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Introduction to Vörösmarty Square Budapest

Vörösmarty Square (Vörösmarty tér in Hungarian) sits in the heart of downtown Budapest. Located in the 5th District, in the neighborhood known as Belváros (which means downtown in Hungarian), Vörösmarty Square is a popular meeting spot for locals, and a magnet for tourists exploring Váci Utca, the attached shopping street.

Vörösmarty Square History

The square’s namesake is 19th-century Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty. Vörösmarty was a romanticist poet and playwright, and is well-known in Hungary for writing patriotic epics, including The Flight of Zalan (1825), Erlan (1825), Two Neighboring Castles (1831), and the song, Appeal, which is well-known in Hungary as a second national anthem, sung at the close of national celebrations.

The statue itself was created by Hungarian sculptor Ede Telcs. It features 23 limestone blocks, with Vörösmarty sitting atop them. Surrounding Vörösmarty are sculptures of different figures which represent different social classes: peasants, people in traditional dress, a student, and a family.

The Square has been previously known by a variety of names, including:

Károlyi Mihály tér
Gizella tér (Gisele Square)
Régi színház tér (Old Theatre Square)
Színház tér (Theatre Square)
Séta tér (Promenade Square)

Vörösmarty Square Today

Since the 1980s, Vörösmarty Square has been a popular pedestrian square. In 2019, it’s undergoing a HUF 1.6 billion renovation due to be completed in summer. The city plans to plant more trees and generally make the square greender and more welcoming to hang out on. The statue of Mihály Vörösmarty will remain a focal point, but the lion fountain will move closer to the Gerbeaud.

Just around the corner from nearby Elizabeth Square, Vörösmarty Square is considered the heart of downtown Budapest and is one of the best locations to stay in the city.

Things to Do at Vörösmarty Square

Grab a Fancy Coffee and Cake at Café Gerbeaud

Perched on the northern edge of Vörösmarty Square since 1870, Café Gerbeaud is a Budapest institution. To be honest, these days it’s mostly tourists in Café Gerbeaud, and the prices are astronomical by Budapest standards. But if you’re spending the Dollar, Pound, or Euro, it’s a relatively affordable spot for a fancy coffee and cake in a gorgeous setting. Try the Gerbeaud Coffee (black coffee with apricot sauce, apricot liqueur, hot chocolate, vanilla foam, and walnut sprinkle) for HUF 2590 paired with a Gerbeaud Slice (cake with ground walnut and apricot jam between pastry layers and covered in chocolate) for HUF 2250.

Find Out What 2 Michelin Stars Taste Like at Onyx

If you’re still hungry, hit up Onyx (reservations required). Onyx is the only Budapest restaurant with 2 Michelin stars (the other Michelin-starred restaurants in Budapest are all 1-stars). For the most affordable experience, Onyx offers set menu lunches starting at HUF 19,900 per person, plus service, for a 3-course menu.

Ride the Millennium Underground – M1 Metro

This is one of my favorite things to do with out-of-towners, because it’s so darn cute. The M1 is the oldest electric underground on continental Europe (London’s is the oldest in the world, and in Europe at large).

It looks its age, but in a good way. The stations are beautiful, with gorgeous tilework and metalwork you won’t see in modern stations. It’s also not too far underground – a mere meter down.

For the price of a ticket on Budapest’s public transit, you can head along on a piece of history. The M1 runs under Andrassy Avenue in the 6th District, heading straight up to Heroes Square and City Park (Városliget).

Hit the Shops on Váci Utca

Váci is Budapest’s main shopping street. It stretches for just over a kilometer, from Vörösmarty Square to Fővám Square and the Central Market Hall in the 9th District. Váci Street is always busy, although the stretch between Ferenciek tere and Fővám tér isn’t as busy as the stretch between Vörösmarty tér and Ferenciek tere. Along here, you’ll find a combo of high street shops, souvenir shops, and restaurants that mostly cater to tourists.

Stroll the Danube Promenade

Walk two blocks to the river, and you’ll find yourself on the lovely Danube Promenade, a stretch of riverfront with a wide walkway, a few statues, and nice restaurants lining the path. You’ll get some great views along here of Budapest’s iconic yellow #2 tram chugging along the river. The Danube Promenade also offers nice views of the Chain Bridge and Budapest Castle District, including Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, and Matthias Church.

Get Festival at a Budapest Christmas Market or Spring Market

Vörösmarty Square has been home to one of Budapest’s main Christmas markets since 1998. These days, it’s also home to a spring market which takes place in the weeks around Easter. Both the Christmas Market and Easter Market have stalls where local craftspeople sell handmade goods, an entertainment stage with live music, and plenty of food. If you find yourself in Budapest during either, make a point of stopping by.

Budapest Hotels Near Vörösmarty Square

The Ritz-Carlton and Kempinski Hotel Corvinus are the closest hotels to Vörösmarty Square, sitting half-a-block off the square on Fashion Street (Deák Ferenc utca). There are plenty of other great Budapest hotel options in the areas, as well.

 

HotelGuest RatingStar RatingPrice & AvailabilityDistance from Elizabeth Square
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus9.1/105-starCheck Now1-minute walk
Ritz-Carlton Budapest9.3/105-starCheck Now1-minute walk
Hotel Zenit Budapest Palace8.9/104-starCheck Now3-minute walk
Budapest Marriott Hotel8.7/105-starCheck Now3-minute walk
InterContinental Budapest9.0/105-starCheck Now3-minute walk
Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge8.7/105-starCheck Now5-minute walk
Four Seasons Gresham Palace9.3/105-starCheck Now7-minute walk
Hotel Moments Budapest9.6/104-starCheck Now11-minute walk
Prestige Hotel Budapest9.4/104-starCheck Now11-minute walk
Carat Boutique Hotel Budapest8.7/104-starCheck Now8-minute walk
La Prima Fashion Hotel8.6/104-starCheck Now6-minute walk
Mercure Budapest City Centre8.7/104-starCheck Now4-minute walk
Aria Hotel by Library Collection9.6/105-starCheck Now8-minute walk

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