Vörösmarty tér – Deák Ferenc tér – Erzsébet tér – Andrássy Avenue – Budapest Opera – Budapest's Broadway – Oktogon – Kodály körönd – Heroes' Square – City Park – Vörösmarty tér
Time: This walk will take about 4-5 hours.
Add 1-2 hours if you would like to tour some of the museums too.
Getting to Vörösmarty Square: Take the Millennium Underground (M1) to Vörösmarty tér. Alternately take Subways (M2) or (M3) to Deák Ferenc tér, or streetcar 2 to Vigadó tér and walk over to Vörösmarty tér.
Leg 1 - Vörösmarty Square to Deák Ferenc Square
Start your walk at Vörösmarty Square (Vörösmarty tér). The square was 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 annual Christmas Market is also held here. The main attraction in Vörösmarty Square, however is the famous Gerbeaud Café, a tenant since 1870. Continue on Deák Ferenc Street, also known as Fashion Street, for its many designer shops. This short street begins just left of Váci Street. Shops like Hugo Boss, Max Mara, Benetton, Sisley, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and Mexx are some of the well known brands located here.
Leg 2 - Deák Ferenc Square to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út
Deák Ferenc Square (Deák Ferenc tér) is the only place where all three subway lines connect. The Underground Museum is also located here. The entrance to the museum can be found in the underground passage leading to the station. The history of the first subway line can be seen here in an authentic setting that is part of the original section of the old line. The royal carriage that transported Emperor Franz Joseph during the Millennium Underground's opening ceremonies in 1896 is exhibited here. Next to Deák Ferenc Square is Erzsébet Square (Erzsébet tér). This is where the new National Theater was originally planned, but the idea was abandoned soon after the underground parking had been built. Today the site is home to Akvárium a club, pub, outdoor café and music venue. Cross Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út at the northeast corner of Erzsébet Square to get to Andrássy Avenue.
Leg 3 - Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út to Budapest Opera
Andrássy Avenue, the city's most elegant avenue, recognized as a World Heritage Site, is often referred to as Budapest's Champs-Elysées. It is also called the city's cultural avenue, as the Opera House, Pest's best theaters, the Academy of Music, and many museums are either located on Andrássy Avenue or in its immediate vicinity. The Postal Museum is located at the beginning of Andrássy Avenue, marked by a red mailbox, it's worth a visit to see the interior stained glass and frescoes (by Károly Lotz). The next building that stands out is the former Dutch Insurance Company headquarters at 9 Andrássy.
Leg 4 - Opera and Budapest's Broadway
Probably the most impressive and most important building on this walk is the State Opera House. It stands as one of the most beautiful Neo-Renaissance buildings in Europe. It opened its doors 125 years ago, in 1884 and it quickly became one of the most prestigious musical institutions in the world. Many important artists performed here, including Gustav Mahler, who was also the director for three seasons.
One block north of the Budapest Opera, at the intersection of Nagymező utca and Andrássy Avenue, is Budapest's Broadway. A number of outstanding theaters, the Moulin Rouge nightclub and the Manó Mai House of Photography are all located here.
Leg 5 - Budapest's Broadway to Oktogon
The former Paris Department Store, at 39 Andrássy, is a fine example of Art Nouveau architecture. Today it houses a bookstore and a café, decorated with a beautiful fresco-style ceiling, painted by Károly Lotz. Just before reaching the Oktogon (the intersection of Andrássy Avenue and the Grand Boulevard) there is Liszt Ferenc Square, a lively square with cafés and restaurants. This trendy place gets busy especially during the summer. The most famous tenant in the square is the Academy of Music.
The intersection of Andrássy Avenue and the Grand Boulevard (Nagykörút) is shaped like an octagon, hence its name. Like with many other places in Budapest, the Oktogon had different names in the past. From 1936–1945, it was known as Mussolini Square, and during the Communist era, for 40-some years, it was known as November 7 Square. Today, Oktogon is a busy square, streetcars No. 4 and No. 6 and the Millennium Underground each stop here. The square is also giving home to the world's largest Burger King (which has free WiFi).
Leg 6 - Oktogon to Kodály körönd
Past the Oktogon Andrássy Avenue becomes wider and residential buildings, many now converted to offices line the avenue. The House of Terror Museum is also on this stretch of Andrássy Avenue. The museum commemorates the victims of both the Communist and the Nazi regimes in Hungary.
Across the street at 67 Andrássy is Ferenc Liszt's former home where he spent part of the last 5 years of his life in a first floor apartment. This building was the original home of the Academy of Music. Andrássy Avenue gets even wider past Kodály körönd, an intersection encircled by four town houses and named after the famous Hungarian composer, Zoltán Kodály.
Leg 7 - Kodály körönd to Heroes' Square (Hősök tere)
As you head towards Heroes' Square more and more villas and palaces with gardens appear and the avenue becomes even wider. Some of these buildings give home to embassies and some are museums or galleries.
Leg 8 - Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) and City Park (Városliget)
Heroes' Square is the largest and most impressive square in the city. The Millennium Monument in the middle of the square was erected in 1896 to commemorate the 1000-year-old history of the Magyars. Another must see, the Museum of Fine Arts is located at the north side of the square. On the south side is the Kunsthalle (Műcsarnok), an exhibition hall for the contemporary visual arts.
If you walk over the bridge behind the colonnade on Heroes' Square you are already in City Park. This is where the Vajdahunyad Castle, the Budapest Zoo, the Amusement Park, the Museum of Transport, the famous Gundel Restaurant and one of the largest thermal baths of Europe, the Széchenyi Baths are located. City Park provides a great escape from the bustle of the city and there are many things to see and do.
Probably the best way to finish this tour is to visit Széchenyi Baths. It's a great place to relax and enjoy the healing waters, or to take a few laps in the swimming pool. From here the Millennium Underground (M1) takes you back to Vörösmarty Square, where we started this tour.
Places to stop for a coffee or a meal:
Callas Café (Andrássy út 20)
Művész Café (Andrássy út 29)
Bookcafé (Andrássy út 39)
Klassz (Andrássy út 41)
Mai Manó Café (Nagymező utca 20)
Menza (Liszt Ferenc tér 2)
Lukács Café (Andrássy út 70)
Chez Daniel (Sziv utca 32)
Baraka Restaurant (Andrássy út 111)
Gundel Restaurant (Állatkerti körút 2)
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Map of the Millennium Walk