Budapest, the capital and most populous city of Hungary, is one of the largest cities in the European Union with a population of about 1.8 million, attracting about 4.4 million international tourists annually. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river, with the unification of Buda on the west bank with Pest on the east bank in 1873. The city is a leading cultural, tourism and financial center and one of the largest economies in the European Union. The incredible central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many internationally known landmarks including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church, the Liberty Statue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Heroes Square and the Great Market Hall, to name a few. Budapest's cultural institutions include the Hungarian National Museum, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, the Hungarian State Opera House, the National Széchényi Library and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest, ranked as one the world's best city's by Condé Nast Traveler, is certainly one of the most incredible and beautiful cities in Europe, well worth visiting exploring and experiencing.