Lonely Planet Writer

Take a sneak peek inside Budapest’s Danube front houses this April

If you’ve ever wanted to see Budapest behind closed doors, head over for Budapest100 (from 22 to 23 April), an annual event where buildings across the city open up to the public with a theme in mind.

Building featured at Budapest 100 in 2016
Building featured at Budapest100 in 2016. Image by Jennifer Walker

Originally, this architecture festival celebrated buildings on the 100-year anniversary, but since 2016, the event has morphed to follow a specific theme. The Grand Boulevard became the focal point last year, when public and not-so-public buildings opened their doors to hidden courtyards and interiors, and this year the event hones in on the Danube waterfront.

Varkert Rakpart, Budapest.
Varkert rakpart, Budapest. Image by Jennifer Walker

Some of Budapest’s most iconic sites lie along the Danube, from the Hungarian Parliament to the Chain Bridge, but in April, many commercial, public and apartment buildings will not only offer curious urban explorers a chance to have a peek inside, but there will also be exhibitions, concerts and various displays on show at the buildings spanning the 10km riverside stretch from Rákóczi Bridge to Árpád Híd on both the Buda and Pest sides.

While much of the final programme is to be confirmed, you can see the buildings invited to participate in the event on a map on the festival’s website. While these include some of the city’s iconic buildings like the Hungarian Parliament, the Four Seasons Hotel in the art nouveau Gresham Palace, and the Ottoman era Rudas Baths, it’s usually the hidden places off the beaten track that are worth exploring, so simply take a walk along the Danube and let your curiosity take your fancy – you may find yourself inside some amazing buildings that you wouldn’t get to see on your average trip to the city.

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