GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BUDAPEST
The city of Budapest was formed in 1873 through the joining of Buda, Pest and Old Buda (Óbuda). As the largest city in the Republic of Hungary, Budapest is the country's political, cultural and commercial center.
The beautiful Danube River both divides and connects peaceful, hilly Buda in the west and the flatter, lively Pest in the east. Óbuda, the oldest part of Budapest, is also on the west side of the Danube and is an extension of Buda to the north. Seven bridges and two railway bridges join Buda and Pest, and six islands on the Danube are located within city limits.
Few of Budapest Must-See Sights:
As the millennial celebrations of 1896 approached, the nation's demand for representation channelled the conception of a unique Parliament building. The Palace of Westminster in part inspired the design, but a well-known Hungarian architect, Imre Steindl, laid out the plans in their entirety. The building stretches 268 meters in its length, along the Danube embankment. Ornamented with white neo-gothic turrets and arches, it forms the most outstanding landmark of the Pest side horizon. Statues of Hungarian monarchs and military commanders decorate the outer walls. The unique interior design includes huge halls, over 12,5 miles of corridors, a 96-meter high central dome, and 691 rooms. When the Parliament is not in session, all these can be visited (cameras are allowed); tours are offered in English, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian and Spanish.
Andrássy Avenue is the Hungarian Champs-Élysées. It was built for the Millenium celebrations in 1896 connecting Városliget and the Heroes’ Square to the downtown area. This is the most representative and elegant street in Budapest with the Millennium Underground line running underneath. The whole area is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Andrássy Avenue has four parts. From Erzsébet Square to Oktogon Square, you find world famous luxury designers’ salons. Besides the haute-couture stores, you see the Opera House, the “Broadway of Pest”, Liszt Ferenc Square and the Párizs Department store here as well. From the Oktogon to Kodály Körönd the street is widened with service roads on the two sides and an allée in the middle, including residential areas and universities. From Kodály Körönd to Bajza Street you can see more palaces with front yards. From Bajza Street to the Hero’s Square there are individual villas surrounded by gardens, just like in Pasarét or in Rózsadomb. There are embassies here, but you will see some art galleries and cafés on the way.
Located on a 2,5 km-long central Island on the Danube, the historical Margaret Island is a special landmark of Budapest. It was a wise decision from the city fathers of Budapest to ban all motorized traffic on this island (except for a single bus line and police cars), as it is the primary place of recreation in Budapest. Complete with an outdoor summer thermal spa, and a professional swimming pool where the Olympic champion water polo team trains tirelessly, the island also features a small wildlife park, the ruins of a 13th century Dominican cloister, a Japanese garden with sunbathing turtles, an 5 km-long professional jogging circle along the sides of the island, several nice restaurants, two luxury thermal hotels and a rose garden. Cyclists, in winter and summer, appreciate the car-free and oxygen-rich environment too, as well as families with children. When the weather is hot, scores of people lay around the biggest fountain of Budapest, which plays pleasant music every 30 minutes. The island is bordered by the Margaret Bridge from the south, and by Budapest's longest bridge, the Árpád Bridge from the north.