The Gothic outline of Parliament is one of Budapest’s most familiar landmarks, dominating an elegant curve of the Danube close to central Pest. This architectural masterpiece was designed by Imre Steindl to stand 96 metres tall, in line with the Hungarian millennial celebrations of 1896, when it was inaugurated. At the time, it presided over a nation that then extended as far as the Adriatic. Still part of the largest building in Hungary, many of its 691 rooms today remain unused though the ornamental grandeur of its 29 staircases, frescoes, half-a-million precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold continue to impress sightseers.
Parliament is also home to the Holy Crown, the royal sceptre and the orb of the first kings of Hungary.
Currently, six English-language tours are given a day – buy advance admission here – and a limited number of tickets are available on the day from the adjacent Visitor Centre.