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Budapest, Hungary City Info
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Castle Hill
This central destination is easily visible from everywhere in Budapest. Unfortunately, the hill lacks any truly historical buildings, as every structure was destroyed in the battle between the Soviets and Nazis. Nevertheless, the beautifully reconstructed buildings and streets can occupy an entire day. Reach the top via bus, funicular, or one of the numerous cobblestone paths winding through lush gardens. The central Trinity Square fills with tourists, who are anxious to visit the Romanesque and highly memorable Mátyás templom (Matthias Church).

Historical Museum of Budapest (Budapesti Történeti Múzeum)
Buda Castle, The Royal Palace, building E
2 Szent György square
(36-1) 757-533
(36-1) 558-894
Permanent exhibits include the history of the development of the city of Budapest and archeological items uncovered in various local excavations. Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4/6 p.m. Admission free on Saturdays.

Országház (Parliament Building)
V Kossuth Lajos Tér
(36-1) 319-7520
This magnificent example of architecture is just over 100 years old, but air pollution attacking its porous limestone walls results in the need for continuous restoration. Tours are available when Congress is not in session.

Szepmüveszeti Múzeum (National Museum of Fine Arts)
41 Dózsa György út
(36-1) 343-9759
This museum houses extensive exhibits of antiquities, including Greek, Roman, and Egyptian collections. The most significant exhibit introduces the development of painting in Europe, making the museum one of the best of its kind in Europe. European sculpture includes Italian works dating back to the 4th century, and French, English, German, and Dutch sculpture from the 13th. The highlight is the Horseman sculpture carved by Leonardo da Vinci. The museum also has extensive collections of 19th and 20th century paintings.

Margaret Island (Margitsziget)
Long a religious center, this island now serves as a recreational park in the center of the Danube River. Walking along the length of the island takes 20 minutes, but you will want to spend more time in the Hajós Alfréd pool complex. Visitors enjoy the outdoor pool, a diving pool, children's pool, and thermal hot baths. If it is too cool to splash around, an island tour may be of interest. The tour introduces relics of the island's religious heritage, and the 12th century Premonstratensian Chapel. During the summer months, it is possible to rent bicycles and hire horse-drawn buggies. Since vehicular traffic is prohibited, the island is a fantastic escape from the bustle of the big city.

Thermal Baths
Budapest is the largest spa town in Europe, boasting over 120 springs. Locals and visitors alike use the spas for their reputed healing properties. Prehistoric people were the first to use them and later the Romans developed basic bathing rituals. Magyars elaborated upon the tradition for roughly 800 years, but the spas reached their pinnacle under the Ottomans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is still possible to see the original domes and pools, but most have been modified and modernized. The spas have everything the visitor may need, including towels and swimsuits (however, it is best to bring your own). Prices are low. An hour or two is usually sufficient. Showers are provided. Massages are available.

Széchenyi Lánchid (Chain Bridge)
Spanning the Danube between I Clark Adám Tér and V Roosevelt Tér
This bridge was the first to permanently connect Buda and Pest. The engineer Adam Clark completed the span in 1849.


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