“My house in Budapest, my
my hidden treasure chest.
Golden grand piano
my beautiful castillo.
You, ooh, you, ooh,
I’d leave it all.”
The popular folk-rock song by George Ezra was stuck in my head on repeat when I explored the stunning city of Budapest in 2019.
Ironically, the true story is that George Ezra never actually made it to the Hungarian capital. He missed a train while backpacking in Europe. I, on the other hand, had it on my list of cities to visit when I had the opportunity to travel around Europe with friends.
Budapest is described by UNESCO as “one of the world’s outstanding urban landscapes.” Once called the “Queen of the Danube,” as the mighty river Danube flows through the centre of this enchanting Eastern-European city.
In 1873, three previously separate towns of Buda, Óbuda, and Pest unified to become the city of Budapest. Buda is on the Western side of the Danube River while Pest is the Eastern side. The Szechenyi Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge built across the Danube in Hungary to connect the two towns.
Budapest Metro’s M1 line, also known as the Millennium Underground Railway, has been in constant operation since 1896. It is Europe’s second underground railway (London’s Underground started with steam trains in 1863) but was the first electric underground railway.
Take the M1 to Hősök Tere station and you will find yourself in Hero’s Square. The statues feature the Seven chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian national leaders.
I had heard of the allure of European travel. The continent is filled with captivating destinations that entice you to visit frequently. I hope to visit Budapest again one day. Until then, I’ll continue humming George Ezra’s song.
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