When Ernő Rubik invented his "Magic Cube" in the mid-seventies, he could never have predicted how it would entertain and mystify the masses. And dare we call this colorful, twisting, ever-changing structure a metaphor for the city in which it originated? (Oh yes, we just went there.)
Budapest City Guide Introduction
Like the puzzle that occupied millions during the 1980s (and is still sold in souvenir shops throughout its hometown), Budapest is a colorful, constantly changing city. On any given day, you're just as likely to see the bustle of fashion-forward girls in flashy tights rushing to school or work as you are to witness calm elderly gentlemen passing a relaxing afternoon on a balcony.
A combination of two ancient towns—Buda and Pest—on opposite sides of the Danube, Budapest may well be the Gemini of European cities. A stroll through town reveals modern minimalist shopping malls and lavish 19th-century mansions. And though Budapest is steeped in the past, with a rich history dating back to the Romans, the city manages to be undeniably, inarguably present.