Budapest is the capital of Hungary and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It stretches on both sides of the wide Danube river and attracts tourists with its magnificent architecture, comfortable climate, and thermal springs. Only when you walk around Budapest and admire its extraordinary beauty, you do understand why it is called the "pearl of the Danube". The majestic Citadella, the pompous Parliament building, Margaret Island, beautiful bridges are only a small part of what is waiting for tourists here. Moreover, the city has a rich history, which is told by every street, every square, and every building.
Districts of Budapest
Modern Budapest consists of 23 districts (kerület). Their distinctive feature is that they are all still numbered in Roman numerals. The following districts are of particular interest to tourists:
- V district — Belváros-Lipótváros. This is the central district where tourists can find all the sights: the city parliament, historical monuments, ancient churches, St. Stephen's Basilica. This is where the fabulous Danube's waterfront is located. There is the largest selection of places to choose to live in this area. Its entire infrastructure is designed specifically for tourists, so prices here are quite high, especially in restaurants.
- VI district — Terézváros. It can be called the artistic center of the city, as here you can find some museums, the Opera House, numerous theaters, Music and Art Academy. It is rather quiet in this district, and there are few tourists, but fewer shops and restaurants (there are many of them only on Oktogon square). But it will be convenient for tourists here — the center is not far, and there are excellent transport connections.
- IX district — Ferencváros. Here you can find the city's central market, the Ráday utca street of restaurants, clubs, bars, and swimming pools, which are very popular with locals. Choose this area if you do not want to spend a lot of money on accommodation, but the location is still important to you.
Attractions of Budapest
Budapest is one of the few European cities that has managed to preserve its historical charm and flavor with modern elements. All you have to do to find something extraordinary here is to leave the accommodation and make yourself "lost" in the city. As you go, you can see a lot of fascinating things, first of all — the Danube, which divides the city into several parts with marvelous historical buildings on its banks.
As far as the religious affiliation of Budapest residents is concerned, the majority of the population are the followers of Protestantism and Catholicism. But globalization has also intruded into the religious sphere. Lately, more and more representatives of Islam have been living in Budapest.
It is difficult to determine the exact date of the first record of the city. Most likely, the history of the capital of Hungary began in the I century AD. Then, various tribes settled on the banks of the Danube: Huns, Celts, Scythians. All of them built their settlements here, but none of them turned into a real city later. The nomads were changed by the Romans, then by the Ostrogoths and the Huns. According to historical chronicles, at the end of the IX century, here came the tribes from the steppes of Southern Ural Mountains, which were called Magyars. They became the ancestors of the modern Hungarians. Soon Magyars had finally conquered these lands and based their state here.
The history of Budapest, like the history of any European city, knows many wars, fires, and destruction of cultural monuments. The Middle Ages were quite a peaceful period for this city until the Mongol-Tatar tribes came here. By that time, the territory of all of modern Europe suffered from their invasions. They burned all the crops and killed the majority of the population that lived here.
The Turks came to replace them. But after the liberation of the city from the Turkish invaders, there was a relatively peaceful time. Hungary became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, one of the most influential states on the political map of that time.
By the beginning of the XVIII century, Budapest had become one of the main locations on the map of Europe at that time. But World War I brought its own adjustments to the appearance of Budapest: the city lost a little of its charm but remained just as mysterious and attractive. World War II caused even more damage to the Hungarian capital. But the Hungarians, who care too much about their cultural heritage, gradually restored their capital, and soon, Budapest became the city that modern tourists know today.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 55 €/night||from 66 €/night||Start - 2.11 €, 1km - 0.9 €||1.19 €/liter||30 € for 2 person|
The best time to visit Budapest
We do not recommend exchanging money at Budapest airport, as the exchange rate is very unfavorable there. You do not need cash to get to the city center, as you can pay with your card for bus tickets. But if you do not have a card, there is a SPAR supermarket on the ground floor of the airport where they accept euros, and the rate is reasonable. You can also buy something that is not too expensive there and get the change n the local currency.
The Chinese buffets are one of the cheapest options in the downtown of Budapest. Food costs from 600 forints (less than 2 euros) there. You will find standard Asian dishes on the menu: rice with chicken or noodles. But the servings are large enough for an adult to eat the head off.
If you plan to go to museums and take public transport on your own, think about buying a Budapest Card. This card allows you to use public transport for free, to visit two free walking tours, many museums, and galleries of the city. The ticket can be purchased for 19 euros for a day, 29 euros for two days, or 37 euros for three days.
Lovers of antiques should undoubtedly go to Falk Miksa street with more than 50 auction houses. Here you can buy furniture, paintings, silverware. Everything has provenance and official documents, which give the right to export the goods from Hungary.
What should a tourist do in Budapest?
- Enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the Fisherman's Bastion, which is considered to be the best observation deck. If you want to save money, you can come up here for free. The trip will take a few minutes, but you will have to climb a pretty steep mountain. Crowds of tourists walk here in the daytime, but closer to midnight, it's almost empty. If you want to feel the atmosphere, plan a visit at this time, as there will be no problems with climbing, and the lighting is working around the clock.
- Buy a wooden doll, dressed in national clothes, in a souvenir shop on Váci Street.
- Try the fruits and vegetables that are brought from peasant farms at the Lehel market.
- Drink wine at the annual Budapest International Wine Festival, held in September.
- Take the funicular (silko) to Buda Castle in the cabin of the world's longest tram.
- Take a wellness break in the thermal springs of the Szechenyi Bath, which is located in the city park.
- Enjoy the national cuisine. Goulash, paprikash, lecsó, stuffed pepper — it is simply impossible not to try these traditional Hungarian dishes while being here. And after dinner, you can drink a glass of one of the Hungarian wines, for example, Tokaj.
- Take a ride on the Libegő cable car. It is located on János-hegy, the highest point in Budapest, which is 529 m high. At its top, there is the Elizabeth Lookout Tower, named after Empress Sisi.