Budapest City Guide

The twin capitals, these two Hungarian cities offer visitors stunning views and impressive buildings dating back centuries, gorgeous cuisine and an incredibly storied history. The older of the two cities, Buda, sits on the west side, while and Pest on the east side. In between flows the Danube, sometimes quiet and at other times, raging, with the two cities linked by the great Chain Bridge. With the Castle of Buda and Andrassy Boulevard declared a World Heritage Site, the city is recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The history of the city goes back to Roman times. On the Buda side you can see Aquincum, an excavation of an ancient Roman garrison in the Óbuda district, just north of the city centre. The district of Buda Castle is situated in the heart of the city and there you will find the colorful Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom). The Buda Castle (Budai var) itself sits high on a hill in the west and when lit up at night, it is the most recognizable part of the Budapest skyline.

A few minutes away on Gellert Hill is another imposing building, the Citadella: a fortress that has seen a lot of struggle over the centuries. Also on Gellert Hill you will find the Statue of Liberty (Szabadság szobor), which was established there to celebrate the liberation from the Nazis during World War II.

Explore the interesting attractions near the City Park (Varosliget) on the eastern side of the area. In Heroes' Square (Hosok Tere), the founders and defenders of the city throughout are honored. In this neighbourhood you'll also find the Museum of Fine Arts (Szépmüvészeti Múzeum), and a lake alongside the park's romantic Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyad vara).

Also on the Pest side you will find interesting cultural attractions, such as the Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum), National Theatre (Nemzeti Színház) and the Hungarian State Opera House (Magyar Allami Operahaz). Budapest has birthed and been called home by a great number of famous artists, writers and composers.

Budapest is a city where you can get anywhere easily by foot or car. The western Buda is hilly, and the eastern Pest is flat. The city also has a great public transport network, so shouldn’t be hard to traverse. The subway system, one of the oldest in Europe, is more than 100 years old and is still in operation. There are also numerous bus tours as well as cruises on the Danube and you can even rent a Segway.

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