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Budapest Travel Guide

Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary. It serves as the country's political, cultural, commercial, industrial, transportation center with green filled parks and museums full of charming pleasures. Considered as one the most beautiful cities in the world, Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube River and thanks to its perfect location, the hospitality, and memorable monuments; it is known as the 'Little Paris of Central Europe' and 'Pearl of Danube.' Budapest is divided into two cities: Buda - the hilly West side of the Danube, and Pest - the flat east side of the Danube.

There are 1.7 million people living in the Budapest capital and 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, making it the largest metropolitan area in Central East Europe. An estimated 95.6% of Budapest's population was native Hungarian and 4.4% foreigners (mainly ethnic Hungarians from Transylvania, Romania, and Voivodina, Serbia).

The city has a temperate, transitional climate- somewhere between the mild, snowy weather conditions. Budapest has four distinct seasons with great variability in between the seasons. Spring is usually full of abundant sunshine and scattered showers. Summer has prolonged hot periods and humidity is high. The air is sultry, evenings are usually very warm. Autumn nights tend to be colder, with short cool spells vary with the brilliant weather. Winters are variable and unpredictable. The Westerly winds bring mild oceanic air, almost no frost and scattered rain or snow showers. The average January temperature is 31 degrees F (-0.5 degrees C) while the average July temperature is 69 degrees F (20.5 degrees C). Budapest's precipitation in 1.6 inches (40 mm).

Most of Budapest's famous attractions are concentrated on Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city. Buda Castle is the most popular attraction in Budapest. Also known as the Royal Palace, this castle is the historical complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. Buda Castle was built on the southern tip of Castle Hill and its famous for its medieval, Baroque, and 19th century houses. It is also home to the National Gallery, the Fisherman's Bastion, and Matthias Church.

The Danube bridges are really attractive and worth it to stroll along the river bank. The Szchenyi Chain Bridge outshines them all. It's a suspension bridge that spans the Danube River between Buda and Pest. Opened in 1849 and named after its major supporter, Istvan Szechenyi, it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube and Budapest.

Budapest is also the home to the largest synagogue in Europe, the Dohany Street Synagogue. The synagogue is located in the 7th district of Budapest and also the second largest synagogue in the world. It seats 3,000 people and is the center of Neolog Judaism. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 according to the plans of Ludwig Forster.

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