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St Stephen's Basilica

A neoclassical cathedral dedicated to the first Christian king of Hungary; his (alleged) right hand is housed in its reliquary.

TravelCurious Tip

Take a trip to the top of the dome for spectacular views from the highest perch in Budapest. It’s a mere 364 steps, or an elevator

Construction of St Stephen's Basilica began in the mid 19th century, and it took over 50 years to complete. This was mainly due to the dome collapsing during a storm, an act of God which set them back a long time. But when the building was finally completed in 1905, its beauty made it more than worth the wait.


It is the largest church in Budapest, holding up to 8,500 people. Although technically a cathedral, it was given the title of basilica minor by Pope Pius XI in 1931. Along with the Hungarian Parliament Building, it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest at 96 metres. This was no accident: it was meant to be symbolic of the equal standing of worldly and spiritual matters. Current regulations dictate that no building in Budapest can be taller. The height of 96 metres is itself also significant: it refers to 896, the year when the Magyar tribes settled in the Carpathian Basin, leading to the foundation of Hungary.


Inside, the basilica is dark, sombre and beautiful. Many of Hungary’s most well-known sculptors and painters were called upon to contribute to the decoration of the interior. It’s certainly opulent, with more than fifty types of marble, exquisite little chapels and numerous sculptures — including one of St Stephen, naturally.


Right hand man

The Holy Right Chapel is perhaps the highlight of the basilica. It allegedly contains the mummified right hand of St Stephen, who was the first King of Hungary and namesake of the basilica. This relic was pinched during World War II but it was returned home soon after. It is supposedly incorruptible, and is paraded through the city every year on August 20th, the anniversary of St Stephen’s death.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Budapest
Hungarian State Opera House
This Neo-Renaissance opera house on Andrássy út features world-class acoustics, and has seen many an important resident.
Soviet War Memorial
Situated in a landscaped park, this white obelisk commemorates Russian military who served during the Second World War.
Weeping Willow
Designed by Imre Varga, and adjoining the The Central Synagogue, this magnificent Holocaust memorial has the names of the dead or the missing on 30,000 inscribed leaves.
Rumbach Street Synagogue
The Rumbach Street synagogue is located in Belváros, the inner city of the historical old town of Pest
Jewish Ghetto Wall Fragment
The Budapest Ghetto was liberated on January 17th, 1945.
Liberty Square
Liberty Square or Szabadsag ter in Budapest is one of the largest squares in the city

Related Tours

Highlights of Pest: Private Walking Tour
Explore the fascinating and vibrant Pest District of Hungary’s capital city, famous for its Jewish history, and its mix of stunning architectural styles. On your private tour you will:

  • Enjoy the personal attention of your expert private guide.
  • Discover the Pest district of Budapest, and learn why the two cities of Buda and Pest were united.
  • Wander along the eastern banks of the Danube River, whilst learning of its importance to the city since ancient times.
  • Learn about the Jewish community and their history in Budapest at the Holocaust Memorial centre
  • Visit the Great Synagogue, and enjoy a privately guided tour of Europe’s largest Jewish place of worship, with skip the line tickets included.
  • Tour inside the stunning Basilica of St Stephen’s, a neoclassical Cathedral (entrance included).
  • Learn about Hungary’s politics as you stand in front of the magnificent Parliament Building. 
  • Pass by the Vörösmarty tér statue and stop for a photo at the Ferris Wheel of Budapest.
  • Experience the friendly, buzzing atmosphere of downtown Pest, a vibrant, trendy, cultural and artistic neighbourhood. 
  • Stop by the Heroes Square, the Opera House, and House of Terror.
  • Admire the plethora of fabulous architectural styles – Gothic, Turkish, Art Nouveau and Neo-Classical among others.
  • Stroll through the tranquil park to see the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle.
  • End your tour with the gorgeous Széchenyi Spa, a luxury bathing complex. (Entrance not included. Please note if you wish to enter you will need to have a vaccination certificate).

Budapest is really two cities, Buda and Pest, combined. The Pest district lies on the eastern bank of the Danube River and is famous for its vibrant atmosphere, Jewish community and history, and stunning mix of architectural styles from Gothic to Art Nouveau. Your private guide will show you all the most important highlights of the district on your private walking tour. 

Learn all about the Jewish community, as you step inside the Great Synagogue, a statuesque landmark that ranks amongst the world’s largest places of worship for the Jewish faith and was consecrated in the city in 1859. Stroll the leafy Andrássy út boulevard, passing by the neo-Renaissance National Opera House and other national buildings, including the formidable and magnificent Hungarian Parliament. Straddling the Danube, this stunning building is home to the Crown of St Stephen, a historically significant treasure of the Hungarian nation, bequeathed by Pope Sylvester II on Christmas Day in the year 1000. 

Walk into the Heroes’ Square, one of Budapest’s favourite public spaces: a popular gathering point with a monument dedicated to the Magyar (Hungarian) conquest at its heart. Your final destination on the half-day tour of Pest is the largest spa in Europe, the mosaic-rich Széchenyi Spa, an immense bathing complex built in elaborate Art Nouveau style, where you have the option of purchasing tickets to explore the bubbling hot springs and steaming pools of curative waters, enjoyed throughout the centuries by around 100-million bathers. 
Full-Day Private Tour of Budapest, with tickets included
On this seven-hour tour, your expert local guide will direct you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites of Budapest. On your private tour, you will:

  • Commence your tour on Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramas of the city 
  • Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church with tickets included
  • Revel in the quietude of Buda and its characterful, storied streets.
  • Enjoy the buzz of Pest, a vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube
  • Discover the significance of the monument at the heart of Heroes' Square 
  • Find out what drove Buda and Pest to unify as one large capital city
  • Discover Budapest’s stunning array of architectural styles, from the Turkish era to Art Nouveau
  • Admire the scale and finery of the Hungarian Parliament Building 
  • Visit two of Europe’s most important synagogues at Dohány Street Synagogue and Rumbach Street Synagogue
  • Admire the elegance of St Stephen's Basilica, a neoclassical cathedral (tickets included)
  • End your tour at  Széchenyi Spa, a colour-rich bathing complex in Art Nouveau style (tickets not included – please pre-book for the spa, if you wish). 
Budapest is blessed with some truly superb, grand buildings in Gothic, Art Nouveau, Romantic, Neo-Gothic and Turkish era style: a pleasing mix of genres that draws millions of culture buffs to the city each year.  The capital of Hungary is the administrative, cultural, economic, educational, financial and trade hub of the nation. The mighty Danube River, broad and sweeping, neatly dissects the city, with the old city of Buda extending into the hills on the west bank and Pest sitting in the lowlands to the east. As Hungary’s largest metropolitan hub, Budapest boasts more diversity in its ethnicity still, combined with the historical legacies of Asiatic conquer, Mongol invasion, Ottoman siege, German control and Soviet rule. 

Immerse yourself in the unique character of Budapest with its beautiful buildings, fairytale towers, storied streets, Hungarian culture, quirky communist-era sites and gritty spirit. Stroll some of the streets to access treasures best viewed on foot and journey via luxury transport to the city’s far-flung corners. Your expert local guide will provide a narrative to your exploration of Budapest’s most compelling historical and cultural sites. Visit Castle Hill, an elevated focal point of Budapest’s history that is home to some of the city’s most iconic medieval monuments such as the fairytale towers at the Fisherman’s Bastion and handsome Matthias Church with its royal connections. 

The St Stephen’s Basilica, an elegant neoclassical cathedral named after the first king of Hungary, is the most sacred of all Catholic churches in the country and took 54 years to construct, finally opening in 1905. Similarly impressive is the Great Synagogue, one of the largest places of worship of the Jewish faith in the world. Your tour ends at Széchenyi Spa, an Art Nouveau bathing complex of grand decor filled with hot bubbling pools, outside baths and whirlpools. The largest spa bath in Europe, the Széchenyi Spa boasts iconic status in Hungary and is used by people of all ages, including families, for bathing rituals in its spring-fed curative bathhouse. You are free to enjoy the spa at your leisure at the end of the tour (price not included). 

Please note: if you wish to visit the spa, you must provide proof of vaccination. 
Hungarian Food Tasting & Private Walking Tour of Budapest
Explore Budapest’s thriving foodie scene on this private walking food tour with several tastings, so be sure to arrive hungry. Learn about the history of Hungarian cuisine as you sample its many and varied flavours, and admire the highlights of the city too. On your private tour you will: 

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of your expert private guide, a local foodie!
  • Sample many delicious authentic Hungarian tastings on this culinary journey through Budapest. 
  • Admire many of the architectural highlights of the city as you explore its foodie scene.
  • Browse the sensational food markets and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. 
  • Try delicious Hungarian goulash, succulent paprika chicken, fisherman soup and dumplings washed down with a Hungarian-style spritzer or a glass of white wine from the vineyards of the south of the country.
  • Visit local bars and cafes and authentic gourmet restaurants.
  • Eat like a local and meet chefs, kitchen staff and food vendors.
  • Learn the history behind the nation’s favourite dish.
  • Get the inside scoop on the best places to eat in the city.
  • Try some of Budapest’s tastiest street food.
  • End at a lively bar in the centre, to continue at your leisure.

Budapest boasts a diverse array of different dishes with abundant culinary influences. In its soups and stews, there are the tell-tale signs of Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania, while stuffed vegetables and pickled salads are from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia. To Austria, it owes many of its pastries and to Turkey, its coffee, with German and Russian occupation also leaving its mark. Yet with the regional towns and villages of Hungary’s culinary heartlands, Budapest’s focus is squarely on home-spun dishes - albeit with a modern, contemporary twist.

Delve into the city’s gastronomic history on this experiential, sensory and delicious food tour. 

Get to know Hungary through its incredible food. Experience for yourself how history and societal changes continue to add new complexity to the city’s foodscape. In the markets, in the cafes, in the kitchens and at the food stalls, you will meet some of the chefs and watch kitchens in the throes of creativity: smell the food, listen to it pop and spit, devour it with your eyes, before finally – tucking in! 

Budapest’s favourite local dishes read like a Hungarian map, with every corner of this landlocked country represented in restaurants in the city. Like any capital city, Budapest is home to people from all over the globe, adding further culinary bites to the city’s mouthwatering food mix. 

Traditional Hungarian cuisine is heavy, no surprise given the bitterly cold winters; however, demand in Budapest is increasingly for modern interpretations of these robust dishes, so lighter and smaller portions, tapas-style. 

Want to order like a local? Try delicious Hungarian goulash, succulent paprika chicken, fisherman soup and dumplings washed down with a Hungarian-style spritzer or a glass of white wine from the vineyards of the south of the country. This tour is a tantalising tasting adventure of authentic Hungarian baked goods, sumptuous slow-cooked meats, freshly cooked soup, pies and fresh local produce. Enjoy! Or as they say in Budapest: jó étvágyat!
Private Budapest City Stroll with a Guide
Explore the highlights of the beautiful Hungarian capital of Budapest, including the entrance to St Stephen’s Basilica and enjoy a drink on us at a local tavern. On your private, guided tour of Budapest you will: 

  • Enjoy the personalised attention of your private guide.
  • Admire the scale and finery of the Hungarian Parliament Building in Kossuth Lajos Square. 
  • Find out what caused Buda and Pest to unify as one large capital city.
  • Learn of the importance of the Danube River to Budapest since ancient times.
  • Enjoy the tranquillity of the quaint and characterful historic streets of Buda as you learn the stories of famous Hungarians who lived here and shaped the destiny of the city.
  • Experience the buzz of Pest, a vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube.
  • Walk around Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramic views over the city. 
  • Explore St Stephen's Basilica, a stunningly elegant neoclassical cathedral. 
  • End your tour at the local pub with drinks on us!
Considered one of Europe’s most strikingly beautiful cities, Budapest contains an incredible array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is an amalgamation of two independent settlements of Buda and Pest that were joined in 1873.

Learn about Hungary’s complex political history outside the magnificent Neo-Gothic Parliament building, admire the elegance of St Stephen’s Basilica with a private guided tour of the interior, and enjoy the relaxed and famously friendly atmosphere of Trinity Square's lovely 13th Century Matthias Church. 

Budapest is split by a wide sweep of the mighty River the Danube, Europe’s second-longest river (the Volga is the longest) that stretches from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. The city is rich in geothermal water resources with thousands of subterranean pools spouting mineral-rich waters dating back over 2,000 years. Using 20-million litres of water, Budapest’s grand, mosaic-clad bath-houses are open to the public, earning it the title of ‘World's Spa Capital’! From the Ottoman Empire of the 16th Century through to the tragedies of World War 2 and the thriving modern city it is today, your guide will show you the major monuments, the hidden gems, and tell you the many stories that have shaped the city over many centuries. 

Also experience the buzz of Pest, the vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube. You’ll also walk around Castle Hill with its sweeping vista overlooking the city – the money shot! Your tour ends at a local pub with drinks on us!
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