Walking Tour on Andrassy Utca, Budapest (Self Guided)

Andrassy Avenue, recognized as a World Heritage site in 2002, is a fine boulevard in the city that dates back to 1870. The entire stretch is lined with cafés, restaurants, luxury shops and cultural institutions. The long, wide road that connects Downtown and City Park is lined with trees and renovated villas and palaces. At the City Park end is the Heroes Square where the most important national monuments are located.
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Walking Tour on Andrassy Utca Map

Guide Name: Walking Tour on Andrassy Utca
Guide Location: Hungary » Budapest (See other walking tours in Budapest)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Author: kane
Hungarian State Opera House

1) Hungarian State Opera House (must see)

Located in central Pest on Andrassy Street, the Hungarian State Opera building was officially opened to the public in 1884, designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture. It took close to a decade to finish this grand and elegant design, and the Baroque-Renaissance Revival architecture blends in very well indeed with all the large mansions of wealthy nearby. Inside, the decoration includes some of the finest oil on canvas paintings and sculptures to be found in Budapest.

Although not anywhere near the largest concert hall in the world, this Opera House is considered one of the most beautiful. On either side of the entrance are niches containing statues of Ferenc Erkel (composer of the Hungarian National Anthem) and Franz Liszt (arguably the most acclaimed Hungarian composer and one of the best pianists of his time). On the balustrade surrounding the roof are 16 statues of other great composers including Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini and Tchaikovsky. The interior is richly decorated with marble columns and staircases, vaulted ceilings and abounding gold leaf, together with an amazing chandelier weighing several tons and ornate frescoes of figures from Greek mythology.

The acoustics are also considered to be among the best found anywhere – they have been rated 3rd best in Europe, behind La Scala in Milan and Palais Garnier in Paris.

If you can't get a seat for an opera or if opera is not your thing, try the conducted tours of which there are three a day. A visit here not only lets you enjoy the magnificent architecture, but also helps you get a sense of what high-society life was like during the city's heyday in the late 19th century. The tour takes you through the private balconies, the smoking room, the king's private staircase, and the amazing bar area decorated in crystal and Croatian marble.

Otherwise, if do enjoy an opera show every now and then, try to book one – you will be happy you did. Tickets are more affordable than expected; nevertheless, be prepared to dress up as it's a rather glamorous affair.

Get the 'Opera Cake' and a glass of wine at the interval.

Editor's note:
The building is being renovated until 2020, therefore Opera House performances temporarily take place at the Erkel Theatre. However, the Opera Shop and certain parts of the building can be visited even during renovation.
Pest Broadway

2) Pest Broadway

The Pest Broadway is a section of Budapest historically known for its theatres and music. It is at the intersection of Nagymező Street and Andrassy Avenue, very close to the Budapest Opera, and has been described as “Champs-Élysées and Broadway rolled into one”.

Some exquisite theaters, as well as the Moulin Rouge nightclub, the Mai Manó House of Photography, the Ernst Gallery, and other artistically influenced companies are all located here, making it the cultural center of the city.

Nagymező Street is a good place to stroll and get a feel for theatres, whether more traditional ones, like the Thália and Radnóti, or the Operetta Theatre which features musicals. Mikroszkóp is famous for its stand-up comedy and has a statue Hungary's most famous stand-up comedian, Géza Hofi, placed out front. Other night entertainment businesses expand in the surrounding streets, all the way to the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, and you may enjoy the numerous and extraordinary sculptures and monuments that are often found along the way.

There is also a large range of fine dining to be found on the Pest Broadway, between its fine food establishments, and the quaint cafes and bars that dot the streets, which unsurprisingly have made this area quite popular among Budapest's locals, too.
Franz Liszt Square

3) Franz Liszt Square

Franz List Square is a very popular stop in Budapest. The location of anchored by the Academy of Music, but is also well known for its cafes and shops. On the corner of Andrassy ut 45, there is a place called the “Irok Boltja” in Hungarian. It means “Writer’s Bookshop” in English. You can find some of the best literary events in Budapest located here. It is definitely a meeting place for famous and not so famous writers, people who love to read, and even just the curious.

Two places of interest in the Square is the Menza restaurant (which is a local favorite) and the Icognito Bar (one of the oldest such establishments in the area.) Even if you do not visit these two places, you will find many nice sidewalk cafes, gardens, and benches to enjoy.

In the center of the Square is a statue of Franz Liszt. He was a famous composer and one of the best classical pianists who has ever lived. You will want to take note of the large hands on the statue, which allude to his skill on the piano. He was born in 1811, and was performing by the age of 9.
Academy of Music

4) Academy of Music

The Franz Liszt Academy of Music is a school of music and concert hall in Budapest, Hungary. It is often called the “Zaneakademia” by the local, which just refers to the fact that is, first and foremost, a place that teaches young musicians. It was founded on November 14, 1875.

This famous school also houses the Liszt Collection, which include several rare books and manuscripts. They were donated by the artist at his death. The AVISO studio is also housed here. It is a project between the countries of Japan and Hungary, which is designed to teach music students about sounding recording equipment and techniques.

Historically speaking, the institution was founded in 1919 as the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music. The original location of the Foundation was in I Liszt’s old home. The group renamed the Music school after Liszt in 1925. On a side note, Foundation purchased Liszt’s old home in the 1980s, and now use it as the Ferenc Liszt Memorial and Research Center.

In modern times, the school has around 900 students. It has been in continuous existence since 1875, and is the only music Academy anywhere in the world that was founded by the famous composer and pianist.

5) Oktogon

Oktogon, located at the junction of Andrassy Avenue and Terez Korut Street, gets its name from its octagonal shape. The buildings that are located at this junction form an octagonal shape and hence the name of the square ‘Oktogon’. The beautiful facades of the surrounding buildings reflect the neo-Renaissance style of architecture.
House of Terror

6) House of Terror (must see)

Located at Andrassy ut 60 in Budapest, Hungary is the so-called House of Terror. It is actually a museum proper, which houses exhibits that depict life under the fascist and communist regimes that dominated the political arena in Hungary during the 20th Century. In like fashion, it is also a memorial to the many people who died under those governments or were victims of torture and detention.

The official opening of the museum was on February 24, 2002. The facility is administered by Dr. Maria Schmidt, who has been the Director General since its opening. The building was purchased in 2000 and was intended to be the place where the story of the life of the Hungarians who lived through these hard times would be told into posterity.

It took a year to finish construction, as the building on 60 Andrássy Avenue was fully renovated inside and out. The architect was Attila F. Kovacs, and he was assisted by Janos Sandor and Kalman Ujszaszy. Akos Kovacs wrote the music that is the backdrop for the exhibits.

When you first view the building, one is struck by the stark architecture of the building. Its black passé partout, granite sidewalks, and blade colored walls really make it stand out against the more traditional buildings of the area.

Why You Should Visit:
Macabre but provides a good background to the recent history of Budapest.
Highlights include the propaganda room on the floor as well as the torture rooms in the basement (which are not for the faint of heart).

English-speakers: hire the audio guide, as most pictures and exhibits don't have English captions.
Consider combining your trip with the Mai Manó House of Photography (if only to have a look at the building from the outside), a coffee at the magnificently decorated Book Café, and a visit to the Opera (check their website for the hours of tours in English) – all nearby.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm, closed on Mondays
University of Fine Art

7) University of Fine Art

The Hungarian Academy of Fine Art was originally founded in 1871. The building that now stands along the Danube was constructed in 1876. It is located on Pest Avenue, and connects with the City Park. The structure underwent some major construction in 1997, and the work was completed by 1998. The façade of the home of the art school displays some beautiful portraits of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Bramante.

The Academy was started as a school for master painters. Over the years, the courses of study have been expanded to many other areas of art.

On the opposite side of the academy is a Mulberry garden. There are five buildings located here, which are now studios. These studios are used by the students of the school, who study, and can receive a degree in sculpture, painting, graphic design, costume design and restoration, and multi media.

The Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1871. The central building, erected in 1876, is located on the most elegant avenue of Pest which connects the Danube with the City Park. The building was restored to its original beauty in 1997/8. The restoration includes the facade with sgrafitto portraits of Bramante, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, and also the Rector's corridor and numerous internal decorations.
Zoltan Kodaly Memorial Museum

8) Zoltan Kodaly Memorial Museum

The Zoltan Kodaly Memorial Museum was built in 1990 to honor the life and work of one of Hungary’s most famous 20th Century composers. He was also a famous Hungarian ethnomusicologist, and contributed greatly to the country’s study of musical history, linguistics, and philosophy. The location seeks to share this information, as well as being a place of historical preservation for the composer.

The museum also displays some personal effects of the musician. Visitors can also see his music saloon and library, which all belonged to the composer. In the spring of 1990, the workshops for Hungarian music history were also opened to the public from this location. The workshop is pretty much been left in the condition is in during Kodaly’s life.

The road on which the museum rests is also very famous. During his life, Kodaly lived at the Korond, which is named after him now. When the family first moved to the house, the street was named after Gyula Andrassy, who was the Prime Minister during the Constitutional Government of 1867. In 1949, the road was renamed by Stalin as the “Road of the Hungarian Youth.” During WWII, the circus was named after Adolf Hitler. The original name was restored in 1982.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Friday: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm. Visits are by appointment only.
Ferenc Hopp East-Asian Art Museum

9) Ferenc Hopp East-Asian Art Museum

The Ferenc Hopp Museum of East Asian Art is located in the home of its founder. It is a rather large villa that has provided lots of room over the years. The location has six full rooms, which houses one of the country’s most prestigious exhibits of Japanese and Chinese art. It houses classic examples of Asian ceramics, textiles, sculpture, porcelain figurines, Indonesian wayang puppets and Indian statuary. There is also a Lamaist sculpture and paintings from Tibet housed here.

Ferenc Hopp was born on 28, April 1833 in the village of Fulnek in Moravia in a German speaking family. He moved to the Pest region of Hungary in 1845. He became a successful businessman, who traveled throughout Europe and the United States. He did well enough as a businessman to be able to travel and collect the objects of art that are now housed in his home.

The formal organization of the Museum began in 1919, with the help of Zoltan Felvinczi Takacs and the Museum of Fine Arts. The place continued to make purchases in art, and receive donations, all through the 20th Century.

The museum currently houses over 20,000 objects of art. The collections represent the eastern countries of Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Korea, Vietnam, and the people of Islam. The adjacent library has over 22,000 volumes.

Operation hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Walking Tours in Budapest, Hungary

Create Your Own Walk in Budapest

Create Your Own Walk in Budapest

Creating your own self-guided walk in Budapest is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Pest Orientation Walk

Pest Orientation Walk

Separated from its western neighbor Buda by the magnificent river Danube, the eastern part of Bupadest, formally known as Pest, takes up almost two thirds of the Hungarian capital. Unlike hilly Buda, Pest is predominantly a flat plain with a pretty buzzing and bourgeois setting. It houses some truly magnificent architectural sights, including the Hungarian Parliament itself. In part, this is...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Ruin Pubs Tour

Ruin Pubs Tour

A truly unique attraction to the city of Budapest, ruin pubs are thriving modern establishments that are located inside old abandoned buildings. The antiquity inherent in their architecture adds a certain character to these pubs. Inside the spots found on the Budapest Ruin Pubs Tour guests are treated to an assortment of entertainment opportunities, including hot DJ sets, live musical acts, film...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
City Park Area Leisure Walk

City Park Area Leisure Walk

When in Budapest, do not fail to make it to the famous baths. The thermal springs, besides providing a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, are also claimed to have curative powers for muscular ailments. With the locals, it is a favorite way to socialize and a hot soak in the waters is often combined with a relaxing massage afterwards. The baths are open from 6am to 7pm every day. Besides the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Jewish Heritage Walking Tour

Jewish Heritage Walking Tour

Over the centuries, the Jews of Budapest were many times expelled from the city and had to rebuild their homes and lives after it. Therefore, it is amazing to see how much they have re-created and many of it is still preserved even after the WWII and the communist regime. This tour covers some of the most important sites that provide an insight into the history and culture of the Jewish population...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Nightlife Tour

Nightlife Tour

A major city that attracts a lot of visitors each year, Budapest offers a healthy selection of hot bars and clubs where guests are encouraged to party all night long. The diversity of the venues found on the Budapest Nightlife Tour is notable, including decadent nightclubs with heart-thumping live DJs spinning the latest house and techno, hip and artsy crowds relaxing with a cocktail to jazz and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Budapest without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Budapest, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

15 Must Buy Hungarian Things in Budapest

15 Must Buy Hungarian Things in Budapest

Other than the standalone language and catchy Czardas tune, there's a lot more to memorize Hungary by. Here are some of the things you might want to carry from Budapest to your family and friends back...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Budapest for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Budapest has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money getting around Budapest and visiting the city's multiple highlights, you may want to resort to the Budapest Card.

Among other conveniences, this card allows its bearer to explore Budapest's top attractions, tours, and restaurants either completely free or with great discounts. The card provides 24-, 48-, 72-, 96- or 120-hour passes to these locations, plus free ride on public transportation, thus putting Budapest at your fingertips!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few Budapest hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Carat Boutique Hotel, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Budapest, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Budapest typically costs somewhere between US$20+ and US$90+ per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker bus or cruise boat to enjoy sightseeing of Budapest in comfort from either land or water, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able to get on and off at any of the stops along the four interconnecting bus routes (your ticket is valid for all four) or the Danube riverbanks as often as you like.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Budapest – this usually lasts up to 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the Hungarian capital. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have by walking.

- Pedal your way around Budapest on a 3-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Acquaint yourself up-close with the wonders of Budapest on a 3-hour walking tour of the UNESCO-listed and other heritage sites of the Hungarian capital, plus many more unexpected gems of this magical city.

- Awaken your taste buds to the highlights of Hungarian gastronomy on a 4-hour guided gourmet food tour of Budapest to sample some of the tastiest treats of the famously hearty Hungarian cuisine the city has to offer. Apart from feasting on its gastronomic treasures, with each bite you will also learn about the culinary culture of Budapest.

- Explore the centuries-long fascinating and complicated history of the Hungarian Jews. Take a guided Jewish heritage walk in Budapest to visit the historic Jewish quarters, memorials and synagogues of the city, home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Budapest, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like the Etyek wine region, the Danube Bend, or Pecs. For as little as circa US$80+ to US$140 per person you will get a chance to savor some of Hungary’s delicious wines and learn some tricks of the local winemaking trade, visit the beautiful cities along the Danube Bend, travel to the old Hungarian capital Esztergom, get a chance to enjoy Mediterranean atmosphere amid the land-locked country, see the remnants of Turkish presence in Hungary, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in Budapest and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned minibus or private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.