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Budapest (, or ; ; names in other languages) is the capital and the largest city of Hungary,[1] the largest in East-Central Europe and the seventh largest in the European Union. It is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre,[2] sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary.[3] According to 2011 Census, Budapest had 1.74 million inhabitants,[4] down from its 1989 peak of 2.1 million[5] due to suburbanization.[6] The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3.3 million people.[7][8] The city covers an area of [9] within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of west-bank Buda and buda with east-bank Pest.[9][10]

The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement[11][12] that became the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia.[11] Hungarians arrived in the territory[13] in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241-42.[14] The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture[15] in the 15th century.[16] Following the Battle of Moh cs and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule,[17] development of the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after the 1873 unification.[18] It also became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, a great power that dissolved in 1918. After the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, when Hungary lost 72% of its former territory, culturally and economically the country became wholly Budapest-dominated. The capital dominates the country both by the size of its population which dwarfs those of Hungary's other cities[19] Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest of 1945, and the Revolution of 1956.

Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe,[1][20][21] its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andr ssy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in the world.[20][22] Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs,[23] the world's largest thermal water cave system,[24] second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 2.7 million tourists a year, making it the 37th most popular city in the world according to Euromonitor.[25]

Considered a financial hub in Central Europe,[26] the city ranked 3rd (out of 65 cities) on Mastercard's Emerging Markets Index,[27] and ranked as the most livable Central/Eastern European city on EIU's quality of life index.[28][29] It is also ranked as "Europe's 7th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes,[30] and as the 9th most beautiful city in the world by UCityGuides.[31] It is the highest ranked Central/Eastern European city on Innovation Cities' Top 100 index.[32][33]

Budapest is home to the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT),[34] and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA).[35]


The view


The name "Budapest" is the composition of the city names "Buda" and "Pest", since they were united (together with buda) to become a single city in 1873. One of the first occurrences of the combined name "Buda-Pest" was in 1831 in the book "Vil g" ("World" / "Light"), written by Count Istv n Sz chenyi.[36]

The origins of the words "Buda" and "Pest" are obscure. According to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name "Buda" comes from the name of its founder, Bleda (Buda), the brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila. The theory that "Buda" was named after a person is also supported by modern scholars.[37] An alternative explanation suggests that "Buda" derives from the Slavic word " , voda" ("water"), a translation of the Latin name "Aquincum", which was the main Roman settlement in the region.[38]

There are also several theories about the origin of the name "Pest". One of the theories[39] claims that the word "Pest" comes from the Roman times, since there was a fortress "Contra-Aquincum" in this region which was referred to as "Pession" (" ", iii.7. 2) by Ptolemaios.[40] According to another theory, "Pest" originates from the Slavic word for cave " , peshtera" or from the word for oven " , pesht", in reference to a cave where fires burned or to a local limekiln.[41] In the old-Hungarian language there was a similar word meaning oven/cave and the original old-German name of this region was also "Ofen". Later, the German "Ofen" referred to the Buda side.


Buda Castle during the Middle Ages. The first settlement on the territory of Budapest was built by Celts[11] before 1 AD. It was later occupied by the Romans. The Roman settlement - Aquincum - became the main city of Lower Pannonia[11] in 106 AD.[11] The Romans constructed roads, amphitheaters, baths and houses with heated floors in this fortified military camp.[42]

The peace treaty of 829 added Pannonia to Bulgaria due to the victory of Bulgarian army of Omurtag over the Holy Roman Empire of Louis the Pious. Budapest arose out of two Bulgarian military frontiers, fortresses Buda and Pest, situated on the two banks of Danube.[43] Hungarians led by rp d settled in the territory at the end of the 9th century,[13][44] and a century later officially founded the Kingdom of Hungary.[13] Research places the probable residence of the rp ds as an early place of central power near what became Budapest.[45] The Tatar invasion in the 13th century quickly proved that defence is difficult on a plain.[9][13] King B la IV of Hungary therefore ordered the construction of reinforced stone walls around the towns[13] and set his own royal palace[14] on the top of the protecting hills of Buda. In 1361[14] it became the capital of Hungary.[9]

The cultural role of Buda was particularly significant during the reign of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.[9] The Italian Renaissance had a great influence on the city.[9] His library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana,[9] was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles and philosophic and scientific works in the 15th century, and second only in size to the Vatican Library.[9] After the foundation of the first Hungarian university in P cs in 1367,[46] the second one was established in buda in 1395.[46] The first Hungarian book was printed in Buda in 1473.[47] Buda had about 5,000 inhabitants around 1500.[48]

The Ottomans pillaged Buda in 1526, besieged it in 1529, and finally occupied it in 1541. The Turkish occupation lasted for more than 140 years.[9] The Turks constructed many fine bathing facilities within the city.[13] Under Ottoman rule many Christians became Muslim. By 1547 the number of Christians was down to about a thousand, and by 1647 it had fallen to only about seventy.[48] The unoccupied western part of the country became part of the Habsburg Empire as Royal Hungary.

In 1686, two years after the unsuccessful siege of Buda, a renewed campaign was started to enter the Hungarian capital. This time, the Holy League's army was twice as large, containing over 74,000 men, including German, Croat, Dutch, Hungarian, English, Spanish, Czech, Italian, French, Burgundian, Danish and Swedish soldiers, along with other Europeans as volunteers, artilleryman, and officers, the Christian forces reconquered Buda, and in the next few years, all of the former Hungarian lands, except areas near Timi oara (Temesv r), were taken from the Turks. In the 1699 Treaty of Karlowitz these territorial changes were officially recognized, and in 1718 the entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Ottoman rule.

The city was destroyed during the battle.[9] Hungary was then incorporated into the Habsburg Empire.[9]

The 19th century was dominated by the Hungarian struggle for independence[9] and modernization. The national insurrection against the Habsburgs began in the Hungarian capital in 1848 and was defeated a little more than a year later.

The Hungarian State Opera House, built in the time of Austria-Hungary. 1867 was the year of Reconciliation that brought about the birth of Austria-Hungary. Cutaway Drawing of Millennium Underground in Budapest (1894 1896) which was the second underground in the world. Hungarian Royal Palace]] in 1930.

During the Hungarian Republic of Councils in 1919, the Heroes' Square was completely covered by red textile and a statue of Marx was erected.
During the Hungarian Republic of Councils in 1919, the Heroes' Square was completely covered by red textile and a statue of Marx was erected.

This made Budapest the twin capital of a dual monarchy. It was this compromise which opened the second great phase of development in the history of Budapest, lasting until World War I. In 1873 Buda and Pest were officially merged with the third part, buda (Ancient Buda), thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest. The dynamic Pest grew into the country's administrative, political, economic, trade and cultural hub. Ethnic Hungarians overtook Germans in the second half of the 19th century due to mass migration from the overpopulated rural Transdanubia and Great Hungarian Plain. Between 1851 and 1910 proportion of Hungarians increased from 35.6% to 85.9%, Hungarian became the dominant language, German was crowded out. Proportion of Jews peaked in 1900 with 23.6%.[49][50][51] Due to the prosperity and the large Jewish community of the city at the turn of the century, Budapest was often called the "Jewish Mecca"[52]

In 1918 Austria-Hungary lost the war and collapsed; Hungary declared itself an independent republic. In 1920 the Treaty of Trianon finalized the country's partition, as a result, Hungary lost over two-thirds of its territory, about two-thirds of its inhabitants under the treaty including 3.3 million out of 10 million ethnic Hungarians.[53][54]

In 1944, towards the end of World War II, Budapest was partly destroyed by British and American air raids. From 24 December 1944 to 13 February 1945, the city was besieged during the Battle of Budapest. Budapest suffered major damage caused by the attacking Soviet and Romanian troops and the defending German and Hungarian troops. All bridges were destroyed by the Germans. More than 38,000 civilians lost their lives during the conflict. Hungarian Jewish WWII Memorial]] Between 20% and 40% of Greater Budapest's 250,000 Jewish inhabitants died through Nazi and Arrow Cross Party genocide during 1944 and early 1945.[55] The Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg managed to save the lives of tens of thousands of Jews in Budapest by giving them Swedish passports and taking them under his consular protection.[56]

In 1949, Hungary was declared a communist People's Republic. The new Communist government considered the buildings like the Buda Castle symbols of the former regime, and during the 1950s the palace was gutted and all the interiors were destroyed.

In 1956, peaceful demonstrations in Budapest led to the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution. The Leadership collapsed after mass demonstrations began on 23 October, but Soviet tanks entered Budapest to crush the revolt. Fighting continued until early November, leaving more than 3000 dead.

From the 1960s to the late 1980s Hungary was often satirically referred to as "the happiest barrack" within the Eastern bloc, and much of the wartime damage to the city was finally repaired. Work on Erzs bet Bridge, the last to be rebuilt, was finished in 1964. In the early 1970s, Budapest Metro's East-West M2 line was first opened, followed by the M3 line in 1982. In 1987, Buda Castle and the banks of the Danube were included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Andrassy Avenue (including the Millennium Underground Railway, H s k tere and V rosliget) was added to the UNESCO list in 2002. In the 1980s the city's population reached 2.1 million. In recent times a significant decrease in population occurred mainly due to a massive movement to the neighbouring agglomeration in Pest county. In the last decades of the 20th century the political changes of 1989-90 concealed changes in civil society and along the streets of Budapest. The monuments of the dictatorship were taken down from public places, into Memento Park. In the first 20 years of the new democracy the development of the city was managed by G bor Demszky.

Timeline of the history of Budapest

Aquincum Museum (Aquincum was the capital of Pannonia.) The tomb of the Turkish dervish G l Baba in Budapest The Recapture of Buda Castle (1686) Buda and Pest (c. 1850) Budapest view from observatory (c. 1840), Drawing by W.H. Bartlett Andr ssy Avenue (1875) Buda Castle Parliament Building]] Hungarian Academy of Sciences Gresham Palace Gerbeaud Confectionery

Year Event
BC  Neolithic, Chalcolithic-, bronze and iron age cultures, Celtic and Eravisci settlements on present day Budapest.
1st century Romans found the settlements known as Aquincum, Contra-Aquincum and Campona. Aquincum becomes the largest town of the Danubian region and one of the capitals of Pannonia.
5th century The Age of Huns. King Attila builds a city for himself here according to later chronicles. After his death, the sons of his brother Mundzuk (Hungarian: Bendeg z, Turkish: Boncuk), Attila and Bleda (Hungarian:Buda), in control of the united Hun tribes.
896 Following the foundation of Hungary, rp d, leader of the Magyars from the east (present day Hungarians), settles in the "Town of Attila", usually identified as Aquincum.
1046 Bishop Gell rt dies at the hands of pagans on present-day Gell rt Hill.
1241 Tatar (Mongol) invasions destroy both towns. King B la IV builds the first royal castle on Castle Hill, Buda in 1248. The new town adopts the name of Buda from the earlier one (present day buda). Pest is surrounded by city walls.
1270 Saint Margaret of Hungary dies in a cloister on the Isle of Rabbits (present day Margaret Island).
1458 The noblemen of Hungary elect Matthias Corvinus (in Latin) or Hunyadi M ty s (in Hungarian) as king on the ice of the Danube. Under his reign Buda becomes a main hub of European Renaissance. He dies in 1490, after capturing Vienna in 1485.
1541 The beginning of Ottoman occupation. The Turkish Pashas build multiple mosques and baths in Buda.
1602 An unsuccessful assault on Budapest under Feldmarschall Christof Hermann Graf von Ru worm (2 October - 15 November 1602).
1686 Buda and Pest are reconquered from the Turks with Habsburg leadership. Both towns are destroyed completely in the battles.
1690s Resettlement of Hungary, initially only a few hundred German settlers.
1773 Election of the first Mayor of Pest.
1777 Maria Theresa of Austria moves Nagyszombat University to Castle Hill.
1783 Joseph II places the acting government (Helytart tan cs) and Magyar Kamara on Buda.
1795 20 May Ign c Martinovics and other Jacobin leaders are executed on V rmez or 'The Field of Blood'.
1810 A fire in the Tab n district.
1825 Commencement of the Reform Era. Pest becomes the cultural and economic centre of the country. The first National Theatre is built, along with the Hungarian National Museum.
1838 The biggest flood in recent memory in March completely inundates Pest.
1848 15 March Start of the Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-49. Pest replaces Pozsony/Pressburg (Bratislava) as the new capital of Hungary and seat of the Batthy ny government and the Parliament.
1849 The Austrians occupy the city in early January, but the Hungarian Honv dsereg (Army of National Defense) reclaims it in April, taking the fortress of Buda on May 21 after an 18-day siege. In July, the Habsburg army again captures the two towns.
1849 6 October Lajos Batthy ny, the first Hungarian Prime Minister is executed on the present-day Szabads g t r.
1849 Sz chenyi L nch d, or Sz chenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest was opened linking Buda (West bank) and Pest (East bank).
1867 Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, followed by unprecedented civic development, resulting in the style of present day Budapest.
1873 The former cities: Pest, Buda and buda are united, and with that the Hungarian capital is established with the name of Budapest.
1874 The Budapest Cog-wheel Railway service is inaugurated.
1878 Electric public lighting installed in the city centre.
1893 Electrification of Budapest finished
1896 Millennium celebrations, the Millennium Underground is inaugurated, and the Ferenc J zsef h d (today's Freedom Bridge) is opened.
1909 1910 Electric public lighting expanded to the suburbs, the nearby towns villages had Electric public lighting.
1910 The census finds 880,000 people in Budapest and 55,000 in the largest suburb of jpest (now part of Budapest).
1918 1919 Following the conclusion of World War I, the Hungarian Republic of Councils is founded and 133 days later overthrown by the Romanian army which then makes excessive requisitions in Budapest. They regarded this as gathering war reparations, while others classify it as looting.[57][58]
1924 Hungarian National Bank is founded.
1925 Hungarian Radio commences broadcasting.
1933 Disassembly of the Tab n commences.
1944 19 March The Germans occupy Budapest. At the time of the occupation, there were 184,000 Jews and between 65,000 and 80,000 Christians of Jewish descent in the town. The Arrow Cross collaborated with the Germans in murdering Jews. Fewer than half of Budapest's Jews (approximately 119,000) survived the following 11 months.
1944 26 December - 13 February Soviet and Romanian troops besiege Budapest from 15 January to 18 January. The retreating Germans destroy all Danube bridges. On 18 January, the Soviets complete the occupation of Pest. The Buda castle falls on 13 February. World War II took the lives of close to 200,000 Budapest residents and caused widespread damage to nearly all of the buildings in the city.
1956 23 October - 4 November The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 breaks out, ending in the invasion of a large Soviet force.
1960s Wartime damage is largely repaired. Work on the final bridge to be repaired, the Elizabeth Bridge is finished in 1964.
1970 1972 The first phase of the East-Western Metro begins.
1982 The first phase of the North-Southern Metro begins.
1987 Castle Hill and the banks of the Danube are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
1990 The city is home to 2,016,100 residents.
2002 Andr ssy Avenue is added to the list of World heritage Sites, along with the Millennium Underground railway and Heroes' Square.
2006 2006 Hungarian protests.
2006 200 km of the 1000 km road in capital level local government handling is reconstructed after 80 km in the former year. The world's longest trams, Siemens Combino Supras start service on Great Boulevard, by the end of the year 150 Volvo 7700 buses take part in replacing the aging BKV fleet. Reconstruction of metro line 2 finishes.
2008 The Eastern part of the M0 motorway around the city with Megyeri Bridge is finished and given to public. The new Northern Railway Bridge is finished and is opened to public.
2008 By this year 400 km road [59] have been reconstructed due to the road reconstruction program paired with pipe (heating and water) replacements to modern, narrow and heat-conserving ones, and where needed sewer system expansion or replacement.
2009 The 2007-2009 complete reconstruction of Liberty Bridge[60] finishes.
2010 The Central Wastewater Treatment Plant starts its normal operation. This increases biologically treated sewage from 51% to 100%.
2010 The tunnel of Metro line 4 is finished.
2011 The 2009-2011 complete and historical reconstruction of Margaret Bridge[61] finishes.


Budapest as seen from SPOT satellite. The 525 km2 area of Budapest lies in central Hungary surrounded by settlements of the agglomeration in Pest county. The capital extends 25 and 29 kilometers in the north-south, east-west direction respectively. The Danube enters the city from the north; later it encircles two islands, buda Island and Margaret Island.[9] The third island Csepel Island is the largest of the Budapest Danube islands, however only its northernmost tip is within city limits. The river that separates the two parts of the city is only wide at its narrowest point in Budapest. Pest lies on the flat terrain of the Great Plain while Buda is rather hilly.[9] Pest's terrain rises with a slight eastward gradient, so the easternmost parts of the city lie at the same altitude as Buda's smallest hills, notably Gell rt Hill and Castle Hill. The Buda hills consist mainly of limestone and dolomite, the water created speleothems, the most famous ones being the P lv lgyi cave and the Szeml hegyi cave. The hills were formed in the Triassic Era. The highest point of the hills and of Budapest is J nos hill, at above sea level. The lowest point is the line of the Danube which is above sea level. The forests of Buda hills are environmentally protected.


The city has a temperate, transitional climate - somewhere between the mild, snowy weather of Transdanubia, the variable continental climate of the flat and open Great Plain to the east and the almost sub-Mediterranean weather of the south.[62]


City Park (V rosliget) and Margit Island are perfect places to find some green area in the city. In the City Park in winter you can enjoy ice skating on one of the largest artificial ice surfaces in the world. Margaret Island offers a wide range of sports from running and cycling to tennis or swimming in the Alfr d Haj s Swimming Center where Budapest proudly hosted the LEN European Aquatics Championships in 2006 and 2010. Budapest was the host for the ITU Triathlon World Championships 2010, too. The 2011 IIHF World Championship (Division I, Group A) and Athletics - 2012 European Cross Country Championships will be held there.

The city is the proud home for many Olympic, World, and Europen Championship winners and medalists. The city's largest football stadium is named after the world famous Ferenc Pusk s; top class player of Real Madrid and the Hungarian National Team, who was recognized as the top scorer of the 20th century and who the FIFA's Pusk s Award[63] (Ballon d'Or) was named after. (read more about the award {[63]|here})

The city is also home to Hungarian bandy. The Bandy World Championship for women 2007[64] and the Bandy World Championship 2004 /B-group/ were held here.[65]



Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups Population % of total
Hungarians 1,631,043 91.2
Germans 18,097 1
Roma 14,019 ~0.8
Slovaks 4,929 ~0.3
Others 16,762 ~0.9
No answer, unknown 93,071 5.2
Total[66] 1,777,921 100


A KSH report showed that the proportion of Roma in Budapest increased from 2% in 1990 to 4.6% in 2009 due to moving of middle class and upper middle class ethnic Hungarians to the suburbs.[6][68]

Whilst only 1.7% of the population of Hungary in 2009 were foreigners,[68] 43% of them lived in Budapest,[68] making them 4.4% of the city's population.[68] Nearly two-thirds of foreigners living in Hungary were under 40. The primary motivation for this age group living in Hungary was employment.[68]


Denominations Population % of total
Christian 1,128,502 63.5
Roman Catholic 808,460 45.5
Calvinist 224,169 12.6
Lutheran 46,449 2.6
Greek Catholic 28,901 1.6
Other 20,523 1.2
Non-Christian religious 15,439 ~0.9
Jewish 9,468 ~0.5
Other 5,971 ~0.3
Without denomination 347,209 19.5
No answer, unknown 286,584 16.1
Total 1,777,921 100



Originally Budapest had 10 districts after coming into existence upon the unification of the three cities in 1873. On 1 January 1950 Budapest was united with several neighboring towns and the number of its districts was raised to 22 (Greater Budapest). At that time there were changes both in the order of districts and in their sizes. Now there are 23 districts, 6 in Buda, 16 in Pest and 1 on Csepel Island between them. Each district can be associated with one or more city parts named after former towns within Budapest. The city centre itself in a broader sense comprises the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 13th districts on the Pest side, and the 1st, 2nd, 11th and 12th on the Buda side of the city.[70]


ING headquaters in Budapest Richter investigation and development building

Budapest became a global city due to industrialization. in 1910, 45.2% of the total population were factory workers. The Hungarian capital was one of the largest industrial cities in Europe with 600,000 factory workers in the 1960s. Between 1920 and the 1970s more than half of Hungary's total industrial output was made in Budapest. Metalworking (F G), textile industry and automobile industry (Ikarus) were the main sectors before the structural changes.[71]

Now nearly all branches of industry can be found in Budapest. Main products are communication engineering and computer appliances, electric machines, incandescent lamps (General Electric). Pharmaceutical industry is also important, well-known Egis, Gedeon Richter Ltd. and Chinoin companies are Hungarian, Teva also has a division here.

Industry is rather in the suburbs, the centre is place for the main national and international service and financial companies like Hungarian Telekom, General Electric, Vodafone, Telenor, Erste Bank, CIB Bank, K&H Bank&Insurance, UniCredit, Budapest Bank, Generali Providencia Insurance, ING, Aegon Insurance, Allianz. Regional base of Volvo Co., Saab, Ford, GE, IBM are in Budapest. MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company which with its Subsidiaries, is a leading integrated oil and gas company in Central & Eastern Europe, and OTP Bank which is the biggest Hungarian bank, with branches in 8 other countries as well, are based in the capital.

Budapest is the centre of services, financial counselling, money transactions, commercial and estate services. Trade and logistic services are well-developed. Tourism and catering also deserve mention, the capital being home to thousands of restaurants, bars, coffee houses and party places.

Main sights

Hungarian Parliament Building

The neo-Gothic Parliament, containing amongst other things the Hungarian Crown Jewels. Saint Stephen's Basilica, where the Holy Right Hand of the founder of Hungary, King Saint Stephen is on display. The Hungarian cuisine and caf culture: for example, Gerbeaud Caf , and the Sz z ves, Biarritz, Fortuna, Alab rdos, Arany Szarvas, K rp tia and the world famous M ty s Pince Restaurants. There are Roman remains at the Aquincum Museum, and historic furniture at the Nagyt t ny Castle Museum, just 2 out of 223 museums in Budapest.

The Castle Hill, the River Danube embankments and the whole of Andr ssy t have been officially recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Castle Hill and the Castle District; there are three churches here, six museums, and a host of interesting buildings, streets and squares. The former Royal Palace is one of the symbols of Hungary and has been the scene of battles and wars ever since the 13th century. Nowadays it houses two impressive museums and the National Sz chenyi Library. The nearby S ndor Palace contains the offices and official residence of the President of Hungary. The seven-hundred year-old Matthias Church is one of the jewels of Budapest. Next to it is an equestrian statue of the first king of Hungary, King Saint Stephen, and behind that is the Fisherman's Bastion, from where opens out a panoramic view of the whole city. Statues of the Turul, the mythical guardian bird of Hungary, can be found in both the Castle District and the Twelfth District.

Holy Crown]], a key symbol of Hungary In Pest, arguably the most important sight is Andr ssy t. As far as Kod ly K r nd and Oktogon both sides are lined with large shops and flats built close together. Between there and Heroes Square the houses are detached and altogether grander. Under the whole runs continental Europe s oldest Underground railway, most of whose stations retain their original appearance. Heroes Square is dominated by the Millenary Monument, with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front. To the sides are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Kunsthalle Budapest, and behind City Park opens out, with Vajdahunyad Castle. One of the jewels of Andr ssy t is the Hungarian State Opera House. Statue Park, a theme park with striking statues of the Communist era, is located just outside the main city and is accessible by public transport.

The city is home to the largest synagogue in Europe (Doh ny Street Synagogue),[72] and second largest working in the World .[73] The synagogue is located in the Jewish district taking up several blocks in central Budapest bordered by Kir ly utca, Wessel nyi utca, Grand Boulevard (Budapest) and Bajcsy Zsilinszky road. The city is also proud at the largest medicinal bath in Europe (Sz chenyi Medicinal Bath) and the third largest Parliament building in the world, once the largest in the world. The third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica) and the second largest Baroque castle in the world (G d ll ) are in the vicinity.

The world's largest panorama photograph was created in (and of) Budapest in 2010.[74]


Aerial panorama with the Margaret Island Seven islands can be found on the Danube: Shipyard Island, Margaret Island, Csepel Island, Palotai-sziget (now a peninsula), N psziget, H ros-sziget, and Moln r-sziget.

Notable islands include:

  • Margaret Island is a long island and in area. The island mostly consists of a park and is a popular recreational area for tourists and locals alike. The island lies between bridges Margaret Bridge (south) and rp d Bridge (north). Dance clubs, Swimming pools, an Aqua park, athletic and fitness centres, bicycle and running tracks can be found around the Island. During the day the island is occupied by people doing sports, or just resting. In the summer (generally on the weekends) mostly young people go to the island at night to party in its terraces, or to recreate with a bottle of alcohol on a bench or on the grass (this form of entertainment is sometimes referred to as bench-partying).
  • Csepel Island () is the largest island of the River Danube in Hungary. It is long; its width is 6 8 km (3.75 5 mi) and its area comprises , whereas only the northern tip is inside the city limits.
  • Haj gy ri-sziget (, or budai-sziget) is a man built island, located in the third district. This island hosts many activities such as: wake-boarding, jet-skiing during the day, and dance clubs during the night. This is the island where the famous Sziget Festival takes place, hosting hundreds of performances per year and now around 400,000 visitors in its last edition. Many building projects are taking place to make this island into one of the biggest entertainment centres of Europe, the plan is to build Apartment buildings, hotels, casinos and a marina.
  • Luppa-sziget is the smallest island of Budapest, located in the north region.
  • Rock of ns g can be found in the river Danube under the Gell rt mountain, it can be seen just in a drought period when the river level is very low and this is a bad signal for a crop.


Rudas Baths is a thermal and medicinal bath that was first built in 1550 One of the reasons the Romans first colonized the area immediately to the west of the River Danube and established their regional capital at Aquincum (now part of buda, in northern Budapest) is so that they could utilize and enjoy the thermal springs. There are still ruins visible today of the enormous baths that were built during that period. The new baths that were constructed during the Turkish period (1541 1686) served both bathing and medicinal purposes, and some of these are still in use to this day. Budapest gained its reputation as a city of spas in the 1920s, following the first realization of the economic potential of the thermal waters in drawing in visitors. Indeed, in 1934 Budapest was officially ranked as a "City of Spas". Today, the baths are mostly frequented by the older generation, as, with the exception of the Magic Bath and "Cinetrip" water discos, young people tend to prefer the lidos which are open in the summer. Construction of the Kir ly Baths started in 1565, and most of the present-day building dates from the Turkish period, including most notably the fine cupola-topped pool.

The Rudas Baths are centrally placed in the narrow strip of land between Gell rt Hill and the River Danube and also an outstanding example of architecture dating from the Turkish period. The central feature is an octagonal pool over which light shines from a 10 m diameter cupola, supported by eight pillars. Sz chenyi Thermal Bath]].

The Gell rt Baths and Hotel were built in 1918, although there had once been Turkish baths on the site, and in the Middle Ages a hospital. In 1927 the Baths were extended to include the wave pool, and the effervescent bath was added in 1934. The well-preserved Art Nouveau interior includes colourful mosaics, marble columns, stained glass windows and statues.

The Luk cs Baths are also in Buda and are also Turkish in origin, although they were only revived at the end of the 19th century. This was also when the spa and treatment centre were founded. There is still something of an atmosphere of fin-de-si cle about the place, and all around the inner courtyard there are marble tablets recalling the thanks of patrons who were cured there. Since the 1950s it has been regarded as a centre for intellectuals and artists.

The Sz chenyi Baths are one of the largest bathing complexes in all Europe, and the only old medicinal baths to be found in the Pest side of the city. The indoor medicinal baths date from 1913 and the outdoor pools from 1927. There is an atmosphere of grandeur about the whole place with the bright, largest pools resembling aspects associated with Roman baths, the smaller bath tubs reminding one of the bathing culture of the Greeks, and the saunas and diving pools borrowed from traditions emanating in northern Europe. The three outdoor pools (one of which is a fun pool) are open all year, including winter. Indoors there are over ten separate pools, and a whole host of medical treatments is also available.



Ferenc Liszt International Airport Map of the Budapest Metro Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport, formerly called Budapest Ferihegy International Airport, which has 2 passenger terminals: Ferihegy 1, which tends to serve the many discount airlines now flying to and from Budapest, Ferihegy 2/A and Ferihegy 2/B. A third terminal is planned though not yet constructed. The airport is located to the east of the centre in the XVIII. district in Pestszentl rinc. In March 2011, the Hungarian Government announced that the name of the Airport is to be changed from "Budapest Ferihegy International Airport" to "Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport". Megyeri Bridge, M0 motorway Budapest Castle Hill Funicular


Budapest is the most important Hungarian road terminus; most of the major highways end near the city-limits. The road system in the city is designed in a similar manner to that of Paris, with several ring roads, and avenues radiating out from the center.

Ring road (beltway) M0 around Budapest is nearly completed, with only one section missing on the west side due to local disputes. Currently the beltway is around 80 kilometers in length, and once finished it will be near 100 kilometers of highway in length.

Public transport

Budapest public transport is provided by BKV,[75] the company operates buses, trolleybuses, trams, suburban railway lines, the metro, a boat service, a cogwheel railway, a funicular, and a chairlift, called Libeg .

Budapest's tram network is extensive, and reliable despite poor track infrastructure and an ageing fleet. Routes 4 and 6 combined form the busiest traditional city tram line in the world, with the world's longest passenger trams ( long Siemens Combino) running at 60 to 90 second intervals at peak time and 3 4 minutes off-peak and usually packed with people.

Day services operate from 4:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. each day. Night traffic (a reduced overnight service) has a reputation for being excellent.

There are three metro lines and a fourth is currently under construction. The Yellow line, built in 1896, is one of the oldest subway lines in the world, following the London Underground built in 1863.


Hungarian main-line railways are operated by M V. There are three main railway termini in Budapest, Keleti (eastbound), Nyugati (westbound), and D li (southbound), operating both domestic and international rail services. Budapest is one of the main stops of the Orient Express on its Central and Eastern European route.[76] There is also a suburban rail service in and around Budapest, operated under the name H V.

File:Western Ralway Station Budapest.jpg|Budapest Western railway station () File:Budapest East Station 2.jpg|Budapest East railway station ()



The river Danube flows through Budapest on its way to the Black Sea. The river is easily navigable and so Budapest has historically been a major commercial port (at Csepel). In the summer months a scheduled hydrofoil service operates up the Danube to Vienna.

Special vehicles

Beside metros, suburban rails, buses, trams and boats, there are a couple of less usual vehicles in Budapest:

  • trolleybus on several lines in Pest
  • the Castle Hill Funicular between the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle
  • cyclecar for rent in Margaret Island
  • chairlift
  • the Budapest Cog-wheel Railway
  • children's railway [75]

The latter three vehicles run among Buda hills.


Hungarian State Opera House Hungarian Academy of Sciences The dance tradition of the Carpathian Basin is the unique area of the European dance culture, which is also a special transition between the Balkans and Western Europe regions. Several authentic Hungarian folk dance ensembles work in Budapest, some of them professional. Budapest is one of the only few cities in the world where a high school for folk dance learning exists.

In Budapest there are currently 837 different monuments, which represent the most of the European artistic style. The classical and unique Hungarian Art Nouveau buildings are prominent.

The city glories in 223 museums and galleries, which presents several memories, not only the Hungarian historical, art and science ones, but also the memories of universal and European culture and science. Here are the greatest examples among them: the Hungarian National Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Budapest Historical Museum, the Memento Park and the Museum of Applied Arts.

In Budapest there are forty theaters, seven concert halls and an opera house. Outdoor festivals, concerts and lectures enrich the cultural offer of summer, which are often held in historical buildings. The largest theater facilities: the Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre, the J zsef Attila Theatre, the Katona J zsef Theatre, the Mad ch Theatre, the Hungarian State Opera House, the National Theatre, the Vigad , Radn ti Mikl s Theatre and the Comedy Theatre.

A lot of libraries have unique collection in Budapest, such as the National Sz chenyi Library, which keeps historical relics from the age before the printing of books. The Metropolitan Szab Ervin Library plays an important role in the general education of the capital s population. Other libraries: The Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, E tv s University Library, the Parliamentary Library and the National Library of Foreign Literature.

If we mention cultural events, Hungary s the largest outdoor festival is the Sziget Festival, which is really popular in all over Europe, as well. Other major events: Budapest Spring Festival, Budapest Autumn Festival.

Tourists visiting Budapest are provided with free maps and information about "points of interest" by BTDM at its info-points.[77]

24 h and 72 h Budapest card is available for visitors. During the card's validity public transport is free, and discount is available in lots of museums, restaurants, and other places of interest.[78]

In fiction

The 1906 novel The Paul Street Boys, the 1937 novel Journey by Moonlight, the 1957 book The Bridge at Andau, the 1975 novel Fateless, the 1977 novel The End of a Family Story, the 1986 book Between the Woods and the Water, the 1992 novel Under the Frog, the 1987 novel The Door, the 2002 novel Prague, the 2003 book Budapeste, the 2004 novel Ballad of the Whisky Robber, the 2005 novels Parallel Stories and The Historian are set, amongst others, partly or entirely in Budapest.

Some of the better known feature films set in Budapest are Kontroll, The District!, Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod, Sunshine, An American Rhapsody, As You Desire Me, The Good Fairy, Hanna's War, The Journey, Ladies in Love, Mehbooba, Music Box, The Shop Around the Corner, Zoo in Budapest and Mission Impossible 4.


Main Building of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 1909. It is one of the oldest Institutes of Technology in the world (founded in 1782) Corvinus University of Budapest

Budapest is Hungary's main centre of education and home to numerous universities:

  • E tv s Lor nd University
  • Budapest Business School
  • Central European University
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Semmelweis University (medical university)
  • Szent Istv n University
  • buda University
  • P zm ny P ter Catholic University
  • K roli G sp r University of the Hungarian Reformed Church
  • Jewish Theological Seminary University of Jewish Studies
  • International Business School, Budapest
  • Andr ssy Gyula German Language University of Budapest
  • Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
  • Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Budapest is twinned with:[79][80][81]

Country City County / District / Region / State Date
Istanbul Istanbul 1985
Vienna Vienna 1990
Sarajevo Sarajevo Canton 1995
La Paz La Paz 2009
Izmir Izmir 1985
Sofia Sofia City
China (PRC) Beijing Beijing 2005[82]
Zagreb Zagreb 1994[83]
Paris Paris 1956
Berlin Berlin 1992[84]
Frankfurt am Main Hessen 1990
Jakarta Jakarta Special Capital Region 2009[85]
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv District 1989[86]
Florence Tuscany 2008[87]
Warsaw Masovian Voivodeship 2005[88]
Lisbon District of Lisbon 1992
Bucharest Bucharest 1991
Ko ice Ko ice Region 1997[89]
Daejeon Daejeon 1994[90]
Bangkok Bangkok 2007
Lviv Ukraine 1993[91]
Fort Worth Texas 1990[92]
Gaziantep Gaziantep 2010
New York City New York 1992[93]

Some of the city's districts are also twinned to small cities or districts of other big cities, for details see the article List of districts and towns in Budapest.


  • Krak w, Poland [94]


File:Budapest castle night 5.jpg|Buda Castle File:Museum Fine Arts01.jpg|Museum of Fine Arts File:Basilique Saint- tienne de Pest.jpg|Saint Stephen's Basilica File:Buda Castles-Matthias Church.jpg|Matthias Church File:Sunset over the Danube - Budapest - joiseyshowaa.jpg|Sz chenyi Chain Bridge File:03h s k tere.JPG|Heroes' Square with the Millenary Monument File:04Pesti vigado.JPG|Vigad Concert Hall File:Mujegpalya Ice Rink.jpg|Vajdahunyad Castle File:Szent Erzsebet-templom 01.jpg|Saint Elisabeth Church File:Synagogue-Budapest.jpg|The Great Synagogue File:Museum of Applied Arts (Budapest).jpg|Museum of Applied Arts File:01New-York palota Budapest.JPG|New York Caf File:Hungariannationalmuseum100.jpg|Hungarian National Museum File:Hal szb stya Budapest.JPG|Fisherman's Bastion File:Buda castle quarte.JPG|Holy Trinity's square File:Budapestbudacastle100.jpg|Buda, Castle Hill File:Budapest opera house.JPG|Andr ssy Avenue, it was recognised as a World Heritage Site File:Budapest deak palota.jpg|"Fashion Street" File:07v ci utca.JPG| V ci Street is one of the main shopping streets in Budapest. File:Burgtheater Budapest Varszinhaz 2009 august.jpg|Castle Theatre File:Hungarian National Theater Budapest.jpg|National Theatre File:Estibp18.jpg|Buda Castle File:Estibp37.jpg|Heroes' Square File:Szabadsaghideeste3.jpg|Liberty Bridge File:Budape , Belv ros, pohled na centrum m sta.JPG|City of Budapest seen from Saint Stephen's Basilica

See also

  • Outline of Hungary
  • List of cemeteries in Budapest
  • List of famous people of Budapest
  • Music of Budapest
  • Urban and Suburban Transit Association (most of its activity is centred around Budapest)
  • Budapest metropolitan area
  • Fort Budapest
  • List of films shot in Budapest




  1. a b
  2. Tuna Tasan-Kok: Budapest, Istanbul and Warsaw: Institutional and spatial change, p.41
  3. a b
  4. History of the Budapest Commuter Association (English))
  5. Settlements of the Budapest Commuter Area (Hungarian)
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n
  7. Molnar, A Concise History of Hungary, Chronology pp. 15.
  8. a b c d e
  9. a b c d e f
  10. a b c
  11. Molnar, A Concise History of Hungary, Chronology pp. 15
  13. a b
  15. B cskai Vera: Sz chenyi tervei Pest-Buda felemel s re s sz p t s re
  16. Kiss Lajos: F ldrajzi nevek etimol giai sz t ra. Budapest: Akad miai. 1978. 131 132.
  17. Gy rffy Gy rgy, Pest-Buda kialakul sa: Budapest t rt nete a honfoglal st l az rp d-kor v gi sz kv ross alakul sig, Budapest, Akad miai, 1997, 242.
  18. Gudmund Sch tte, Ptolemy's Maps of Northern Europe (The Royal Danish Geographical Society: Copenhagen, 1917). p. 101
  19. William Smith (ed.), A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (London : I.B. Tauris, 2006) [Facsim. of ed. published: London : John Murray, 1872.]
  20. B. Dimitrov, Bulgarians- Civilizers of the slavs, p.48
  21. Molnar, A Concise History of Hungary, Chronology pp. 12
  22. Molnar, A Concise History of Hungary, p. 14
  23. a b
  24. a b Southeastern Europe under Ottoman rule, 1354-1804, Peter F. Sugar, page 88
  25. Budapest statisztikai vk nyve 1943 (Statistical Yearbook of Budapest, 1943), p. 33, Hungarian Central Statistical Office
  26. Budapest sz kes f v ros Statisztikai s K zigazgat si vk nyve 1921-1924 (Statistical Yearbook of Budapest, 1921-1924), p. 38, Hungarian Central Statistical Office
  27. a b Budapest statisztikai vk nyve 1944-1946 (Statistical Yearbook of Budapest, 1944-1946), p. 12, Hungarian Central Statistical Office
  28. Encyclop dia Britannica 1911, Budapest article
  29. "Raoul Wallenberg". Jewish Virtual Library.
  30. Major General Harry Hill Bandholtz: An Undiplomatic Diary, AMS Press, 1966, pp. 131,+there+is+only+too+much+proof+of+Roumanian+looting.+I+myself+saw+them%22&redir_esc=y#search_anchor pp. 38
  31. Glen St. John Barclay, 20th century nationalism, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971, p. 26
  32. a b
  35. Note: Summary population and percent is more than the "total" due to dual self-determination.
  36. a b c d e
  37. G bor Preisich: Budapest v ros p t s nek t rt nete, M szaki K nyvkiad , Budapest, 1998, ISBN 963-16-1467-0, p. 13, p. 77
  38. a b

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