Budapest City Overview
The Danube flows through Budapest and divides the capital of Hungary in Buda on one side of the river and in Pest on the other. Tourists can expect great architecture and first-class sights, coupled with the unmistakable Hungarian flair.
The districts of Buda, Óbuda and Pest were independent cities until 1873. Pest on the left bank of the Danube is the business district. The old Buda with its medieval buildings is connected to Pest by the famous chain bridge. In Buda are the Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion, from which you can enjoy a wonderful view.
Over one and a half million people – around a fifth of the Hungarian population – live in this cosmopolitan city, making Budapest the political, intellectual, economic and cultural capital of Hungary.
The nostalgic-looking metropolis on the Danube offers architecture from all eras, from Roman ruins, medieval buildings in the castle district – most of the thermal baths also date from the so-called Turkish era -, through lovingly restored houses from the penultimate turn of the century, house facades in the style of Art Deco, Neoclassical or in Art Nouveau and socialist functional buildings to the modern buildings of today.
The large boulevards and small streets with their street cafes, shops, museums, bars, restaurants and dance halls invite you to stroll but also to celebrate. Wellness is available in the city’s famous thermal and therapeutic baths. The highlights also include the parliament building in the style of the British “Houses of Parliament”, the castle palace, Margaret Island, which lies as a green lung in the middle of the Danube, the Paris courtyards on Franziskanerplatz, Elisabethplatz and the whole city center, the good can be explored on foot.
Area code: 1
Weather in Budapest
There is a continental climate in Budapest and the temperature differences between the winter and summer months are extreme. In winter it snows very often and the rainfall is quite high all year round. A lot of tourists come to the city in July and August. The best travel time is therefore from May to June and in September, when it is pleasantly warm but the hotel prices are significantly cheaper.
City History of Budapest
The key to Budapest lies in its history, which is characterized by changing periods of great prosperity, but also by destructive times of political and social upheaval. Next to Vienna, Budapest was once the largest city in the Austro-Hungarian Danube monarchy. Due to its strategic location on both banks of the Danube, in the heart of Europe, Budapest has been repeatedly involved in disputes. The Magyars don’t see their history in black and white, but in gold and silver. The first golden age coincides with the reign of the Renaissance king Matyás (1458-90), the second is symbolized by the millennium celebrations in 1896 in the Városliget (city park). The period between the two world wars in the 20th century, when Budapest’s spas and casinos were visited by the European aristocracy, literary greats and other celebrities, is known as the Silver Age.
The good times are, however, the victory of the Turks over the Hungarians in 1526 – and the ensuing transformation of Buda into a Turkish capital – but also the subsequent reign of the Habsburgs, which continued to deprive Hungary of autonomy until 1867, the destruction during the Second World War and the Russian control that was first gained Could get rid of in 1989. These significant events have made the Hungarians a flexible and resilient people who are proud of their popular heroes, including Count István Széchenyi (1791-1860), who built the first Danube Bridge, and the poet Sándor Petõfi, who was responsible for his revolutionary Nemzeti dal (national song), which he performed on March 15, 1848 on the stairs of the Folk Museum, went down in Hungarian history.
Modern Budapest was born in 1873 when the towns of Buda, Óbuda and Pest officially merged. Today the city consists of 23 districts (kerületek), which are marked on maps, street signs and addresses with Roman numbers (I to XXIII). Buda and Pest are still very different, which creates a fascinating contrast between the eastern and western banks.
On a trip to Budapest you immediately notice that the city has changed considerably. Communism is a thing of the past today, and the young population has long adopted Western values, but at the same time remains deliberately rooted in the fascinating Hungarian past. The traditions of the Magyars and their history are intertwined in Budapest with all the modern influences of today.