Budapest Vacation Service...Nyugati PályaudvarRailway Station
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Budapest Nyugati Pályaudvar Railway Station Located at the junction of the Grand Boulevard (Nagykörút) and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út, where Budapest districts V, VI and XIII meet, Nyugati Pályaudvar Railway Station is also known as Nyugati p.u.or the Budapest Western Railway Terminal, and is one of the three main railway terminals in the centre of Budapest.
Nyugati Pályaudvar was designed by August de Serres and constructed between 1874 and 1877 by the Eiffel Company of Paris, (famous for the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower) using an iron structure, which had been pre-cast in Paris and transported to Budapest.
There are several reasons why a visit to Nyugati Pályaudvar is on many visitor's list of places to see in Budapest. Firstly, the station itself, which, probably due to a need for renovation, seems to maintain an atmosphere of bygone days, in particular the ticket hall, which can be found by walking through the corridor located between the main station entrance and McDonald's on the right-hand side of the main entrance.
Formerly the station restaurant, this McDonald's is reputed to be the most elegant in the world. Apart from the ornate lighting, ceiling mouldings and general décor of the fast-food restaurant, Nyugati station McDonald's has a McCafé on the mezzanine floor, serving coffee and cakes in a more comfortable environment than the lower floor. A large outside terrace, with tables and seating is located behind the building with a view to Eiffel Square, a recently developed area with restaurants and stores, including a Tesco Express and a landscaped, grassy area. Although thousands of travellers walk past the doors every year, many are not aware of the Royal Waiting Room.
Originally built for Emperor Franz Joseph I (b.1830 d.1916) and his wife, Elizabeth (“Sisi”) (b. 1837 d.1898), this ornate waiting room is not accessible to the public, however is used occasionally for receptions or special events and to receive passengers arriving to Budapest on luxury train tours, such as the Orient Express, where they are welcomed with a glass of champagne before venturing out into the city. TheRoyal Waiting Room can be found about 100 meters on the left-hand side after entering the main station hall and can be identified by a pair of rather high doors, with a marble plaque with Latin inscription, Viribus Unitis above and iron/glass lamps on either side. The shabby condition of the exterior of this area is in total contrast to the plush interior. Note:Viribus Unitis means "With United Forces". This was the personal motto of Emperor Franz Joseph I.
The WestEnd City Center, one of Budapest's main shopping malls is located just a few minutes walk away from the station. With more than 400 stores, 14 cinemas and a food hall with numerous bars, cafes and restaurants, the WestEnd City Center is reputed to be one of Central and Eastern Europe's largest shopping malls.
Tip: While you're visiting Nyugati Pályaudvar, why not take a walk down Szent Istvan Boulevard to the Margaret Bridge and onto Margaret Island. From there, return to the city center either by foot (about 30 minutes) or with the number 2 tram, which travels along the banks of the River Danube, via the Hungarian Parliament building.
How to get there: Nyugati Pályaudvar can be reached by metro, (number 2, blue line) or by tram 4 or 6, which runs 24 hours each day.
Above: Exterior and interior views of the Royal Waiting Room at Nyugati Railway Station
Above: A short video clip of McDonald's at Nyugati Railway Station