The public transport of Budapest

is good by international standards and it's an efficient network. A wide variety of buses, trolley buses, trams and underground usually operate from early morning to night. At night many bus lines are in service.

The buses in Budapest are frequent and fast. The old trams are still functional.
The most popular lines are the 4 or 6.

Budapest has special vehicles such as the Children’s Railway,

the Chairlift

and the interesting Cogwheel railway.

Put into service in 1874, it was Europe’s third cogwheel railway.
One can use the suburban train to visit such towns outside Budapest as Szentendre, Ráckeve or

They are comfortable but noisy and relatively slow.
The underground is the oldest in Europe, it was built in 1896, to celebrate the millennium.

Budapest has 3 metro lines: M 1, the yellow line from Vörösmarty tér to Mexikói út; M2, the red line from Déli train station to Örs vezér tere; and M3, the blue line from Újpest to Kőbánya-Kispest. The 4th line is under construction.

I can buy tram and bus tickets at metro stations or from street kiosks.
Budapest has three main railway stations (Nyugati, Keleti, Déli) they are located on the edge of the downtown

and seven road bridges such as Árpád, Margit, Lánc-, Erzsébet,
Szabadság, Petofi, the recently opened Lágymányos

and two railway bridges across the Danube.


Today is celebrated in Hungary

If you happen to be in Budapest on August 20th, you can witness how Hungarians celebrate one of their most important holidays,

Constitution Day. However, this day is not only about showing honour and respect to the constitution of the country, but it is also St Stephen’s Day,when Hungarians commemorate their first king. It was King Saint Stephen who laid the foundations and who brought Christianity to the region and to the pagan Magyar tribes, and united them under a strong Hungarian state and Catholicism.

St Stephen himself was born a pagan by the name of Vajk. His father was Grand Prince Géza of Hungary and his mother Sarolt was the daughter of a Transylvanian Hungarian nobleman. When he was baptized a Christian, he was given the name of Stephen (István). If it is true that the meaning of names can predetermine someone’s destiny, this second chosen name surely had some influence on the life of the later King of Hungary. Stephen was not only the name of the original early Christian saint; it also means ‘crown’ and ‘standard, norm’ as well. The later saint King of Hungary dedicated the Holy Crown to the Holy Virgin at his coronation and thus tied the standards of Christian doctrines to his rule, kingdom and future Hungary.
When Vajk alias Stephen reached adolescence, an assembly was called together by his father and they decided he would be his father’s successor as the Hungarians’ next monarch. This was perhaps the first sign that Vajk was going bring a change in the lives and ways of the Magyar tribes. Until then, according to the tribal customs, the right of succession went to the eldest close relative of the ruler. So not too surprisingly, following the death of Stephen’s father in 997, conflict burst out concerning the rightful succession. Stephen and his uncle Koppány,

a pagan chieftain, battled for the status and power of Grand Prince of the Hungarians. The battle was won by Stephen, but it wasn’t solely his own Magyar supporters who helped him to this victory. Stephen had married Giselle of Bavaria, daughter of Henry II The Wrangler just a few years before his father’s death and the German in-laws helped the future king to his pedestal.
His coronation as King of Hungary was in 1000 and his reign lasted for 38 years. During his reign he largely expanded the Hungarian Kingdom and spread Christianity in the Carpathian Basin. In one of his first decrees, for example, he ordered that every ten village had to build a church and he invited foreign priests to Hungary. He also established counties in his kingdom to organize the administration of the country.
He was canonized on the 20th of August 1083, becoming one of the most favoured saints in Hungary.
As a sign of his holiness, St Stephen’s right hand is still intact and it is known as the Holy Right.

Today it is displayed as a relic in St Stephen’s Basilica.

The Crown of St Stephen was recovered after missing for decades by US soldiers at the end of World War II. It was hidden in an oil drum. It was kept safe at a Ft. Knox vault for 32 years before being returned to Hungary in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. Today it can be seen in the Hungarian parliament in Budapest.

On August the 20th you can experience a widespread and varied series of programs in Budapest. The state programs take place in front of the Parliament

and at Heroes Square. The Hungarian flag is hoisted, marching bands play, there are archery shows, dances, traditional Hungarian crafts workshops, ox and poultry roasted on open fires, etc.

Other festivals take place along and above the Danube. One of the most spectacular ones is the water and air parade. While the fireworks light the summer night skies, various dances tell the story of how Hungary was founded.