Budapest, the capital city of Hungary and one of the 19 counties of the country, is the most populous city in Hungary. The city was officially established on the 17th of November 1873 by merging three cities: Buda, Óbuda, and Pest. The city is located in the center of the Carpathian Basin. The Buda part of the city is built on higher Danube river terraces and western hills, while the larger part of the city, Pest, is located on mostly flat terrain. The easternmost parts of the city feature hills at the same altitude as Buda's. The Danube river flows through the city and divides it into its original historical parts, Buda and Pest. The Danube enters the city from the north and creates two islands, Óbuda Island and Margaret Island. The area of the city of Budapest itself is 525 kilometers squared. With over 1,752,286 inhabitants, Budapest is the ninth most populated city in the European Union; however, the entirety of Budapest county, which comprises of the capital city itself and also the Budapest metropolitan area, has an area of 7,626 square kilometers and a population of 3,303,786, which makes up 33% of the population of the whole of Hungary.
Budapest is one of the most visited cities in Hungary, presumably because of its richness of cultural and historical sights. Over 80 different thermal baths are established around the city. One of them is Széchenyi thermal bath. The water features numerous health benefits due to the presence of sulfate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and a significant amount of metaboric acid and fluoride in it. Széchenyi medicinal bath is also the largest of its kind in Europe and was established in the 1880s.
The architectonical dominant of Budapest is the Hungarian Parliament Building. The building is situated on the eastern side of the Danube, on the Pest side of the city, and on the Kossuth Square. Imre Steindl designed the Hungarian Parliament Building in neo-Gothic style, and it was opened in 1902. The architecture of the building is inspired by the gothic Vienna City Hall and Maria vom Siege church in Vienna. It is the largest building in Hungary.  Only a few meters from the Parliament Building is another historical sight called Shoes on the Danube Bank, a memorial to Jewish victims massacred by Fascist Hungarian militia. The memorial represents the victims' shoes, as they were ordered to take off their shoes before they were shot so that the shoes wouldn't be carried away by the water with their bodies. 
Another sought-after sight in Budapest is the Halászbástya, or Fisherman's Bastion, located near the Buda Castle. The original walls were built in the 1700s; however, the current structure was built between 1895 and 1902 in Neo-Romanesque style. Nowadays, the Fisherman's Bastion belongs to Budapest's World Heritage Sites as part of the Buda Castle District.  The Castle District got its name due to the Buda Castle, located in this area. Buda Castle is a palace complex of the Hungarian kings built-in 1265. Currently, the dominant architecture is from the Baroque era because of a reconstruction that took place in 1749 and 1769. The castle features the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum now.
Budapest is strategically placed at the center of the Carpathian Basin, in the Great Plain. Central position grants it a direct road connection with other European metropoles such as Vienna, Warsaw, Moscow, Athens, Milan, and Prague. The biggest river flowing through the region is the Danube. The Danube creates three islands, Óbuda, Margaret, and Csepel Island, in addition to its flow through the Budapest territory. The Buda part of the city is situated on the hilly river terraces along the western shore of the Danube. The Buda hills consist mainly of limestone and dolomite. Danube river created some caves along its shores as well, for example, Pálvölgyi cave or Szemlőhegyi cave. The area of the Buda hills and its forests are under environmental protection. On the other hand, the Pest part of Budapest is rather flat, mostly located on a sand plain. The easternmost parts of the city feature smaller hills. The highest point of Budapest is János Hill, with an altitude of 527m above sea level. The lowest point is the level of the Danube river at an altitude of 96m above sea level. 
Regarding weather and climate, Budapest is the world's northernmost city with a humid subtropical climate. Winters are relatively cold, with temperatures around 0°C, classifying the area as a humid continental climate. Summers are warm, near an oceanic climate. The warmest month is August, with an average daily temperature of 28.6°C. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 4.0°C. The driest month is January, with an average of 29.0mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during June with an average of 64.0 mm. 
The earliest evidence of settlements in Budapest territory can be dated back to 1 AD when Celtic tribes came to this area. Romans later occupied the area and established a settlement called Aquincum. Aquincum later became the capital city of Pannonia. Its main purpose was to provide defense for the Roman Empire; however, the city evolved and became a metropolis of commercial life. The Aquincum area corresponds to today's territory of the Óbuda district within Budapest. By the end of the 9th century, the Magyar tribes led by Árpád settled this territory. Subsequently, the Kingdom of Hungary was established, in which Buda and Pest were two separate cities. In 1361, Buda became the capital of Hungary. Buda developed under the rule of King Matthias Corvinus. His library was Europe's greatest collection of historical chronicles, philosophic, and scientific works in the 15th century. In 1473, the first Hungarian book was printed in Buda. In 1526, Turks invaded Hungary and ruled over the country for 150 years. Only the westernmost parts stayed unoccupied and became part of the Habsburg monarchy as Royal Hungary. In 1718, the entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Turkish rule, thanks to the collaboration of several nations. The army consisted of German, Croat, Dutch, Hungarian, English, Spanish, Czech, Italian, French, Burgundian, Danish and Swedish soldiers. Until 1867, Hungary was part of the Habsburg monarchy. Due to the fact that the country struggled for its independence, in 1867, Austria-Hungary was established as a compromise. In 1873 Buda and Pest were merged with the third part, Óbuda, thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest. In 1918, Austria-Hungary lost the war. Hungary became the independent Republic of Hungary. In 1920, the sanctions of the Treaty of Trianon partitioned the country. Hungary lost over two-thirds of its territory and inhabitants. During the Second World War, in 1944, part of Budapest was destroyed by air raids. From December 1944 to February 1945, the city was significantly destroyed by the Battle of Budapest. Budapest suffered major damage, and more than 38,000 civilians lost their lives during the conflict. After the war, Hungary became part of the Soviet Union until 1991. During the Stalin era, the Soviets considered buildings like the Buda Castle and other historically and culturally important sights as a symbol of the former regime. Thus during the 1950s, the palace was gutted, and all the interiors were destroyed. In October 1956, citizens held a large, peaceful demonstration in Budapest, which ended up with them being shot by the Soviets on the spot. Nonetheless, uprisings didn't stop, and Hungary was to leave the Warsaw Pact and become neutral. Soviets stopped that from happening by sending tanks and troops to inhibit the revolt, which cost Hungary approximately another 3,000 lives. Only in 1991 did the Soviet Union fall, and Hungary became an independent country, with Budapest as its capital city, as we know it today. 
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