TheHoya Faculty is situated at the heart of Budapest…. And that is not a coincidence.
Budapest is the Central/Eastern European city which ranks highest in innovation and is avery inspiring place to attend seminars. But there is more to Budapest than learning alone...
Peaceful and bustling, a friendly metropolis, it treasures the old and embraces the new.
You will be fascinated by the charm, hospitality and variety that Budapest has to offer: a wide range of architectural masterpieces, programmes and activities, a vivid cultural life, thermal spas and high quality services.
All this makes a visit to the Hoya Faculty a perfect opportunity to do enjoy a few days of business and pleasure. And since most of us rarely have time to plan leisure activities for ourselves, you should seize this unique opportunity and perhaps even bring a loved one, friend or family member.
After a long training day, guests of the Hoya Faculty have the opportunity to explore Budapest, enjoy its gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Sites and have a traditional Hungarian dish in one of the city’s great restaurants. Our social team will propose several activities and programme possibilities to help you discover the main sights of the Hungarian capital and enjoy different types of entertainment.
The Faculty’s event management team organises a wide variety of activities to cater to everyone’s taste. These are appropriate to the season and include.
We also offer a wide range of social programmes. Click here for more info.
And below you will find dedicated links to various parts of the city, designed to inspire you in advance of your visit.
The Castle District abounds in historical monuments, lovely old houses, romantic walkways, intimate cafes and great restaurants. One of the best panoramic views in the city can be enjoyed from Fisherman's Bastion.
The district, together with the Danube bridges and embankment, is a World Heritage Site because of its importance place in the history and development of Budapest.
The original Royal Palace was destroyed and rebuilt many times. Its history mirrors that of the Matthias Church in many ways. King Béla IV started building a palace here after the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. This original Gothic castle was built on and expanded for 300 years.
The golden era of the palace was under the rule of King Matthias I (1451-90). It was destroyed when the Habsburg army conquered Buda from the Ottoman Turks in 1686. The Habsburgs built a completely new, small Baroque palace in the beginning of the 18th century, which was again damaged in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.
The reconstruction at the end of the 19th century expanded it to almost twice the length (it is now 304 metres long), and a large wing was added to the rear. In 1945 it was the last line of defence of the German troops in Budapest. Post-war reconstruction revealed Gothic and Renaissance foundations that have been incorporated in the building during the works. The palace therefore represents a mix of architectural styles.
The Fishermen’s Bastion was added to the castle complex in 1905 as part of the renovations. Despite its name, it is actually a look-out terrace. The seven turrets each represent one of the ancient Hungarian tribes. The design was inspired by Far Eastern themes.
The top of Fisherman’s Bastion provides one of the finest panoramic views over Budapest.
Another well-known Budapest attraction is the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd), which spans the Danube at the foot of Castle Hill. Built in the middle of the 19th century, the stone bridge with the lion bridgeheads was the first permanent connection between Buda and Pest.
The Danube promenade runs along the river between the Chain Bridge and Elisabeth Bridge. It is also part of UNESCO's World Heritage Site in Budapest. A walk along the promenade, known by locals as “Duna Korzó”,offers wonderful views of the Danube and Buda, especially the Gellért and Castle Hills. Take tram 2 along the promenade if you wish to see a longer stretch of the riverbank.
The dolomite cliff of Gellért Hill in Buda is one of the loveliest green spots in Budapest, as well as one of the residents’ favourite places for weekend outings.
Winding walkways lead up to the top where the Citadel, a former fortress, and the Liberty Statue stand. Dotted with groves and flowery parks, the hill is a beautiful place for Sunday afternoon walks with the family or a rendezvous for couples.
Gellért Hill is named after Saint Gerard, who came to Hungary from Italy around 1000 AD. Saint-King Stephen invited him to help convert the Hungarians into Christianity. He was martyred when a crowd of resisting pagans rolled him down the hill in a barrel into the Danube.
The statue of St Stephen holding a cross in his right hand commemorates the bishop on the north-eastern slope of the hill, facing Elisabeth Bridge. Gellért Hill is also important from a hydrogeological point of view: part of the drinking water supply of Budapest is stored in a reservoir within the hill.
The Habsburgs realised the strategic importance of Gellért Hill early on and built this fortress on it after suppressing the 1848-49 Revolution. The mouths of the cannons aim at the Danube and Buda Hill.
The purpose of the Citadella was to remind the rebellious Hungarians who ruled the country. It was therefore the most despised building in Budapest at the time – Hungarians even called it the Budapest Bastille.
Parts of the fortress were eventually symbolically destroyed. The Citadella has since served several purposes: it has been a prison camp, temporary accommodation for the homeless, and the site of an anti-aircraft battery. Since the 1960s, the Citadella has been a tourist attraction.
This enormous statue of a woman stands in front of the Citadella. She is visible from almost any part of the city, and is today one of the major symbols of the Hungarian capital.
The Liberty Statue originally commemorated Hungary's liberation from Nazi rule. According to the story, she was originally made as a memorial to the son of Miklós Horthy, the leader of Hungary between the two World Wars. Horthy’s son &died in a plane crash, and the statue was therefore designed to hold apropeller blade in her hands. By the time she was erected, however, history had swept Horthy away. The propeller blade was replaced by a palm tree and a Soviet soldier was added to the base.
When all communist monuments were pulled down and re-erected at the edge of the town in Memento Park, the Liberty Statue was spared this fate. Only the Soviet soldier from the base and the names of the Red Army soldiers who died in fights during Budapest's siege were removed, and the statue was rededicated “To the memory of those all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom,and prosperity of Hungary”.
There are hot thermal springs deep inside Gellért Hill that supply water for three spas. The most famous and upscale is the Gellért Thermal Baths and Swimming Pool, which is attached to the Hotel Gellért. This elegant, historic spa complex built in 1918 is a gem of the Art Nouveau style.
The baths have outdoor and indoor swimming pools, thermal pools, steam baths and a sauna, and offer a variety of different massage types. Roman revival marble columns support the indoor swimming pool. Other decorations include beautiful majolica tiles and stone lion heads spouting water. Those who do not have time for a swim should at least walk into the hall to admire the interior. In summer, the main attraction is the outdoor pool, where a wave machine is switched on for ten minutes in every hour.
The commanding building of the Hungarian Parliament, the third-largest in Europe, stretches between Chain Bridge and Margaret Bridge on the Pest bank of the Danube. It attracts attention from almost every riverside point. The Gellért Hill and the Castle Hill on the opposite bank offer the best panorama of this huge edifice.
The Hungarian Parliament in numbers:
- 268 m long and 123 m wide across the centre
- occupies 18,000 square metres on the surface
- 473,000 cubic metres of space
- about 50 five-story apartment blocks could fit inside it
- 691 rooms
- the length of all the stairs together is about 20 kilometres
- the height of the central dome is 96 m.
- 27 entrance gates
The church is the largest monument in Budapest after the parliament building that dominates the Pest side of the Danube.
The spacious plaza in front of the basilica is flanked by cafes and restaurants.
St Stephen's Basilica is dedicated to Hungary's first king. This is the largest church in Budapest, and can fit around 8500 people.
St Stephen's Basilica is impressive in ways that go beyond mere size: it houses Hungary's most sacred treasure, St Stephen's mummified right hand, the Holy Dexter (intact right hand, known as Szent Jobb in Hungarian). There is a beautiful view over the whole of Budapest from the cupola of the basilica.
The Great Synagogue in Dohány Street is one of the world's largest and most beautiful synagogues. Constructed in 1844-1859 according to plans by Ludwig Förster, this magnificent Jewish monument is a must-see for anyone visiting Budapest.
As one of the largest synagogues in the world, it can take in 3,000 people. Its fascinating Byzantine-Moorish style is reminiscent of monuments in the Middle-East. Two onion-shaped domes cap the 43-metre twin towers, which symbolise the two columns of Solomon's Temple.
Male visitors to the synagogue must wear a small skullcap called kippah or yarmulke. You will receive one at the entrance.
One of Budapest’s absolute favourite attractions is the Andrássy út, an elegant avenue similar to a Parisian boulevard that connects the inner city with Heroes' Square and City Park. It is flanked by eclectic neo-Renaissance palaces and houses featuring fine facades, staircases and interiors. It was recognised as part of the World Heritage Site of Budapest in 2002, along with the Millennium Underground Railway, Heroes’ Square and City Park.
The avenue is 2310 metres long. The main parts are as follows:
Erzsébet tér (Elisabeth Square) – Oktogon Square: a very urban segment lined mostly with shops and offices . This is the location of the most notable sight on Andrássy Avenue: the Hungarian State Opera House, an artfully decorated building which you can explore on guided tours.
Oktogon – Kodály körönd Square: a broader, leafy avenue that runs through residential areas and universities.
Kodály körönd – Bajza Street: the avenue is even wider, and set beside residential palaces fronted by small parks, including a few embassies. It has this same width until City Park.
In the proximity of the Opera House especially, the avenue abounds in fine architecture, and it is well worth a long walk.
If you plan a longer walk you can take a rest in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants lining the road. Liszt Ferenc Square and Nagymező Street, two lateral exits from Andrássy Avenue, offer a wide choice of cafes and restaurants with outdoor terraces.
The popularity of Liszt Ferenc Square is partly due to the fact that it is a comfortable and convenient pedestrian space that is also very central. It is a good stopping ground for a drink or a bite before heading off on other adventures. Notable places in the vicinity include the retro restaurant Menza and the very famous Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music.
City Park is a sprawling greenfield near Heroes' Square with lots of attractions for children and grown-ups alike. These include:
- Budapest Zoo
- an amusement park
- a lake
- the Széchenyi thermal bath
The area of today's City Park used to be a swamp called Rákos mező, where the Hungarian kings were elected between the 13th and 16th centuries. It was also a favourite hunting ground for nobles. In the 18th-19th centuries, a national garden was established here on order of the emperor, for people to relax and enjoy themselves within a green environment. Trees were planted, the swamp was drained and the field was transformed into an English-style park.
Budapest’s City Park was among the first public parks in the world open to all citizens for relaxation. Preparations for the millennium celebrations in 1896 brought massive development of the park and the surrounding neighbourhood. Heroes' Square was established on the northern corner of the park during these years, and the elegant Andrássy Avenue flanked by fancy villas was built.
Walking down on Andrássy Avenue from Oktogon towards City Park, you will see the spacious Heroes' Square and its 36 m high column capped with a statue will catch your eye.
The monument was built for the 1896 millennium celebrations, which is why it is called the Millennium Monument. It marked the 1000th anniversary of the establishment of the first Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. Every part of the monument pays tribute to some part of Hungary's history.
The memorial won the first prize at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. The monument was completely finished in 1929, which is when the square received its final name too.
Since 2002, the Millennium Monument is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Site covering central Budapest and Andrássy Avenue. The 36 m high Corinthian column dominates the square and features Archangel Gabriel on its top holding St Stephen's crown. According to the story, Gabriel appeared to St Stephen in a dream to offer him the crown of Hungary. Equestrian statues of chieftains of the seven Magyar (Hungarian) tribes encircle the column.
The following symbolic figures reside on top of the corner pillars: War, Peace, Work and Welfare, Knowledge and Glory. The Hungarian War Memorial stands in front of the column and commemorates heroes who have died for the independence of Hungary. You will also find the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art on Heroes’ Square.
Vajdahunyad Castle, or Vajdahunyad vára, is a castle in City Park. It was designed by Ignác Alpár and built between 1896 and 1908. It is partly inspired by a castle in Transylvania, Romania, which is also called Vajdahunyad, although it also integrates other architectural styles: Romanic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. It was originally made from cardboard and wood for the millennial exhibition in 1896 but it became so popular that it was rebuilt from stone and brick. Today it houses the Agricultural Museum.
The statue displayed in the Castle court references an anonymous chronicler from the 12th century who wrote the first history books on the ancient Hungarians, based mostly on legends. A local superstition has it that touching his pen brings good luck.
The Széchenyi bath is one of Europe's greatest spa complexes. It includes a physiotherapeutic department, run as part of an outpatient hospital. The medicinal water and lovely surroundings ensure a wholesome, healing environment for visitors.
This spa is not only extraordinary for its size and the quality of its medicinal water, but is also special for the care manifested in the architecture of its facilities; the sculptures and glass mosaics decorating the spa were made by Hungary's leading artists.
The Széchenyi bath offers 15 pools filled with water at different temperatures (20-38 °C). The spacious and sunny pool halls are somewhat reminiscent of a Roman bath, while the tub baths reflect Greek and Scandinavian bath cultures.These are all displayed in the saunas, baths and steam rooms in the different departments. The present building of the spa was completed in 1913.