Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary (population over 1.5 million). People lived here even before the arrival of the Romans, but Budapest, as a city, has an exact date of foundation. On November 17, 1873, it was formed as a result of the unification of three Danube cities - Buda, Pest and Obuda.
We'll talk about Buda and Pest separately, and now about the rest of the sights and about Budapest itself.
View from the observation deck of the Gellert Hill. Buda on the left and Obuda behind her, Pest on the right.
Most of the buildings in the center of Budapest were built during the time of Emperor Franz Joseph, or rather, by 1896, when the thousandth anniversary of the resettlement of Hungarians to Europe was celebrated. This refers to the settlement of this territory by the Huns (well, or by Hungarian tribes, as is now believed). I don’t know how the exact date was calculated, but it is to this anniversary that Budapest owes its modern look.
Incidentally, it was the Huns who gave the new name to the old Roman Aquincum (about which below) - Buda.
There are a lot of funny things in the city, either designed specifically for tourists (which, by the way, are very many), or just so constructed for general entertainment.
Exhibition of household items :)
So, even just walking through Budapest is interesting.
Margit Island (Margitsiguet, Margitsziget)
Margit Island is an attraction not belonging to any part of Budapest, since it is located in the middle of the Danube.
You don't have to swim to Margit Island, you can just go down the nearest bridge, which is also called Margit. You can also get to Margit by bus, but cars are allowed there only with a special pass.
The island is a park belted by racetracks. Trees, a lot of lawns, cafes, in general it's a place of rest of the townspeople.
There are still two churches. From one, very large, only ruins remained.
Margit Island Church remains XIII-XVI century
The second - church of St. Michael, appeared on the island in the XII century. But three centuries later it was destroyed by the Turks and restored only in the thirties of the XX century. The bell of the church is original and it is one of the oldest surviving bells of Hungary (XV century).
Margit Island Church of St. Michael XII century
There are also two hotels on the island, since there are also hot springs here - it is their hotels that they exploit.
Now this is a large residential area not very popular with tourists - quite far from the city center. You need to go there by suburban train.
In Obuda is what remains of the Roman city of Aquincum.
Aquincum occupies extensive territory, but this is the territory of the excavation - at best, small fragments of the walls remained from the buildings. Although the scale is impressive.
The Roman city of Aquincum grew out of a military camp and in 106 became the capital of the province of Lower Pannonia. By the end of the II. about 30-40 thousand people lived in Aquinkum.
The amphitheater was also part of Aquincum, and it is located quite far from the excavations. Previously, this whole territory, now built up with modern houses, was an ancient city.
There is not much left from the amphitheater, but it is one of the largest Roman amphitheaters outside Italy. Now there are concerts.
In Obuda there are still remnants of the villa of a rich Roman, it was not possible to get inside, and in general it is not easy to find it. Outside, it does not make any impression - again, the ruins, covered with a glass dome.
The collapse of the Roman Empire led to the gradual desolation of the city and to the beginning of the 6th century nobody lived in Aquincum.
There are several churches in Obuda and Fe Square with the sculptural composition Women in the Rain
Women in the Rain
In general, it’s not that there was a lot of interesting things in Obuda, but it doesn’t bother to visit it to make a complete impression of the city.
Baths of Budapest
Budapest is the only European capital in which there is a huge amount of mineral hot springs. They are being actively exploited - over the main ones, huge medical-bath complexes have grown, the buildings of which, by their pathos, are not inferior to the buildings of the main Budapest Avenues. The cost of a day ticket ranges from 5 to 15 euro, depending on the location and promotion of the institution. The most expensive are the Gellert Bath, located under the hill of the same name, and the Széchenyi Bath, which is located not far from Heroes Square. The latter is the largest swimming pool in Europe and contains 15 outdoor pools and 13 closed.
Weather in Budapest
The best time to travel is spring or early fall. In winter, frosts are rare, but damp and uncomfortable. And in the summer, perhaps, it is hot.
Spring begins earlier and winter comes later, so it is possible to visit Budapest even at the end of February or in October.
Prices and shopping in Budapest
Budapest is one of the cheapest European capitals. Prices of many goods and products (first, of course, Hungarian) are really significantly lower. Wine, for example, is very decent, even inexpensive. Street food is fairly inexpensive and tasty, though, do not expect any Hungarian specialties. This is usually Turkish or Asian cafes. For Hungarian dishes you need to go to a restaurant and the prices there are no longer so democratic.
In Budapest, there are several popular shopping centers. The main is the "Arena", located near the Keleti railway station A good shopping complex "Westend", next to another railway station - Nyugati.
Currency exchange in Budapest
Firstly, since we are in Europe, it is most profitable to change the euro for forints. Secondly, if possible, do not need to do this at the airport. In the center of the city exchangers at every turn. The course is about the same everywhere, they usually don’t take a commission for the exchange, but you need to pay attention to this, you can get caught with the commission. An important point - almost all the exchange offices of Budapest for the weekend set a significantly less favorable rate. Therefore, on Saturday and Sunday it is better to refrain from currency exchange, or to look for an exchanger with a normal exchange rate - there are also some.
What to bring from Budapest
On the second floor of the city market of Budapest there are several souvenir rows with products for every taste. And on the first floor, souvenirs of another kind - salami, paprika and other Hungarian delicacies. As for souvenirs, everyone decides for himself, but no one has ever left Budapest without salami. :) In general, the same (and various other) Hungarian products are sold in ordinary supermarkets. There may be cheaper, by the way.
In addition to dry paprika and other spices, special tin tubes are sold in Budapest, containing mixtures of dense mashed consistency. I met tubes with onions, garlic, different types of paprika, and even ready-made mixture for filling goulash. Convenient and practical.
I highly recommend bringing home a couple of bottles of Hungarian wine - it is really very good.