Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest functioning synagogue in Europe, and one of the largest in the world, so it deserves its other title, the Grand Synagogue. Why else is it grand? The scale is matched by its decoration - the synagogue has a Byzantine feel, with gleaming onion domes and eight-pointed stars chased into the exterior walls.
The rose windows and the organ may put you in mind of a Christian church (the organ and the acoustics of the grand space make the synagogue a popular spot for concerts). But the towers that top the building - and that are meant to echo the pillars of Solomon's palace - remind you where you are. The synagogue was built on the boundaries of the Jewish Ghetto, where the Jews of the city retreated when they were banished from the city walls in the 18th century.
The synagogue also played a part in the dreadful happenings of WWII, when it served as a shelter for the city's Jews, many of whom died here in the winter of 1944 - 45. There is a museum next to the synagogue.
To reach the Dohány Street Synagogue, take the M2 Metro line to Astoria station; it's only a short walk from there.
Tours & Tickets
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes