Budapest, Hungary was a city I never knew too much about. But in 2014 when George Ezra’s “Budapest” song hit the radio waves, I found myself singing about it ALL THE TIME. So I decided to do some research and found myself in awe of the photos of the city and settled on planning a trip to the city during the Christmas season. And let me tell you, I’m SO glad I did. Budapest isn’t a city you traditionally hear as much about when it comes to Europe travel, but it was one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever visited. In fact, my mom and I agree that it’s one of the top three places either of us have ever traveled!
Want to learn more about the city? To get you started, here are 10 things you might not know about Budapest.
- Budapest has the oldest underground train system in mainland Europe, which opened in 1896.
- The city used to be split into two, “Buda” on one side of the Danube River and “Pest” on the other.
- The famous escape artist, Harry Houdini, was born in Budapest.
- Budapest has the highest number of thermal baths in the world, and the largest medicinal bath in Europe, Szechenyi.
- The citizens of Budapest took the “Holy Right Hand” inscription on St. Stephen’s Basilica literally and mummified the right hand of the first Christian King of Hungary (who died in 1038), which can be seen in a shrine in the church.
- Star Wars’ Yoda speaks using Hungarian syntax, thanks to a Hungarian technician working on the films per George Lucas’ direction to give Yoda a more exotic sound to his speech.
- The country doesn’t use the Euro, but rather, the Forint, which is available in denominations of 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000.
- The Rubik’s Cube was invented in Budapest in the 1970s.
- In 2002, Budapest was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
- Several big movies were filmed in Budapest, including: The Raven, The Debt, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Munich, and Spy.