Nyugati Train Station is one of the outstanding attractions in Budapest, definitely amongst the top 25 things to see. Nyugati Train Station was designed by the Eiffel Company, opened its gates in 1877. This 19th century beauty is in fact an amazing complex of stone, steel and glass, which resembles more of a fin de siècle eccentric palace than a train station. A must see for tourists, and absolutely not to be missed by lovers of metallic structures, architects and of course structural engineers.
See the Opening Hours of Nyugati Train Station here.
In addition to the impressive facade, it is well worth taking a good look at the inside of the building as the huge glass sheets let through daylight creating amazingly beautiful lights and shadows all across the train station. If you love photography this glass palace will be a great location for your artistic outlet. Moreover, if you are lucky enough you can see the occasional 3D build mapping events at Nyugati Train Station (when video images are projected on the building – majestic!). Here’s a fine photo of the ticket offices at Nyugati Train Station (click on the photo to enlarge):
Although Nyugati railway station is slightly off the beaten track of tourists, it takes no more than 5-15 minutes to get there by metro or tram from another top attraction like the House of Terror Museum on Andrassy Avenue, or the big Catholic Basilica (St Stephen’s Basilica) by Deak square. The train station is right next to the WestEnd Shopping Mall, a huge shopping complex with a vast array of shops and services.
Here is a short video of Nyugati Train Sation and its fascinating facade:
Budapest Airport – Nyugati Train Station
If you come to Budapest by plane, you may get a cheap train ride from (or to) the Liszt Ferenc Airport (former Ferihegy Airport) to the Nyugati train station, Budapest city centre. Undoubtedly, this is the cheapest way to get to downtown Budapest from the airport. The duration of the ride is approx. 15-25 minutes. You can buy train tickets at the MÁV Ticket office of the airport, at Terminal 1.
Dining at Nyugati Train Station
There are good restaurants at Nyugati Train Station, as well as standard cheap buffets. You can find loads of eateries in the neighbouring shopping mall or you can take a short walk on the Grand Boulevard, and find your perfect restaurant in Budapest. If you head towards the river, close to the Danube, by Jaszai square we recommend Szeraj Restaurant with its good quality Turkish cuisine (and amazingly budget prices). On the other hand, if you walk towards Oktogon square, you will get to the restaurant haven of Liszt Ferenc square in about 8 minutes with several restaurants next to each other (Menza Restaurant is the most popular budget restaurant). Finally, for high end local cuisine, we recommend the nearby Bock Bistro on the Grand Boulevard next to Corinthia Hotel Budapest.
You won’t feel hungry by Nyugati Train Station for long. There is even a McDonald’s, which is a must see – even for McDonalds haters. Before you roll your eyes at McDonald’s, take a look at the interior of the building, it is truly one of the most beautiful McDonald’s buildings in the world. And the McCafe is not so bad. Here’s a homemade video by one of the tourists:
Budapest Attractions by Nyugati Train Station
‘Nyugati’ for short, ‘Western Railway Station’ literally translated into English and ‘Nyugati palyaudvar’ in Hungarian is more than a train station, it is also an important metro station (M3 blue metro line) and a tram stop where number 4-6 trams run along the Grand Boulevard of Budapest, in short a busy section of roads.
Nyugati Train Station – River Danube
If you stand in front of the train station (with your back towards the building, not facing it) and turn right, you will end up at the river Danube in no time. Let’s see what else can you see in the neighbourhood of Nyugati Train Station? If you walk (or take a 1 stop tram ride) towards the river Danube (‘Jaszai Mari ter’ tram stop), you will be at the Margaret Bridge, which means that you are 2 minute away from the Margaret Island, a big peaceful green park – and literally island in the middle of the river Danube – with open air pools (the Palatinus lido, and the Hajos Sports Swimming Pool), a pet zoo, bike carts for rent, medieval ruins, a Japanese garden and a big spa hotel Danubius Margaret Island (officially known as the Danubius Health Spa Resort) with enjoyable spa facilities (and reasonable prices).
If you should prefer to take the 5 minute walk from Nyugati Train Station to the riverbank of the Danube (Jaszai square), you will see the neo-baroque building of the Vigszinhaz Theatre (Comedy Theatre) on the right side, where lots of musicals are on (from Fiddler on the Roof through Cats to They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?). The Comedy Theatre was built in 1896 with about a 1000 seats, you can take a look at the interior (at least the main hall) easily between 11 am and 7 pm.
On the left side, you can find an excellent cafe and confectionery with good cakes and coffee, the Europa Kavehaz (Cafe Europe). The terrace is very pleasant on hot summer days. In addition to the cakes, there are sandwiches, omelettes, and salads.
Should you be hungry for something more substantial, peep inside the Szeraj Turkish Restaurant – great dishes at a budget. Open until very late. Szeraj Etterem is a big favourite of locals in Budapest.
Now let’s see the opposite direction. If you turn left from Nyugati and go to Oktogon square, you will get to the intersection of Andrassy Avenue (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the Grand Boulevard. You can walk (5 min) or you can hop on the 4 or 6 tram (both trams are good, only the terminal, i.e. the last stop is different). The major tram stops on route 4 or 6 include Oktogon square, which is within walking distance to the House of Terror Museum, or the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, as well as the Liszt Ferenc square with loads of restaurants. Blaha square with the New York Palace (Boscolo Hotel Budapest) and its luxurious New York Cafe, etc.)
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