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Early in the history of this region, the Celtic tribes settled in the hills on the West of the Danube. The Romans made the Danube the border to their 'Pannonia principality' and called their capital Aquincum (as a tribute to the numerous thermal waters in the area) on what is now the Buda hill. The Hungarian settlement enarged their region to both sides of the Danube, and started to develop the then marshy and hard to build on Pest side. They soon found the plains and flatlands hard to defend, and were forced to build extensive fortification to protect their capital. In 1873 the adjoining towns of Buda, Obuda and Pest were merged to form the new capital of Budapest.
Much of the three cities were extensively 'remodeled' by the ravages of time and war, but there are many important and interesting remains from the past visible to today's visitors. The thermal waters still play a very important role, as does the Danube for water bound communications to the East and West. Budapest today is a breathless town, alive with constant bustle and activity. The old and the new architecture blend together to form a modern city with plenty of reflections on its' past.
Recipient of both the Cultural and natural heritage listings on the World Heritage sites, Budapest abounds with things to do and see on both sides of the Danube - if you have a day or more spare, get a travel card or a Hungary card to help you move around more freely and reasonably - the travel cards valid for one or more days allow unlimited travel on the trams, busses and undergound railways. The Hungary card gives good discounts or free entry to museums and attractions throughout Hungary. Also try a trip on the Danube - there is a great hydrofoil service to Vienna - an interesting way to travel between the two cities, and take in the sights too. For 85 things to do and see in Budapest Click Here
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