Europe's most underrated big city, Budapest is a unique metropolis at the heart of a unique nation. Here you'll find a mix of experiences unlike any other you'll find in Europe: Feel your stress ebb away as you soak in hundred-degree water, surrounded by opulent Baroque domes (and happy Hungarians). Ogle richly decorated interiors that evoke a proud nation's bygone glory days. Take an after-dinner stroll along the Danube, immersed in a grand city that's bathed in floodlights. And be ready to fall in love with Budapest as much for its flaws as for its distinctive personality.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Széchenyi Baths Budapest's steamy soaking scene in City Park — the city's single best attraction.
▲▲ Hungarian Parliament Vast riverside government center with remarkable interior.
▲▲ Great Market Hall Colorful Old World mall with produce, eateries, souvenirs, and great people-watching.
▲▲ Great Synagogue The world's second-largest, with fancy interior, good museum, and memorial garden.
▲▲ Hungarian State Opera House Neo-Renaissance splendor and affordable opera.
▲▲ House of Terror Harrowing remembrance of Nazis and communist secret police in former headquarters/torture site.
▲▲ Heroes' Square Mammoth tribute to Hungary's historic figures, fronted by art museums.
▲▲ House of Music Hungary Boldly modern building in City Park with a stirring, interactive exhibit about Hungarian and world music.
▲▲ City Park Budapest's backyard, with Art Nouveau zoo, Transylvanian Vajdahunyad Castle replica, amusement park, and Széchenyi Baths.
▲▲ Vajdahunyad Castle Epcot-like replica of a Transylvanian castle and other historical buildings.
▲▲ Holocaust Memorial Center Excellent memorial and museum honoring Hungarian victims of the Holocaust.
▲ St. István's Basilica Budapest's largest church, with a saint's withered fist and great city views.
▲ Hungarian National Museum Expansive collection of fragments from Hungary's history.
▲ Rumbach Street Synagogue Moorish-style synagogue with a grand interior, balcony views, and an exhibit on Hungarian Jews.
▲ Margaret Island Budapest's traffic-free urban playground, with spas, ruins, gardens, a game farm, and fountains, set in the middle of the Danube.
▲ Zwack Museum Venerable Zwack family distillery and samples of Hungary’s favorite liquor, Unicum.
▲▲ Matthias Church Landmark Neo-Gothic church with gilded history-book interior and revered 16th-century statue of Mary and Jesus.
▲▲ Gellért Baths Touristy baths in historic Buda hotel.
▲▲ Rudas Baths Series of hot-water pools under a half-millennium-old Turkish dome.
▲▲ Memento Park Larger-than-life communist statues collected in one park, on the outskirts of town.
▲ Hungarian National Gallery Top works by Hungarian artists, housed in the Royal Palace.
▲ Hospital in the Rock and Nuclear Bunker Fascinating underground network of hospital and bomb-shelter corridors from World War II and the Cold War.
▲ Castle Park (Várkert Bázar) Lovely Neo-Renaissance people zone between the Danube riverbank and the Royal Palace.
▲ Vasarely Museum Two floors of eye-popping, colorful paintings by Victor Vasarely, the founder of Op Art.
▲ Imre Varga Collection Evocative works by Hungary's top sculptor, some displayed in a fine sculpture garden.