Budapest in detail

Budapest is known for

Classical Music

Liszt Music Academy The extravagant art nouveau interior of Budapest’s most important classical-music venue is worth a look, even if you’re not attending a performance here.

Palace of Arts The two concert halls at this palatial arts centre by the Danube both have near-perfect acoustics.

Matthias Church Some of the best organ recitals can be heard in the city’s many churches, including this landmark one on Castle Hill.

Ferenc Liszt Memorial Museum The great composer lived here until his death in 1886; Saturday-morning concerts are now held here.

Béla Bartók Memorial House This lovely house in the Buda Hills is a temple to the great composer, his life and work.

Rózsavölgyi és Társa An excellent and very central classical-music shop, with CDs, DVDs and sheet music.

Hungarian State Opera House Pay at least one visit both to see a production and admire the incredibly rich decoration inside.

Art Nouveau

Royal Postal Savings Bank This extravaganza of floral mosaics, folk motifs and ceramic figures is one of Budapest’s most extravagant Secessionist (art nouveau) buildings.

Bedő House (House of Hungarian Art Nouveau) A stunning art nouveau apartment block containing a museum dedicated to Hungarian art nouveau furnishings and bric-a-brac.

Museum of Applied Arts This 1896 museum is faced and roofed in Zsolnay ceramic tiles, with ‘Mogul-style’ turrets, domes and ornamental figures.

Lindenbaum House The first Budapest building to use art nouveau ornamentation, including suns, stars, peacocks and flowers, on its facade.

National Institute for the Blind An extravagant art nouveau building near City Park; the Institute of Geology, south of the park, is another.

Kőrössy Villa Delightful villa (1899) just west of City Park is considered master architect Kálmán Albert Körössy's most extravagant work of French art nouveau.

Parks & Gardens

City Park Enormous City Park is filled with (mostly paid) attractions, but entry to the park is free.

Japanese Garden Margaret Island is replete with gardens, including this one with bamboo, Japanese maples and koi-filled pond.

Buda Hills A magnet for hikers, the Buda Hills also contain a number of nature reserves.

Budapest Zoo Not just a menagerie but a botanical garden too, with a Japanese Garden and Palm House.

Károly Garden The oldest public garden in the city is hidden deep in the Inner Town.

Szabadság tér Surrounded by grandiose buildings, the gardens in this huge square are a peaceful spot to linger in.

Jewish Heritage

Great Synagogue This enormous synagogue is one of three located in what many still call the getto (ghetto) of Erzsébetváros.

Hungarian Jewish Museum & Archives Rich collection of Judaica dating back to the 3rd century AD, within an annexe of the Great Synagogue.

Fröhlich Cukrászda This kosher cake shop and cafe makes and sells old Jewish favourites like flódni and mákos kifli.

Holocaust Memorial Center This harrowing exhibition traces the rise of anti-Semitism in Hungary and the genocide of Hungary’s Jewish and Roma communities.

Spinoza Café One of the few places to hear live klezmer (traditional Jewish music) on a Friday night.

Orthodox Synagogue It's not a patch on the Great Synagogue but Budapest's 'second' temple has late art nouveau touches and copies of stained-glass windows designed by Miksa Róth.

Folk Culture

Hungarian Open-Air Ethnographical Museum This huge outdoor museum in Szentendre is an easy day trip from Budapest.

Aranytíz House of Culture One of the best ways to appreciate folk culture is at a traditional táncház‘ (dance house) such as the one held here on Saturday.

Memories of Hungary A good choice for souvenirs and gifts, this place has Hungarian handicrafts, local foodstuffs and wine.

Urban Betyár Ethnographical Visitors Centre This little museum attached to a restaurant is an excellent place to acquaint yourself with Hungarian rural life in the 19th and early 20th centuries through original artefacts and modern interactive displays.

Budapest Festival of Folk Arts This three-day event in the Castle District in August is a great place for admiring (and perhaps purchasing) the work of artisans from all over Hungary.

Communist Heritage

Memento Park Nothing beats this socialist trash heap in south Buda for recalling the bad old days.

Pántlika This time-warp cafe in City Park is housed in a communist-era kiosk dating back to the 1970s.

Museum of Military History This sword-rattling place has a facsimile of the electrified fence that once separated Hungary from Austria.

Bambi Eszpresszó Bambi still has all the hallmarks of the socialist past, including linoleum floor and fake leather seats.

Kerepes Cemetery The good and not-so-great buried here include János Kádár; Plot 21 contains graves of 1956 Uprising victims.

Free Stuff

Heroes' Square An impressive site providing fantastic views down leafy Andrássy út.

Kerepes Cemetery This well-preserved cemetery is well worth a wander.

Kossuth Lajos tér Three exhibitions here look at 1956, original stonework of Parliament and the history of Hungarian law-making.

Liberty Monument This 14m-high statue sits on gorgeous Gellért Hill.

Nagycsarnok Budapest's biggest market.

Castle Garden Bazaar Renovated pleasure garden below Castle Hill.