Time: This tour takes about 4 hours
Getting to Vörösmarty Square: Take the Millennium Underground (M1) to Vörösmarty tér. Alternately take Subways (M2) or (M3) to Deák Ferenc tér, or streetcar No. 2 to Vigadó tér and take the short walk over to Vörösmarty Square.
Leg 1 - Vörösmarty Square to József nádor Square
Start your walk at Vörösmarty Square, a popular square in the heart of Budapest, named after the renowned Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty, whose statue can be seen in the middle of the square. This is where the Millennium Underground begins and the famous Gerbeaud Café is also located here. From the northeast corner of Vörösmarty Square, to the right of Gerbeaud, walk overf to József nádor Square. Named after Archduke Joseph, son of the Habsburg Emperor Leopold and governor of Hungary for fifty years from 1796, this is one of the prettiest squares in Budapest. Beautiful Romantic-style and Neo-Classic buildings surround the square.
Leg 2 - József nádor Square to St. Stephen's Basilica
From the northwest corner of József nádor Square continue your walk on Nádor Street until you reach Zrinyi Street. This lively pedestrian precinct is filled with cafés and restaurants. Turn right on Zrinyi Street and you will see the Basilica on Szent Istvan Square.
The St. Stephen's Basilica is the largest church in Budapest. Construction commenced in 1851, and the inauguration ceremony took place in 1906. During its construction in 1868, the dome collapsed and rebuilding had to start almost from scratch, which explains why it took more than 50 years to finish. For beautiful, panoramic views of Budapest take the stairs or the elevator to the dome's observation deck.
Leg 3 - St. Stephen's Basilica to Szabadság Square
Sas Street, on the northwest corner of Szent Istvan Square, will take you to Szabadság Square. The first building on the right hand side of Szabadság Square houses the Hungarian National Bank, the central bank of Hungary, founded in 1924. Some other beautiful and significant buildings, include the U.S. Embassy and the former Stock Exchange.
Leg 4 - Szabadság Square to Parliament Building
From the Northwest corner of Szabadság Square take Vécsey Street to Kossuth Square. Along the way, on the corner of Báthory Street and Nádor Street, you will see the statue of Imre Nagy, a figure standing on a bridge, facing the Parliament building. Imre Nagy was Prime Minister of Hungary on two occasions. His second term was during the revolution in 1956. He was tried and executed in 1958, and he became a symbol of freedom for Hungarians.
The Parliament building, a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture, is the third largest Parliament building in the world. Work on the building started in 1885 and it took 17 years to construct it. Guided tours are available when Congress is not in session. The other two prominent buildings in Kossuth Square are the Ministry of Agriculture and the Museum of Ethnography. Both are located directly across from the Parliament.
Leg 5 - Kossuth Square to Vámház körút
From Kossuth Square take streetcar No. 2 to Fővám tér. From there start walking on Vámház körút and visit the famous Central Market Hall, built at the end of the 19th century.
Leg 6 - Váci Street to Vörösmarty Square
From the main entrance of Central Market Hall, walk across Vámház körút to the most famous street of the city - Váci Street. The southern part is more laid back, while the northern part of Váci Street is more fashionable with many shops and cafés. The two parts are connected via an underground passage. Váci Street ends at Vörösmarty Square, where our walking tour started.
Before reaching Vörösmarty Square, on the corner of Váci Street and Türr István Street, the white line on the pavement marks the site of the medieval city wall. This is where the city’s northern gate, Váci Gate, once stood. (To give you an idea of the size of Pest in the Middle Ages, it was the length of Váci utca from Vörösmarty tér to Fővám tér, enclosed by the city's main gates.)
Leg 7 - Vörösmarty Square to the Promenade
From Vörösmarty Square take Vigadó Street to the Danube Promenade. The Vigadó Concert Hall, built in Romantic style and opened in 1865, will be to your left. Take a stroll on the Promenade and enjoy the views of Castle Hill, Gellért Hill and the Chain Bridge. Treat yourself to a glass of wine in one of the outdoor patios. Take a picture with the statue of the Little Princess, sitting on the railings by the embankment; she is one of Budapest's newest attractions.
Places to stop for a coffee or a meal:
Gerbeaud Café (Vörösmarty tér 7)
Onyx Restaurant (Vörösmarty tér 7-8)
Tom George Restaurant & Café (Október 6 utca 8)
Negro Café & Bar (Szent István tér 11)
Café Kör (Sas utca 17)
Café Farger (Zoltán utca 18)
Molnár’s Kürtőskalács Bakery (Váci utca 31)
Café Anna (Váci utca 5)
Cyrano Restaurant (Kristóf tér 7)
Comme Chez Soi (Aranykéz utca 2)
Fresco Restaurant & Café (Vigadó tér 3)
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Map of the Inner City Walking Tour