Budapest Parliament: Architectural Wonder of Europe

Budapest is divided into two sections that are separated by the famed Danube river. Not surprisingly they are named Buda and Pest and were once completely separate towns under different rule. The seat of the current Hungarian government, the Országház, was completed in 1904 and built to showcase the grandeur of the then very powerful Austro-Hungarian empire.

Budapest Parliament from Castle Hill, on the pest side
The Budapest Parliament building rests on the flat Pest side, but the best views are found across the Danube on the hilly Buda side. The picturesque Castle Hill, where the old Royal Palace sits, provides a dramatic birds eye view of parliament, Margaret island and the entire Pest side.

Budapest Parliament lights up the night sky across the Danube
The Hungarian parliament building is the 3rd largest in the world, and 2nd largest in Europe, behind only Nicolae Ceausescu’s maniacal Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. The former Romanian dictator was put to death via firing squad in 1989 for that one. 1989 was the same year the “The People’s House,” as Ceausescu called it, was completed at the expense of his starving people, and communism in Romania subsequently fell. Communism in Hungary also fell in 1989, as it did in most of Eastern Europe.

View of Budapest Parliament from the Pest side
The Hungarian Parliament is open to the public for viewing via a 50 minute guided tour. Admission is free for European Union citizens, for non- EU citizens the cost is 2520 Hungarian Forints (€8.60, $11.50 US). Be sure to order tickets ahead or arrive early in the morning. For further details, check out their website, with information in English.

close up of the Budapest parliament
Budapest is a phenomenal city to visit for its architecture, nightlife, mineral baths and food. To learn a little about Budapest’s famed therapeutic baths, check out this post. For a few restaurant recommendations, and pictures of Hungarian food, read our advice for dining in Budapest. It’s great that all the wonderful things Budapest has to offer can be found for prices well below what you’ll pay for the equivalent in most Western European countries.

view of Budapest parliament, through the columns of Fisherman's Bastion
To learn more about the parliament building or Hungarian government, read this post on It contains some really interesting info, like how Hungary’s Crown Jewels were moved to Fort Knox in the USA right before Soviet occupation, following World War II. The Hungarians got their jewels back in 1978, under Jimmy Carter’s administration. No wonder American republicans hate that guy 😉


  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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5 thoughts on “Budapest Parliament: Architectural Wonder of Europe

    1. We stayed at a sweet apartment in the center on the Pest side, it wasn’t fancy, but was large and had a kitchen and was clean. We booked it on and the apartment is called CHERRY APT. BP. the man who owns it does not speak brilliant English, but he met us there and explained about the apartment. He was an engineer who has lost his job later in life, so it was nice to support him rather than a big hotel chain!

    1. A good place for many bucket lists. And apparently it’s a better value than Prague these days, for anybody that is otherwise torn between which one to visit.

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