Here are three videos of Budapest, “Gay and Beautiful Budapest” from 1938 of 10:28 minutes in length; the second a Rick Steves travel TV episode from 2004 of 26:08 minutes; and, finally, from 2014, “AMAZING Walking Tour!!!” of the Hungarian capital of 37:15 minutes, with no commentary, just street sounds as the documentarian strolls by, directing his camera with admirable patience, fluidity and, mostly, deft aim.
My wife Victoria has been there. She is the daughter of native parents raised there who fled after the Rising and tragic invasion by the Soviets in 1956. I have never been there, though I am a quarter Hungarian. I recommend viewing all three videos. All three show the city’s enchanting hot baths cloaked in the Baroque. The Steves video boasts an extraordinarily witty segment on the Soviet occupation. A ridiculous Soviet-era building is shown, and described as evidence of the result when design is the job of bureaucrats and not artists. Modern architecture is largely absent, though it’s not clear whether, in the last two films, this does not merely reflect the aversion of the filmmakers. Or maybe the camera lens kept breaking, or something like that. Anyway, although the politics in Hungary is dicey today, as it surely was in 1938, Budapest is worth it.