Budapest, located on the banks of the Danube, is the capital and largest city of Hungary. The city is located in the north of Hungary, near the Slovakian border and at a 2-ish hours drive from Vienna in Austria.
The history of Budapest goes back over a thousand years when Hungarians first set foot here. After occupation by the Ottomans, it became a prosperous trading center and flourished as a center of Renaissance culture. In somewhat more recent centuries, the city (which were actually the two separate cities of Buda and Pest on both sides of the river, only to be linked up in the 19th century) became the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After World War 2 Hungary was subjugated by the Soviets, in 1956 being scene of a violent uprising. So it is predictable to say that this city has its fair share of architectural and historical sights (and wounds) to show off.
Budapest is heaven for architecture lovers. You will find it all here: Gothic, Renaissance, Ottoman, Baroque, Art Nouveau and so on. It makes for a fascinating cityscape, and you will be hard pressed to find a building that does not have some interesting detail. Most of the main tourist sights are therefore exactly that, "sights". Major ones are for instance the Buda Castle Hill with its charming cobblestone streets, as well as the Budapest Parliament, Royal Palace and the imposing Heroes' Square.
But impressive as all those sights may be, once you visit the city that is sometimes called the "Paris of the East" you realise that it is in fact only the backdrop to what is a very pleasant city to spend time in. The nightlife is notable, and Hungarian food and wine cannot be missed either when you visit this place. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Budapest here.
- Budapest is a city in Hungary. It has a population of 3,284,110, is situated at an altitude of 354ft and the best airport to fly into is BUD (Liszt Ferenc International, Budapest)
- The currency used in Hungary is the Hungarian forint (HUF)
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More Budapest travel resources
We like dedicated sites like Visit Budapest, Budapest.com and perhaps most notably Budapest by Locals where you will find a number of good articles pointing you in the right direction in terms of sightseeing. Looking at newspapers, The Guardian covers Budapest, as does The New York Times. Travel + Leisure, Nat Geo and Wikitravel fill the gaps.