Don’t Miss An Opportunity To Visit Budapest
We can’t say enough about Budapest. It’s a beautiful place and it’s easy to get around in with an efficient and extensive public transportation system. The heart of the city is the Danube River with its banks adorned with magnificent buildings from the Parliament building to Buda Castle, Cathedrals and churches. We can’t imagine a more enchanted sight than strolling along the river after Sunset in Budapest.
While finding locals who can speak English isn’t difficult, the problem is finding signage in anything but Hungarian. Hungarian is one of the worlds more complex written languages and difficult to decipher if you weren’t raised to it. Fortunately Hungarians are very friendly people and seem eager to help visitors.
The city is famous for its cuisine and fine restaurants with a couple of must visit locations while there. Oddly one is the McDonalds at the central train station which is accurately described as the most beautiful McDonalds in the world. Another favorite is The New York Kávézó (that’s Hungarian for café), particularly for coffee and pastries – gorgeous surroundings with a small group playing chamber music. Also don’t leave town without trying Hungarian goulash soup and the Kürtőskalács (a local pastry).
Another unique part of the Budapest scene are the Ruin Bars. Started in abandoned buildings these nightclubs thrived in the city and became a focus of the younger generation. While many have crude surroundings that’s part of the culture and they have become a staple of Budapest nightlife. Two of the more famous are the Red Ruin Bar which has grown into almost a block of bars and restaurants and Hyp-R.ZONE – Sim & VR Bar which is famous for its video games.
The Major Must-See Sights:
Buda Castle and surrounds. The castle sits high up on the palisades above the Danube with spectacular views.
St. Stephens Basilica which often has scheduled concerts.
Hero’s Square an area that includes museums, a major park with the Budapest Zoo, Vajdahunyad Castle and a paddle boat lagoon.
Market Hall is a major attraction for shopping for everything from food to t-shirts and chess sets.
Budapest is also famous for its thermal springs and baths with the most famous and expansive being the Rudis Baths.
If you’re considering a visit be sure and download our customized visitors map that includes the major attractions with tram and subway lines and stations.
Highlights of Hungarian History
In the 5th century the Hungarian tribes settled in the Carpathian Basin a European region with Hungary sited near its center. In 997-1038 AD King Stephen of the Árpád dynasty rules the country. In 1000 AD Stephen converted to Christianity, and after his death, was made a Saint.
In 1241 AD the Mongolian Tatars invade the country. They devastated the country in a war that lasted a year and while it would take many decades for the nation to recover the Hungarians halted the Tatars continued westward advance.
1458-1490 AD under the rule of King Matthias from castles inBuda and Visegrád the region became the cultural center of Europe.
After 1526 the Turks defeat the Hungarian army and the Turks occupied Buda with Hungary split into three parts. The Habsburgs governed the western part of the country, the central area was ruled by the Turks, and only the southeast Transylvanian principality remained Hungarian. In 1686 Buda was recaptured from the Turks.
1873 Pest, Buda and Obuda were unified, Budapest became a European metropolis. Monuments like the Opera House, the National Gallery, the Parliament were built. In 1918 Germany and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, lost the First World War and the monarchy disintegrated. After the Second World War in 1945 the Soviet Army occupied Hungary and in 1947 the last free elections were held followed by Communist control with a Stalinist dictatorship imposed. In 1956 a revolution against Stalinism started, but the uprising was defeated by invading Soviet troops.
1990 the Communist party voluntarily gave up its autocracy and a multi-party parliamentary democracy came into being in the country as the Soviet army left Hungary.
Visiting this major European capital. Getting around and major attractions with things to do. Baths, ruin bars, historic sights…