About Budapest

The capital of Hungary is situated along the Danube, in the heart of the Carpathian basin. Hilly Buda, which comprises one-third of the city’s area of 525 km² is located along the right bank of the Danube surrounded by low mountains. János Hill, with its 529 metres is the highest summit of Buda. Across the river sprawls flat Pest.

The geology of Budapest has played a determining role in the city’s life over the course of history. Hot springs breaking through limestone mountains supplying water of 35-76 degrees centigrade gave rise to a flourishing culture of spas in the Roman Age and made Budapest one of the most popular spa cities of Europe.

The determining role played by Budapest can be felt not only throughout Hungary but also in the neighbouring countries. The city boasts sites, monuments and spas of worldwide renown. Its numerous cultural events attract a wide international audience. In recent years the UNESCO put several parts of the city on the list of World Heritage.
A large number of the Budapest tourist sites are concentrated along the banks of the Danube. In the southern downtown area that was once surrounded by walls are located the oldest historical monuments of Pest as well as the capital’s financial and cultural centre.

North downtown hosts the government or administrative quarters with the Parliament Building, the Offices of MPs as well as a lot of the ministries. The majority of the buildings are turn-of-the-last-century. The most outstanding of the avenues starting from the Danube is Andrássy Avenue bordered by mansions known as palaces carefully designed and erected in the 1870’s, similar to the famous avenues of Paris or the Ring in Vienna. Two centres emerged on the Buda side.

One is the mediaeval Castle District, home of the rulers of Hungary of old, then assumed government functions until the end of the Second World War. The Buda Castle currently houses cultural institutions including museums, libraries and theatres.