Back to CNN

The World Heritage Sites inspiring athletic glory in Budapest

For the first time in sporting history, the World Athletics Championships will be held in Budapest, a city of contrasts. It’s a place where medieval buildings neighbor contemporary art spaces and Michelin-starred restaurants share a culinary scene with world-famous ruin bars.

A sporting legacy

Once divided into two cities by the Danube River, Budapest is now a single melting pot of European culture. From the neogothic castle in Buda to the iconic parliamentary house in Pest, the architecture along the UNESCO-listed riverbank has long provided the perfect backdrop for discovery—and now, for sporting excellence.

The all-new National Athletics Center has been built on the eastern bank of the Danube, ahead of one of the world’s most anticipated sporting events, the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023. Set to bring more than 2,000 global athletes and 35,000 spectators under one roof, it marks a monumental celebration of sport.

Following the event, the stadium will remain on the city map, adding another landmark to a transportation network that directly serves this southern corner of Budapest.

Easily accessible to global travelers—via the Ferenc Liszt International Airport and three international railway stations—Hungary’s capital will continue to share the legacy of the World Championships with the world. The National Athletics Center will not only serve as a competition and training venue for athletes but also as a leisure park for the public and younger generations of sporting talent.

26 miles of culture

The World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023, from 19-27 August, will showcase 43 track and field events and an additional six road races outside the stadium. From here, city-goers can cheer on competitors for free while taking in the beauty of the panorama that surrounds them—and delighting in the wonder of a culture that offers great-value experiences.

The marathon will be the perfect opportunity for supporters to discover the authenticity of Budapest. With the start and finish line in Heroes’ Square—an ode to the seven founders of Hungary—they can follow runners past the grand palaces, luxury boutiques, and chic restaurants of Andrássy Avenue, before crossing the legendary Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

Athletes will also bypass the Buda Castle District, which is a recognized World Heritage Site and a must-see attraction, even among the excitement of the championships.

Beyond the area’s named castle, the Matthias Church promises an unforgettable visit, with its intricate interiorincluding wall paintings, adorned ceilings, and stained-glass windows. While the façade of the Fisherman’s Bastion is sure to bring visitors back into the thick of the competition, providing unparalleled views of the race circuit.

Marathoners will run through the cultural heart of Budapest on Andrássy Avenue

Passing the baton

Celebrating 40 years of the World Athletics Championships, Budapest will build on the event’s success from the previous year, when the USA topped the medal table with a record-breaking total of 33 and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone set a world record for the 400-meter hurdles.

As it welcomes a new collective of aspiring medallists and enthusiastic spectators, the city will become the host of Hungary’s largest-ever sporting event—adding to a history that is already rich in cultural milestones.

Tickets to the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 are available at