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DISCOVER GREAT ARCHITECTURE ON THE CITYSIGHTSEEING PURPLE LINE

Ready to discover the beautiful architecture, the best market places, the best bars and restaurants in Budapest? Then City Sightseeing is your No.1 partner. Get on board of one of the purple Hop On Hop Off buses and the hidden treasures of the Hungarian capital will be unveiled. With 16 stops, the Purple Line introduces you to the wonderful architecture of the city.

City Sightseeing’s Purple Line starts at the Buda side of the Chain Bridge. The bridge is famous for the laying lions guarding it on both sides. It is the first steel bridge that connects the historic Buda side and the cosmopolitan Pest side across the river Danube, and was designed by English engineer William Tierney Clark during the Hungarian reform age. The Chain Bridge is a memento to Baron István Széchenyi – also known as The Greatest Hungarian, – the leading figure of the reform movements in the mid-19th century. The bridge had been rebuilt after the bombings of WW2 and was reopened in 1948.

You will find a mid-sized market place at Batthyány Square, named after Count Lajos Battyhány, the first Prime Minister of Hungary. You will find a mid-sized market place here, but also worth taking a look over the Danube as this is one of the best opportunities to take your shot of the Parliament, standing on the Pest side.

The Purple Line will take you through Margaret Bridge to the Pest side, but you should step down from the bus before that to walk into Margaret Island, the “Green Heart of Budapest”. You will find the Melody Fountain and even a small zoo in there, with plenty of green fields where you may just lay down and listen to the birds singing and the distant sound of the City.

Across the bridge you will bump into the Nyugati Railway Station. This beautiful building made of steel, glass and concrete was designed by the French architect Gustave Eiffel – who is most famous for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, – and was built from 1873 to 1877. Another architectural gem of Budapest is the House of Parliament.This iconic neo-gothic/eclectic building was designed by Imre Steindl and built from 1885 to 1904. You can visit the Parliament every day during the Summer season (1st April to 31st October) from 8 am to 6 pm. Should you wish to get some knowledge onHungarian Prime Ministers, as well as on the architectural peculiarities of the Parliament, head to the Visitors Centre underneath it.

The stunning St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of the tallest (main dome is 96 m high) and most famous buildings in Hungary. Built between 1851 and 1906,this neo-renaissance basilica is wearing the name of the founder of the Hungarian state, King St. Stephen (1000-1038) whose cult is living strongly in the memories of Hungarians. Climb the stairs to the tower beside the main entrance for a fantastic bird’s eye view panorama of the City.

As the bus stops at the Chain Bridge again, take a look at the wonderful neo-baroque buildings of the Hungarian Academy of Science (MTA) on Széchenyi Square. You should also visit the Gresham Palace (Four Seasons Hotel) here, a great memento of the Hungarian secessionist architecture, built in 1907 as the headquarters of the Gresham Insurance Company Ltd.

In the middle of the Purple Line tour you will arrive into the heart of the City, Elisabeth Square. You can head into VáciStreet (Váciutca) where you will find plenty of fashion designer shops, as well as bars and restaurants eager to surprise you. Elisabeth Square and the nearby Király Street with Gozsdu Udvar – also known as the “Budapest Soho” – are the centre of the Budapest nightlife, with plenty of music bars and ruin pubs to discover. During daytime, however, it’s better to have a look at Városháza Street where the Budapest City Council is operating from. You may change here to the Red Line buses, too.

The beautiful Synanogue in Dohány Street is the biggest such building in Europe. The Grand Synagogue is playing an active role in the rich cultural life of Budapest, embracing classical music concerts, organ nights and various festivals all year round.

After this the Purple Line bus is taking you to the Keleti Railway Station.This eclectic building was opened in 1884 and was considered to be one of the most advanced railway stations in Europe at the time. Keleti is the busiest railway station in Budapest, welcoming more than 100 pairs of trains every day. After a quick stop at Grand Hotel Hungária the bus is heading to New York Café on Elisabeth Avenue. Have a coffee at one of the oldest cafés of Budapest, complete with their famous home-made pastries.

The bus is taking you through Astoria,where you may step down and take a short walk on Museum Avenue to see the Hungarian National Museum. Not only is it a beautiful classicist-style building (designed in 1836 by the famous Hungarian architect Mihály Pollack), but you may also find exciting exhibitions from time to time there.

Should you get hungry by this time on your trip, you can have a nice meal in one of the tiny restaurants at Ferenciek Square where you can also take pictures with the stunning Klotild Palace and the river Danube in the background.

Crossing the Danube through Elisabeth Bridge once again, the Purple Line tour finishes at the Buda side. You can take a walk in the Castle Garden (Várkert) where open-air concerts are quite frequently given by marching bands. From here you can try the most unique feature of the local public transport system, the Funicular (Budavári sikló) that carries you up to the Buda Castle, where several museums, restaurants and a breathtakingcity panorama is waiting for you.

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