This Central European Attraction Is Considered One Of The Top Tourist Spots In The World

It's no secret that if you're looking for extraordinary historic landmarks, Europe has got you covered (and then some). One landmark in particular may not be as instantly recognizable as the Eiffel Tower or Westminster Abbey, but it's one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Nestled on the banks of the Danube River in Budapest, the Hungarian Parliament Building is an iconic symbol of Hungary's rich history and architectural prowess. Drawing over 700,000 visitors in a single year, this majestic structure is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the heart of Europe.

Visitors will appreciate both the historical and architectural significance of the Hungarian Parliament Building. Constructed between 1885 and 1902, it's a stunning example of Neo-Gothic architecture, designed by renowned architect Imre Steindl. Even if you don't visit parliament, the striking building will make an impression during your stay in Budapest. But it's well worth going inside so you can appreciate its intricate details, soaring spires, and symmetrical façade — and see the country's famous Crown Jewels.

Highlights of the Parliament Building

The Hungarian Crown Jewels, housed in the Parliament Building, are a major attraction for history enthusiasts. The Hungarian Holy Crown, Coronation Insignia, and other regalia are on display in the Dome Hall, providing a glimpse into Hungary's royal past. The exhibition narrates the journey of the Crown Jewels through centuries of tumultuous history, including thefts, wars, and a daring escape during World War II.

The Parliament Building's location along the Danube River provides visitors with breathtaking panoramic views. Many choose to stroll along the riverfront promenade or enjoy a relaxing boat cruise to admire the building's grandeur from the water. "From nearly anywhere along the river from either side, you cannot miss this huge place. It's amazing during the day but absolutely stunning at night when it is lit up," wrote one reviewer on TripAdvisor.

While the building is primarily a governmental institution, it opens its doors to the public in certain areas. The Visitor Center offers interactive exhibits, providing deeper insights into the building's construction and the democratic processes within. Additionally, the spacious Kossuth Square in front of the Parliament serves as a public space where events, festivals, and gatherings often take place.

Take a guided tour

One of the best ways to absorb the wealth of history within the Hungarian Parliament Building is by taking a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the opulent chambers, revealing stories of Hungary's past and the role the building played in shaping the nation. Highlights include the Crown Jewels (naturally) and the intricacies of the legislative chambers.

"[T]he opportunity to visit and tour the inside space is well worth the cost. It's kinda expensive, but if you want to see one of the most beautiful interior spaces in Budapest, you need to go here," one reviewer wrote on TripAdvisor. Going with a guide provides the opportunity to learn fascinating details you may not otherwise find yourself, and they're available to answer your questions. There are also audio-guided tours you can take yourself, which are available in 23 languages including English, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish.