Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest’s extensive World Heritage Sites include the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world. It has around 80 geothermal springs, the world’s largest thermal water cave system, the second largest synagogue in the world, and third largest Parliament building. These are just couple of highlights about this wonderful and unique city.
The most iconic sights are: the Hungarian Parliament, the Buda Castle, the Basilica, Heroes’ Square, the thermal baths, and the historic streets of the Jewish District. The city’s cultural life is thriving with the opera, theatres, craft markets and all sorts of cultural events and festivals. The city’s long-standing history is visible everywhere: Roman ruins in the 3rd district, medieval walls in Buda, Baroque churches, Soviet style concrete blocks or the buildings in the city with bullet-holes (from WWII or the 1956 revolution) – they all tell stories about Budapest.
With an extremely colorful history, those with a history vein will not be bored here.
Budapest’s student life is really well-known. Several universities are located downtown making the center of the city like a bustling big campus. During the day one can find students occupying libraries, cafes and eateries around the universities. On warm days there are plenty of young people gathering for picnics or sun-bathing on Margaret Island or at the City Park. During the whole academic year the city center is pulsing with energy coming from students and young people. Perhaps the exam period is quieter on the streets but more vivid in the universities, libraries and cafes where students go to study alone or in groups.
Every Hungarian student has a favorite place to hang out – ask your CEMS buddy about these places and he/she will show you places that you wouldn’t otherwise find. In general, it’s very easy to meet people and it seems almost impossible to feel lonely in Budapest. You can easily make friends at the uni or at CEMS Club Budapest.
The river and the Buda Castle are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Danube River divides the city into Buda and Pest – originally two independent towns before 1873. Must see view spots include:
Hungarian dishes are very rich in flavour and texture and are extremely delicious. Hungarians typically eat lots of meat and flavor their meals with red paprika. Hungarians like to cook everything, and as a result, visitors can find dishes here like the famous sour cherry soup or squash stew.
Hungarian bakeries are first class; freshly made bread, croissants, rolls etc. and the sweets and cakes sold in local pastry shops (called „cukrászda”, in English „Sweeteries”) are exremely delicious.
There is an excellent market, the Great Market Hall adjacent to the Corvinus University campus where students can purchase fruits and vegetables and also hot meals. Additionally, there are numerous eateries in walking distance of the campus and the dorm offering hot meals for reasonable prices.
Those who are not really keen on Hungarian food will be able to find a wide selection of international cuisine in Budapest let that be Indian, Italian, Turkish, Japanese, even Nepalese etc. Furthermore, American products are increasingly available in specialty shops around the city. Azsia Bolt right next door to Corvinus has a wide selection of international food products.
Especially for students, public transportation in Budapest is really affordable. You can easily travel around Budapest day and night thanks to the widespread and developed infrastructure of Budapest transportation.
Budapest is also linked with train lines to some major and popular destinations in Hungary, like Szentendre, Esztergom, Lake Balaton or Eger. If students feel like having a day off somewhere in Hungary they can easily catch a train in the morning and visit these destinations (they can be reached within an hour).