10 Things You Might Not Know About Budapest

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.

Read these 10 interesting things you might not know about Budapest!

  1. Budapest has the oldest underground train system in mainland Europe, which opened in 1896.
  2. The city used to be split into two, “Buda” on one side of the Danube River and “Pest” on the other.
  3. The famous escape artist, Harry Houdini, was born in Budapest.
  4. Budapest has the highest number of thermal baths in the world, and the largest medicinal bath in Europe, Szechenyi.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The Rubik’s Cube was invented in Budapest in the 1970s.
  9. In 2002, Budapest was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
  10.  Several big movies were filmed in Budapest, including: The Raven, The Debt, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Munich, and Spy.

 

Have you visited Budapest? If not, it’s a must-visit location! You can read more about the city in my Adventures in Budapest post, and about the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in, Aria Hotel Budapest!

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  • I’ve never been to Budapest but I’d absolutely love to visit someday.
    xoxo, Jenny

  • Kari Guastella

    How interesting! I’d love to visit there!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/kir-royal/

    • You’d love it, Kari! It’s an incredible place!

  • Budapest is on our travel bucket list!

    • Glad to hear it :) You’ll love it when you get there!

  • I’ve been obsessed with that song too! Love it!
    The mummified hand fact is so interesting!

    • Isn’t it?! We couldn’t resist going to check it out ourselves. Pretty creepy, but fascinating!

  • A Southern Traveler

    Awesome article! Great things to keep in mind.

  • I have always wanted to go to Budapest. What an interesting fact about it’s name and the under ground rail!

    • It’s amazing! So many fascinating things to discover :)

  • I’m literally singing the song in my head, right now! haha Very interesting facts, I love when you do these!

    • Hopefully it’s not stuck in your head for too long, haha. It always takes forever for me to get it out of mine :) These are some of my favorite posts to write too, so happy to hear you enjoy them!!

  • Awesome post! I had NO idea Budapest has the oldest underground system, so cool, and yeah, I’m totally obsessed with that song too!

    — Dara http://www.peoniesandhoneybees.com

  • Candy Kage

    I didn’t know any of these things about Budapest. Looks like a beautiful city

    • It is! One of the most unique, and beautiful cities I’ve ever visited!

  • That’s so cool that Yoda speaks in Hungarian syntax! I had no idea! Our friends visited Budapest and loved it so much! It would be so cool to visit and experience the baths!

    • You’ll have to keep it in mind for your next big Europe trip :) It’s one of my favorite places!

  • Vincent Carabeo

    Always wanted to visit! Thanks for sharing this piece. Didn’t know their currency were in those increments. Would you say things are fairly affordable there?

    • You definitely should! It’s an incredible place. Hearing the price of things in HUF is pretty intimidating at first since their increments are larger, but things were definitely affordable! It’s definitely more of a budget-friendly city for Europe!

  • Jessie

    I’ve never been to Budapest, but I want to go, so it’s great to see this post! Also, George’s song also made me want to go, high five! :) Also: great post — thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for reading, Jessie! I think that song inspired a lot of people to want to know more about Budapest, haha.

  • Rachelle Rosenblit

    Even after visiting budapest in College, I still didn’t know some of these things! It’s such a beautiful city!

    • It really is! I can’t wait to get back and visit one day!

  • Leah Hall

    I love learning random facts like this! Makes the city seem even more cool, and I would love to visit someday!

  • Interesting about the underground train system. Also why did they shoot Munich here instead of in Munich?

    • Isn’t it?! I think they end up filming a lot there since it’s much cheaper than filming in other European cities.

  • Pack Your Baguios

    What interesting trivia! I’ve never been to Budapest, but it looks beautiful!

  • I knew a few of these, but some facts were completely new to me. I didn’t realize they didn’t switch over to the Euro. When I went, it was before they were a part of the EU.

    • Yeah! Their denominations are pretty crazy though. We went out to dinner and they brought the check over which said 5,500. I about had a heart attack! Then I converted it and realized it was only like $20!

  • JeeYoung

    I would LOVE to go one of these days. So beautiful and full of history and culture.

    • I hope you’re able to! It’s one of my favorite places!

  • Amy Ledyard

    Wow, I didn’t know most of those. What a beautiful city!

    http://www.astoldbyamy.com

  • Wow, had no idea that Budapest has the oldest train system. Have always loved the Rubik’s cube and until just now did not realize it was invented in Budapest. Thanks for sharing these hidden known facts about Budapest! Cheers

    • Thanks for reading! It’s definitely a gem of a city!

  • Thanks for sharing these! I love Budapest, I’ve been once and I’m going back in December so it was awesome to refresh on some stuff. I actually knew all of this EXCEPT that about Yoda, how cool!

    • So amazing! Christmastime in Budapest is extra special. I can’t wait to hear about your trip back later this year!

  • Ahhh Budapest sounds amazing! I’m dying to visit.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

    • It really is! I hope you’re able to get there someday soon!

  • Rebeca Camareno

    Thank you Rachel! I look forward into visiting this amazing city!

    • I hope you get there someday soon, Rebeca! It’s a wonderful place!

  • I would love to see Budapest! I didn’t know any of the things on your list!

    • Glad to provide some new info :) I hope you’re able to visit one day, Willow!

  • Savannah Ward

    My dad LOVES Budapest, so I enjoyed reading this post and then sharing with him!

    http://thealwaysblog.com

    • Have you visited? I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Jessica Bradshaw

    I have never been to Budapest. It is place I have been intrigued by since Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel though. I can’t wait to see it in real life, and will have this background knowledge know. :)

    • I was intrigued after the movie as well! I hope you’re able to plan a trip to explore yourself!

  • I have never been to Budapest, but now I totally want to.

    • I highly recommend it! It’s an incredible place!

  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is one of my favorites! I had no idea it was filmed in Budapest!

    Rachel / http://www.seashellsandsparkles.com

    • Such a tough movie to watch, but beautifully done. It’s really amazing how many movies they film here for budget reasons!

  • I love Budapest! It is one of my all time favorite cities! I’m featuring it on my own blog tomorrow in fact!

    Tori
    http://www.mooretori.com

  • I have never been to Budapest. I must say after reading this post I need to add it to my long list of places I need to travel to. As soon as I saw your post I started singing that song.

    • Hope it didn’t get stuck in your head for too long :) haha. It’s a wonderful place! I hope you’re able to visit soon!

  • I have never been anywhere in Europe, but would love to go here..my uncle was born there! Those thermal pools would be enough to draw me in and I didn’t know the rubic cube was from there! Great post
    travel and fashion
    http://www.mapleleopard.com
    xo
    Val

    • Thanks, Valerie! It’s definitely worth the trip – you won’t be disappointed!

  • I haven’t visited Budapest yet, but it’s on my to-travel list for awhile. The last time I visited my sister in Vienna before she moved we considered a trip to either Budapest or Salzburg, but with the timing of everything we went with Salzburg. Loved reading this post! I knew some of these facts, but not all of them. #4 in particular is something to keep in mind whenever I do go. :)

    • Ah that’s a tough one – Salzburg is such a great city too! I hope you’re able to plan a trip over there soon!

  • I loved Budapest as well and would recommend a visit to anyone! It’s beautiful and the open air markets + museums were among my favorites. I had no idea the Rubik’s cube was invented there!

    • Totally agree! I definitely want to plan another trip back to explore more!

  • Love, love, love Budapest! The people were amazing, the city is stunning, and there’s so much history. Definitely underrated.

    • Totally agree with you! It’s definitely one of Europe’s best kept secrets from what I’ve seen!

  • Love this post! I visited Budapest a few years ago and I didn’t even know half of these things haha

    • Thanks, Amanda! There’s so much to all of the older cities, it’s a lot of info to take in :)

  • Adaleta Avdic

    Such a cool post, I would love to travel to Budapest! Posts like this get me all excited ;) xx adaatude.com

    • Yay, so happy to hear that :) I hope you’re able to plan a trip to Budapest soon!

  • Awesome post. I hope to visit Budapest one day!

    • Thank you! I hope you get there too – you’ll love it!

  • I loved Budapest. I visited earlier this year and it was by far one of my favorite trips. It’s such a great city, rich in history and things to do.

  • My sister loved visiting Budapest when she was studying abroad in Prague. I haven’t had the chance to visit yet but I hope to someday. I found it fascinating that it used to be split up. Fun fact!

    • You definitely should! It’s one of the most beautiful cities!

  • I have never been to Budapest, but if I go, I am taking you as my tour guide!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • I’d totally be down for that! Any excuse to get back to Budapest :)

  • Aria Hotel Budapest

    Thank you so much for including the beautiful Aria Hotel Budapest in this collection! We are sure that Daily Dream Décor fans will love our Dreams of Love offer, where you pay for 2 nights and get the third free. We have four amazing color schemes which were dreamed up by our brilliant designer, Zoltan Varro. .. Orchid for Opera, turquoise for Classical, Green for Jazz and White with pops of yellow, blue and orange for Contemporary music lovers. We hope you visit our website gallery to see more!

    • Of course! We had the best time during our stay and talk about wanting to plan a trip back quite a bit. The Aria Hotel Budapest left quite the fabulous impression on us :)

  • Budapest sounds amazing. I’m definitely adding this of my list of places I need to go. I didn’t know any of these facts before this!

    http://thewanderingbrunette.com

    • It really is! I hope you’re able to plan a trip soon – you’ll love it!

  • I absolutely love Budapest – I went about 10 years ago and it was just so gorgeous!
    XO Amanda | http://www.glitterandspice.com

    • Isn’t it?! I’m already dreaming of the day when I can go back!

  • Carmy

    I just can’t imagine why you wouldn’t invite me! I’m your sister! I should be able to go on a few daddy daughter and mommy daughter trip,too. A cutie like this can’t miss out on stuff like that.
    Just keep that in mind…

  • I went to Budapest with my mom last April and we loved it! Would happily visit again anytime :)

    • That’s so awesome! Visiting with my mom was the best too :) What was your favorite part?