Óbuda Walking Tour

From Aquincum to Aquincum - discover 'Old Buda', the oldest part of Budapest

Óbuda Walking Tour
Óbuda has a charming, small-town atmosphere
Szentlélek tér and Fő tér
Old and new(er)
The Classicist-style synagogue


Batthyány tér – Aquincum – Fő tér – Flórian tér – St. Peter and Paul Parish Church – The synagogue – Amphitheatre of the military camp – Kiscelli Museum (optional) See Map

Time: This tour takes about four hours (not including a visit to the Kiscelli Museum)

Getting to Batthyány tér: Take Subway (M2) to Batthyhány tér

Tour Details

Leg 1 - Batthyány tér to Aquincum
Start your trip at Batthyány tér and take the Suburban Railway (HÉV) to Aquincum. Well preserved remains of the Roman city of Aquincum can be seen at the Museum of Aquincum. Aquincum was the capital of Pannonia, a northern province of the Ancient Roman Empire. The excavated ruins date back to the 2nd century AD, when the city had around 15,000 inhabitants. Remains of an amphitheater, mosaic floors, tombstones, statues and remains of some villas are the main attractions here.

Óbuda Walking Tour

Szentlélek Square

Leg 2 - Aquincum to Fő tér
From Aquincum take the Suburban Railway (HÉV) back to Árpád híd and take the short walk over to Fő tér via Szentlélek tér. On your way you will pass the Baroque-style Zichy palace that belonged to an aristocratic family, who once owned Óbuda. The palace, commissioned in the 18th century, is home to several Museums. There is a museum dedicated to the Hungarian born pop artist, Victor Vasarely, another to Lajos Kassák, an iconic figure of the Hungarian avant-garde movement and yet another to the history of Óbuda.

Óbuda Walking Tour

'Those waiting' by Imre Varga

As you head towards Fő tér, on your left, you will see a plaque on the wall commemorating the first university in Budapest, founded in 1395. Fő tér is surrounded by several Baroque-style buildings lending a special character and charm to the square. The most noteworthy statues in the square are the sculpture of Pál Harrer, the first mayor of Óbuda and a group of bronze figures portraying women with umbrellas, by contemporary sculptor Imre Varga.

Leg 3 - Fő tér to Flórian tér
Continue your walk on Polgár utca to Flórian tér. This is where the ruins of a Roman military camp were discovered. The well preserved ruins of a bath complex called Thermae Maiores are on the north side of the square. A small museum provides information about the baths and medicine in Roman times. Several other Roman ruins can be seen in the Flórian tér underpass.

Óbuda Walking Tour

Old and new(er)

Leg 4 - Flórian tér to the synagogue
Crossing the road beneath Árpád híd will take you to the 18th century Baroque style St. Peter and Paul Parish Church, also commissioned by the Zichy’s. Built by Hungarian settlers in 1015, this is where Óbuda’s first church once stood. Continue your walk on Lajos utca and you will soon see the huge contrasts that are so characteristic of Óbuda: 20th century housing projects to your left and historic houses to your right. The synagogue, a beautiful Classicist-style building built in the 19th century, will also be on your left. Another attraction close by is Restaurant Kéhli. This 100-year old eatery was once a favorite of Gyula Krúdy (1878–1933), a Hungarian writer and journalist, who lived nearby.

Óbuda Walking Tour

The ruins of a Roman amphitheatre

Leg 5 – From the synagogue to the Roman amphitheatre
Continue your walk along Lajos utca to the intersection of Nagyszombat utca. The ruins of the amphitheatre will be to your right. It’s an interesting fact that this amphitheatre had an arena that was larger than the arena of the Colosseum in Rome.

Having traveled from Aquincum to Aquincum, the tour ends here. Streetcar No. 17 (Nagyszombat utca stop) will take you back to the foot of Margit híd (Margaret bridge) in Buda for easy access to the city center (both, streetcars No. 4 and 6 stop at the bridge). If you feel like taking a dip in the famous thermal baths of Budapest, get off at the ‘Szent Lukács Gyógyfürdő’ stop (the penultimate stop). Both, the Veli Bej Turkish Baths and Lukács Baths are just a short walk away.

Optional: Leg 6 - From the amphitheatre to the Kiscelli Museum
From the amphitheatre take Streetcar 17 to Margit Kórház (2 stops). Expect a steep climb up the steps leading to the Kiscelli Museum located on the hillside overlooking Óbuda. The building, which houses the museum, is already worth the trip. Built between 1745 and 1760 in Baroque style, it originally served as a church and monastery. The city literally inherited the complex in 1935 when the former owner, Schmidt Miksa a Viennese antique dealer, left it to the city in his will. Managed by the Budapest History Museum, today it houses exhibits focusing on Budapest history since 1686 and the Municipal Picture Gallery showcasing the arts of 20th century Hungarian artists.

Places to stop for a coffee or a meal:

Restaurant Kéhli (Mókus utca 22)

There are only a few cafés and restaurants en-route. The area around Kolosy tér, only one stop away from the Nagyszombat utca stop on streetcar No. 17, has more options:

Symbol Budapest (Bécsi út 56)
Leroy Cafe Óbuda (Bécsi út 63)
Régi Sipos Halászkert (Lajos utca 46)
Maligán Restaurant & Wine Shop (Lajos utca 38)

From Kolosy tér you may also take a detour to the famous Daubner Pastry Shop. Take bus No. 65 or 165 or take the short walk along Szépvölgyi út to the shop, located at Szépvölgyi út 50.

This guide is available as a free download (top of page). Click here for more Budapest PDF Guides.

Map of the Óbuda Walking Tour

Óbuda Walking Tour Reviews

  • Rating:
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  • Picture of raattt raattt 09/26/2014 14321

    Seriously, unless you want to see Aquincum amphitheater (which is stunning, both for size and level of preservation) don’t go there.
    Nice buildings from photos are in the middle of modern district full of blocks of flats. It is even hard to take a proper photo of them, to exlude those blocks.
    Regarding the quality of old buildings, the best ones are still below expectations (average small church from city center is probably bigger and more interesting).
    Few tips for people interested in seeing Obuda:
    1) if you want to see the Synagogue don’t come on Saturday (closed due to holiday). When we came, church was also closed. Sunday is probably the best for this trip.
    2) if you don’t want to be disappointed, don’t have many expectations wink There is really very few nice buildings
    3) if you are short on money, you can still see some part of Aquincum. Only one of three ruins has entry fee, other two (amphitheater and Therma Majores) are free.

  • Picture of Restrantek Restrantek 11/09/2011 54321

    The accuracy of the map and timing is right on.  4 hours is great, add another 30-45 minutes if you take lots of photos.  Sunny days are best for the ruins at the Aquincum. The grounds of the Aquincum are under construction (late October) but does not impede your visit.  All the stops are worth a visit and (I did not check out the baths, Stop 13, 14)  We had lunch at a great restaurant at Batthyany ter and some walked (a short distance) back to center of town over the Chain Bridge and others (slow walkers) took the Metro. Avoid this trip on Mondays as the Aquincum Museum is closed.

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tags: free walking tour baroque architecture sightseeing óbuda history architecture culture roman architecture