Few people visit Budapest without getting at least one amazing view, usually from a high point. Providing skies are relatively clear and there are less crowds depending on the time of the day, here’s where to go for the best panoramic views of the city. Just don’t forget your camera!
Gellért Hill (Gellért-hegy)
Visible from almost everywhere in Budapest, this rocky hill features the Freedom Monument and Citadella on its peak. You can get great views of the city by walking along the pathways and trails but the view from the Citadella is most outstanding. The hill takes its name from a bishop who took the mission of converting pagan Magyars but was killed, according to legend, by heathens that rolled him off the hillside in a barrel.
Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)
Frigyes Schulek designed this impressive Neo-Romanesque monument to the Guild of Fisherman between 1895 and 1902. It occupies the site of Buda’s old defensive walls and a medieval square where fish were once sold. From the towers and the terrace, you can get great views of the Danube, Margaret Island, Parliament, and the Chain Bridge.
St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika)
This church is said to be second in size only to St. Peter’s in Rome and can allegedly hold 7,000 people. It is named in honor of St. Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c 975–1038), whose mummified fist is housed in the reliquary. A trip to the top of the dome will provide you a panoramic view of Budapest from a great vantage point. You can access the dome by elevator, or if you are feeling energetic by climbing 364 stairs.
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Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd)
Completed in 1849, the Chain Bridge was the first bridge built across the Danube, linking the Buda and Pest side together. It is named after its initiator, István Széchenyi, but was actually built by Scotsman Adam Clark. Walking along the bridge can be an unforgettable experience especially at night when it is lit up. From here you can get stunning views of Buda Castle and its surroundings.
Water Tower on Margaret Island (Margitsziget)
Erected in 1911 in the north-central part of Margaret Island, this octagonal water tower rises 66 meters above an open-air theatre, which is used for opera, plays and concerts in the summer. At the top of the cupola terrace you can get a 360-degree view of the island, Buda and Pest.
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Suzanne Urpecz, creator and editor of The Hungarian Girl. Click on my About page for more info.