weekend away - Budapest

Attention: open in a new window.  E-mail| Print | Bookmark Added: 28.01.2011, 18:43

Budapest is a city of contrasts and intrigues, both seductive and beguiling. She will capture you with her stunning beauty, yet is never shy to show you her scars. She is an intriguing gem.

Approaching the end of the 19th century, Budapest was the fifth largest capital market in Europe. In preparation for the millennium celebrations of 1900, the city saw a construction boom unprecedented in Europe. Palaces, museums, and cultural institutions of all kinds sprang up throughout the inner city, and it quickly became known as the ‘Paris of the East’. Within just a few decades, however, Budapest’s fortunes were reversed. Two world wars (including WWII’s second-longest siege, after Stalingrad), an unsuccessful revolution in 1956, and 40 years of a communist regime took their toll.

Budapest’s aging neoclassical buildings were neglected, but they were not demolished; they were run down but not torn down. It has been said that Hungary is a nation of rebuilders, and to see the restoration and renovation of this architectural masterpiece called Budapest gives credence to that observation. But Budapest also knows that one should never forget. The House of Terror, a museum established in the former headquarters and interrogation centre of both the Nazis and then the Soviets, is a stark reminder of the horrors of the past, as is Statue Park where many of the Soviet statues that used to overrun the city have been amassed. In Budapest, history feels alive.

While it offers old-world ambience it also exudes a new-world vibrancy. Commingling with the classical arts is a plethora of prolific and talented young designers, artists, musicians, and performers whose work can be found in a multitude of small boutiques, galleries, festivals, and theatres. The culinary arts are also reflected everywhere, with century-old buildings containing everything from contemporary restaurants to ‘ruin’ pubs. The net result is a unique and vibrant urban landscape. Come prepared to fall in love.

The world is a more beautiful place for this city standing where the edge of the Steppes meets the shores of the Danube.

Must See

Budapest Opera House. Whether or not you are an opera fan, the Budapest Opera House is not to be missed. Completed in 1884, it is still recognised as an architectural and acoustical masterpiece. It is also an excellent example of Hungarian ingenuity. Under Hapsburg rule, Vienna’s permission was required for approval to build. The only stipulation? The proposed opera house in Budapest could not be larger than the existing opera house in Vienna. With typical Hungarian resourcefulness, the planners agreed, left, and remarked among themselves: “But no-one said it cannot be more beautiful.” Consequently, ‘beautiful’ is a word you will find yourself using often during your Budapest visit.

Budapest, Hungary
Distance: 3,757 km
Flight Time: 5 hours, 55 minutes
Frequency: Daily

> Book Now

Write comment

Write the displayed characters:

security code
smaller | bigger


Oryx Magazine December 2016

Oryx Cover December 2016

View the Oryx eMagazine archive

Oryx Premium December 2016

Oryx Premium Cover December 2016

View the Oryx Premium eMagazine archive

Oryx Updates

If you would like to be notified
when the magazine is updated,
please click below

Email updates

Latest Features

  • From the mountains... with love

    If you’re looking for inspiration for a romantic snow-filled getaway, then look no further. For many... 
  • A heart-warming winter in Denmark

    If you’re looking for cheer during dark December days, then Denmark provides plenty of hygge. Writer and... 
  • Qatar: Past and present

    Qatar celebrates its National Day on December 18, commemorating the birth of the modern state.  

Most read


Copyright © 2009 ORYX Digital Magazine. All rights reserved.

Powered by Agency Fish   |  Endorsed by Qatar Airways