Just a short weekend break – to discover that Budapest is a delightful place and has now recovered from WWII and the Soviet era.
Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary, located in the central part of the country. It is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and thermal baths. Here are some key points about Budapest:
1. Geography and Location:
– Budapest is situated on both sides of the Danube River, with Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east bank. The two parts are connected by several bridges, the most famous being the Chain Bridge.
2. Historical Significance:
– Budapest has a long and storied history, with influences from the Celts, Romans, and various other civilizations. It became a significant city during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
3. Architecture and Landmarks:
– The city is known for its impressive architecture. Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and Gellért Hill are notable landmarks on the Buda side, while the Hungarian Parliament Building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and Heroes’ Square are prominent on the Pest side.
4. Thermal Baths:
– Budapest is famous for its thermal baths, some of which date back to the Turkish occupation in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Széchenyi and Gellért Baths are among the most popular.
5. Cultural Scene:
– Budapest has a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries, theaters, and concert halls. The Hungarian National Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Hungarian State Opera House are just a few examples.
– Hungarian cuisine is hearty and flavorful. Goulash, a stew of meat and vegetables, is a traditional dish. Additionally, you can try other specialties like chimney cake (kürtőskalács) and Hungarian-style strudel.
– Budapest has a lively nightlife with numerous bars, ruin pubs, and clubs. The city is famous for its “ruin bars,” which are located in abandoned buildings and courtyards.
– Budapest has an efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro system. The city is also known for its historic yellow trams.
9. Events and Festivals:
– Budapest hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Budapest International Documentary Festival (BIDF), Budapest Wine Festival, and Budapest International Documentary Festival.
Budapest is a city that seamlessly blends its rich history with a modern and vibrant atmosphere, making it a popular destination for tourists and a beloved home for locals.
The visit to the newly opened Cold War-era nuclear bunker was one of the highlights of the visit. Knowing that the bunker had been fully operational during the years when NATO employed me was almost unnerving.