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Three Days Budapest Travel Itinerary

Updated: Jul 5

Hungarian Parliament

Hungarian Parliament

Airport to the Heart of Budapest: Bus is the best way to travel between the Airport and the heart of the city, as taxi ride is expensive. Bus number 100E which leaves from outside the arrival area of airport, goes to Deák Ferenc tér metro station. One way bus ride costs 900 Hungarian Forints which is just over £2.00 and takes around 45 minutes to travel to and from the airport and the city centre.

Time of the Year: May to October is good time to travel. We travelled in October 2021 and got very sunny and dry days! Unfortunately, it was the ‘year of renovations’ (just our take, not official) in Hungary as almost all places were closed, scaffolded or off-limits. Like they say, you cannot have it all!

Travel within the country: Rail system is good, trains are clean and comfortable. Hungarian rail system provides excellent connectivity and runs on time!

Buda Castle, Budapest

River Danube and city of Buda

History of Hungary

Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe, also known as Magyarország, ‘Land of Magyars’. The Magyars were Finno-Ugric people, originating from the Ural region in today’s central Russia who migrated across the Eastern European steppe. It is believed that there were seven Magyar tribes. They settled on the Danube plain in the 9th century after a long migration. Arpad was one the first tribal chieftains, whose descendent was Stephen I, the first ‘Christian’ King of Hungary (recognized by Pope) who in the 10th century expanded Hungarian control over Carpathian basin.

In the 13th century, Hungary was invaded and devastated by the Mongols and by the 15th century the Ottomans attacked, but were defeated at the Siege of Belgrade. However, the Hungarians lost control over most of the country to the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Mohacs in the 16th century. After over 150 years of Ottoman occupation, the Austrian Habsburgs expelled the Turks. In 1848, the Hungarians led a two-year bloody revolution for freedom against the Austrian Habsburgs but lost. But after a few decades with changes in international scenario, Austria agreed to give more ‘power’ to Hungary and 1867 is called the 'year of the compromise' and a rather awkward 'marriage'!

The resulting Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, however, gave a massive boost to the economy, especially in Budapest. Some of the most iconic buildings including the Hungarian Parliament building were erected during this time.

In 1918, at the end of World War I. the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up. The Hungarian republic was proclaimed following a revolution. However just a year later, the Communists took over and waged war on Czechoslovakia and Romania. Romanian forces succeeded in occupying Budapest. The year after in 1920, under the Treaty of Trianon, more than two-thirds of Hungarian territory was awarded to Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. These new borders meant that a third of native Hungarian speakers were now outside the country. This left a bitter resentment in the hearts of the Hungarians and they started to ally with Nazi Germany and Hungary managed to gain some of its lost territory. By 1944, Hungarian Nazis seized power and Hungarian Jews and Gypsies were deported to death camps. However, the year later, Soviet forces drove the Germans out of Hungary and consolidated power under the Soviet occupation. However, following more uprisings, the Soviet forces eventually withdraw from Hungary and democracy was established.

Today Hungary shares its borders with Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia. It is interesting to note that the language Hungarian (Magyar) is unique and not related to any other major European language. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group, meaning its closest relatives are actually Finnish and Estonian.

Budapest, the capital of Hungary has been continuously settled since prehistoric times. Today it is home to one-fifth of the country’s population. It consists of two parts, Buda and Pest, which are situated on opposite banks of the Danube river and connected by a series of bridges. The city, including the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, and Andrássy Avenue, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. It is also good to know that there are 23 districts (kerulet in Hungarian) in Budapest which are numbered clockwise and marked in Roman numerals (I, II, III etc).

We travelled to Hungary in the month of October, during the start of the fall season. This is our three days Budapest travel itinerary

Day 1:

Jewish Quarter

This is where the Jews started settling down in the late 18th century. With the rapid development and urbanization, the Jewish population thrived in Hungary. This created kosher restaurants, synagogues and shops. They were highly integrated into the Hungarian Christian society.

Things took a tragic turn during World War II, when Nazis and Hungarian fascists turned the Jewish Quarter into a ghost town.

Today, there are some remnants of Jewish people and their lifestyle which thanks to tourism has got a new lease of life. Located in the 7th District of Erzsebetvaros, today the place is full of street art, restaurants, cafes and ‘ruin bars’.

Budapest Ruin bar, Szimpla Kert

Ruin bar of Jewish quarter - Szimpla Kert

Szimpla Kert

This is the first and the most iconic ‘ruin bar’ in Jewish quarter. As the name 'ruin bar' suggests, these are pubs or drinking joints inside dilapidated and neglected (ruins) pre-war buildings. These are full of eclectic and quirky décor and furniture creating a very cool and unique ambience.

It is believed that Szimpla Kert started the positive change for the Jewish quarter. The name means ‘Simple Garden’, but this is a place of vibrant and eclectic vibes. It is free to enter and opens up into a courtyard which is essentially the open-air pub, flanked by rooms of various sizes. When you go for the first time, it does feel like a funky maze, where you discover something quirky at every nook and corner. We travelled during the month of October which is not a peak tourist season in Hungary and its capital Budapest, so it wasn’t as crowded as you would expect it to be, so it was fun just having all these artsy, eclectic and fun spaces to walk around and savour!

Budapest Ruin bar, Szimpla Kert

Interior of Szimpla Kert

The place is also home to a Farmers Market every Sunday. The sellers bring their own organic produce - cheese, honey, jam, syrup, vegetables and fruit, meat, freshly picked and dried mushrooms, truffle specialities, spices, sandwich spreads. There is also a brunch on the upper floor with muesli, organic fruit juices, home-made cocoa, tea specialities, coffee and many products from the sellers.

Szimpla Kert is also known for its live concerts. Have a little sneak peek by clicking the link:

Overall, the place has established itself as a true community hub breathing the much needed ‘life’ back into this once vibrant area.

Dohany Synagogue, Budapest Synagogue

The largest Synagogue of Europe - Dohány Synagogue

Dohány Synagogue

There are three synagogues in the Jewish quarters. The Dohány Synagogue is the largest in Europe and second largest in the world after Belz Great Synagogue, in Jerusalem. The Central Synagogue in Manhattan, New York City is almost a replica of the Dohány Street Synagogue.

The synagogue was constructed in the 1850s for the Pest Jewish community. It was constructed in Moorish Revival style by Viennese architect, Ludwig Förster who was also the architect of the synagogue in Tempelgasse in Vienna. He invented this ‘oriental’ style to create something suitable for the Jews. The two tall towers with domes add an imposing element to the facade. The impressive structure of the Torah Ark covers the entire eastern wall. It was designed by the second architect of the synagogue, Frigyes Feszl, Hungarian Romantic style expert.

This became a symbolic building for the Hungarian Jewish community, as the Neologs worked for greater cultural assimilation and modernization of Jewish life, thereby breaking away from traditions as well as Orthodox Jews. Many aspects of the synagogue show this reformist nature.

Dohany Synagogue Budapest

Architecture of Dohány Synagogue

The building itself resembles a mosque from the outside and reminds of a church inside with its aisles and impressive 5,000 pipe organ. This was no co-incidence as a significant proportion of Hungarian Jews (Neolog) were very integrated with the Christian population of Hungary. The synagogue has a seating capacity of almost 3,000. The 'bima', the Torah reading table was moved from the centre and placed in front of the Torah Ark. They delivered their sermons in Hungarian rather than in Yiddish. The services were accompanied by organ music and a choir. However, men and women continued to be seated separately.

The synagogue has a garden which has been used as cemetery for the victims of the Holocaust. This is contrary to Jewish culture. There is a memorial for 10,000 Jewish Hungarian soldiers who lost their lives in WWI and a museum, where you can learn all about the Holocaust and the Budapest Ghetto that existed in this area. In the rear courtyard of the synagogue, is the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park, with a weeping willow tree sculpted by Imre Varga in memory of those who had died or disappeared, their names and tattoo numbers embossed on the metal leaves.

The synagogue was bombed by the Hungarian pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party in 1939 and suffered severe damage from Nazi raids. The small population that survived used it again during the Communist era. Its restoration and renovation started in 1991, financed by the state and by private donations, including some very notable names like that of Estee Lauder.

Budapest St Stephen’s Basilica

The central dome of St Stephen’s Basilica

St Stephen’s Basilica

St Stephen’s Basilica is the largest cathedral in Budapest and with its height of 314 feet or 96 meters it is also the highest building in Budapest. Around 8,500 people can congregate inside this important religious building. It is neoclassical in style and is dedicated to its patron and Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen and his mummified right hand – the Szent Jobb (Holy Right Hand) – is kept in a glass case near the main altar. Entry is free but you need to pay some ‘voluntary’ donation. The view of Budapest from dome or cupola would have been gorgeous but was closed when we visited.

Hungarian Parliament, Budapest

The Hungarian Parliament

Hungarian Parliament

The nomadic Hungarian tribal leaders, and the descendants of prince Arpad used to meet in the open-air to discuss important matters and it wasn’t until the revolution against the Austrians, that noble Hungarians wanted to have a permanent forum for discussing issues of national interest. Since the 18th century, the Hungarian parliamentary sessions were primarily held in what is present day Bratislava, and in Latin, instead of Hungarian, as there was a lack of important words needed for such discussions. This led to the development of a more ‘functional’ Hungarian. This went hand in hand with the desire to have a Hungarian Parliament following the compromise. The location of the new parliament building was selected to be on the Pest side, to offset the presence of the Royal Palace atop the Castle Hill on the Buda side. It took almost 60 years to get the design finalized, the funds organized and the build to be completed.

Hungarian Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament

From the 19 design tenders, the winner was Imre Steindl, a Hungarian architect and his plan was inspired by the English Parliament by the bank of river Thames in London. The building was designed in Gothic Revival style in line with the English Parliament with classic two-chambers for the lower house and the upper house. It is the third largest parliament building in the world (after the Pentagon in US and the Palace of the Parliament in Romania) with 691 rooms, 28 staircases with the spectacular grand stairway to the Dome Hall with eight huge granite columns and stained-glass windows.

The official main entrance of the Hungarian Parliament is on Kossuth square. The main stairs at the entrance on Kossuth Square are flagged by the lion statues, the original lions were destroyed during World War II.

The Shoes on the bank of Danube

The metal Shoes on the bank of Danube

The Shoes on the bank of Danube

The Danube is European continent’s second-longest river, with 1,777 miles and travels from the Black Forest region of Germany and all the way to the Black Sea passing through or beside ten different countries including some of Central and Eastern Europe’s most important cities, such as Vienna, Budapest, and Belgrade.

On the banks of this impressive river in Budapest is a trail of iron footwear – a grim reminder of death just next to the life-giving river.

In October of 1944, Hitler overthrew the leader of the Hungarian government, Miklos Horthy, and replaced him with Ferenc Szalasi, leader of the Arrow Cross Party, a fascist, anti-Semitic group that carried out atrocities on the Jews, expelling nearly 80,000 Jews from Hungary in a death march to the Austrian border. Approximately 20,000 Jews were brutally shot along the banks of the Danube River. The victims were forced to remove their shoes as these were a valuable commodity during World War II. As they were shot, they fell over the edge into the freezing waters of the Danube.

‘Shoes on the Danube’ is a monument created by film director Can Togay and the sculptor, Gyula Pauer. It consists of 60 sculpted pairs of 1940s-style shoes, very similar to the real shoes we had witnessed in Auschwitz in Poland.

Along the memorial, are signs with the following words in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: “To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005.”

Budapest Great Market Hall

Budapest's Great Market Hall

Great Market Hall

Taking inspiration from Western European countries with covered market halls, Budapest saw the creation of the Great Market Hall or the Central Market Hall built at the end of the 19th century.

Also called Nagycsarnok or Vasarcsarnok in Hungarian, the hall was designed by Samu Petz. The building is adorned with colourful Zsolnay tiles and has a wrought-iron structure.

Budapest Great Market Hall

Hungarian sausage and meat shop of Great Market Hall

It is the largest of all Budapest market halls with 3 floors (basement, ground and first) selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, fresh meat and fish, pickles, Hungarian paprika, Tokaj wines, dairy products, handicrafts, embroided clothes, linen and souvenirs. We headed to the second floor for mouth-watering Hungarian cuisines. It was incredibly busy, and we had to wait and queue for the food at the various stalls but it was definitely worth the pain!

Day 2:

We started day 2 in the Budapest’s Castle District which is atop a hill rising from the Danube riverbank. It is one of the oldest sections of the city, with beautiful cobblestoned streets, and magnificent buildings and views.

Fishermans Bastion Budapest

Neo-Gothic architecture of Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion

Located in the 1st district of Budapest, the Fisherman’s Bastion or Halaszbastya was built in the late 19th century as part of a development wave to celebrate the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian state. Therefore, it is not exactly ‘historic’! It was designed by Frigyes Schulek, the architect who built the adjacent Matthias Church in Neo-Gothic style.

The Bastion features seven ornate turrets, each representing one of the seven Magyar tribe chieftains. The term ‘fisherman’s’ is to celebrate the medieval Fisherman’s Guild, who in the medieval times, were responsible for protecting this stretch of the district, where Fisherman’s Bastion now stands. The intention of the Fisherman’s bastion was to provide panoramic views of the city. Looking over the Danube river, the Buda Castle and Castle Hill, it really is a one stop shop for breath-taking views!

The Fisherman’s bastion is open all year, day and night and admission is free, but you will need to pay a small fee to go to the top of the turrets. There is a cafe on the terrace and a chapel in the centre. The best time to get good views and good shots is early in the morning when most people are still on breakfast table!

During World War Two, the Fisherman’s Bastion was damaged during sieges. It was restored by the architect’s son. Today, the Fisherman’s Bastion is part of the city of Budapest UNESCO World Heritage site.

Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion

View of Matthias Church from Fisherman’s Bastion

Matthias Church

The Church is part of the Buda castle complex situated on a hill in the West Bank of the Danube river in front of the Fisherman's Bastion. The bell tower of the Matthias Church is the highest building of the Buda castle complex.

There is one interesting story associated with this church. Like other churches, this building was transformed into a mosque during the Ottoman rule which lasted for almost one and half century. During the 17th century, when Buda, like other parts of Europe was under Ottoman rule, the ‘Holy League’ had formed which was essentially an alliance of European nations to prevent further Ottoman expansion into Europe. This was a key turning point in history as it was successful in diminishing the Ottoman presence in Europe.

So, coming back to the story, during the Siege of Buda which was fought between the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire, a cannon fire caused a wall of the church to collapse revealing an old statue of Virgin Mary to the praying Turks. It is believed that this led to a drop in the morale of the Turks and the city fell on the same day.

Matthias Church Budapest

Inside of Matthias Church

The Church is named after King Matthias Corvinus, who was the King of Hungary and Croatia from mid to end of 15th century. Under his regime, medieval Hungarian Kingdom reached the peak of its power. He had ordered the transformation of its original southern tower.

The church was originally built in the 11th century by the King Stephen in Romanesque style but was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. It was restored and enlarged by King Bela IV in Gothic style in the 14th century. The church was badly damaged during World War II when it was used as a camp by the Germans and Soviets during the Soviet occupation of Hungary. It was restored to its original Gothic glory in the late 19th century by architect Frigyes Schulek with funding from the Hungarian government. He introduced new motifs like the diamond pattern roof with Zsolnay ceramic tiles, gargoyles laden spire, Art Nouveau frescoes and mosaics within.

It is home to the Ecclesiastical Art museum which contains a number of sacred relics and medieval stone carvings, along with replicas of the Hungarian royal crown and coronation jewels.

Buda Castle Budapest

Buda Castle

Buda Castle

The Buda Castle has a nice long history of evolution. King Béla IV started building the castle in the 13th century and it continued to evolve for 300 years. It was changed into a royal residence and saw its golden era under the rule of King Matthias in the 15th century. However, it was significantly damaged when the Ottoman army attacked Budapest. Since then, the castle underwent architectural renovations from Gothic to Baroque and also saw different people inhabiting it.

However, after World War II, it lay in ruins. The Communists stripped a lot of the decorative features. After the economic boom in the 19th century, a lot of money was injected to restore and revive it. Today it has a mix of architectural styles. It has U shape and is comprised of over 200 rooms, with an imposing central dome. In front of the dome, a statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy on his horse stands tall. He is remembered for his fight against the Turks. The castle houses the following:

  • Hungarian National Gallery housed in Buildings A-D

  • The Budapest Castle Museum housed in Buildings E

  • Budapest Castle National Library housed in Buildings F

Budapest Hero’s Square

Hero’s Square - Representing seven Magyar tribe chieftains of Hungary

Hero’s Square

Hero’s Square, lies at the end of Andrassy Avenue, is quite an iconic square with its imposing Millennium Monument. It was built in 1896, to mark the 1000th anniversary of the Magyar conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Architect Albert Schickedanz and sculptor Gyorgy Zala were appointed by the then Prime Minister to create the monument. Other sculptors have also worked on the statues, some of which have been replaced overtime. A magnificent 36 meter high column juts out in the centre adorned with a statue of angel Gabriel, holding the Hungarian crown and a cross. At the base are the seven Magyar chieftains on horses led by Grand Prince Arpad. There are two semi-circular colonnades in beautiful symmetry on each side of the column, with 14 statues of rulers and statesmen.

We also visited the Budapest City Park (Varosliget), which is a short walk from the square.

Vajdahunyad Castle

The castle building complex officially called the ‘Historical Building Complex’ was built in 1896, in the Budapest City Park, to mark the 1000th anniversary of the Magyar conquest of the Carpathian Basin. It was initially built just as a temporary structure in canvas, wooden planks and cardboard for the millennial celebrations! But people liked it so much that it was converted into permanent structure. The name ‘Vajdahunyad Castle’ came into use as this is what the entire ‘building complex’ was referred to by locals residents based on the most prominent part of the complex. The main entrance of the Castle is from the Heroes’ Square, and this gate is called the Bridge Gate (Hidaskapu) flanked by stone lions holding the coat of arms of Budapest.

The castle is surrounded by the water of the boating lake of the City Park (aka Varosliget). There are altogether four bridges leading to the Castle.

Today the Vajdahunyad Castle houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, which has always been the main aspect of this ‘castle’. The design of Ignac Alpar beautifully and seamlessly combines element of different architectural styles seen in Hungary like Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque into one eclectic style in true sense! It is believed to be modelled after Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle) in Transylvania. Other attractions in the castle include the Apostles' Tower and Gatehouse Tower and the nearby Anonymous Statue and Ják Chapel.

The castle has three main parts in terms of architectural style:

Church of Jak Budapest

Gate of Church of Jak

  • Chapel of Jak (Romanesque)

An impressive reproduction of only the gate of the Church of Jak stands here as a representation of Romanesque style of 11th-13th centuries. The Church of Jak located in a small village called Jak in western Hungary is in fact a monumental basilica of the Benedictine monastery. Above the elaborate and extremely intricate and layered tympanum are sculptures of the Twelve Apostles with Christ in the middle. Inside it is a functioning Catholic chapel with religious ceremonies and weddings being held. It was closed when we visited, but the external magnificence is a sight to appreciate.

Vajdahunyad Castle Budapest

The Gothic style of Vajdahunyad Castle

  • Vajdahunyad Castle (Gothic)

This striking Gothic architecture from 14th-15th centuries, derives inspiration from the Corvin (Corvinesti, Huniazilor) Castle in the town of Hunedoara, Transylvania, present day Romania, which was once a part of the Hungarian state (the Austro-Hungarian Empire), called the King of Castles. A fascinating aspect of this castle is the association with ‘Dracula’ written by Bram Stoker which inspired many films, including the Vampire Diaries and Twilight saga. It is believed that Dracula’s character was inspired by the 15th century Transylvanian prince, Vlad III Dracul of Wallachia, also called Vlad the Impaler, who was imprisoned and tortured by Janos Hunyadi, a Hungarian general and governor in (original) Vajdahunyad Castle for years. Vlad was also known for his torture techniques (impaling) towards the Ottoman. It is believed that Bram had derived inspiration from the tales of his Hungarian historian/ traveller friend in his creation of Dracula!

Museum of Agriculture Budapest

Baroque style architecture of the Museum of Agriculture

  • The Baroque palace building – home of the Museum of Agriculture (Renaissance and Baroque)

The Baroque palace building is the replica of Austrian palaces in the Austro-Hungarian empire beautifully combining Renaissance and Baroque elements of the 16th-18th centuries.

The Museum of Agriculture housed in this building is in fact the biggest agricultural museum in Europe. There are 8 permanent exhibitions in the museum with exhibits related to agriculture, wine making etc. When we visited Vajdahunyad Castle there were two exhibitions, one on the evolution of hunting equipment and another displaying of Hungarian and German paintings.

New York cafe Budapest

Impressive interior of New York cafe

Day 3:

Breakfast at New York Café

We think this one café where you spend more time looking up at the ceiling than down on your coffee and cake! Indeed, it is probably one of the most lavish places to grab a cuppa and a slice of cake. Therefore, we decided to do it justice by heading for a relaxed breakfast there as soon as it opened (with prior reservation). We saw the queues building up to ridiculous lengths while we sipped our tea and listened to live piano performance, thanking our meticulous planning!

New York cafe Budapest

Stylish breakfast of New York Cafe

Part of the New York Palace hotel, it feels like sitting in a palatial version of the Sistine Chapel! You cannot but marvel at the exquisite, detailed work, the grandeur and the magnificent proportions of this ‘café’!

The New York Place was originally built over 125 years ago, in eclectic Italian Renaissance style by Alajos Hauszmann, the architect who redesigned Buda Castle. It was built for the New York Life Insurance Company and the café was on the ground floor. It was a popular place among writers and editors. After World War II, it fell into disrepair and it served as a sporting goods shop. Although the café reopened in 1954, under the name of Hungária, but it wasn't until 2001 when the Italian Boscolo Group acquired the building and started a 5 year project which saw the restoration of the café and creation of a five-star luxury hotel in all its splendour!

Szechenyi Spa Bath, Budapest Tharmal Bath

Thermal pools of Szechenyi Spa Bath

Szechenyi Spa Bath

For good reason Budapest is also known as the city of spas! With so many thermal baths from the times of the Celts, the Romans and the Turks, Budapest must have seen a good ‘bathing culture’ history in its natural warm spring waters! Today it is geared towards wellness and fitness and everything in between like the very interesting trance spa parties or Sparties! However you can venture out of Budapest as they say there are over 1000 natural spring water sources in Hungary!

So, we squeezed in a well-deserved bath in the limited time we had at Szechenyi Baths and Pool in the City Park, which one of the largest bath complexes of Europe and extremely popular in Budapest. There are different types of tickets available, and we had pre-booked online.

Szechenyi Spa Bath, Budapest Tharmal Bath

Thermal pools of Szechenyi Spa Bath

It has a very impressive and expansive building, where you can revitalize in the saunas and steam rooms, cold plunge pools, swimming pools, and fun-filled whirlpools which was the top favourite of our 8-year-old son! There are some pools where swimming hats are mandatory and clear signage is displayed, and if you fail to see it in your excitement, you will be pointed to the signage promptly!

The chilly morning was the best setting to immerse ourselves into the warm waters under the sunny and clear blue skies!

Szentendre Budapest

The main square of Szentendre


We took the HEV suburban rail line H5 from Batthyány tér underground station on Buda side of the city to get to Szentendre. It is a small scenic town approximately twenty kilometers to the north of Budapest, on the bend of the Danube River. It seems very ‘instagram’ type, but if you look past the touristy bits, there are indeed some hidden gems to enjoy! It definitely has a very strong Mediterranean vibe to it.

Szentendre Budapest

Cobbled Streets of Szentendre

It was originally part of the Roman Empire as the river was used as the eastern frontier of the Empire. Szentendre at the time was called Ulcisia Castra (Wolf Fortress). However, the nomadic attacks from the other bank of the Danube forced the Romans to leave the city around the 5th century. The century of the migration of nations was interrupted by the Magyars during the 9th century. However, the town was shaped by the several thousand Serbs that migrated in in the late 17th century, followed by ethnic groups from Balkans- Armenians, Bulgarians, greeks, Wallachians and the 'Dalmatians'. They were given refuge by the Habsburg Emperor Leopold I. in the decades to follow, the town of Szentendre the rise of 9 Serbian churches -almost like a Serbian Jerusalem. The Serbs were also instrumental in repairing late medieval churches or constructing new ones. They were also very skilled at painting the life of Christ and were exceptional in copperplate engraving.

No wonder then that the town of Szentendre has in the recent past gained a lot of importance for the Serbs due their contribution in terms of literature and art. Szentendre's first mayor was of Serbian identity who during the 35 years of his worklife, promoted planning projects like the Danube embarkment, street cobbling as well as looking after the needy regardless of their religious of ethnic background. There were an increase in

Today Szentendre is a town of arts and culture with a number of museums and art galleries living up its artistic past.

Szentendre Budapest

Mediterranean vibe of Szentendre

Scattered around the city, you will see 8 crosses of Szentendre Serbs, these were built as special spiritual places and meeting points. This town’s main square is situated in the very heart of Szentendre, and is surrounded by a variety of shops, restaurants and churches. Its cobbled streets lead to many pretty and photograph worthy spots, with an abundance of dainty little shops serving mouth-watering ice-creams, bubble teas and the likes.

The museum of Serb Orthodox Bisphoric of Buda is a must see place, it is located in the garden of the Bishop's Palace, by the Churchyard of the Orthodox Episcopal Cathedral. It was founded in 1964 as a treasury of Orthodox ecclesiastical antiquities in Hungary. It is just a minute away from the main square.

museum of Serb Orthodox Bisphoric of Buda Szentendre
museum of Serb Orthodox Bisphoric of Buda Szentendre

Byzantune style paintings of The museum of Serb Orthodox Bisphoric of Buda

Its modest exteriors definitely create a bit of surprise! It has some extremely beautiful work from the 18th century. Serbian art in this period similar to trends in Europe, did away with the medieval late Byzantine characteristics, and created its own spiritual and artistic identity.

Other places to visit are the Serbian Ecclesiastical Museum, Saint John the Baptist’s Parish Church, Pirk Janos Museum etc.

Before heading back to Budapest, we spent some time at the Danube Waterfront. On our way back though, we were kicked out of the train along with two fellow Finnish travellers as the Budapest Travel card did not cover the last 2 stops to Szentendre. Thoroughly embarrassed and astonished, we managed to get the tickets from the kiosk on the station. While we laughed with the Finnish travellers our 8 year old was very annoyed at the ambiguity of the tickets and was certain that it was Hungarians who were at fault here! Well, we reminded him that this is the fun of travel, to step out of your comfort zone and explore, make mistakes and have a good laugh!

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