Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, has a strange appeal, brought about by the Western economic and political system and the after effects of the long and distinct period of communism. If you are planning to visit Budapest, here is a list of the top main places that you should not miss.

  1. The Chain Bridge

chain bridge

Chain bridge in Budapest at night.

It is a 375m long, 16m wide suspension bridge that harnesses together the two cities that were formerly separated by the Danube: Buda and Pest. The very first bridge in Budapest, the Chain Bridge got its name from the huge chains that connect the 2 towers of the bridge.

  1. St. Stephen’s Basilica

This great landmark took 50 years to build and in it are many exquisite watercolor paintings on wet plaster, statues, mosaics and aesthetically pleasing altar pieces. The basilica can hold as many as 8,500 worshippers.

  1. Central Market

This is Budapest’s largest indoor market and also the largest of the 5 similarly built markets in Hungary. It has spaces for fish, meat, cheese and some of the cheap eats, souvenirs like handicraft and embroidery items, an Asian store, a small pharmacy and a supermarket.

  1. House of Parliament

This 112 years old building houses Hungary’s Lower and Upper Houses, the offices of the Prime Minister and the President of the Hungarian Republic and other offices. The House of Parliament is the third largest in the world.

  1. National Opera House

The building, with 7 kilograms of gold and hundreds of statues in its design, hosts ballet and opera performances, as well as several annual festivals.

  1. Fisherman’s Bastion

It is a defense site that was constructed more to impress than to protect. The terraces were used as observation posts to see the views, same as what tourists are doing today.

  1. National Gallery

This is the museum that contains the largest collection of Hungarian fine arts: 6,000 paintings, 11,000 drawings, 2,100 sculptures, 5,000 prints and continue to expand.

  1. Matthias Church

This is also called the Church of Our Lady or Nagyboldogasszony Templom. The best way to see this church where the tombs of King Bela III are located is by foot or by bike.

  1. National Museum

It is housed in an exclusive neo-classical building and emphasizes the art, history and archaeology of Hungary. This is also the oldest museum of the country.

  1. Heroes’ Square

The largest public square, the Heroes Square is within easy reach through the Heroes’ Square Underground Station, one of the world’s oldest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.