Budapest is a city of contradictions. Divided into Buda and Pest by the River Danube, the city’s beating heart is not found one within its iconic landmarks, but rather in the active cultural hubs scattered around its flaking streets.
Budapest has a troubled past. Bulletholes from the 1956 revolution or Second World War still scar some of the walls. The city’s present is also complex: minorities are still marginalised, gentrification is pushing out poorer families into the outer boroughs (rents are going up, local wages aren’t) and there is a populist political atmosphere tending to lean right. However, something alternative stirs in the undercurrent of the city’s creative and countercultural scene. To embrace this side of the city, it’s worth exploring off-the-beaten track museums, cafés and cultural centres to really appreciate the design, creativity and innovation that flows in Budapest’s veins.