Budapest is the capital and by far the most populous city of Hungary and one of the largest cities in the European Union. Budapest is also one of the most densely populated major cities in the EU. Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres (2,944 square miles) and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary. The Budapest metropolitan area had a GDP of $141.0 billion (€129.4 billion) in 2016, accounting for 49.6 percent of the GDP of Hungary. GDP per capita in the city is $64,283, which means 148% of the EU average measured on purchasing power parity. Thereby the city is among the top 100 GDP performing cities in the world and making it one of the largest regional economies in the European Union.
Budapest is a leading global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is a leading R&D and financial centre and the highest ranked Central and Eastern European city on Innovation Cities Top 100 index, as well ranked as the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe. The city is home to the 2nd largest stock exchange by market capitalization in Central and Eastern Europe, the Budapest Stock Exchange and its business district hosts the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. Budapest is host to many major international organization’s regional offices, including the United Nations and ICDT, furthermore it is the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency. Over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, Semmelweis University and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, which have been ranked among the top 500 in the world. Opened in 1896, the city’s subway system, the Budapest Metro, serves 1.27 million, while the Budapest Tram Network serves 1.08 million passengers daily. Budapest ranked as the most liveable Central and Eastern European city on EIU’s quality of life index.