Day Trips from Budapest
Budapest is a fascinating and vibrant city, but there is plenty more to see in the coutryside beyond. The most obvious tours are to the artists’ colony in picturesque Szentendre and the famous Danube Bend, taking in the former religious centres of Esztergom and Visegrád to the North, all of which can be reached by boat. The small town of Gödöllö, just 30 km east of Budapest, is the site of Hungary’s largest Baroque mansion and a great location for a concert and a picnic on the grounds. The HÉV (urban railway) will take you there from Örs Vezér tér.
with its colourful houses, narrow alleys and two- dozen museums, is the most frequently visited tourist centre along the Danube. This Mediterranean-like town is the home of Serbs who fled from the Turks and settled there in the 14th-17th centuries. Seven church towers rise high in the sky. Four of them belong to the Orthodox Church. Icons, works of gold and silversmiths and other treasures are found in the Serb Orthodox Church Museum. The 13th-14th century Roman Catholic Parish Church stands on the Castle Hill, a sun-dial on its wall tells the time. For the tourist who is looking for nostalgia, there are shops, restaurants, trade signs, the ancient buildings of the Main Square, and the house ornaments.
The Kovács Margit Museum
is a tiny jewel-box. Its charming ceramic figures are visions of goodness, beauty and humanity.
The works of the most talented artistic family of 19th century Hungary, Károly Ferenczy, his wife and his children, can be seen in the Ferenczy Museum
. The Gallery of Szentendre in the former 18th century Serb merchant house and the Gallery of the Artists' Colony exhibit the works of the town's contemporary artists. The Szabó Marzipan Museum
offers fantasies made of marzipan, while the Dobos Confectionery Museum introduces visitors to the true Dobos Cake.
The ethnography of Pest County is shown in the House of Folk Art. Antiquities from the Roman town of Ulcisia Castra (1st to 4th centuries) can be seen in the Museum of Roman Stonework Remains. The open-air Ethnographic Museum (or Skanzen)
has the largest ethnographic collection in Hungary with 340 buildings in 10 sections. Folk monuments worth preserving are transported here from all over the country. Demonstrations of folk handicrafts are held on weekends and "notable days" of Hungarian folk culture are celebrated.
is rich with natural and historic attractions. There are sites at three heights: the Main Street, the Solomon Tower and the Castle on the top of the hill. The latter offers a wonderful view of the Danube Bend.
The Palace of the great Renaissance ruler, King Mathias (1458-1490), was ornamented with red marble fountains. In a marvellous environment, this huge two-story building was one of the most luxurious royal residences of its time. The Renaissance court of the palace, and the Hercules Fountain that streams wine on holidays were authentically reconstructed by archaeologists. Nearby the five-story Solomon Tower is among the oldest and most intact Romanesque dwelling towers of Central Europe. Battle scenes are re-enacted in its yard during summer.
is the seat of the Roman Catholic Primate of Hungary. The Cathedral is the largest church in the country. Rebuilt in the 19th century in classical style, it has the largest altar-piece in the world painted on a single piece of canvas. The famous Bakócz Chapel was built of red marble at the beginning of the 16th century. The Cathedral Treasury holds the richest collection of Hungarian ecclesiastical treasures. The Romanesque Royal Palace with the royal oratory, the frescoed castle chapel and the rose-window are in the neighbourhood of the Basilica. The Christian Museum is located in the Primate's Palace. Treasures of medieval Hungarian art and early Renaissance Italian paintings are preserved here.
the 250-year-old Royal Mansion
is one of the largest palaces in the country and is a significant work of Hungarian Baroque architecture. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy's ruling couple, Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Queen Elizabeth (known as Sissi) frequently stayed here. Most of the building has been restored to its former glory. Classical concerts and major festivals are organized in the state room and the ceremonial court of the palace.
Pilis and Börzsöny Highlands
The hills around the Danube to the north of Budapest are a perfect escape from the traffic and noise of Budapest and offer a natural world easily accessible by HÉV for day-trippers looking to stretch their legs. The colours of Autumn enhance the rolling woodlands further and sharp-eyed visitors have a good chance of glimpsing a deer or wild boar.
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