Geographic LocationBudapest is a capital city of Hungary.Despite many thinks that Hungary is located in Eastern Europe, it is actually situated in CentralEurope, in its eastern part. It borders with Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia andUkraina.ClimateThe city has a temperate, transitional climate - somewhere between the mild, snowy weather ofTransdanubia, the variable continental climate of the flat and open Great Plain to the east and thealmost sub-Mediterranean weather of the south.
How to get there?By AirIf you decide to visit Budapest, you can choose from an array of low-cost airlines, or the nationalcarrier, MALÉV.By RailBudapest has direct railway links with 25 European capital cities, and there are over 50international trains departing daily.By CarOf the five motorways and four main roads in Hungary, eight start from Budapest (exception: mainroad No. 8). Motorway stickers are compulsory on M1, M3, M5, M6 and M7.By CoachView information on coach services to Budapest. International and domestic bus services departfrom and arrive to the Népliget bus station. Tel: (+36-1) 382-0888.By RiverBetween April and October, a hydrofoil service operates between Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava.All three international piers are in the heart of Budapest, on the river Danube.Main sitesGellert HillGellert Hill is part of Budapest’s Ist and XIth Districts, named afterthe saint thrown to his deathfrom the hill. The famous Hotel Gellertand the Gellet Baths can be found in Gellért Square at thefoot of the hill, next to Liberty BridgeBudapest Great Synagoguehe Dohány Street Synagogue or Great Synagogue in Budapest is the largest synagogue in Europeand the second largest in the world. It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism.VárosligetVárosliget or City Park is a public park (302 acres or 1.2 km2 a rectangle 0.9 mile by 0.6 mile, or 1.4km × 900 m) in Budapest close to the city centre, behind Heroes square.Váci utcaVáci utca (Váci street) is one of the main pedestrian thoroughfares and perhaps the most famousstreet of central Budapest. It features a large number of resturants and fashion outlets cateringprimarily to the tourist marketSt. Stephen BasilicaThe largest Catholic church in Budapest, where the most important relic of the HungarianCatholicism, the Holy Right of King St. Steven is kept.The panorama terrace offers a great view ofthe city.Heroes SquareThe momumental square at the end of Andrássy Avenue sums up the history of Hungary. Themillenium memorial commemorates the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of the Hungarians inthe Carpathian Basin. Heroes Square is the biggest square in Budapest
Fishermens BastionThe Castle District in Buda is the ancient kernel of the capitals right-bank settlement. The RoyalPalace houses different museums and exhibitions. The castle District is one of the most visitedtourist attraction in Budapest.The ParliamentThe monumental building of the Parliament is one of the biggest attractions of Budapest. Inside,you can see crown jewels, frescoes, paintaings and statues of the historical figures of HungaryMuseum of Applied ArtsThe Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest was the third museum to be built in Europe after fellowinstitutions in London (1857) and Vienna (1864).The Art-nouveau palace of the museum itself worths a visit. The collection embraces easterncarpets, treasury of the Esterházy family, Italian majolica, art-nouveau glass works, Zsolnayceramics, French furniture, etc.Gallery of ArtThe largest exhibition hall in a great classical building. Temporary exhibitions of modern andcontemporary artists.Museum of Fine ArtsHungary’s premier gallery of non-Hungarian works of art from early times right up to the presentday.Permanent exhibitions:Antique collection:Mainly Greek and Roman works of Art : marble sculptures, more than toushand works of plasticart, bronze works, vases with red and black figures painted by famous painters.Egyptian collection:Sculptures from all Egyptian Ages, including some outstanding works, painted mummy coffins,plastics.Antique picture gallery:This is the most significant collection of the Museum. The gallery introduces the development ofEuropian painting from 1300 to 1800. In this respect the Museum is one of the best orderedcollections in Europe.Antique sculpture collection:Works of Italian sculptue from the 4th century to the 18th century and of French, English, Germanand Holland sculpture from the 13th century to the 18th century. A famous masterpiece is thehorseman sculpture made by Leonardo da Vinci.Graphical collection:The collection - which contains 10000 drawings and 100000 engravings - is not open to the publicall the time because the works of art are highly sensitive to lightModern collection:Contains paintings and sculptures from the 19th and the 20th century.Hungarian National GaleryThe museum shows the development of hungarian art selected by the main styleages.
Permanent exibitions:Medieval and Renaissanse stone exhibition (11th - 16th century)Gothic wood sculptures and pictures (14th - 15th century)Late Gothic oltars (15th - 16th century)Renaissance and Baroque Art (1550-1800)Paintings, sculptures, medals from the 19th centuryPaintings, sculptures, medals from the 20th centuryArts todayHungarian National MuseumThe Hungarian National Museum is said to have been founded in 1802 when Count FerencSzéchényi set up the National Széchényi Library. In 1846 it moved into the fine neo-Classicalbuilding designed by Mihály Pollack where it has been ever since.Permanent exhibitions:History of Hungary from the foundation of the state to 1990 Middle Ages,Modern and Contemporary History, Scholar Hungarians who made the 20th century, History of thepeople of the Hungarian lands from 400.000 BC to 804 AD, The coronation mantle, Medieval andEarly Modern Lapidary, Roman LapidarySightseeingPrivate guide toursIf you are not short of money, the best way to see most of the Budapest and to learn about itshistory, culture and life is to take private guide tour. Private guide tours are organized for smallgroups of tourist (usually 1 to 6 persons) and are accompanied by licensed tourist guide andprofessional driver. They will show you everithing what is important in Budapest and the tour canbe tailord to your personal interests. The prices for such a tours are between 120 and 250 euro(150 and 300 USD) per tour (for all persons together), depending on number of persons andlength of the tour. You will be picked up at your hotel on time of your choice.Sightseeing by busIf you dont have enough time, or you are not ready to walk a lot, than the bus sightseeing tourcould be solution for you. The bus tours are not expensive, and tourist information are availableon many languages. A lot of offers are starting on Deak Ferenc square or Andrassy street or Chainbridge. Tours are usually 2-3 hours long and you will see most of the Budapest tourist attractions.Prices are somwhere between 25 and 35 euro/person (30 to 45 USD / person), depending of thelength of the tour.Sightseeing by boatIn 1987, Budapest was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cultural andarchitectural significance of the Banks of the Danube and the Buda Castle Quarter.The Danube flows through Budapest from north to south; within the city boundaries its widestpart (640m) is in the north of the city . The river is at its narrowest (283m) below Gellért Hill; hereit is about 9m deep.Many Budapest attractions and monuments are located at or near the Danube banks. On thenorth there is a Margaret Island. It is 2,5 Km long and up to 500 m wide. On both of its ends arebridges: Arpad bridge and the Margaret bridge. In the Middle Ages cloisters were built on the
"Rabbits Island", as it was then called. At the beginning of the nineteenth century members of theroyal family living in Buda transformed it into a landscape garden. By the turn of the century it hadbecome a health resort owing to its therapeutic springs. Today the island is one of Budapestsmost popular places for walking, bathing, amusement and sports.On the Pest side there is a monumental building of the Parliament, one of the biggest attractionsof Budapest. Souther, near the Chain Bridge (first bridge to connect Buda and Pest, built 1849),there is a Grasham palace and the Hungary Academy of Since. Near the Lagymanyosi bridge thereare two new buildings worth to see: the National Theater and the Palace of Arts.On the side of Buda you can find Fishermans bastion and the Royal Castle, both of them verypopular tourist sites. Between the Erzsebet bridge and the Liberty bridge there are the Gellert Hill ,the Citadel and the Liberation Monument. The famous Gellert Spa Baths with Gellert Hotel arelocated near the Liberty Bridge.All of this attractions are best seen from the river Danube. There are many boat sightseeing toursavailable, several of them are combined with dinner or visit to the Parliament. If you have enoughtime, take one tour on day, and one on night, eventaully combined with dinner. It will be reallyunforgetable expiriance.GastronomyHungarian CuisineHungary is known for its exotic, tasty and spicy food and delicious wine.The traditional Hungarian dishes abound in piquant flavors and aromas. Dishes are flavourful,spicy and often rather heavy. People with a sensitive stomach, should be careful.Flavours of Hungarian dishes are based on centuries old traditions in spicing and preparationmethods. The exquisite ingredients are produced by local agriculture and husbandry.Paprika and garlic is to be found everywhere, and sour cream is often used to soften flavour.The first thing that people recall about Hungarian cuisine is goulash, which is, contrary to popularbelief , not a stew but an artistically prepared thick soup.You must try fish soup, chicken paprika, good home-made pörkölt (stew) and the excellent fresh-water fishes: grilled pike-perch, trout with almond. Also compulsory isgoose liver. Whether friedor grilled, cold or hot, it is simply unforgettable.DrinksPálinkaHungary produces excellent, powerfull fruit brandies (pálinka): barack fromappricots, cseresznye from cherries, körtefrom pears, alma from apples and szilvafrom plums. Andthere is Unicum, a bitter panacea made from a secret herbal recipe.WineThe choice of good wine is available in Hungary has increased dramarically over the past fewyears.Louis XIV, the Sun King, was such an admirer of world famous Tokaj wine that he termed it the"Wine of kings, the King of Wines". Wine of the Balaton region, the full-bodied Villány-Siklós, the
famous wines of Eger and the Egri Bikavér (Bulls Blood) in particular also enjoy a wideinternational reputation.Recomended:House of Hungarian Wines is located in the Castle District on the Buda side of Budapest. It islocated across from the historic Hilton Hotel in the old town at Szentháromság ter 6. The House ofHungarian Wines sells wines made from 22 different wine regions in Hungary, and includesinformation about each of the different wine regions. For about $20 USD individuals can tour thewine cellar and sample 50 different Hungarian wines.Things to doOrgan concertsThe St. Anne Church makes home for organ concerts. The St. Anne Church is one of the mostbeautiful baroque buildings of Budapest (picture gallery ). The construction of the church startedin 1740, according to the plans of Kristóf Hamon, and was completed by Mátyás Nepauer in 1761.In the next 200 years the church suffered from wars, floods and earthquakes, even it was plannedto be demolished, owing to the construction of the metro network. Fortunately this plan was notrealised, and the church was reconstructed between 1970-1984.The program of the concert was adapted for the organ of this church by Gábor Lehotka, professorof the Academy of Music in Budapest. Anasztázia Bednarik, Miklós Teleki and László Attila Almásyregularly give concerts in Hungary, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.Symphony concertsHungarian classical music has long been an "experiment, made from Hungarian antedecents andon Hungarian soil, to create a conscious musical culture [using the] musical world of the folksong". Although the Hungarian upper class has long had cultural and political connections withthe rest of Europe, leading to an influx of European musical ideas, the rural peasants maintainedtheir own traditions such that by the end of the 19th century Hungarian composers could draw onrural peasant music to (re)create a Hungarian classical style. For example, Béla Bartók and ZoltánKodály, two of Hungarys most famous composers, are known for using folk themes in their music.Bartók collected folk songs from across Eastern Europe, including Romania and Slovakia, whilstKodály was more interested in creating a distinctively Hungarian musical style. Other famousHungarian composers are Franz Liszt and Ferenc Erkel.Budapest has been an important part of the music of Hungary. It is a home of few of the worldfamous hungarian symphony orchestras.