E.N. Story


Fishermen’s Bastion

A dreamy construction from the 19th century that looks like a small castle, due to its towers, arches, stairways and statues. Some claim that the bastion got its name after the fishermen that used to live there and protected the walls in case of an attack, while others suggest that the bastion owes its name to the fish market that once stood there. What (literally) strikes you right away about this place is the blinding sunlight that falls onto its white towers. Aside from its architecture, it is also known for its amazing, panoramic view of the city. It’s worth mentioning that there is a small fee for the towers’ highest point, but it’s free anywhere else and offers pretty much the same view. The Bastion is brighter and prettier in the morning, thus it attracts more people during those hours, but at night entrance is free everywhere, it’s less crowded and the sight of Pest dressed in its night lights is very romantic! The choice is yours…

Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: General Free entrance. 2.5€ for the top for adults & 1.5€ for retirees/children 6- from the EU, everyday 09:00-20:00 (free after that).

 The know it all says: The seven towers symbolize the seven Magyar tribes that settled in Hungary in 896!

St. Matthias Church

This bright white church blends perfectly with the bastion’s towers. But what make it stand out in this white background are the ceramic tiles that decorate its roof! A distinctive work of art that instantly catches everyone’s eye! As far as its interior is concerned, if you expect to see a church like any other, you might be disappointed! It is decorated with colorful patterns, wall paintings, statues and stained glass windows that compose an ecstatic scene, even when there is little or no natural light! It’s worth mentioning that the church was built in 1255, but most of its parts look nothing like they did back then. It operated as a mosque for a few years, so many of its previous wall paintings were covered up, just like in the Hagia Sofia of Istanbul.

Suggested visit time: 40-50 minutes
Open: Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00, Saturday 09:00-13:00 & Sunday 13:00-17:00 (The church’s schedule and open hours may change, depending on religious events. Get informed by the church’s official website.)
Cost: Entrance: 5€ for adults, 3€ for retirees/children 6+ from the EU, free for children under the age of 6. Bell tower: 5€ for adults, 3€ for retirees/children 6+ from the EU, free for children under the age of 6.

 The know it all says: The church’s roof is covered by 2.500 m² of ceramic tiles, which translates into 149.500 separate pieces?!

Budapest’s Thermal Baths

No matter the weather, pack your swimsuit, flip-flops and swim cap* and get ready to relax and wish all your troubles away in the City of Spas, as Budapest is officially called since 1943! The most famous are the Gellert and Széchenyi Spas. The first ones stand out because of their interior design; a wonderful glass dome, art nouveau decoration and colorful mosaic leave no-one unmoved! The water’s temperature in the interior baths reaches 40°C, while the outdoor pools’ (small-large) temperature can be up to 36°C. The Szechenyi Baths, on the other hand, are Europe’s spa-flagship (they are the biggest), offering lots of options, with temperatures reaching 38°C in the water and 95°C (!) in the sauna rooms! If it’s snowing, then the best time to visit the three outdoor pools is at night. Can you imagine?…Outdoor temperature at -2°C, water temperature at 36-38°C, only a few people, quiet, low lighting and snow falling! This is what dreams are made of! There are a lot of spas in Budapest, the most well-known being Kiraly, Dagaly, Lucaks and Palatinus Beach (Margaret Island).

*If you don’t bring one with you, you will have to rent or buy one and they are pretty expensive. Swimming caps are necessary, if you want to get in the pools.

Suggested visit time: 3-4 hours
Open: Gellert Baths: 06:00-20:00 everyday. Szechenyi: Outdoor pools: Monday-Sunday 06:00-22:00, Baths: Monday-Sunday 06:00-19:00.
Κόστος: Gellert Baths: 17€ for the whole day, including a locker, on weekdays, 18€ on weekends. Szechenyi: 15€ for the whole day, including a locker, on weekdays, 16€ on weekends.

 The know it all says: On a daily basis, there are 70 million liters of thermal water, ranging between 21-78C° that pours out of the 118 natural springs!

Cruise in the Danube River

Cruising through the Danube River is a great way to meet Budapest. The various agencies offer all sorts of options* and await to take you on a cruise in Danube’s waters. This means that you can choose a cruise depending on the schedule, time, commodities and prices that best float your boat, so to speak! In any case, you will pass under the famous chain bridge and admire the imposing Parliament Building, the dream-like castle, the Fishermen’s Bastion, the Gellert Hill and Monument, from a different point of view. In our opinion, the most ideal time to take the cruise would be in the evening, when everything is dressed in shimmering light and the reflections give life to the river’s waters, making your cruise all that more romantic!

*Morning, afternoon or evening cruises, including a meal or not, including a drink or not, including a tour or not, group cruises or private ones.

Suggested visit time: 1-2 hours
Open: 11:00-21:00 during winter months & 11:00-23:00 during summer months.
Cost: 18€ for adults & 15€ for children/students.

 The know it all says: 1/3 of Danube’s overall length crosses Hungary!

House of Terror

Among the harmony and cohesion of the surrounding buildings, what gives it away is its entablature with the word “TERROR” perforated on it. Don’t get fooled by its name into thinking that it’s another dungeon-type museum. It’s a museum of actual terror, where people that were captured during the fascist and communist regimes lived. The building operated as a prison, where tortures and executions used to take place. Nowadays, it’s a memorial for the people that lived through these horrific incidents. The most chilling of all the displays is the room made of soap that serves as a true reminder of the horrors that took place during those time periods. Although there was a lot of audiovisual material, the museum’s theme presentation and structure could really use some upgrades. Still, you can spend some time in the museum, if you are in the mood, so you can learn more about some of the grimmest periods of Hungary’s history.

Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00
Cost: Adults 6€, children 6+/students/university students/retirees 3€, free for ages 6- and 70+. Audio Guide (English-German): 4.5€

 The know it all says: The only room that exists in its genuine form is room 104, where tortures used to take place.

Museum of Fine Arts

The museum of Fine Arts is located in the Heroes’ Square area. This imposing building, with its show-stopping Corinthian columns, owes its architectural form to the ancient Greek temples. But, as you step inside you will notice that its interior design, full of arches, colorful patterns and wall paintings, is heavily influenced by the Italian Renaissance. The museum, apart from its permanent exhibition, also displays a temporary one, which is charged separately. The museum’s permanent collection is comprised of more than 100.000 (!) works of art, including sculptures and treasures, as well as artworks of international fame. Furthermore, the exhibition of artworks by the renowned Greek painter El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) is also very impressive! The temporary exhibition* includes facts and secrets about the life and customs of ancient Egyptians, the process of mummification and their burial rituals. The display was perfectly completed by a 3D short film. It is definitely worth visiting the museum and enjoying this complete experience!

*It changes regularly, so you might get to see another theme.

Suggested visit time: 1.5-2 hours
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-17:30
(The museum will remain closed, due to renovations, until March of 2018.)
Cost: 6€ for the permanent & 6.5€ for the temporary collection for adults, 3€ for students/university students, free for ages 6- and 70+.

 The know it all says: The museum’s Egyptian collection is the second largest in central Europe!

The Great Synagogue

Walking down Dohany Street, it’s really hard not to notice the unconventional beauty of the Jewish Synagogue. You will be truly impressed by the building’s structure, history and architecture. On the outside, the two large black domes, highlighted by golden details, glisten under the sunlight! But the gold factor prevails in the Synagogue’s interior, as well, combined with rich shades of red. Arches, colorful stained glass windows, wall paintings, mosaic works, wooden furniture and decorations are some of the features that you can admire. It’s worth mentioning that it can host more than 3,000(!) people. Apart from the Synagogue, you can also visit the museum, the gardens and the cemetery. Its only downside is the high fee, compared to what is offered.

Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Sunday-Thursday 10:00-16:30, Friday 10:00-15:30. Closed: Saturday. (Schedule changes constantly, so visit the Synagogue’s official website.)
Cost: 10€ for adults & 6.5€ for children aged 6+.

 The know it all says: It is the largest Synagogue in Europe and one of the largest worldwide!

City Park (Varosliget)

This fairly interesting park is located behind the Heroes’ Square. Aside from its natural beauty, it is an artificial landscape. During the summer, the landscape with the picturesque lake transform into a green haven, where people can relax, exercise or take a walk. In the winter, you can ice-skate in the lake, as part of it turns into an ice rink, as the park is covered under a mysterious fog! The most ideal scenario, of course, is to dive inside the lake and not on the ice-rink, like we did while trying to enjoy ice-skating! Inside the park you will also find the zoo, the Szechenyi thermal baths, Budapest’s circus, as well as the well-known Anonymous statue. It’s worth visiting all year long, but if you happen to be there during spring*, summer or autumn, don’t skip a romantic boat ride in the lake!

*Notice: The lake is filled in mid-spring.

Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Always
Cost: Free

 The know it all says: The park hosts Europe’s largest agricultural museum!

Photo by Dezidor via Wikipedia Commons

Vajdahunyad Castle

The Vajdahunyad Castle is located inside the Városliget park and at first sight it looks like it was built centuries ago or as though it was destroyed and reconstructed many times. But none of that is actually the case; the castle was constructed in celebration of Hungary’s 1000th anniversary and its various architecturally diverse parts are meant to represent the many styles that the country’s buildings are designed after. But, its exterior appearance is far greater than its interior, because even though there are some exhibitions, the tour lasts only 10 minutes and the only thing that is kinda worth is the view from the castle’s two towers. Finally, you should know that taking photographs is not allowed.

Suggested visit time: 1-1.5 hours
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-17:00. Closed: Monday.
Cost: Castle interior/Museum 3.5€ for adults, 1.7€ for children aged 6+.

 The know it all says: The castle embodies 21 of Budapest’s building designs? Also, its form was based mainly on Dracula’s castle in Transylvania (currently Romania).

Bike-riding in Budapest

Bike riding is the easiest, fastest and most fun way to move around the city, no matter the season*. Streets are even, easy and safe, and the only things that interrupt your ride are the special traffic signs and not various obstacles, like cars, garbage bins and pedestrians that you would probably encounter in our otherwise beautiful hometown, Thessaloniki. It will be very easy to ride through the city, except maybe a few places in Buda, where there are steep inclines. You will find lots of bike rental stores, but prices vary. The agency that we picked provided new bikes with locks and good prices. Make sure you rent yours for more than a day, so you can roam the lit up city at night!

*During winter, the cold is not a problem, as exercising keeps you warm.

Suggested visit time:
Open: April-October 09:00-20:30 & November-February 09:00-19:00.
Cost: 13€/day

 The know it all says: Cycle lanes cover 200 km inside the city! is regularly updated on ticket costs and operating hours, but you should always visit your choice of destination’s official site for confirmation.