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Built on the site of a former Austrian barracks, this vast square has a certain appeal despite its slightly ostentatious nature.

Name: Freedom Square
Category: Architecture, castles and historic districts
Location: 1054 Budapest, Szabadság tér.

Description

Szabadság Square (Szabadság tér) is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful squares in Budapest. The buildings, events and emotions of history and present day coalesce in such a way that olden times are summoned in front of your very eyes. The Stock Exchange Palace (Tőzsdepalota), once operating as the center for goods and valuables in Budapest, the Hungarian National Bank (Magyar Nemzeti Bank) and the building of the American Embassy are all to be found here. The Soviet monument, a subject of fiery debates, is worth a visit, not unlike the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau (Magyar Szecesszió Háza) nearby.

Freedom Square
Freedom Square

 

Built on the site of a former Austrian barracks, this vast square has a certain appeal despite its slightly ostentatious nature. It is fitted between two buildings with majestic façades, attributed to Ignác Alpár: the State Television, former Stock Exchange and the Hungarian National Bank. The collection of coins and notes must be seen. To the North, an obelisk is the only monument dedicated to the Soviet Russians which still survives, not far from .... the American Embassy.

Walk around the square and admire the remarkable buildings: the Us Embassy, the Art-nouveau National Bank and the former building of the Hungarian Television. Do not miss the Memorial of the Russian Army.



Good to know about Szabadság square

  • Szabadság square is a grand and spacious square in central Budapest. It was laid out in
    1886 at the site of the former Neugebäude (1789-1886), an evil repute fortress-like building
  • Now grandious buildings surround the square such as the Hungarian National Bank and the former building of the Hungarian State Television
  • The Art-Nouveau building of the National Bank was built in 1905 as the Budapest Headquarters of the Austro-Hungarian Bank
  • The impressive building that dominates the west side of the square first housed the stock exchange. From 1955 till 2010 it gave home to the Hungarian Television
  • Hungary's first prime minister, Lajos Batthyány, was executed in the Neugebäude on 6 Oct 1949.
  • A memorial commemorates his death at the corner of Bathory utca and Hold utca
  • The memorial in the middle of the square is the Memorial of the Russian Army paying thanks to the Soviet forces for liberating Hungary from the Nazis
  • Another highlight is the interactive fountain. When the hidden vertical fountain nozzles are turned on they create an exciting water wall around the square shaped area

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Take a look at the Menu "Attractions" to see what other tourist sights are around.

Freedom Square on the map

 

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While peace and quiet is harder to find in Pest than it is in leafy Buda, you don’t have to trek out to City Park or Margaret Island to experience what is known as "park life" as a secluded spot is often never more than a few corners away.

The cute park at Honvéd tér with its trimmed lawn and neat flowerbeds is tucked away close to the busy Pest thoroughfare of Szent István körút but is totally peaceful, bar the sounds of kids playing. There’s also concrete ping-pong tables with iron nets that may be an unglamorous hangover from Communism but they can stand all weather and make for a good game.

Honvéd tér
Honvéd tér

 

You’ll run into English speakers here and also on the playgrounds of Szabadság tér. Although Szabadság tér, literally Freedom Square, may be synonymous with the violence after the riots of 2006 and repression in the form of the Soviet War Memorial, this big open space, surrounded by colossal buildings that serve to block out the bustle, is a superbly relaxing place and you can contemplate the awesome aspect of the city’s biggerthan- thou architecture.

Freedom Square
Freedom Square

 

Still on the Pest side, Károly kert also belies its central location close to hectic Astoria, transcending metropolitan modernity and transporting you back to Budapest’s early 20thcentury heyday.

Károly kert
Károly kert

 

Step through the wrought-iron gate and feel at the center of a living bastion of old-world charm.

SMELL THE FLOWERS IN BUDAPEST

 

Margaret Island (Margit-sziget)

Sunrise to sunset, you can find a number of garden areas on the enchanting island in the Danube. During the summer months, the whimsical fountain, set within one of the beautiful garden areas, plays classical music while spraying water in time to the music.

Margaret Island
Margaret Island

 

The island did not become a public park until 1908. Before that time only the leaders of the upper classes could set foot on it. Plebeians should take advantage and visit with a picnic.

Szabadság tér

The name is Freedom Square in English. Surrounded by historical buildings, including the U.S. Embassy, this well-tended green space has gardens interspersed with pedestrian walkways.

Freedom Square
Freedom Square

 

There are plenty of benches under shady trees for relaxing and even a small children’s playground for a family rest stop. It is also home to the tall obelisk with a star on top, the last remaining monument to the Soviet Union’s liberation of Budapest after World War II.

Szent István Park

This attractive green park in the XIII district is often overlooked by visitors who don’t even know it’s there. It’s a flowering oasis during spring and summer. To reach it, take tram No. 4 or No. 6 to Jászai Mari tér and walk parallel to Margaret Island three blocks along the Danube to reach it. The gardens are open from 6am to 8:30pm.

Szent István Park
Szent István Park

Kodály körönd

If you take the Millennium walking tour, you will discover the four pleasant garden areas, each with its own statue.

Kodály körönd
Kodály körönd

Jókai tér & Liszt Ferenc tér

Where they are intersected by Andrássy út just past Oktogon, each has attractive flower gardens. The Liszt Ferenc side is always shaped like a giant valentine heart. If you continue down Liszt Ferenc tér, an umbrella of trees will shadow you as you walk along the winding path.

Liszt Ferenc tér
Liszt Ferenc tér

 

For those looking for a quick lunch or a brief coffee and chat in between excursions or sightseeing, here are two recently redeveloped and "cool" locations which come fully recommended: one is Liszt Ferenc Square off Andrássy Avenue not far from Oktogon, the other is Ráday Street which starts from Kálvin Square. Both places are packed with cosy restaurants, bars, cafés and a youthful clientele. From a single star to 4-star, you’ll find every kind of restaurant here serving everything from traditional Hungarian to Chinese and even Argentinean cuisine.

Nagymező utca

Again, just off of Andrássy út in district VI, you will find an extended sidewalk with a planter built up from the ground filled with flowers. Beyond the flowerbeds is a modern, tranquil water fountain. Benches are provided for a rest stop, so give your feet a break and enjoy the views.

Nagymező utca
Nagymező utca

 

Hollán Ernő utca

Just as the street starts off Szent István körút in the XIII district, there is a pedestrian street for one block. Like Nagymező utca, a new pedestrian area has been created complete with flowers and a water fountain decorated with colored lights.

Hollán Ernő utca
Hollán Ernő utca

 

ENJOY A SUNSET IN BUDAPEST

From the Riverside

As the sun sets, you will find many locals and visitors flocking to the riverside to enjoy people-watching, admire the sunset, and just plain relax. Depending on how busy your day was, you may either want to find a bench to sit on and unwind, or take a stroll onto one of the bridges that span the mighty Danube, the second-longest river in Europe.

Sunset in Budapest
Sunset in Budapest

 

Széchenyi Thermals

This thermal is open until 10pm. Relax in the hot spring waters while watching the end of the day’s sun’s rays as they fade into the horizon.

Széchenyi Thermals
Széchenyi Thermals

 

Margaret Island (Margit-sziget)

This island, once called Rabbit Island, was home to the cloistered nuns’ convent founded by Princess Margaret, daughter of Béla IV, who promised his daughter to nunnery. Enjoy the flower gardens or the singing fountain as the sun sinks into the western sky.

Margaret Island
Margaret Island

 

Fisherman’s Bastion

Sip a glass of wine in this romantic sunset spot. On Castle Hill, it overlooks the city on one side and St. Matthias Church on the other.

Fisherman’s Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion

 

Academy of Sciences Park

For a casual place to relax, sit in the park across the street from the academy and take in the engaging architecture, the river view, and a beautiful sunset on Széchenyi István tér.

Academy of Sciences Park
Academy of Sciences Park

 

The Sculptural Grounds at Buda Castle

There is a powerful statue called the Matthias Fountain. It is based on a legend of King Matthias, who, while on a hunting trip through the forest, came across a woman stranger, Ilona; she fell in love with him instantly, not realizing he was the king. He reciprocated the love.

Buda Castle
Buda Castle