Strad­dling

EME Outlook - - B Udapest -

the gi­ant River Danube, Bu­dapest has long served as Hun­gary’s cul­tural and ad­min­is­tra­tive epi­cen­tre. Sit­u­ated at the con­flu­ence of the coun­try’s western hills and eastern and south­ern plains, the city is named af­ter and split into two parts on ei­ther side of the river – Buda to the west and Pest to the east.

While Bu­dapest’s roots date back to Ro­man times, what vis­i­tors will see to­day is largely in­flu­enced by the 19th-cen­tury Aus­tro-hun­gar­ian em­pire, a pe­riod when Hun­gary was around three times the size it is to­day, the geopo­lit­i­cal af­ter­math of the First World War dras­ti­cally re­duc­ing its land­mass.

It is home to one in five Hun­gar­i­ans and the cen­tre of trans­port and in­dus­try, with more than half the coun­try’s univer­sity stu­dents at­tend­ing in­sti­tu­tions here.

Bu­dapest is an ar­chi­tec­tural marvel with many fas­ci­nat­ing build­ings of­fer­ing im­mense views. The city, in­clud­ing the banks of the Danube, the Buda Cas­tle Quar­ter, and An­drássy Av­enue, was des­ig­nated a UN­ESCO World Her­itage site in 1987.

A vast ar­ray of mu­se­ums, mon­u­ments and pub­lic baths add into the cul­tural mix along with an un­ri­valled nightlife, no bet­ter ex­pe­ri­enced than by a visit to one of the fa­mous ruin bars.

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