HUNGARY FOR ADVENTURE... Budapest Is Cosmopolitan, Steeped in History, and Packs Dozens of Sights into Its Walled Central District - So It's Perfect for a Weekend Break

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), March 7, 2004 | Go to article overview

HUNGARY FOR ADVENTURE... Budapest Is Cosmopolitan, Steeped in History, and Packs Dozens of Sights into Its Walled Central District - So It's Perfect for a Weekend Break


Byline: SUE CORRIGAN

Think of Paris, divide everything by four - the palaces, boulevards, shops, cafes and, most of all, the prices - and you have a picture of Budapest. The capital of Hungary, set to join the European Union this May, is often described as 'the Paris of the East', but everything in this city is much smaller, friendlier and less costly than in frequently bad-tempered, always overpriced Paris.

Which makes Budapest absolutely perfect for a spring break away. Apart from its unpronounceable language and confusing currency conversion rate (around 380 forints to the pound) Budapest is, above all else, user-friendly.

With a population of around two million, it's relatively small compared with many other European capitals, which instantly gives it a pleasingly intimate feel, and newcomers can get around surprisingly easily.

Even better, the Buda side of the city, on the west bank of the greeny-brown River Danube, contains a walled Castle Hill district which is an intimate gem of meandering cobbled streets, antique shops and pastel-coloured medieval buildings. The vampire thriller Underworld, starring Kate Beckinsale and Bill Nighy, is just the latest in a long line of films to be shot there.

With almost all its tourist attractions concentrated in a central area close to the fast-flowing Danube, Budapest is also a city of satisfying contrasts.

Even if you're only there for a couple of days, you feel as though you've taken in a huge variety of different cultural and architectural experiences.

The Buda side of the city is the place for lovers of history, reflecting 1,900 years of Roman, Magyar, Turkish and finally Austrian conquest.

There's little trace, though, of the Nazis, who took over and virtually destroyed Buda's vast Royal Palace in the final months of World War II - it's since been lovingly reconstructed - nor much of the Russian-backed Communist regime which ran Hungary for 45 years after the war ended.

Pest, on the flat, low-lying east bank of the Danube, is the Hungarian capital's newer, more commercially bustling half. Largely built around the end of the 19th century, it's an Art Nouveau paradise, as well as a shopper's and cafe-lover's dream come true.

In the opening lines of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, an English visitor arriving in Budapest experiences a sense of dread and foreboding as he 'leaves the West and enters the East'. Yet for all the traces of its eastern European heritage, as well as its increasing westernisation, Hungary is above all else a central European country, with Budapest its proud, intensely cultured, vibrant heart.

Here is a city that feels the way many western European cities must have felt half a century ago - quieter, more dignified and affordable, and still relatively untrampled by today's tourist throngs, particularly in spring and autumn. *

THINGS TO DO IN BUDAPEST

* Visit one of the city's thermal baths. Built above more than 100 naturally hot mineral springs, Budapest is proud of its thermal baths.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

HUNGARY FOR ADVENTURE... Budapest Is Cosmopolitan, Steeped in History, and Packs Dozens of Sights into Its Walled Central District - So It's Perfect for a Weekend Break
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.