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A Visual Guide: The Best Of Budapest Architecture

Photo: Willie Gevertz

Budapest brims with beautiful buildings of every style. From neo-gothic churches to Ottoman bathhouses, the largest synagogue in Europe and even ordinary flats. No matter what your taste may be you will fall in love with something here. This visual guide to the best Budapest architecture covers some of the most notable buildings in the city, including several that are always overlooked for one reason or another. We’ve also listed some of our favourite bars, cafes and restaurants in the vicinity of these magnificent structures.

Buda Castle

Date Completed: 1879
Architect: Miklós Ybl
Style: Baroque Revival


Photo: Willie Gevertz

One of the best buildings in Budapest to photograph from a distance. The Castle was ruined in the war and rebuilt during the communist era so the edifice does not have the luxurious grandeur of some of the older buildings in Budapest. Nonetheless, its baroque edifice cuts a striking silhouette at any time of day.


Photo: Willie Gevertz


Photo: Willie Gevertz

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Czakó Kert is lovely outdoor bistro with great ice cream just up the hill from the Elizabeth Bridge on the Buda side. You will find it close to the last view on this set of images, an angle that is usually missed by visitors.

Párisi Udvar

Date Completed: 1913
Architect: Henrik Schmahl
Style: Eclectic

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Originally built in the eclectic style by German architect Henrik Schmahl, renovations on this striking building were finally completed earlier this year and the result is tremendous. It’s difficult to decide what’s more spectacular, the gleaming Zsolnay tiling on the facade or the luminous glass and crystal work inside.

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Csendes is a grungy, chaotic mish-mash of plastic toys and old furniture. It’s an atmospheric bar with decent food and will save you the hassle of heading to a ruin bar with loads of annoying tourists taking pictures. On the edge of the picturesque Károlyi Garden.

Szent Erzsébet Church

Date Completed: 1901
Architect: Imre Steindl
Style: Neo-Gothic

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

A building often overlooked building by tourists, this Neo-Gothic church is tucked away on Rózsák tere in the upper end of District VII. The architect, Imre Steindl, also designed Parliament and this hidden gem is another example of his flair for the dramatic.


Photo: Willie Gevertz

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Freyja is a one-of-a-kind shop that is completely and utterly dedicated to the art of croissant making. Great coffee and delicious pastries filled with gourmet ingredients such as duck liver, prosciutto and fig jam. 

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Date Completed: 1913
Architect: Győző Czigler
Style: Baroque Revival


Photo: Willie Gevertz

Széchenyi is Budapest’s palatial bathhouse, which we featured in our Guide to Budapest Bathhouses. Though its usually packed to the gills and far from the cheapest thermal option, the building itself is one of the best examples of neo-baroque architecture in Budapest. Even if you aren’t headed inside, it is a must-stop spot while wandering around the Városliget at the upper end of Andrássy út.

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local TipBudapest is stuffed with Vietnamese restaurants with Vin Vin City, a restaurant on the upper end of Andrássy, being one of the best. They do a wonderful bowl of Pho here, a perfect option following a soak in the baths. 

Dohány Synagogue

Date Completed: 1859
Architect: Ludwig Förster
Style: Moorish Revival

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

This breathtaking complex is the largest synagogue in all of Europe and its design is all it’s own. Its German-born, Jewish architect Ludwig Förster based many of the structural elements on the Alhambra in Granada. A truly unique building that serves as a monument to the beautiful and tragic history of Jews in Budapest.


Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Barside is A top-class cocktail lounge. The skinny space is stocked with premium liquors and whoever is running the bar will be able to concoct something unique based on your taste preferences. 

Anker Palota

Date Completed: 1908
Architect: Ignác Alpár
Style: Eclectic

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Designed in the eclectic style and completed just a few years before the first World War. It’s prominent Doric columns and signature mustard yellow hue are an idiosyncratic component of the Budapest cityscape. There is plenty of dilapidation on the face of the building creating wabi-sabi, worn down aesthetic; a theme that runs throughout the city.

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Hachipuri serves top-notch Georgian food and wine that will blow your socks off. A great option for a group dinner that will lead you on a culinary experience through the Caucuses and around the Black Sea.

St Iztván’s Basilica

Date Completed: 1905
Architect: Miklós Ybl
Style: Neo-Renaissance

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Unfortunately, Miklós Ybl didn’t live to see the completion of his marvel, passing away 14 years before completion, but the work was completed according to his sensational plans. St. Stephen’s, as it is also known, is most famous for its 96-meter high dome (the same height as the dome on Parliament), a tribute to the Magyar conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 896.

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Gelarto Rosa is an ice cream shop that literally stands in the shadow of the basilica. They scoop your cone in a rose shape which makes for the perfect Instagram photo if that’s your sort of thing.

Keleti Railway Station

Date Completed: 1884
Architect: Gyula Rochlitz
Style: Eclectic

While the Nyugati (Western) railway station often steals the plaudits, the Keleti (Eastern) station is no less significant. Similarly to many of the beautiful buildings in Budapest, Keleti was commissioned during the late 19th century; the last hurrah of Austria-Hungary.


Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Guri Serház Keleti is a real hidden gem of a craft beer bar with a cosy interior, 20 frothy brews on tap and a selection snacks on offer. From sausages and delicious pastries, which are freshly baked on-site.

Hungarian Parliament Building

Date Completed: 1904
Architect: Imre Steindl
Style: Neo-Gothic


Photo: Willie Gevertz

In many ways, this building is synonymous with Budapest. Architect Imre Steindl took inspiration from Westminster, the British parliament building, but ended up building something totally unique. A surreal example of architectural grandeur that looks amazing no matter where you view it from. Despite this, it is a difficult building to photograph due to the angles of the river bank and numerous visual obstructions.


Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Coyote Coffee and Deli is a coffee shop and deli beloved by locals with a good selection of wines, fruity tea options and a collection of delicious pastries baked fresh each day. If you walk from the shop to the river you will get an ideal view of Parliament.

Mátyás Church

Date Completed: 1896
Architect: Frigyes Schulek
Style: Neo-Gothic

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

The building is far older than the 1896 completion date listed above, with some sources saying that a church has been on this site since the days of St. Stephen in 1015. The current structure was erected by King Mátyás during the Hungarian golden age at the tail end of the 14th century. Renovated in time for the 1896 Millennial Exhibition, the current structure is awe-inspiring, featuring a rooftop coated in beautiful tiling from the Zsolnay factory in Pécs.

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: You won’t really find any options that aren’t overpriced in the Castle District itself so wander downhill a bit and head to Bereg Embassy Bar and Cafe. It’s in the courtyard of the bizarre Swan House building, offering a daily menu of comforting Hungarian food with lots of local drinks.

Király Thermal Bath

Date Completed: 1565
Architect: Arszlan Pasha
Style: Ottoman

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

As featured in our Guide to Budapest Bathhouses, the Király bathhouse is a squat building on the Buda side of the city between the Margaret Bridge and the Chain Bridge. It’s the oldest bathhouse in the city and one of the only remaining structures that date back to the forgotten Ottoman era in Budapest. The smallest building on this list, but also the most enchanting, particularly once inside.

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

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Photo: Willie Gevertz

Local Tip: Főnix Presszó is an awesome dive bar sitting just beside Király. No frills, but you will be sure to meet some locals here. A cold Arany Ászok with an icy shot of Unicum makes for the perfect pre-bath buzz.

This is just a taster of the astonishing Budapest architecture, stay tuned as we have some more beautiful buildings for you to explore on your next trip to the pearl of the Danube. In the meanwhile make sure to download the Like Locals app to uncover the very best hidden gems in Budapest. Available for free on iOS and Android devices. Oh, and if you love these photos, then check out more pics by Willie, the man behind the lens, on Instagram

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