The Best Things to Do in the Beautiful Area Around Budapest’s Chain Bridge

Built between 1839 and 1849, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge is Budapest’s oldest and most emblematic bridge. The recently renovated, impressive cast-iron structure – guarded by four tongueless stone lions – is worth checking out while taking a stroll around.

House of Parliament

The capital city has a long list of visit-worthy sights in the area of the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd in Hungarian), most of which are in close proximity to each other. You can kick off your self-guided walking tour on the left side of River Danube, at Kossuth Lajos Square, where the beautiful House of Parliament is situated. The building, constructed between 1885 and 1904 in neogothic and eclectic style, is most famous for giving home to a very important piece of the Hungarian royal insignia: the holy crown. Fun fact: the façade of the building is decorated with 242 full-body sculptures.

Parliament Budapest
Photo: Getty Images

Shoes on the Quayside

After looking around, head to Id. Antall József rakpart (meaning quayside) where popular contemporary artist Mihály Kolodko’s tiny sculpture called “Ushanka Returns” can be found by the eagle-eyed. The mini statue resembles a Russian fur hat, but there is a twist: the bronze ushanka has two muscular frog legs. Find it on one of the stairs close to the river, in the direction of the pedestrian crossing and the traffic lights. Then continue your journey by visiting Budapest’s famous Holocaust memorial, the Shoes on the Quayside, which honors the Jewish people massacred in Budapest during World War II.

Shoes on the Quayside
Photo: Geza Kurka -Touristic Photographer

Széchenyi István Square

Your next stop should be Széchenyi István Square. To reach your destination, go straight ahead in the direction of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Stop by the photo-worthy building for a few minutes and have a good look at it, because it has some not so hidden gems on its façade. For instance, one can spot the figure of Galileo Galilei, Newton, Raffaello and Descartes, among others. You won’t regret visiting Széchenyi István Square, which is just a stone’s throw away, because despite its central location, it gives home to the oldest acacia tree of Budapest, planted in 1789.

Chain Bridge
Photo: Karácsony Gergely (Facebook)

Walk Across the Chain Bridge

When in Budapest, crossing (at least) one of its thirteen bridges is a must. Join the likes of Jason Derulo, Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann, and Will Smith who enthusiastically posted photos of themselves standing on the Chain Bridge in the past – the latter actually climbed it, too – and snap your own pictures with the beautiful scenery in the background. While walking towards Buda, take a moment to admire the unrivalled view: easy-to-spot Buda Castle, Mátyás Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion are only the tip of the iceberg.

Chain Bridge
Photo: Karácsony Gergely (Facebook)

Castle Hill Funicular

Upon arriving at the Buda side, you will find yourself at Clark Adam Square. A 350-meter tunnel, inaugurated in 1857, a 3 metres tall limestone sculpture which represents kilometre 0, the over 150-year old Castle Hill Funicular (it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and close-by Lánchíd Park are all part of the famous Buda vista. For an unforgettable view, go to Sikló utca and find the stone stairs leading up to the funicular. Then conclude your walking tour in a remarkable way, visit the splendid neo-Renaissance architectural complex, Buda Castle Garden Bazaar.

Funicular Budapest
Photo: Getty Images

Dine with a View

To immerse yourself in the very rich history and culture of Budapest in style, take a meal break at one of the close-by Dunakorzó’s best restaurants. ARZ Lebanese Restaurant and Corso Bar & Terrace both invite passersby to their beautiful panorama terraces where not only is the view stunning (especially when the sun goes down) but also every bite creates a stunning festival of flavors in the mouth. Take your taste buds on a delightful journey before crossing the Chain Bridge, or on your way back. Whether you choose a flavorful cocktail or a mind-blowing Lebanese meze, the painting-like backdrop will make your experience an unforgettable one.

1052 Budapest, Apáczai Csere János utca 12-14.| Instagram

ARZ Budapest
Photo: László Balkányi

+1 Visit the Chain Bridge Festival

This year the Hungarian capital celebrates its 150th birthday. To honour this important anniversary, countless events will be organized. On 16 September, the Chain Bridge Festival pays homage to Budapest by turning the bridge into an extraordinary outdoor festival venue with concerts on both the Pest and the Buda side.

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Chain Bridge Festival
Photo: Karácsony Gergely (Facebook)