Historic sites in Hungary

The Romans, the great Kingdom of Hungary, the Ottomans and the Habsurgs, all contributed to the story and to the Historic Sites in Hungary, creating a diverse landscape of places to visit. If you’re looking to explore Historic Sites in Hungary, you can browse our interactive map above or navigate further via the links below.

There’s a fantastic selection of Historic Sites in Hungary and you can discover some great things to see in our selection. Once you’ve explored the Historic Sites in Hungary you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan out your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook.

Our database of historic sites is always growing, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of more Historic Sites in Hungary, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Hungary: Site Index

Photo by chad_k (cc)

Aquincum

One of the lesser known but still fascinating historic attractions in Hungary is Aquincum, a large Ancient Roman site in Budapest housing the ruins of an important military base and city.

DID YOU KNOW?

Aquincum is a large Ancient Roman site in Budapest housing the remains of part of what was an important military base and city. Most of the sites at Aquincum date back to the second century AD, when the city reached its peak with up to 40,000 inhabitants and as the capital of the province of Pannonia, later Lower Pannonia.

Today, the site of Aquincum has much to offer sightseers and history enthusiasts alike, including the ruins of a city wall, an amphitheatre (one of two in Budapest), temples, homes and burial grounds.

There is also the modest Aquincum Museum housing some artifacts from the site, although the English translations could be improved.

Boldogko Castle

A picturesque castle built for the defence of the Hernád Valley in the XIII. c., demolished by the Hapsburgs in 1701, constantly renovated from the end of the XVIII. c. up till now.

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Boldogko Castle is a picturesque medieval fortified palace perched prettily on a hill in Hungary’s Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén region. Said to have been built in the 13th century and steeped in tales and legends, the current incarnation of Boldogko Castle is very different from the original, having been extensively renovated more recently.

Today, it plays host to numerous exhibits, ranging from those about minerals to military history.

Photo by Jorge Lascar (cc)

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is amongst the most iconic historic sites in Hungary. A vast palace in Budapest’s Castle Quarter, it is home to a series of museums including the National Gallery.

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Buda Castle (Budai Var) is a vast palace in Budapest’s Castle Quarter housing a series of museums including the National Gallery.

In the thirteenth century, the then separate cities of Buda and Pest were endangered by Mongol raids, to which Pest succumbed in the 1241-1242. A few years later, King Bela IV decided to fortify Buda, a project completed in around 1265, offering his subjects defensive walls within which to shelter.

The first incarnation of Buda Castle dates to the fourteenth century, but since then it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, including by the Ottomans in the sixteenth century. Rebuilding projects took place throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well as extensive renovations following World War II. As a result of the constant changes to Buda Castle, it’s difficult to identify the periods to which each part of the site dates.

Those who want to learn about the history of Buda Castle can visit the Budapest History Museum, which is located within the castle.

Budapest Bath Museum

This houses the ruins of the Roman baths complex of the military base that existed here from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD.

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The Budapest Bath Museum (Thermae Maiores) houses the ruins of the Roman baths complex of the military base that existed on this site from the first to the fourth centuries AD.

It would have formed part of the Roman city of Aquincum, which served as the capital of the Roman province of Pannonia, later Lower Pannonia, and reached its peak around the second century AD with as many as 40,000 inhabitants.

Photo by joiseyshowaa (cc)

Budapest History Museum

The Budapest History Museum chronicles the history of the city, Buda Castle and the region as a whole.

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The Budapest History Museum (Budapesti Torteneti Muzeum) chronicles the history of the city, Buda Castle and the region as a whole.

Also known as the Castle Museum as it is located within the UNESCO listed Buda Castle, the Budapest History Museum covers a range of eras. This includes pottery and ceramics dating from prehistoric times to the late Bronze Age including Roman Hungary as well as pieces from the middle ages, including Gothic art.

This is a great place to learn about the development of Budapest as a city, with information about its history and visitors can also see reconstructed elements of the medieval Buda Castle.

Photo by Gruenemann (cc)

Budapest Museum of Military History

This Budapest museum houses a series of collections relating to Hungary’s history of warfare.

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The Museum of Military History (Hadtorteneti Muzeum) in Budapest houses a series of collections relating to Hungary’s history of warfare from medieval times to the world wars and beyond.

While its exhibits of weaponry, armour, flags, uniforms and coins is impressive, it is very much something for the military enthusiast, especially since all of the explanations are only provided in Hungarian.

Photo by jeaneeem (cc)

Christian Necropolis of Pecs

One of several World Heritage historic sites in Hungary, the Christian Necropolis of Pecs is a ruined 4th century Roman mausoleum.

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The Christian Necropolis of Pecs is a fourth century Roman mausoleum in Hungary, the ruins of which are UNESCO listed.

A remnant of what was the Roman town of Sopianae, one aspect which makes the Christian Necropolis of Pecs special is its unique architecture. The site is made up two levels, with subterranean tombs and above-ground chapels.

Visitors to the Christian Necropolis of Pecs can see their remains as well as several fascinating funerial murals.

Photo by Emmanuel Dyan (cc)

Dohany Synagogue

Built in the 19th century, this is the world’s second largest synagogue.

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The Dohany Synagogue (Dohany utcai zsinagoga), also known as the Dohany Street Synagogue and The Great Synagogue, is the world’s second largest synagogue.

Originally built from 1854 and completed in 1859, the Dohany Synagogue was bombed by the right-wing Arrow Cross Party in 1939 and its latest restoration was finished in 1996.

With its distinctive Moorish exterior and ornate interior, the Dohany Synagogue is open to the public and is also the place from which tours of the Jewish Quarter of Budapest begin. Next door to the Dohany Synagogue is the Budapest Jewish Museum and the birthplace of Theodor Hertzl.

Photo by Julie Lyn (cc)

Fisherman’s Bastion

The Fisherman’s Bastion is a beautiful set of walkways and terraces in Budapest built between 1895 and 1902. It is definitely one of the top attractions in Hungary.

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The Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya) along the eastern part of Budapest’s Castle Hill is a beautiful set of walkways and terraces built between 1895 and 1902. Resplendent with turrets and towers that wouldn’t look out of place in a fairytale, the Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the city’s most iconic sites. In fact, the Fisherman’s Bastion has seven towers in all, each representing one of Hungary’s tribes.

Whilst the name "Fisherman’s Bastion" implies some sort of coastal fortification, the site is not coastal nor a defensive structure. The name actually refers to the fisherman’s guild, which once protected this part of the medieval walls.

The Fisherman’s Bastion is part of the city of Budapest UNESCO World Heritage site.

Photo by Paul Mannix (cc)

Heroes Square

Heroes Square is an important plaza in Budapest built to celebrate the founding of the nation and one of the most recognisable historic sites in Hungary.

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Heroes Square (Hosok tere) is an iconic plaza in Budapest housing a monument built in 1869 to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of Hungary in 869AD. This monument, known as the Millenial Monument, consists of a semicircle of Doric columns, several statues representing important historical Hungarian figures and an obelisk crowned with a statue of the Archangel Gabriel. Also located at Heroes Square is the Hungarian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Photo by pterjan (cc)

House of Terror

This moving museum tells the story of the two extreme regimes which successively ruled Hungary in the 20th century.

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The House of Terror (Terror Haza) is a moving memorial to and museum about the two extreme regimes which successively ruled Hungary in the twentieth century.

From 1937, the building of the House of Terror slowly became the headquarters of the pro-Nazi Hungarian Arrow Cross Party. When the party took power in 1944, the House of Terror, then known as the House of Loyalty, was used as a prison. Victims, many of whom were Jewish, were tortured and executed.

Even once the Nazis had left Hungary, The House of Terror maintained its notoriety and brutal reputation as the prison and headquarters of the Soviet Political Police. It remained as such until 1956, when evidence of the horrors inflicted within its walls were erased and, the building of the House of Terror later became offices.

Today, the House of Terror stands in commemoration of its horrific past, with exhibitions about its history, that of its owners and its victims. The House of Terror is located within Budapest’s UNESCO World Heritage listing area.

Photo by BriYYZ (cc)

Hungarian National Gallery

Exhibiting a range of historical art collections and home to the Habsburg Palatinal Crypt, the National Gallery is one of the best known historical sites of Hungary.

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The Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria) in Budapest contains several historical art collections including medieval and gothic pieces, such as stonework, sculptures and altars.

Located within Buda Castle, the Hungarian National Gallery is also home to the Habsburg Palatinal Crypt (Nadori kripta), the burial place of the Hungarian line of the Habsburg Dynasty. Note that the crypt can only be visited by prior arrangement and is located on the ground floor of Building C.

Photo by zozo2k3 (cc)

Hungarian National Museum

This is a museum of history, archaeology and art in Budapest. It is one of the top things to do in Hungary for those seeking an overview of the country’s history.

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The Hungarian National Museum exhibits a comprehensive collection of historic artefacts, documents and works of art. Its collections is incredibly diverse, ranging from bone tools from the Palaeolithic era to 45,000 twentieth century posters relating to significant political, social and cultural events.One of the main sections of the Hungarian National Museum is its archaeological department, which is divided according to time periods.

Amongst the myriad of exhibits overseen by this department, they cover the Paleolithic era, the migration period of the early Middle Ages and the Middle Ages generally and the Hungarian Conquest.

The Hungarian National Museum also houses an impressive Roman collection containing 65,000 artefacts including an incredibly large mosaic from Balácapuszta dating back to the third century - though they aren't all on display at any one time. The Roman collection also includes Roman gravestones, sculptures, milestones and stautes of Roman gods

A particularly interesting aspect of the Hungarian National Museum is its Zalavár collection, made up of grave and cemetery finds, mostly from the ninth century. It also has almost 80,000 archaeological animal bones, some dating back to the Palaeolithic era.

The Hungarian National Museum covers an extensive number of time periods and exhibits pieces from throughout the historical and global spectrum. There is quite a lot to see, but themed audio guides are available to rent, offering a structured tour.

An abridged audio guide can be downloaded from the Hungarian National Museum website whilst the full versions are available on site. Alternatively, you can either plan your route in advance or book a guided tour. Guided tours of the Hungarian National Museum are available in a variety of languages and themes, but should be booked at least a week in advance.

Photo by chagiajose (cc)

Hungarian Parliament Buildings

Built in the 19th century in a dramatic Gothic Revival style, the Hungarian Parliament Buildings are some of the oldest in Europe.

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The Hungarian Parliament Buildings (Orszaghaz) are some of the oldest in Europe and were built in the nineteenth century in a dramatic Gothic Revival style. Characterised by peaked towers, an ornate limestone facade and a spectacular dome, the Hungarian Parliament Buildings are reminiscent of the UK’s Houses of Parliament.

The architect of the Hungarian Parliament Buildings, Imre Steindl, was chosen following a competition to design them, but became ill in the course of their construction. In fact, by the time they were completed in 1904, he had become blind.

Today, the Hungarian Parliament Buildings are home to the National Assembly of Hungary as well as a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can enjoy the many works of art both inside and outside these incredible buildings, from frescoes and stained glass to the many statues scattered throughout.

Note that you can only visit the Hungarian Parliament Buildings by way of a guided tour. The Hungarian Parliament Buildings are part of the main Budapest UNESCO World Heritage site.

Photo by anafreitas (cc)

Matthias Church

Of all historical sites of Hungary, Matthias Church has one of the strongest royal connections, having been the setting for royal weddings and coronations.

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Matthias Church (Matyas Templom) is an ornate medieval structure which has been the site of royal weddings and coronations.

Despite being founded in the thirteenth century by King Bela IV (some posit that the first church here was built in the eleventh century), the name Matthias Church is actually a reference to the monarch Matthias Corvinus who was twice married there. Its official name is the Church of Our Lady.

The diverse and often turbulent history of Buda is reflected in the eclectic style of Matthias Church, which includes a mostly gothic dramatic exterior and a vibrant interior with allusions to the various rulers of the city, including the Ottomans.

Upstairs in Matthias Church is an ecclesiastical museum and, in the basement visitors can view its crypt. It is part of Budapest’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.

St Stephen’s Basilica

Completed in 1905, this is Budapest’s largest church and one of the most renowned landmarks in Hungary.

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St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika) is Budapest’s largest church.

Begun in 1851 and completed in 1905, St. Stephen’s Basilica was consecrated in the name of the canonised King, Stephen I of Hungary (reign 1001-1038). One of the king’s relics, his right hand - known as the Holy Right and symbolic of his incorruptibility - is housed within the church.

The tower of St. Stephen’s Basilica is also a good place from which to enjoy views of the city.

Photo by Historvius

The Iseum

Dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, The Iseum was built in the 2nd century AD and is one of the most well known Roman historical sites in Hungary.

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The Iseum, also known as the Isis Szentély Romkertje, in Szombathely is a restored 2nd century AD Roman temple site dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Excavated since the 1950’s, the ruins of the two temples of the Iseum can be seen today and part of the site has been reconstructed. The remains of the original site, some of which have undergone significant modern restoration, are now contained within a wider museum complex.