Hungarian Parliament (Országház)#6 in Best Things To Do in Budapest
Completed in 1902, the Hungarian Parliament is one of Budapest's most famous landmarks. The Hungarian National Assembly still meets here, but visitors come mainly to take in the building's architecture (primarily Gothic Revival-style) and beautiful statues and paintings. According to many, there is no structure in Hungary that serves as a better symbol of the country's independence and commitment to democracy.
Travelers and locals alike say this structure is a must-see for any visitor's first trip to Budapest. It not only features incredible architectural details but also stunning Danube River views and significant artifacts, such as Hungary's crown jewels. If you're interested in touring the inside, visitors suggest booking well in advance since tours – which are the only way to gain interior access – fill up fast. Photography is permitted during a tour; however, taking pictures inside the Dome Hall (where the crown jewels are located) is not allowed.
The easiest way to get to the Hungarian Parliament, which is in District V's Leopold Town, is via the metro's M2 line (take it to the Kossuth Lajos tér station). Admission to the building will set you back 6,000 forints (about $23.50), but students ages 6 through 24 and EU citizens receive a discount. Each ticket covers a tour and access to restrooms, a cafe, a gift shop and a small museum. English tours are available at 10 a.m., noon, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. daily, with an additional tour offered at 5:45 p.m. every day from April through November. The building itself admits visitors between 8 a.m. and 4 or 6 p.m., depending on the season. For more information, visit the Hungarian Parliament's website.
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#1 Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya)
Located in the historic district of Castle Hill, Fisherman's Bastion is a neo-Gothic terrace that looks like a structure taken straight out of a fairy tale. Designed and built in 1905 by Frigyes Schulek – the same architect who built the adjacent Matthias Church – Fisherman's Bastion is named after the medieval guild of fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.
Visitors say Fisherman's Bastion's gleaming white structure provides panoramic views of the city: From here, you can snap some breathtaking pictures of the Danube River, Margaret Island and Pest. Also save time for exploring the sight's seven ornate turrets, which symbolize the tents of the seven Magyar leaders who settled the Carpathian Basin, ultimately leading to the existence of modern-day Hungary.
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