Did you know that the city of Budapest earns more revenue from tourism than the rest of the country’s urban zones combined? This clearly states that the government has put a lot of effort into making Hungary’s capital the hub of cultural and economic growth – and to a great effect! This city is also the melting pot of languages and architectural styles, no matter which street you turn to or season you visit. Even the urban center holds a formidable reputation as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site so prepare to be blown away by these 7 fascinating facts about the Queen of Danube.
Stag Do Haven
In Europe, the West comes to the East to party like royalty and Budapest is at the forefront of such bachelor celebrations. Not only are these milestone festivities jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping, hard-partying, exotic activities but you also get to save some dough in the process. Stag do weekend getaways in Budapest are a huge hit so if you plan on getting married soon enough, this city is definitely the place to commemorate your final days of bachelordom.
No buildings above 96 meters
Budapest is vast and huge but not no building to this date crosses the 96-meter mark. The architectural blend of old and modern make Budapest a delight for street photographers. The lavishly ornamented facades and well-preserved edifices decorate the bustling streets and stand at about the same height. The only exceptions are the Hungarian Parliament and the Szent Istvan Basilica, which both symbolically reach the 96-meter threshold to stress the equal importance of religion and government.
Europe’s largest synagogue
No synagogue in Europe has such an austere and grandiose vibe as the Great Synagogue of Budapest. This Jewish temple stands proudly on Dohany Street and features one of the most breathtaking cathedral naves to date. Erected in the middle of the 19th century, this monolithic structure can seat 3000 people and is surpassed only by the Belz Great Synagogue in Jerusalem.
The oldest metro line of continental Europe
The world knows only one metro system inducted as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and that is the Budapest Millennium Underground. Opened in 1896, the name was given as a celebration of the nation’s 1000th anniversary. Connecting the Heroes’ Square and Vorosmarty Square, this line is still operational today and is the second oldest in the world, right after the famous London Tube. Senior citizens over the age of 65 get to travel here for free and require only personal identification to enjoy the perks of Budapest’s public transport.
Secret subterranean world
Even deeper than the metro, you can find a maze of 200 geothermal caverns, most of which are open to the public. If you are up for a guided spelunking adventure, this is definitely a place to be, especially if you want to explore the labyrinth beneath the Castle Hill in Budapest Old Town. It stretches for 8 kilometers and is home to many myths and tumultuous events in history. It served as a prehistoric refuge, a prison and a cellar in medieval times, a bomb shelter during WWII, a command post during the Cold War, and now it’s an enticing museum that displays the city’s vibrant history.
Want to become a great writer?
In the City Park, there is a unique statue depicting a 13th-century chronicler that can just do that! Legend says it has miraculous powers. All you have to do is touch the pen of the anonymous writer and he will bestow upon you otherworldly writing abilities. Even if you don’t believe in magic, the polished surface of the pen definitely suggests that some people do.
No capital city in Europe boasts so many thermal water springs than Budapest. The entire area is abundant with underground sources of hot water so it is of no surprise that Hungarians have constructed numerous lavish thermal baths throughout history. Szechenyi, Kiraly Baths, and Gellert are just some of many renown spas and baths, which attract a myriad of tourist eager to have a dip in the medical waters.
Although Budapest is the capital of Hungary, it is nothing like the rest of the country. It is bustling with activity, seamlessly blending traditional with modern, and melting all sorts of cultures into one pot. The words and photos don’t do this majestic city justice. You have to be there to experience it first-hand in order to truly believe how unique and pristine the Queen of Danube is. Surely you must know some more fascinating facts about Budapest because she never ceases to amaze!