Published: June 22 2023
The best view of the Danube in Budapest can be found atop Gellért Hill, which offers a panoramic vista of the city and the iconic river that cuts through it. In this guide, we'll explore how to get there, the history of the spot, and some additional must-see attractions to enhance your visit even more.
Gellért Hill: The Prime Viewpoint
Gellért Hill stands 235 meters high on the banks of the Danube and provides spectacular views of both Buda and Pest, the two main parts of Budapest. At its peak, a terrace surrounding the Liberty Statue allows you to gaze out over the river, unobstructed by buildings or other cityscape elements.
How to Get There
Reaching Gellért Hill is relatively easy as there are multiple methods of transportation to suit your preference. Some popular options include:
- Walking: A hike up Gellért Hill can take between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your pace. From the river banks, simply follow the stairways and paths that go up the hill.
- Bus: Bus 27 runs from Móricz Zsigmond körtér to the Citadel on Gellért Hill. Alternatively, you can take the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing buses.
- Taxi: A quick taxi ride to the top can save you the effort of climbing the hill. However, it's worth noting that Budapest's taxi drivers may charge higher rates for short trips.
History of Gellért Hill
Historically, the Romans had built fortresses on the hill to protect Budapest from invasions. In the 19th century, the Austrian Empire took control and erected the Citadel, which is now a protected monument. A significant event occurred in 1947 when the Liberty Statue was erected to commemorate the city's liberation from the Nazis.
Must-see Attractions on Gellért Hill
While the view from Gellért Hill is the main attraction, don't miss these nearby sights during your visit:
- Liberty Statue: This impressive bronze statue is a symbol of the city's freedom and stands tall for visitors to appreciate up close.
- The Citadel: This fortress-turned-museum has evolved from its original purpose of suppressing uprisings and now tells the history of Budapest throughout the years.
- Gellért Hill Cave: This historic place of worship dates back to the 1920s and has connections to a Hungarian hermit, St. Ivan. In 1951, it was the site of a tragic assault, to which a memorial now pays tribute.
Other Notable Vantage Points
If you'd like to explore alternative spots to enjoy the view of the Danube, consider visiting these popular locations:
- Fisherman's Bastion: Located in the Castle District, this popular viewpoint with arches and towers offers a lovely panorama of the Danube and the Hungarian Parliament.
- Buda Castle: This impressive building perched above the city houses several museums, but you can also access the castle district for marvelous views of the Danube from its terraces.
- Margaret Island: This picturesque island in the Danube is an ideal spot for those seeking some relaxation and stunning Danube views.
In conclusion, while there are various locations along the banks of the Danube that offer beautiful vistas, Gellért Hill triumphs as the best spot to appreciate the river's beauty and its surroundings. With its rich history and additional attractions, Gellért Hill is a must-visit vantage point for anyone choosing to experience the unique charm of Budapest.