Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is bisected by the River Danube, and the 19th-century Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with flat Pest. A funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces life from Roman times onwards. Trinity Square is home to 13th-century Matthias Church and the turrets of the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offer sweeping views.
Budapest (Hungarian pronunciation approximates to “boo-dah-pesht”) is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene as well as a pulsating night life increasingly appreciated among European youth and, last but not least, an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”.
**WORLD HERITAGE SITES Danube panorama and Castle district**
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has listed the view of the Danube embankments and the Buda Castle District - which is one of the most beautiful and romantic parts of the city of Budapest - as a World Heritage site on the 11th of December, 1987. The latter is an ancient town district, giving home to some of the most important historical monuments in Hungary. While nearly 800 years passed since it has been originally founded, its beauty still stands unparalelled, despite earthquakes, fires, sieges and world wars. The buildings themselves in Budapest bear tell-tale signs of recent and ancient history. Both the Pest and Buda embankments of the Danube streching from the Liberty Bridge all the way up to the Margaret Bridge, the area encompassed by the Chain Bridge and some of the buildings belonging to the Technical University, the Gellért Bath, the Gellért Hill with the Statue of Liberty and the Citadel, the Castle of Buda, the Baroque churches and Turkish baths of the so-called Water Town - these are all parts of the World Heritage today. [http://www.budapest.com/city_guide.en.html](http://www.budapest.com/city_guide.en.html)
**Thermal waters of Budapest**
Along the Danube at the meeting point of the Buda Hills and the Great Plain a geological faultline is formed, where thermal springs of different composition come to the surface. This beneficial feature of the area was recognised very early by the people, who settled down here. The Celtic tribes, who inhabited the region in the 1st century, named it "ak-luk", which means abundant water. The Romans called their province Aquincum, aqua also meaning water. They had long been familiar with the luxury of the baths and built several of them. From this period 14 baths have been excavated in Óbuda. Most baths can be found in the hilly parts of the city, such as the Castle Hill area or Gellért hill but there are baths on the Pest side as well, such as Széchenyi bath in the City Park. The Hungarians also quickly discovered the medical effects of the water and took advantage of them.
Home to some 40 statues, busts and plaques of Lenin, Marx, Béla Kun and others whose likenesses have ended up on trash heaps elsewhere in the former-socialist world, Memento Park, 10km southwest of the city centre, is a mind-blowing place to visit. Ogle the socialist realism and try to imagine that at least four of these relics were erected as recently as the late 1980s.
**Palace of Arts** The Palace of Arts is the newest cultural establishment of Budapest, opened in 2005. It consists of three important institutions: the Festival Theatre, the National Concert Hall and the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Arts.
The second oldest zoo in Europe offers not only rare animal and plant species, but an architectural beauty, too. The zoo is one of the key attractions of the City Park, where many places of interest can be found.
Margaret Island is a traffic free green spot in the middle of the downtown. It is a beloved place for leisure and recreation both for locals and foreigners.