Budapest, a triptych city with art galore
By Marton Dunai
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - It's well known that Budapest is the marriage of two cities - Buda and Pest - but how many outsiders realize Hungary's historic and culture-filled capital is really a merger of three?
For the better part of two millennia, there were three adjacent towns in the area, united by bureaucrats in 1873. Residents of the triptych city still proudly identify with noble Buda, working class Pest or ancient Obuda, where the Romans pitched their tents.
Budapest offers a wealth of choices for lovers of music, art and architecture in a beautiful setting on the Danube river, which bisects the city on the midpoint of its journey from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.
Here are tips for getting the most out of a trip to Budapest from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.
The views from either side of the Danube are breathtaking at any hour but there is much to be seen indoors as well. Over the past decade, Budapest has developed a reputation for major art and photography exhibitions, as well as more esoteric fare.
This fall, exhibits include the painters Chagall, Caravaggio and Canaletto, the trail-blazing Hungarian photographer Robert Capa and American beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
Chagall is at the National Gallery in the Castle District (www.mno.hu), "Caravaggio to Canaletto" is at the Museum of Fine Arts (www.szepmuveszeti.hu), Capa's haunting images are at the Hungarian National Museum (www.hnm.hu) and the Ginsberg show is at the Ludwig Museum (www.ludwigmuseum.hu).
After gorging on art, visitors can sample world-class operas, award-winning rock festivals and some of the best nightlife in Europe, including the now famous "ruined pubs" in semi-abandoned buildings in the historic Jewish quarter that feature colorful settings and clientele. Continued...