The long unified settlements of Buda and Pest lay astride the River Danube. It is a city of decay and renewal; crumbling, gritty, modern, and incredibly beautiful. Here more than anywhere else was I awed by the sights this city offered: just when I thought I’d seen it all, another magnificent building or square would reveal itself.
The 1938 Technicolor film Beautiful Budapest shows the cosmopolitan life in Hungary’s capital just one year before the Second World War, a place unaware of the tragedy and devastation to come. But it also showcases the many attractions that continue to hold appeal. Like the remedial waters of the Gellert Baths, built in the art nouveaux style, where we spent and indulgent three hours in the thermal pools, and Castle Hill which affords the best views of the city.
Only one omission is the Gerbeaud patisserie. If divine cakes are your thing, you won’t want to miss this Hungarian institution.