European History Meets Modern Evolution in Budapest

While strong echoes of its storied past remains, Budapest is continually and rapidly evolving into a modern European capital.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

The visual echoes of Budapest’s past are everywhere you look as you walk through town. But, you can see the modern breakthroughs of one of Europe’s leading economic and culture centers emerging around every corner.

During a recent journey to Budapest to explore a possible move to Mars (…more to come on that in the coming days…), I stepped away from the interviews and press conferences long enough to explore the Hungarian capital’s classic sites and modern evolution. Modern luxury hotels coexist with classical monuments. Museums record the past, while tops shelf clubs and restaurants celebrate the present.

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There’s been a community on the site of this European bastion since the birth of Jesus, and the city now boasts a population of more than 1,700,000 people. The city survived a Nazi invasion and occupation and almost four decades of decay locked behind the Iron Curtain.

My apologies to all of those Che Guevara wannabes out there, but, as a man who’s traveled the world, I can tell you Communism lays waste to countries and cultures. It’s taken Budapest more than two decades to reclaim its spot as a cultural and economic powerhouse after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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A city with ample outlying urban space to support studios and production facilities, Budapest has rapidly become an unlikely epicenter for film and television production. When you add an educated, skilled workforce that predominantly speaks English, the Hungarian city puts cash incentives to work luring productions away from expensive Hollywood.

It was one of those shoots and the prospects of interplanetary travel that brought me to Budapest. You can tag along on walk through downtown Budapest to some of its more famous monuments in the gallery below.