Budapest is the capital and primate city of Hungary. The unified city of Buda & Pest carries a long history within it from the time of Celtic settlements. The city has seen many ups and downs since then and rose to prosperity again in 19th century after the ’Szechenyi Lanchid’ unified the city in 1863. An interesting tale I heard while in Budapest was about the misnaming of the country itself. According to my guide of free walking tour, long time back when people moved into Europe from east Huns and Magyars were two of them to settle down in the region currently known as Hungary. Huns had come before the Magyars, but they left after some time whereas Magyars remained and thrived in the region. Though the people have changed, the neighboring countries never acknowledged that and continued calling it the land of Huns and hence Hungary. That was a short tale of Hun to Hungary! People and language in Hungary is known as Magyar.
City is on two sides of mighty Danube – The Buda and the Pest. The oldest bridge over the Danube is ’Szechenyi Lanchid’ – the chain bridge. It is a famous and monumental place in the city. The castle complex on Buda side is extremely beautiful and gives a panoramic view of both Buda and Pest side of the city. Budapest has a long history of invasion and occupation by different forces, thus while in city pay attention to its history. There are many interesting story which comes out.
Today this city is famous for its baths and ruin bars! A two must visits when in the region. Ruin bars are a very different experience – apparently they are in the buildings abandoned after the end of communist rule. As the story goes they were first occupied by junkies, artists and outlaws who created and recreated the minimalistic yet interesting décor and then later some enterprising ones saw an opportunity to utilize these places as bar with a difference. Don’t be surprised if you see sofas made out of cut bath tub when you walk into a bar or furniture hanging upside down from ceiling. There are plenty of free pub crawls to join.
Though in recent time baths in Budapest have separated the male and female areas, and also have imposed dress codes, still Budapest is named as one of the top ten cities to get naked in. The baths of Budapest are a must to visit and there are plenty to choose from. Ask around to find the one which would suit your taste most!
For Dracula fanatics, know that this is the city where Count Dracula was kept after being captured on orders of Kind Matthias of Hungary. Buda side of the city is the older city full of labyrinths and baths whereas Pest side is the new city with all modern amenities and bars etc. In most cities of Europe one would find love lock bridges but in Budapest you would find it on a garden fence. Look for it in the city!
06:02 PM – Wien Meidling (Austria) – RJ 165 to Budapest (Hungary) at 08:49 PM
11th Hour Cinema Hostel
1053 Budapest, Magyar utca 11, Hungary