Often called the « Pearl of the Danube », Budapest has been Hungary’s capital since 1867. The city was created in 896 and has become over the years an important hub in Central Europe.
Since 1896 Budapest has its own underground network. It’s the second underground to have been built in Europe (the first was London’s). The project took place at the time of the Millennium events that were designed to celebrate the creation of the city. The Budapest underground was then named « Millenium » (Millenniumi Földalatti Vasút – M1).
It is one of the various public transportations offered by the city: tramways, funiculars and suburban trains. The network is 33 km long and has a total of 42 stations, 3 of which are above ground. Deák Ferenc tér is the only station to offer a connection: all lines cross there, in the very heart of the city.
In 1893, the Electric Tramway Society of Budapest (in Hungarian, Budapesti Városi Villamosvasút, abrégé BVVV) and the Hippo mobile Transport Society of Budapest (in hungarian Budai Közúti Vaspálya Társasághoz, abrégé BKVT) studied the possible installation of a tramway on the famous Andrássy Avenue, but the project failed. Mór Balázs (director of the BVVV) suggested building an underground tramway based on the idea of Siemens & Halske. On May 2nd 1896, the first 3.68 km of railway track were inaugurated. Soon enough this line was given the nickname ‘railroad underground’ because it was only 3 metres under the surface!
The official name is Földalatti (in hungarian föld means ground, and alatt means under) based on London’s network called the London Underground. The first part of the modern underground was opened to the public in 1970; 250,000 passengers would use it every day.
Nowadays, the Budapest underground is made up of 3 lines and a 4th one should open in 2010. M1 is the oldest line. It is associated with the colour yellow and offers the users a journey through history in the heart of the city. The other lines are newer and though they are more convenient (elevators…) they lack the old-fashion charm of M1. Most trains are now modern constructions but back in the days, they were made of wood. The stations copied Russian style with their marble-like stone walls.
Come and see for yourself one of the oldest underground train systems of Europe! Discover a century of History riding on the Hungarian metro. Rent the best apartments in Budapest and have a wonderful time between History and modernity.