Budapest (map) is the capital city of Hungary. With a unique, youthful atmosphere, Budapest is one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to the exceedingly scenic setting, and its architecture it is nicknamed “Paris of the East”.
The modern-day Budapest results from the amalgamation of two historic cities lying right opposite each other over the Danube river. Buda is the western (left) bank side, with the high hill atop which the Buda castle sits (map).
Pest is the relatively flat eastern (right) bank side, with the Parliament (map), numerous other stately buildings, and busy streets retaining all their 19th century architectural heritage.
In 1987 Budapest was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site for the cultural and architectural significance of the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (map).
You definitely want to visit the Great Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok, map) at Fővám tér, the renovated market hall with essential atmosphere (it’s at the south end of Vaci). Prices for the same items vary a lot between sellers and aren’t set in stone so be sure to compare and bargain.
The city also has around 80 *geothermal springs, the largest thermal water cave system. One of the reasons the Romans first colonised the area immediately to the west of the River Danube and established their regional capital at Aquincum (now part of Óbuda, in northern Budapest) is so that they could use and enjoy the thermal springs.