Travel by train to Budapest, a leading global city in commerce, media and technology and the beautiful capital of Hungary. Situated in the north of the country, Budapest is the most populous city in Hungary and one of the largest in the European Union, boasting a diverse mixture of culture, history and stunning architecture. Originally founded as a Celtic settlement that was soon overtaken by Romans, Budapest has come under the rule of numerous powerful civilisations over time, including the Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarians. Flash forward and catch a train to Budapest to discover a metropolis doused in the various influences of eras gone past.
Made up of twin cities, Buda and Pest, which have since merged to become a singular global city, Budapest is inundated with awe-inspiring architecture and historical significance on both sides of the River Danube.
Starting at the Budapest-Keleti Station, hop on the 20E bus heading towards Káposztásmegyer, Szilas-Patak and get off two stops later at Hősök tere, right next to Hero’s Square, the grand City Park and the Szechenyi Spa Baths. Take a little time to explore the area before heading down Andrássy út, otherwise known as the Champs Elyseés of Budapest, which will lead visitors all the way down to the River Danube. En route, visit any number of the great museums, including the House of Terror, a museum that showcases the horrific post-WWII history of the country, before reaching the State Opera House, which is considered to be among the most beautiful buildings in Budapest. Upon reaching the end of Andrássy út, turn right and stumble across Szent István Bazilika, or St. Stephen’s Basilica, a neoclassical cathedral that boasts one of the best views of the city from its domed peak.
Head back towards the end of Andrássy út and this time turn down József Attila Street, heading southwest past popular Erzsébet tér (Erzsébet Square). A few minutes later visitors will catch sight of the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge and enjoy the view of Budavári Palota (Buda Castle) and the Royal Palace perched upon a hill on the opposite bank of the Danube. Soak in the sights of majestic Budapest before strolling back past Erzsébet tér to Deák Ferenc tér, where visitors can catch the red metro line directly back to Budapest-Keleti Station or take the blue or yellow line to other exciting areas in the city.
It is said that all major European roads and railway lines lead to Hungary’s capital, and with the multitude of transport hubs in Budapest, it’s might very well be true. There are three major railway stations in the city; Budapest-Keleti, Budapest-Nyugati, and Budapest-Déli, all of which serve a vast amount of local, national and international train routes. Although the three stations share rail traffic, Budapest-Keleti is considered the main intercity and international rail terminal in the capital. The stations are named as such to indicate their position within the city, with Keleti meaning eastern, Nyugati meaning western and Déli meaning southern. As well as their location, Keleti and Nyugati, historically handled rail routes to the east and west, respectively, although nowadays this is no longer exclusively the case. Passengers can travel by train to Budapest from Vienna in 3hrs8mins, to Budapest by train from Zagreb in 5hrs29mins and travel from Bratislava to Budapest in 2hrs36mins.