Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the ninth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. Budapest is both a city and county and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33% of the population of Hungary. The history of Budapest began when an early Celtic settlement transformed into the Roman town of Aquincum, the capital of Lower Pannonia. After the reconquest of Buda in 1686, the region entered a new age of prosperity, with Pest-Buda becoming a global city after the unification of Buda, Óbuda, and Pest on 17 November 1873, with the name 'Budapest' given to the new capital.
Budapest is a global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. Budapest is the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency.
Data and Facts
GDP: us$267.6 billion as of October 2016 (for Hungary, per worldsrichestcountries.com)
GDPper person: $27,211
Over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the eötvös loránd university, the Semmelweis University and the Budapest University of technology and economics.
Rubik, the inventor of the famous Rubik’s cube, was born in Budapest
As the capital of Hungary, Budapest is the seat of the country's national government. Hungary's highest courts are located in Budapest. Budapest hosts the main and regional headquarters of many international organizations as well, including United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, European Institute of Innovation and Technology, European Police Academy, International Centre for Democratic Transition, Institute of International Education, International Labour Organization, International Organization for Migration, International Red Cross, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Danube Commission and even others. The city is also home to more than 100 embassies and representative bodies as an international political actor.
Environmental issues have a high priority among Budapest's politics. Institutions such as the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, located in Budapest, are very important assets. Budapest has one of the best public transport systems in Europe with an efficient network of buses, trolleys, trams and subway. Budapest has an above-average proportion of people commuting on public transport or walking and cycling for European cities.
Budapest has been a metropolitan municipality with a mayor-council form of government since its consolidation in 1873, but Budapest also holds a special status as a county-level government, and also special within that, as holds a capital-city territory status. The Budapest General Assembly is a unicameral body consisting of 33 members, which consist of the 23 mayors of the districts, 9 from the electoral lists of political parties, plus Mayor of Budapest. Each term for the mayor and assembly members lasts five years. Submitting the budget of Budapest is the responsibility of the Mayor and the deputy mayor in charge of finance.
Budapest is a significant economic hub, classified as an Alpha- world city in the study by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network and it is the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe as GDP per capita in the city increased by 2.4 per cent and employment by 4.7 per cent compared to the previous year in 2014. On the national level, Budapest is the primate city of Hungary regarding business and economy, accounting for 39% of the national income, the city has a gross metropolitan product of more than $100 billion in 2015, making it one of the largest regional economies in the European Union. According to the Eurostat GDP per capita in purchasing power parity is 147% of the EU average in Budapest, which means €37.632 per capita. Budapest is also among the Top100 GDP performing cities in the world, measured by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The city was named as the 52nd most important business centre in the world in the Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index, ahead of Beijing, São Paulo or Shenzhen and ranking 3rd on MasterCard Emerging Markets Index. The city is 48th on the UBS The most expensive and richest cities in the world list, standing before cities such as Prague, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur or Buenos Aires. In a global city competitiveness ranking by EIU, Budapest stands before Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Moscow and Johannesburg among others.
The leading business schools and universities in Budapest, the Budapest Business School, the CEU Business School and the Corvinus University of Budapest offer a whole range of courses in economics, finance and management in English, French, German and Hungarian. The unemployment rate is far the lowest in Budapest within Hungary, it was 2.7%, besides the many thousands of employed foreign citizens.
Budapest is among the 25 most visited cities in the world, the city welcoming more than 4.4 million international visitors each year, therefore the traditional and the congress tourism industry also deserve a mention, it contributes greatly to the city's economy. Large Hungarian multinational corporations headquartered in Budapest are listed on BSE, for instance, the Fortune Global 500 firm MOL Group, the OTP Bank, FHB Bank, Gedeon Richter Plc., Magyar Telekom, CIG Pannonia, Zwack Unicum and more. Nowadays nearly all branches of industry can be found in Budapest, there is no particularly special industry in the city's economy, but the financial centre role of the city is strong, nearly 40 major banks are presented in the city, also those like Bank of China, KDB Bank and Hanwha Bank, which is unique in the region.
With €108.7bn GDP in 2015, Budapest has been bolstered in recent years by funding from the European Union – Hungary joined in 2004 – and between 2014 and 2020 the country is set to receive £28bn in a bid to strengthen the economy and boost SMEs. Coupled with the Hungarian government’s plan to cut corporate tax rates in the next two years, Budapest’s business credentials look better than ever. The uprising was crushed and Hungary remained behind the Iron Curtain until 1989. It wasn’t until 1990 that a free parliamentary election – only the second in Hungary’s history – took place.
Establishing a business is not a great deal of expense. Budapest is a well-located hub for operating not only in Hungary but in the wider region. Hungary’s EU membership means the burden of regulation has been considerably reduced in the last 12 years, and any red-tape challenges that do arise can be overcome with the right stakeholder engagement.
The business environment is, however, becoming more competitive, with the cost of employment growth due to a shortage of qualified employees
Opened in 1896, the city's subway system, the Budapest Metro, serves 1.27 million, while the Budapest Tram Network serves 1.08 million passengers daily. Among Budapest's important museums and cultural institutions is the Museum of Fine Arts. Budapest attracts around 12 million international tourists per year, making it a highly popular destination in Europe.
Riding on bike paths is one of the best ways to see Budapest – there are currently about 180 kilometres of bicycle paths in the city, fitting into the EuroVelo system. Crime in Budapest investigated by different bodies. The homicide rate in Budapest is below the EU capital cities' average according to WHO also. However, the organised crime is associated with the city, the Institute of Defence in a UN study named Budapest as the «global epicentres» of illegal pornography, money laundering and contraband tobacco, and also the negotiation centre for international crime group leaders.
out of 80 key European locations Budapest emerged as the number one city in which to launch a business post-Brexit. The city is already home to a growing number of business accelerators and a wealth of funding sources, with growing interest from international angel and VC investors.
The result is a vibrant startup hub with huge appeal for tech entrepreneurs. Steven Tasker, cofounder of two startups in Budapest, outsourced digital marketing agency SuperSize Digital and SaaS SEO marketing tool Polka Dot Tiger, is one of them.
The ex-pat community here is relatively small and it's likely you’ll bump into someone you know in the city centre. It makes the city feel like a small, friendly community.
Budapest’s flourishing startup scene has also been well supported by the Hungarian government with extremely low corporation taxes at 9%, the lowest in the EU, and the introduction of the «early stage» status, which allows companies to reduce the corporate tax base. A number of business incubators have been established around the city and in its Central European University, nurturing startups and helping new ventures grow and expand across Europe and the world, the likes of Prezi, LogMeIn, and Tresorit bearing testament to that.
«With all these benefits and the backdrop of one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, it's easy to see why many startups are setting up camp here,». Budapest does have its drawbacks, perhaps the biggest being the rate of inflation. Living standards in Budapest are rising considerably, which is our matching Hungarian salaries. A lot of Hungarians can't afford to live in the city and have to relocate to their hometowns. »
In 2012, there were 7.2 million internet users in Hungary . and there were 2.3 million subscriptions for mobile broadband.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
Budapest is packed with museums and galleries. The city glories in 223 museums and galleries, which presents several memories, next to the Hungarian ones as well those of universal and European culture and science. Here are the greatest examples among them: the Hungarian National Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, the House of Terror, the Budapest Historical Museum, the Aquincum Museum, the Memento Park, Museum of Applied Arts and the contemporary art exhibition Palace of Arts Budapest. In Budapest, there are currently 837 different monuments, which represent most of the European artistic style. The classical and unique Hungarian Art Nouveau buildings are prominent.
A lot of libraries have unique collections in Budapest, such as the National Széchenyi Library, which keeps historical relics from the age before the printing of books. The Metropolitan Szabó Ervin Library plays an important role in the general education of the capital's population. The Budapest Pride occurs annually across the city, and usually involves a parade on Andrássy Avenue. Other festivals include the Budapest Fringe Festival, which brings more than 500 artists in about 50 shows to produce a wide range of works in alternative theatre, dance, music and comedy outside the mainstream. The LOW Festival is a multidisciplinary contemporary cultural festival held in Hungary in the cities Budapest and Pécs from February until March; the name of the festival alludes to the Low Countries, the region encompassing the Netherlands and Flanders. The Budapest Jewish Summer Festival, in late August, is one of the largest in Europe.
There are many symphony orchestras in Budapest, with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra being the preeminent one. It was founded in 1853 by Ferenc Erkel and still presents regular concerts in the Hungarian State Opera House and National Theatre. Budapest is a prominent location for the Hungarian entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media set there. Budapest is the largest centre for film and television production in Hungary. In 2011, it employed more than 50,000 people and generated 63.9% of revenues of the media industry in the country. Budapest is the media centre of Hungary, and the location of the main headquarters of Hungarian Television and other local and national TV and radio stations, such as M1, M2, Duna TV, Duna World, RTL Klub, TV2, EuroNews, Comedy Central, MTV Hungary, VIVA Hungary, Viasat 3, Cool TV, and Pro4, and politics and news channels such as Hír TV, ATV, and Echo TV. Documentary channels include Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery World, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Spektrum, and BBC Entertainment. This is less than a quarter of the channels broadcast from Budapest; for the whole picture see Television in Hungary.