Hungary is a landlocked country in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe. Its capital is Budapest. Hungary is a member of OECD, NATO, EU, Visegrád Group and is a Schengen state. The official language is Hungarian, which is part of the Finno-Ugric family. Administratively, Hungary is divided into 19 counties. In addition, the capital city, Budapest, is independent of any county government. The counties are further subdivided into 173 subregions. T...he President of the Republic, elected by the Parliament every five years, has a largely ceremonial role, choosing the dates of elections. In the past decade, Hungary was listed as the 10th most economically dynamic area and one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world, with a capital regarded as "one of the most beautiful urban landscapes in the world". Hungary has continued to demonstrate economic growth as one of the newest member countries of the European Union (since 2004).
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centerand is considered an important hub in Central Europe. In 2008, Budapest had 1,702,297 inhabitants, down from a mid-1980s peak of 2.1 million. The Budapest Commuter Area (or Greater Budapest) is home to 3,271,110 people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right-bank Buda and Óbuda with left-bank Pest. Budapest is the city with the biggest Jewish population in Europe. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in Europe. Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The collections of the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts are also significant. The city ranked 3rd (out of 65 cities) on Mastercard's Emerging Markets Index (2008), and ranked as the most livable Central/Eastern European city on EIU's quality of life index (2009). It attracts over 20 million visitors a year. The headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the first foreign office of the CIPA will be in Budapest.