Budapest is a charming city to be visited during the day, but it becomes even more romantic and fascinating by night. Nothing compares to a night walk through Budapest, when you can see thousands of lights illuminating the city. The Chain Bridge, the Parliament, Royal Palace (Buda Castle) can be seen along the banks of the Danube River, which looks simply stunning after dark, making everyone swoon at the sight. All monuments in the city are beautifully lit. It is a magnificent view not to be missed! If you already have in your mind this dreamlike image of the city, allow me to suggest a night tour through the most breathtaking places in Budapest.
Marvell at the beauty of Gresham Palace!
Our tour starts from the Gresham Palace - a wonderful building in Art Nouveau style located right in the heart of Budapest. The story of Gresham Palace dates back to 1880, when the London-based insurance company, Gresham, acquired the biggest residential house, which previously was in the private ownership of the so-called Palace House. The company’s management decided to establish, here, their foreign headquarters office, and erect a new building on this site. The intention was to demolish the palace and order a design of an astonishing construction to epitomize the richness and glory of the British Empire. It was planned to become a kind of monument to Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of London’s Royal Exchange, and the financier to Queen Elizabeth I. The architects Quittner Zsigmond and Jozsef Vago succeeded in erecting a truly marvelous building. Unfortunately, the Second World War bombardments, and the after war nationalization of the Gresham Palace by the communist government, which decided to sub-divide the palatial apartments into smaller flats, resulted in considerable damage of the building. Afterwards, it had to endure a long way to return to its former beauty and glory. It took years of research, and restoration, by teams of historians and craftsmen to re-edify its grandeur. So in 2011, the doors of the Gresham Palace were finally reopened. However, this time it is now the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, and invites its guests to stay and truly experience all that this luxurious palace has to offer… Nowadays, you can enjoy its splendor during the day, as well as at night, when it is illuminated by thousands of lights, creating a truly spectacular view.
Walk along the Chain Bridge!
A few meters stroll from the Gresham Palace, and we stumble upon a majestic view of another picturesque sight - The Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd). It is the oldest bridge in Budapest, constructed in 1890, and spans the Danube River between the western and eastern sides of Budapest. It was named in honor of the famous Hungarian leader, philanthropist, and politician Count István Széchenyi, who invested a great deal of money and effort in its construction. In 1945, the retreating German troops destroyed all the bridges in Budapest, and among them was the Chain Bridge. It was reconstructed nearly from ruins, and reopened in 1949. The bridge is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. When evening comes, it is magnificently lit by hundreds of lights. The top and the base of the towers is illuminated by reflectors, while the main chains and the edges of the sidewalk at the entrance are decorated with lights to accentuate the classic shape of the bridge.
Be astounded by the illumination the Hungarian Parliament!
While standing on the Chain Bridge, you will be amazed by the grandiose view of the Pest side. The stunning panorama surrounding the river will make you stop and stare. From here, you can see one of the most beautifully lit constructions of the city - the Hungarian Parliament. Its location at the edge of the Danube River makes the view especially impressive at night with the illuminated building reflected on the water.
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Admire the impressive Buda Castle!
Walking further, we are heading towards the Buda Castle, one of the main sights in Budapest. It was the residence to the Hungarian kings for more than 700 years. The castle was built in the 13th century by King Béla IV of Hungary, many times being reconstructed by each of the rulers. Today, it appears as a baroque construction, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the main cultural centers in Budapest, housing the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the National Széchényi Library. There is a common Budapest saying, “The best thing about living in Pest is the view of Buda,” and indeed the eye-catching panorama stretching down from the Liberation Monument ( now known as the Liberty or Freedom Statue), past the fairy tale castle, and the Fisherman’s Bastion all the way to the Margit (Margaret) Bridge just makes your jaw drop!
Fall in love with the wonderful view from the Buda Castle!
One of the main things to be mentioned, is the breathtaking view from the Buda Castle, featuring a fabulous panorama of the Pest side, including the Chain Bridge, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Hungarian Parliament. In front of the castle you’ll see a viewing terrace for picture perfect panoramic photos. The best time to make night pictures is late in the evening (after 7 pm), when the whole city is covered with lights. So don’t miss the chance to capture the magical view of the Pest side during the nightfall!
Make the tour by foot!
When discovering all the utterly enchanting sights, and views mentioned above, you won’t have to spend a penny on it. The sites are located really close to each other, so the only means of transport you’ll use, when exploring them, is your own feet. This will also give you the opportunity to take great pictures of the views you’ll see!
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