The most impressing and beautiful church in Budapest is the St. Stephens Basilica. It is located in the very center of Budapest, so a must see for everyone coming to the Hungarian capital.
The construction of St. Stephens Basilica was started in 1851 and the last stone was laid down in 1905. During the 54 years the construction lasted the two main architects died and only during the guidance of a third architect the church was finished. The way the church was planned to look in the start was changed a couple of times so the final result differed quite a bit from what it was originally meant to look like. If you are interested in knowing more about the construction process of the church there is a small exhibition inside the church where you can see pictures and original drawings.
Visiting the church
If you want to visit the church (which you absolutely should) it is open to tourists from 9.00 – 17.00 every day, but during church services it is very limited how much you get to see of the church. There are services every evening at 18.00 which you are free to visit if you want some rest and focus on the creator of everything. You are not allowed to enter in mini skirt or with singlets, so you better dress up a bit before arriving to the church.
Entrance to St. Stephens Basilica is free, but they have a place where you can give donations by the entrance. In general they have a guy standing next to it and if you do not give a volunteer gift he can turn a bit grumpy. Our advice is to have some coins ready and place them in the donation box as you enter the church.
On a sunny day you could also enjoy the beautiful panorama from the dome of the church. This is open every day from 10.00-16.30, and during main season until 18.30 in the evening. The fee to enjoy the panorama and a lift taking you almost all the way to the top is 500 HUF for adults.
Throughout the entire year it is arranged organ and classical concerts in the St. Stephens Basilica. Information about such concerts can normally be found by the entrance of the church.
St. Stephens Basilica information
1051 Budapest, Szent István tér