Budapest is a hotbed of history, from Roman Aquincum onward to 2000 years of tumultuous fortunes. But whatever the causes, that history has left behind a truly beautiful mark.
I like to say of Budapest that it’s like someone crumpled up Paris and then tried to lay it out flat again.
There’s an old saying that if you were to fall asleep on your way from Paris to Moscow and wake up in Budapest, you might think you were already there. But if you were to fall asleep on your way from Moscow to Paris and wake up in Budapest, you might think you were already there.
I suppose it’s a matter of perspective: Budapest is beautiful, but much of it is not in top condition, giving it a sort of shabby elegance. It’s an aesthetic that I find I really enjoy.