Budapest is an architectural mosaic, stitching together everything from Baroque and Gothic to Art Nouveau and Neo-Classic. To give gay travellers a taste of the city’s sumptuous architecture, we compiled 10 of our favourite designs below.
According to legend, the engineer behind Budapest’s first permanent bridge was so proud of his Classicist design he dared someone to find a flaw. In a truly dramatic performance, the martyr committed suicide when it was pointed out that the tigers guarding both entrances were tongueless.
Museum of Fine Arts
This architectural beauty is only rivalled by the masterpieces treasured inside. Of the many wonders, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Horse and Rider is easily the most prominent.
Central Market Hall
Indulge in the flavours of Hungary and the beauty of Budapest inside Gustave Eiffel’s Central Market Hall. Yes, the same Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame! Pay special attention to the intricate Zsolnay tiled roof he commissioned.
Art Nouveau and Neo-Classic reign supreme in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter. Of special note is the world’s second largest synagog, appropriately named The Great Synagog. And while you’re in the neighbourhood, take a moment of silence by the Weeping Willow, a sobering memorial to the Hungarian-Jewish victims of WWII.
Not to be confused with the gay kind, these geothermal bathhouses are the product of the Ottoman empire. Király is one of the city’s most famous baths, constructed during Turkish occupation and maintaining many characteristics from the era such as an octagonal roof.
To contrast your experience with Király’s historic Turkish design, slip into the calcium-rich waters of Széchenyi. The Neo-Baroque bathhouse was completed in 1927 with all the flamboyant finishes you’d expect of the era.
Found in the heart of City Park is Vajdahunyad Castle, a Frankenstein of Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque inspiration. Its beauty is enjoyed in every season as children climb the nearby park monkey bars in summer and parents take to the famous skating rink in winter.
Sink into the plush seats of the recently reopened Opera House.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Peaking at 315ft/96m, this Cathedral is deliberately the same height as the Parliament Building, a nod to the equal weight of the Church and State in Hungary. Ascend her spiral staircase to the observation deck and the best panorama in Budapest.
An extraordinary example of Neo-Gothic architecture with hints of Renaissance and Baroque. The sheer size of Parliament demands a distant observation — perhaps from a Danube cruise or the shores of Batthyány Square. The building’s 45-minute tours grant visitors a glimpse of the 691 rooms and 20km/12.55mi of staircases. And best of all, the tour includes the opportunity to glimpse Hungary’s slippery Crown Jewels, which have a fascinating history of being lost, stolen and borrowed time and again.
Counting down the top ten reasons to join Out Adventures on a gay tour of Budapest & Slovenia. Read More