Budapest: Lights, History, Action

Light reflects off the Chain Bridge onto the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary Oct. 12, 2009. The bridge connects the once divided cities of Buda and Pest. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Brian Wagner)

Light reflects off the Chain Bridge onto the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary Oct. 12, 2009. The bridge connects the once divided cities of Buda and Pest. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Brian Wagner)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Aviano Airmen and their families looking to step back into a city steeped in history and teeming full of activities need to look no further than the ancient city of Budapest -- a must see European destination.

As I walked the cobble stone streets, three words came to mind that summed up this global city: lights, history and action.

Budapest is a city that is magnified at night. Every main historical or prominent building is lit by high powered lights. The Buda Castle, the Fisherman's Bastion and the Matthias Church all glow at night and make for a great lookout over the rest of the city. Photographers can be seen flocking to the banks of the Danube River to capture the reflections of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge dancing in the water.

Budapest's history is both rich and dynamic. The city was founded by the Romans in 100 AD and has a long history of invasions, revolutions and changing political structures. Historical buildings in Budapest include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, Gellert Baths, St. Stephen's Basilica, Parliament, Vajdahunyad Castle, and more. Every generation has left buildings and monuments of their culture throughout the city.

For a city known for its history, it also is filled with activity. Exhibitions, festivities and a vibrant nightlife keep tourists and residents entertained throughout the year. With more than 1.7 million residents, the nightlife options are endless. Top international music acts also regularly stop
here during their European tours. Visitors looking to unwind and relax can visit one of Budapest's many thermal baths. In fact, Budapest holds the distinction of having the largest medicinal bath in Europe: the Széchenyi Medicinal Bath.

The city has much to offer, so it's important you do your research and plan some of your activities prior to arriving.

Visit Budapest's official tourism website at www.budapestinfo.hu/en. Enjoy the lights, history and action on your trip to Budapest, Hungary.