This stunning neoclassical cathedral is one of the most memorable features of Budapest's skyline. Its tall dome and symmetrical towers rise to a very specific 96-metres - the same height as the impressive parliament building - to represent the balance between the church and the state. In 1868, right in the middle of its construction, a storm destroyed the dome, causing the whole lot to be demolished and rebuilt. It was finally completed in 1905, a whole 50 years after construction began.
Today, the Basilica is a central landmark on Pest's flat plain, so it's impossible to miss as you're exploring and definitely one of the most enticing buildings to draw you in for a visit. Even if religious sites aren't normally your cup of tea, it's well worth a stop here just to climb to the top of the dome - the views are breathtaking. Plus, seeing a mummified hand is definitely one of those crazy once-in-a-blue-moon experiences!
Find St Stephen's mummified right hand- Thought to be Hungary's most important holy relic, the mummified right hand of St Stephen is on display in the Holy Right Chapel. With the fingers clenched in a fist and draped in gold and jewels, the hand manages to look incredibly regal and powerful despite being centuries old. Travel tip: On 20th August, St Stephen's Day, the relic gets paraded around the city to celebrate.
Climb to the top of the dome- A trip to the Basilica wouldn't be complete without climbing the 364 steps to the dome's observation deck (open from 1st April to 31st October) for incredible panoramic views of the city. Don't worry, there's also an elevator if all those steps don't sound very appealing.
Take a guided tour- If you fancy some extra guidance and information on the Basilica, take a tour of the main area of the cathedral, the Chapel, and the Treasury. Tours run Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm, and you'll receive a postcard at the end as a memento of your visit.
Catch an organ concert - Organ concerts are held in the Basilica every Monday at 5pm throughout the year, and seeing as the cathedral claims to have the biggest and most beautiful organ in Budapest, we'd say this was a pretty good option for some local entertainment.
Entry to the dome observation deck
Organ concert (Mondays only)
Szent István tér 1