Did you know that Budapest has eight bridges that join Buda to Pest over the Danube River? I didn’t. It wasn’t until my recent visit to Budapest that I found out about them and got the opportunity to see them all with my own eyes. Each bridge is unique, built at different times and has a different story behind it.
1. Lagymanyosi Bridge – This bridge is the most southern and second youngest (built in 1995) bridge in Budapest. To be honest we didn’t walk down that far to see it is out of the city centre however at the Pest side of the bridge you will find the National Theatre. We did however see the bridge from our evening river cruise along the Danube. The bridge was originally built for a planned for the Expo which was due to be jointly hosted by Budapest and Vienna. Unfortunately the Expo did not go ahead however the bridge still stands today. It is not the prettiest/most intricate bridge but it does its job.
2. Petofi Bridge – this is the next bridge a long and is the plainest. It was built between 1933–1937 however like all the bridges in Budapest it was blown up by the Nazis at the end of World War II therefore was rebuilt between 1950 and 1952. Again, we didn’t walk this far south of the city however we could see this bridge from the river front nearest my hotel. This bridge does not have any distinctive features and is similar to a lot of other bridges in Europe.
3. Liberty Bridge/Freedom Bridge – this bridge was built between 1894 and 1896 and is my favourite bridge in Budapest. This bridge is located closest to the hotel that we stayed at therefore we saw/marvelled at it every day. It is a beautiful green colour and links the Gellért Spa on the Buda side to the Great Market Hall on the Pest side. We found a great little restaurant at the foot of the bridge on the Pest side of the city called Spritz Platz which is open sided so great on a warm Hungarian summer’s afternoon. Here we enjoyed burgers and cocktails.
4. Elizabeth Bridge – the next bridge was named after Queen Elizabeth of Bravia and was first built between 1897 and 1903. However like all the Budapest bridges it was destroyed by the Germans at the end of World War II. It was the only bridge not to be rebuilt (between 1961 and 1964) as it was originally designed. The original bridge was very decorative, the rebuilt one is less decorative however very elegant and painted bright white. This bridge spans the Danube at it’s most narrowest point.
5. Chain Bridge – this bridge is the oldest bridge across the Danube and probably the most famous as it usually the one shown in photographs when researching Budapest. It was opened in 1849. It is the closest bridge to Buda castle on the Buda side of the city and it is the closest to the Parliament building if you jump off the hop on hop off bus here. This bridge reminds me of the Brooklyn Bridge in America which spans the Hudson River and joins New York City and Brooklyn. This bridge also has fantastic stone lions at each side.
6. Margaret Bridge – this bridge is the second oldest bridge in Budapest behind the Chain Bridge. It was built between 1872 and 1876. It’s nothing special to look at compared to the beautiful Chain Bridge and in reality needs some renovation work doing to it. Unfortunately we did not have the time or need to walk past the Parliament buildings so we did not get the chance to walk across this bridge. We did however see it from the evening river cruise we did along the Danube.
7. Árpád Bridge – this bridge is the second most northerly and second longest bridge in Budapest. Construction originally started in 1939 on this bridge however due to the onset of World War II it was not actually completed until around 1950. Again, I only had the pleasure of seeing this bridge from the river but I don’t think I missed out as this is not the most decorative or ornate bridge of the eight. However, it is Budapest’s busiest bridge.
8. Megyeri Bridge – this bridge is the most northerly, newest and longest bridge in Budapest. This bridge was officially opened in 2008 and you can tell by its funky modern design that it is the youngest of all eight. This bridge is a cable-stayed bridge where the pillars look like the letter ‘A’. This was my second favourite bridge as I loved the contemporary bridge against the backdrop of the beautiful old buildings of Budapest.
Any visit to Budapest in my opinion is not complete without seeing at least one of the bridges and all of them if you get the chance. Great views can be found from Budapest castle or the Danube river itself. Some of the best photos we got from Budapest were taken from the middle of the Liberty bridge. The bridges certainly join two unique areas to make one fantastic city.