Today join your guide at 10AM in the hotel lobby for a half-day overview city tour on foot and via metro. This morning you may visit the magnificent House of Parliament, which is the country’s largest building and the symbol of Budapest. Here you will have the opportunity to see the dome, which boasts an elaborate design of Neo-Gothic gilding. Inside the building, the stunning interiors combine sweeping grand staircases, original frescoes, paintings and sculptures. For most, the highlight of this visit is the viewing of the crown jewels of Hungary. One of the most notable items in the collection is the Holy Crown of Hungary, the only crown known today with the “holy” attribute and dating from the 11th century. This crown has had quite a history – seized by the U.S. Army in 1945, it was held in Fort Knox until 1978, when it was returned to Hungary.
Continue with a stroll through central Pest. Before leaving the area of the Parliament, make sure to take a look at the shoes on the Danube. This memorial was created to honor the Jews killed by the Arrow Cross during WWII.
Your guide will take you to the Budapest Market Hall. Built by Eiffel in the 19th century, the covered market boasts soaring metal columns, high walkways and beautiful produce shops. More than being a place where one can purchase some handcrafted and typical Hungarian souvenirs, it’s a market where locals go to purchase their produce and meats – a meeting place for many and a place where you can enjoy authentic local flavor.
Next, your guide will take you to the Great Budapest Synagogue, the Jewish Museum, and the Holocaust Memorial. Since the 19th century, the Jewish community became well integrated into Hungarian society and three synagogues were built. In 1944, a ghetto was created in Pest, which was later followed by the deportation of thousands to Jews. You can walk through part of the former Jewish neighborhood to see an old synagogue on Rumbach Street.
From here, your guide will take you to the Great Synagogue, the largest of the three previously mentioned and impressive in its Byzantine and Moorish style architecture. You can visit the Jewish Museum that is part of the synagogue, and afterwards, walk over to the Holocaust Memorial. The sculpture of a weeping willow designed in memory of the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who died under the Nazis in World War II.