Location: Two Cities in one
Divided by the graceful waters of the Danube, Europe’s longest river, Budapest is made up of two islands, Buda on the west bank and Pest on the east. The former is predominantly hills, where you will find the Castle Hill district featuring the city’s most dominant and redeeming landmark, Buda Castle. Lit up at night the former King’s Palace is a sight to behold. The greater land mass of Pest is where you will find the bulk of the capital’s stunning architectural gems including the awe-inspiring Hungarian Parliament building.
Business: A City returning to its former glory
Budapest became a world-renowned commercial centre under the influence of the Hapsburgs until its prosperity was choked by Soviet Communism in the 20th Century. Since the collapse of the Eastern bloc, Hungary and Budapest is finding its feet again and is fast becoming the cultural, political, and intellectual powerhouse of former years. Attracting investors from all over the world, a bright commercial future beckons.
Culture: Thriving modern art culture and ancient ruins
With several world-class museums and a thriving Opera House and a host of sumptuous restaurants, there is no shortage of cultural opportunities for visitors to indulge in. The Palace of Arts in the New Millennium District boasts three museums under one roof, including Ludwig Museum, which exhibits a wealth of contemporary art. And if modern art is your thing, you should sign up for a contemporary art tour of the city. Alternatively, head for the tranquil garden ruins in the Aquincum museum where you will find the remains of the ancient Roman city of Óbuda.
Activities: No sparsely choice of spas
Budapest is built on thermal springs and has no fewer than 400 mineral baths bearing medicinal fruits. This geological feature prompted the Romans to set up camp here in the first century. As a result, there are a multitude of bathhouses offering everything from Turkish mud baths to art nouveau pedicures and a rub down with healing minerals. There is no other city with such a vast variety of ways to pamper yourself. However, if hanging around half-naked strangers is not your idea of a good time, take a cruise along the Danube or a walking tour around the historical centre.