The beautiful city of Budapest is divided into two halves (Buda and Pest) by the river Danube. On the Buda side, the area of Castle Hill originates from the 13th century. With the Pest side being two thirds of the city, the City Park provides open green spaces, as well as various activities such as the Aviation Museum, the Transport Museum, and the Zoo. Here you will also find the Széchenyi Baths going back to Turkish times and the swimming pool.
Budapest is a cultural mecca with a festival for each of the four seasons. Budapest Búcsú (June) is a rock and pop festival held at open-air venues around Budapest and celebrates the last Russian soldiers' departure from Hungary in 1991. The Castle District hosts September's International Wine and Champagne Festival, while the Summer Opera & Ballet Festival provides the opportunity to see some of the world's finest performers in Budapest's amazing Opera House at affordable prices. Hungary's premier sporting event is the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix held in mid-August each year.
Why is Budapest an attractive place to do business?
Strategic location in Europe
- Hungary is strategically located as an important gateway between Western Europe and the developing East, spanning major transportation routes between Western Europe and the Balkan Peninsula, and from the Ukraine to the Mediterranean basin.
- Four main paneuropean transport corridors intersect in the region and provide direct connections to the EU, the Adriatic and the Black Sea.
- Vienna and Bratislava, are each only a two and a half hour drive from Budapest. Prague, Zagreb and Belgrade can also be reached easily.
City of great investment returns
- A growing number of Fortune 500 companies have achieved impressive returns on investment in Hungary, benefiting from and fuelling six consecutive years of sustained gross domestic product growth, averaging 4.5% annually. There is a stable and transparent political environment, which protects both human rights and intellectual property rights. Investors enjoy the lowest corporate tax rate of 16% in Continental Europe plus significant tax allowances. Moreover, the country has negotiated a number of free trade agreements beyond EU borders.
- Labour competitiveness is among the best in Europe, having recorded a 13% average annual rise in overall productivity. In addition, the workforce is multilingual, educated, skilled and motivated.
- The government continues to invest in and foster infrastructure improvements, including transportation upgrades, technology, financial and supportive business services and education. The numerous benefits of EU membership for foreign investors include simplified customs administration, easy cross-border movement, and transparent legal and tax systems.
Serving Europe from Hungary
- In terms of Budapest, the city can already be considered a financial and technological hub. On the heels of its European Union accession, Hungary is aiming to promote itself as a business capital among the new Central and Eastern European member states – with the goal of luring companies to set up regional service centres in Budapest.
- According to the Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency (ITDH), relocating regional service centres to Hungary leads to cost savings of approximately 25%. Companies that have already made Hungary their regional home include General Electric, Nokia, General Motors, Sykes, Avis, Philips Alcoa, and EDS.
Hungary’s focal point
- The economic importance of Budapest is out of proportion with its population. Due to the centralised radial structure of the Hungarian transport network, Budapest has a unique position with regard to public road and railway systems. All of Hungary's road, rail, water, and air transport junctions are located in Budapest, and the city is the main crossroad of Central Europe.