Budapest is a wonderful place to visit for a few days. Yet there are many tiny details in the city that only those know who have spent more time there. For a more amusing experience, we present you our Budapest guide of such bits and pieces.
#1: Budapest can boast with the third biggest Parliament building worldwide
The astonishing bulding of the Hungarian Parliament will surely impress you. It has almost 700 rooms, more than 19 kms of stairs and around 40 kgs of gold all around the interior. Just hop on bus line 105 to see it yourself. It will take you over the famous Chain Bridge, with a brilliant view over the Danube and the Parliament.
#2: The second oldest subway line of Europe is in Budapest
Was it a good idea to build an underground train system for the 1000th anniversary of Hungary in 1895? Decide for yourself! Metro line 1 is easily accessible and can be enjoyed in its entirety pretty simply. It takes only 15-20 minutes to travel from its start to its end. Luckily, the station interiors are true to their former selves. So it’s a unique visual experience to see these old-fashioned wonders.
#3: Budapest is home to one of the largest music festivals in the world
You sure have heard about the famous Sziget festival. But have you heard how big it really is? With more than 400,000 visitors each year, it hosts the greatest party in Budapest on an entire island. Most of the participants come from the UK, the Netherlands and France, so you will surely find some international company. Along with mega-famous performers from tons of genres, of course. So treat Sziget as the official recommendation of our Budapest guide.
#4: The story behind the Chain Bridge is quite unusual
The winters in Hungary were so cold that a few centuries ago the people used to walk over the Danube when it froze. Count Széchenyi (the biggest of the Hungarian, as the saying goes), however, couldn’t do that to attend his father’s funeral, as that winter was a bit too mild, and the Danube was still fluid. To prevent everybody from feeling such a pain, he decided to have the first bridge in Budapest built. This is how the idea of the Chain Bridge came to life.
#5: There is a Michael Jackson memorial tree
It is a pretty interesting sight in case you are not prepared for it. Next to Deák Ferenc Square, near the Kempinski Hotel, there is an entire tree with photos and other memorabilia of the late pop star. It is not an official place of rememberance (like the Columbo or Ronald Reagan statues), but its amateurish nature gives it an extra charm. If you decide to sooth your headache in Deák Ferenc Square after a wild pub crawl, sacrifice a few minutes to check the tree. Which may be the quirkiest thing in town according to our Budapest guide.
#6: There are bullet marks on many building walls
The year 1956 marked the time of a revolution against the current Soviet regime. In that year’s autumn, heavy protests and fights took place on the streets of Budapest for the freedom of Hungary. Since many of the buildings surrounding the gunfights shine in their old fame, you can still see numerous bullet holes on the buildings.
#7: There is a train line whose personnel are exclusively children
Of course, its not a busy, nationwide track. But a small 11 km long route where really kids work. They drive the locomotives, inspect the tickets, take care of tidiness, etc. Between the age of around 10 and 14, anyone can do the 4-months-long course and take part in the choo-choo fun.