City guide

Tram 41 provides panoramic Budapest sightseeing for only one euro

Photo : Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
Tram 41 provides panoramic Budapest sightseeing for only one euro

We have previously recommended roaming on public trams as the second cheapest sightseeing option after walking, as Budapest’s most picturesque panoramic tram line – Tram 2 – runs all the way along downtown Pest’s riverbank, showing passengers all of the Buda side’s beauties for about a euro. To complete the experience, Tram 41 across the river entices all for a ride to see the splendid sights of Pest as well, such as the Parliament, the beautiful bridges, and some century-old buildings. All you need is one public-transport ticket to ride the rails and gaze at the wondrous views of Budapest.

We start our journey from Kolosy Square, passing by the Szent István Chapel and the Szent Lukács Thermal Baths, and soon find ourselves among the classic facades of Buda that all seem to be so close. Taking a glimpse at Földes Józsi’s Restaurant, a homey feeling fills our hearts, and we can almost smell the mouthwatering Hungarian dishes.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
The tram keeps twisting under the Margaret Bridge, and upon popping up on Bem Quay, the sweetly sparkling sunshine on the Danube tempts us all to turn our heads towards the wonderful view of the Pest side – but let’s save all that for the journey back! Instead, let’s look inland for the moment: the first sculpture on our one-sided trip is the József Bem Memorial on Bem Square, created by János Istók and Tibor Müller in 1934.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
At the ever bustling Batthyány Square, new passengers often fill up the yellow tram cars, so it is worthwhile to make our way towards the windows to avoid missing the red-bricked Reform Church at Szilágyi Dezső Square. This is Budapest’s second biggest Calvinist Church, after the white-walled church of Kálvin Square.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
We cast our eyes over everyone’s favorite Belgian beer bar, and as the tram slows down in the slightly narrowing street we turn towards the unique Clark Ádám Square. The dark tunnel under the Chain Bridge is a bit longer than the previous mini-tunnel, but after a turn we finally see the light at the end of it. After this brief otherworldly experience we now admire the green spots of the splendid Lánchíd Park.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
This is where the trip gets more serious – the picturesque pomp of the Várkert Bazaar rivets our eyes on the special staircases and the fascinating facade as the tram rushes on. After seeing several green spots we arrive to Rudas Bath, and then we can examine the Elizabeth Bridge from upclose in case we pull out an Ace Ventura move. The jolly jolting continues on towards the rocks of Gellért Hill, which is listed as a World Heritage site, and the special site of Saint Gellért’s sculpture bursts upon our view, although it needs a bit of neck stretching, as it rests 235 meters high on the hill. Even if you miss this sacred upland sight, one of the most beautiful baths, the building of the Gellért Bath and hotel, will surely make up for it.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
Now entering giant District XI, Bartók Béla Road leads us to our turning point, Móricz Zsigmond Square. We could disembark here and go for a wander at the recently revamped square, but for the sake of fair play we go right back to discover all of the sights that the Pest side of the Tram 41 route has to offer, too. It is recommended to turn to the right at Szent Gellért Square to admire the view of the opposite side’s Bálna, Corvinus University, and of the nearby Liberty Bridge.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
The interesting scenes of the ships anchored in the river make our imagination fly, we catch a glimpse of the other side’s picturesque tram line, the Marriott Hotel, the InterContinental, and then the magnificent Parliament. Upon leaving the tunnel under the bridge we can closely admire one of the landmark lions of the Chain Bridge, and then return to gaze at the boats on the river, such as Gönyü.
Photo: Norbert Hartyányi/We Love Budapest
In the meantime, we arrive at the Margaret Bridge, where we can change to the suburban commuter train lines, upon hearing the loudspeaker annonunce the “HÉV-állomás”. It is worthwhile to keep roaming back to Frankel Leó Street, and admire the Szent Lukács Bath one more time, sweep our eyes across Zsigmond Square, and end our journey at Kolosy Square, where we can pass the time eating, drinking, and relaxing, and you can even catch another tram if you’re still keen to see more. (This trip can also be done on Tram 19.)