Explore Budapest with Emerald Waterways

Graceful, imposing and steeped in history, Budapest has earned her reputation as the 'Queen of the Danube'.


The Hungarian capital, Budapest, straddles the Danube River. The city was strategically positioned on either bank of the river to maximise the potential of the Danube as a trade route. To this day, the river remains an integral part of the personality and culture of Budapest, with many of the city’s most famous sites overlooking the Danube.

A restorative soak in the thermal spas of Budapest, the capital of Hungary, might be your choice rather than visiting its many landmarks.  Over 15 million gallons of water flow daily into the many springs and thermal spas throughout the city.  If exploring is your preference, there’s plenty to keep you satisfied. 

Bisected by the Danube, the 19th century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where you can trace city life from Roman times onward at the Budapest History Museum. In Trinity Square visit the 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, from which you will have a sweeping view of the city below. The Fishermen’s Bastion, located adjacent to the Buda Castle.  It is thought that this part of the castle was protected by the fishermen’s guild, who lived under the walls in a town called Fishtown.    While spectacular in the daytime, get your cameras ready in the evening when the Parliament Building is lit up to show all its splendor as you dock across the Danube to take in its finery.

Must-see sights
Luckily for river cruise visitors, many of the city’s best-loved sites are located on the banks of the Danube. Whether you’re paying a flying visit or staying for a few days, there are plenty of things to see and do in Budapest.
Regarded as one of the world’s great wonders of engineering when it was completed in 1849 the Széchenyi Chain Bridge (to give it its full title) was one of the first modern suspension bridges. As the first bridge to span the Danube in Hungary, it became incredibly important to the country’s social, economic and cultural life. 

The bridge offers an awe-inspiring spectacle, especially when cruising underneath.
The neoclassical church, completed in 1905, has played a significant part in the religious and artistic culture of Budapest for more than a century. As well as serving as the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest; St. Stephen’s Basilica has also hosted a huge number of concerts.
Budapest cityscape, Hungary
Buda Castle, Budapest
The historic castle and palace of Hungarian kings, Buda Castle can trace its history back more than 750 years. The massive complex provides a unique insight into the history and culture of the city and Hungary as a whole – housing hundreds of works of art since the 14th century.

The castle is home to a large four floor museum, The Budapest History Museum, presenting the full history of the city from the 14th century to today.
No cruise down the Danube is complete without a visit to the beautiful Margaret Island. Made up of landscaped parks, the island also houses the remains of medieval ruins – used as the religious centre of the city in the Middle Ages.

Access to the island by car has been limited, ensuring the atmosphere and ambience remains peaceful.
 Széchenyi Thermal Baths, Budapest
The largest medicinal baths in Europe, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths are heated by two thermal springs, providing a consistent temperature of 74 °C. Whether you simply want a relaxing dip or wish to treat conditions such as join illnesses, chronic and sub-acute joint inflammations or orthopaedic complaints; the baths provide a perfect way to end a glorious day in Budapest.

Fast facts

The fascinating city of Budapest provides plenty of surprises around every corner, so here we cover some of the city’s most interesting facts.

  • The population is 1.709 million people (2011 Census)
  • The city was formed when the old cities of Buda and Pest joined together with Old Buda
  • This unification occurred in 1873
  • Budapest is home to the oldest subway system in mainland Europe
  • Budapest Zoo is over 150 years old
  • The city is home to the second largest synagogue in the world
  • And the northernmost holy place of Islam
  • But the most common religion in the city is Christianity
  • 10 Nobel Prize winners have lived in Budapest
  • Famous folks born in Budapest include Harry Houdini, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Ferenc Puskás

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