Autumn walks in Budapest

Wandering around the city’s leaf-covered streets in the autumn sunshine, visitors can discover a very special side to Budapest. At this time of year, it’s best to explore the city on foot so that you can discover more sights and points of interest along the way.

It is hard to think of anyone visiting Budapest who would not want to visit the Castle District, with its atmospheric buildings and streets hearkening back to historic times. However, you might want to walk to the Castle from the Castle Garden Bazaar rather than via Clark Ádám Square, both to avoid the crowds and to explore Queen Elisabeth’s garden, along with the other highlights of the recently renovated building complex.

The Palace of the Guards is currently hosting an exhibition of painter József Koszta’s works, which offer a glimpse into Hungarian peasant life in the days of yore. An artist recognised throughout Europe, Koszta was a master at depicting the Great Hungarian Plain, its landscape and the minutiae of country life.

At the Southern Palaces, the exhibition entitled ‘A New World Has Been Born – Europe’s fraternal war 1914-1918’ will take you back to the time of World War 1, one of the darkest periods of history, with a display evoking the happy times of peace through wartime enthusiasm and its turn into bitter disillusionment. If you are thinking of visiting both exhibitions, it is worth getting the Budapest Card in advance, since it entitles you to a 30% discount on the entrance fees.

Continuing on in the Castle District proper, it is worth spending some time at the picturesque towers of Fisherman’s Bastion. The neo-Romanesque terrace was built at the turn of the last century and offers the most spectacular view: the full splendour of the Houses of Parliament and the Pest side of the city. With the Budapest Card, you also get a 10% discount here.

Just a few minutes away from Fisherman’s Bastion, you can spot the Mary Magdalene Tower – the only original Gothic building in Budapest open to the public. The mysterious inscriptions inside this 600yearold bell tower will throw you back to days long past; there is also a bronze replica of the coronation robe on display. This unique monument is free to visit with a Budapest Card.

If you want to enjoy the city panorama from above, you can also visit the Margaret Island Water Tower Lookout, which is open to visitors in its fully renovated original splendour from June through September. This iconic building has been towering over the trees on Margaret Island for over 100 years and is dominating the view of Budapest’s largest park. The entry ticket (which can be bought with a 20% discount with Budapest card) entitles you to the stunning view and also to the theatre and city history exhibitions on display inside the tower.

And if your legs are still not too tired, but all this exercise has worked up your appetite, Cityrama – the Eat Hungary Gourmet Walking Tour is an inspired choice. During this English language walking tour, the adventurous can get acquainted with the inner city highlights and Hungarian food specialties such as cheeses, salamis, black and liver puddings, sausages, lángos, craft beer, ‘Túró Rudi’, chimney cake and other delicacies. All this at a 30% discount if you present your Budapest Card.

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