It was initially a chain structure bridge with an eclectic design.

Now modernly styled with six lanes, the bridge obtained its unique nighttime lighting in 2009 as part of a 140-year anniversary of collaboration between the governments of Japan and Hungary. 

Many Danube river cruises depart from docks at the Pest side of the Elizabeth Bridge, including the multilingual audio guide sightseeing cruise with a welcome drink and the economical nighttime sightseeing cruise

Gellert Hill

A 235 m (771 ft) high hill enveloped in dense woods, the Gellert Hill overlooks the Danube and the whole city of Budapest.

Named after Saint Gerard, who was thrown to death from it, the hill houses the famous Hotel Gellért, the Gellért Hill Cave, and the Gellért Baths.

You can see the famous Liberty Statue, a fit woman raising a palm leaf in memory of those who fought for freedom and peace, and the stern Citadel, a stronghold from the 19th century, from the top of Gellert Hill.


Citadella, situated atop Gellért Hill, is the Hungarian term for a citadel or fortification.

Built by a commander of the Austrian Empire in 1851, the U-shaped fortress occupies almost the entire 235 meters high plateau.

Liberty Bridge

Budapest’s Liberty Bridge, named after Emperor Franz Joseph (Ferenc József), is the city’s historic green bridge. 

Built in 1894, the Liberty Bridge joins two significant squares—on the Pest side, Fovam Square is home to the Budapest Market Hall, while on the Buda side, Gellert Square is home to the renowned Gellert Bath.

The mythological Hungarian bird, Turul, perched on a golden ball, is shown at the top of each pillar.

Rakoczi Bridge

The Rakoczi Bridge, formerly the Lagymanyosi Bridge, is the second-newest in Budapest.

The southernmost ridge of the Danube in Budapest took three years to build, from 1992 to 1995.

Resembling a red toast rack, the bridge boasts unique giant reflectors illuminating the road uniformly from a height of 35 meters.  

National Theater

The National Theater, housed in a building resembling a ship drifting on the Danube, is Budapest’s primary theater. 

Debuted in the 19th century, the theater occupied a number of places throughout the years until settling in 2002 on the riverfront.

The National Theater is the end point of various Budapest Danube river cruises, including the dinner cruise with live music and folk dance show.


What is Budapest famous for?

Budapest is famous for its stunning natural beauty, including the Danube River and green spaces. 

The city is also renowned for its captivating buildings and landmarks, such as the Parliament Building, Hungarian National Museum, and Shoes on the Danube Bank. 

Its diverse range of museums, cultural festivals, and gastronomic delights also attract tourists throughout the year.

What you can’t miss in Budapest?

Remember to take a sightseeing cruise along the Danube River when you visit Budapest. 

It’s a must-do experience that offers stunning views of the city’s famous landmarks. 

Explore the city’s stunning landmarks, from Buda Castle and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to Memento Park. 

Make sure to treat yourself to the famous thermal baths in Budapest. 
With over 120 mineral hot springs, they offer a truly rejuvenating and relaxing experience.

Are 3 days enough for Budapest?

Three days are enough to explore the main attractions of Budapest in a relaxed manner. 

You can visit iconic landmarks like Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Parliament Building. 

It allows you to experience the city’s rich history, delicious food, and charming streets.

What must I see in Budapest in 3 days?

You must visit all the famous and main attractions in Budapest in 3 days. 

These include the Buda Castle Hill attractions and the iconic Szechenyi Chain Bridge.

The remarkable buildings are the Hungarian Parliament and National Theater, the sculpture ‘Shoes on the Danube’ along the riverbanks, and the serene Margaret Island in the heart of the river.

Is Budapest friendly to tourists?

Budapest is known for being friendly and safe for tourists. 

Hungary ranks high in terms of peace and safety globally, making Budapest a secure destination. 

You can feel at ease exploring the city and enjoying its attractions, knowing they are in one of the world’s safest countries.

Is Budapest expensive to visit?

Budapest offers a cost-effective travel experience. It is relatively affordable to visit compared to other European capital cities like Paris. 

As a budget-minded traveler, you can expect daily costs ranging from $35 to $60. 

Enjoying a good meal can cost around €10 ($11), while a boat ride with dining can be around €69 ($74).

Featured Image: Balint Erlaki from Getty Images (Canva)

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