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18 iconic buildings you must discover in the city

1. The House of Parliament
The Parliament Building is built in the Gothic Revival style; it has a symmetrical façade and a central dome. The dome is Renaissance Revival architecture. Its interior includes 10 courtyards, 13 passenger and freight elevators, 27 gates, 29 staircases and 691 rooms (which includes more than 200 offices). With its height of 96 m (315 ft), it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest, along with Saint Stephen’s Basilica.

18 interesting facts about the Parliament building

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Hungarian Parliament

1055 Budapest, Kossuth tér 1-3.

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2. The Hungarian State Opera House
The neo-Renaissance opera house located on Andrássy Street, it was designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th-century Hungarian architecture. Construction began in 1875, funded by the city of Budapest and by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, and the new house opened to the public on the 27 September 1884. Many important artists were guests here including the composer Gustav Mahler, who was director in Budapest from 1888 to 1891.

Hungarian State Opera

1061 Budapest, Andrássy út 22.

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3. The Parisian Court
A fusion of Arabic, Moorish, and Gothic styles. The building is the newest gem of Budapest after it’s renovation. The historical building transformed into a 5-star luxury hotel – Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest. Check out our previous article about the building:


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Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest

1052 Budapest, Petőfi Sándor u. 2-4.

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4. The Four Seasons Gresham Palace
The building is an example of Art Nouveau architecture. Completed in 1906 as an office and apartment building, local architects Zsigmond Quittner and Jozsef Vago were comissioned to design the new structure as the site was once occupied by Nákó House, a neo-classical palace built in 1827. In 1904, they began construction of the Gresham Palace, which was completed in 1906 and opened in 1907. It was named after the 16th-century English financier Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal Exchange in London. In 2001, the building was bought by the Irish investment company Quinland Private, they extensively rebuilt the structure as a luxury hotel, restoring such original details as a large staircase, stained glass, mosaics, ironwork, and winter gardens. The hotel reopened in June 2004.

5. Dohány Street Synagogue
The largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world, it seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, with the decoration based chiefly on Islamic models from North Africa and medieval Spain (the Alhambra). The synagogue’s Viennese architect, Ludwig Förster, believed that no distinctively Jewish architecture could be identified, the interior design is partly by Frigyes Feszl.

Dohany Street Great Synagogue and the Hungarian Jewish Museum

1074 Budapest, Dohány utca 2.

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6. The Fisherman’s Bastion
The Bastion was inspired by the architectural style of the early medieval times, it is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style with seven towers. It was built between 1895 and 1902 as part of the series of developments that were to celebrate the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian state. The architect of the Halaszbastya is Frigyes Schulek, who also restored and redesigned the Matthias Church.

Fisherman’s Bastion

1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér

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7. Matthias Church
According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, although no archaeological remains exist. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. It was the second largest church of medieval Buda and the seventh largest church of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom.

Matthias Church

1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2.

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8. Museum of Applied Arts
The museum is the third oldest applied-arts one in the world, the architecture is Art Nouveau. It was built between 1893 and 1896 and was designed by Ödön Lechner. It has a green roof and the interior is designed using Hindu, Mogul, and Islamic designs. The building is currently under renovation until 2020.

Museum of Applied Arts

1091 Budapest, Üllői út. 33-37

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9. Palace of Arts aka MüPa
Designed by Zoboky, Demeter and Partners Architectural Office, the buildingwas built to represent more than a hundred years of Hungarian cultural history. As a conglomeration of cultural venues, the building has no precedent in 20th century Hungarian architecture and has no peers in the whole of Central Europe.

Müpa Budapest

1095 Budapest, Komor Marcell u. 1

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10.The Bálna (CET) Building
The CET shape refers to the smooth and friendly streamlined body of a whale. The new CET development has the potential to put Budapest once again on the map of the world. Name and shape of the CET symbolizes its cultural po­tential and commercial pole position in one of the best preserved cities in the world. The body of the CET landmark building is developed along the flow of the Danube. Its architectural and urban expression evolves with the direction of the flow.


1093 Budapest, Fővám tér 11-12.

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11. The former Parisiana Night Club
In 1909 Béla Lajta designed the Parisiana Club, Paulay Ede utca, Budapest, now New Theatre (Új Színház). The façade is dominated by the greyish marble covering, crowned by a parapet ornamented with cherubs and bronze reliefs. All this was senselessly destroyed in the 1960s, then reconstructed between 1987 and 1990.

12. The former Turkish Bank at Szervita square
The building was built in secession style by Henrik Böhm and Armin Hegedüs in 1906 with a glass and metal facade, the three columns of convex windows enhanced by the reflections of the metal. The most impressive part is the magnificent mosaic by Miksa Roth: named as the “Birth of Hungary”, which represents the protective virgin of Hungary and is honored by all the Hungarian people.

13. Napraforgó Street Bauhaus
The Bauhaus era left behind some very interesting and valuable buildings in Budapest. One of its centres is the inner part of Buda, the Pasarét, which started to infiltrate during the 1930s. In 1931, according to the Stuttgart model, the capital city allowed for an entire street to be built in by various designers József Fischer, Lajos Kozma, Farkas Molnár, Alfréd Hajós and entrepreneurs sensitive to modern architecture. There are altogether 22 villas, with a creek called Devil’s Trench on one side.

14. Central European University
Budapest is a city of courtyards and passageways, the streetscape is repetitive in plot dimension and only slightly varied in parapet height. The contemporary expression of the new building at Nador 15 is designed to be in sympathetic conversation with its neighbours by O’Donnell + Tuomey. The limestone façade is locally sourced from the same quarry as most of the historic buildings in the city. This is the first new building to be built in recent times in this historically protected context.

15. The Miksa Róth Memorial House
Miksa Roth was an Imperial and Royal court glass stainer artist in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Memorial House of Miksa Roth Art Nouveau (and later Art Deco) glass painter showcases beautiful painted glasses, Art Nouveau glass mosaics made by the master and his 15 art assistants as well as the actual home of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco glass master.

Róth Miksa Memorial House

1078 Nefelejcs utca 26.

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16. Manfréd Weiss Pension Fund Building at Margit krt 15-17.
This house is one of the most mesmerising bauhaus building in Budapest, designed by Bela Hofstatter and Ferenc Domany. The time capsule look-alike elevator is a must-try, so cross your fingers for some neighbour to let you in!

17. The stations of the Metro 4 line
Budapest Metro Line M4 has been the largest infrastructure project of the city for the last decades. The architects aimed to provide attractiveness for public transportation through the new aesthetics and high architectural quality of a series of new public spaces in Budapest. During the design process architects made a strong effort to find optimal solutions among the requirements of construction technologies, transport technologies and the creature of artistic architectural spaces. Although the architects used a common architectural language on the whole line, the stations are individual, due to the different physical circumstances and the creativity of the diverse personalities. We can look at the complex as a building of ten wings.

18. The former Paris Department Store
During the 1800s functioning as a location for a downtown casino the building was then home to the Art Nouveau-style Paris Department Store, which opened in 1911 to offer high-class shopping. Nowadays, part of the building hosts the Andrássy Entertainment Center, where the interactive Future Park exhibition is on from the 1st of June. On top of the building a café will be opening soon

Cover photo: Pixabay (Museum of Applied Arts)

Photos: 123rf.com (1., 2., 3., 7., 11., 12., 13., 14., 15., 18.), Kitervezte.hu (4., 5., 10. ), MTI/Beliczay László (6.), CEU/Zoltán Tuba & Dániel Végel (8.), Pixabay (12.), Tamás Bujnovszky via architectforum (12.), Flickr (16.), Press (17.) 

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