BUDAPEST - NEIGHBORHOODS

Buda Castle (Várnegyed) - District I

The city's most beautiful and historic neighborhood, perched some 300 feet above the river, it is effectively one gigantic fortification overlooking the Danube and the greater city beyond. Built in 1265, Buda Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which offers a remarkable view of this extraordinary city. The Castle District offers charming, cobbled streets and grand medieval monuments like the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, the Fishermen's Bastion, the National Gallery, Mary Magdalene Tower and the Hilton Hotel. There are also many shops and restaurants lining the streets. The northern part of Gellért Hill is also part of District I. Other attractions are the thermal baths like Rudas Turkish Bath.

Watertown (Víziváros) - District II

A long, narrow neighborhood wedged between the Castle District and the Danube, Víziváros is historically a quarter where fishermen and artisans resided. Built on the steep slope of Castle Hill, it has narrow alleys and stairs instead of roads in many places. Its main street, Fo utca, runs the north-south length of the Víziváros, parallel to and a block away from the river. Rózsadomb (Rose Hill) is the most notable part in this district. The rich live here in their exclusive villas. Spectacular views and clean air attracted Budapest's most influential to this area. The oldest part of the district is northern Víziváros. The northernmost Islamic holy place in Europe, the Tomb of Gül Baba, is near the Buda foot of Margaret Bridge, in Gül Baba Street. The district also boasts two Turkish Baths, the Veli Bej and the Király Baths, as well as the Lukács Thermal Bath.

Inner City (Belváros) - District V

The historic center of Pest, the Belváros, is the area inside the Inner Ring, bound by the Danube to the west. The new Main Street (Új Fõ Utca) is a new, partly pedestrian street between Kálvin tér and Szabadság with benches to sit down, terraced cafes and restaurants to stop for cafe or lunch and with much less traffic. Szabadság tér square is a lively place with lots of cafés and restaurants. The Soviet War Memorial dominates the northern end. A unique interactive fountain is the highlight at the southern end of Szabadság tér, a nice offset to the rigid stone monument. Budapest's biggest church, St. Stephen's Basilica (Szt. István Bazilika), also stands in this district. The famous pedestrian shopping area, Váci Street cuts through the district, with the Great Market Hall at its one end, and Vörösmarty tér on the other end. Duna Korzó (Danube Promenade) features the beautiful vista of the Danube and the Castle Hill. Pull up a bench beside the Danube and enjoy the folk music, children playing along the boardwalk, and breathtaking views of Castle Hill.

Theresa Town (Terézváros) - District VI

Terézváros is defined by Andrássy út, the great boulevard running the length of the neighborhood from Heroes' Square through Oktogon and down into the Inner City. This grand street is once again the 'best address' in town, especially since the upper part is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lined with cafes, wine bars and theaters, this street is constantly on the move. Some attractions nearby include the Operetta Theatre, Europe's oldest metro line, the House of Terror, the Ballet Institute, Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, and many more. You'll also find many exclusive shops, restaurants, and wonderful residences in the area. Terézváros is a place where you can go for a leisurely walk along the sycamore lined avenue, view the magnificent architectural masterpieces, sit in a café on Liszt Ferenc tér and contemplate the busy street life around you.

Erzsébetváros (Elizabeth Town) - District VII

Directly to the southeast of Terézváros, Erzsébetváros has been the center of the Jewish community in Budapest for over a century. During the German occupation from 1944 to 1945, this district was where the ghettos were established for the Jewish people. It was almost completely destroyed during WWII, and has been almost completely rebuilt since the 1980's. Visitors can now experience some of Budapest's most beautiful architecture including the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest Synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world, the recently renovated Kazinczy utca, a trendy cultural, and nightlife hub. It is home to the city's orthodox synagogue, referred to as Kazinczy Street Synagogue, the Kazimir Tourist Information Point, and a range of street food bars, ruin and garden pubs and kosher shops. There's even a kosher pizzeria opposite the synagogue.

Józsefváros (Joseph Town) - District VIII

Józsefváros, to the southeast of Erzsébetváros, has been a residential area of Budapest since the 1700's. It has retained much of its original architecture and charm. As one of the most densely populated and poorest districts of Budapest, Józsefváros has a distinctive, old-fashioned atmosphere. To experience true Józsfeváros and find some hidden treasures, walk in the streets beyond Grand Boulevard and on Rákóczi út. Crumbling inner courtyards, shabby houses with eclectic facades and old shops dominate this part of Budapest. Here, friendly residents blend in with students at nearby universities, making an interesting melting pot of cultures. It has one of the largest gardens in Budapest, Orczy kert and the National Museum is also here. The Hungarian Natural History Museum on Ludovika tér houses exciting scientific exhibitions. Behind Kálvin tér you'll find many great buildings, for example the beautiful Wenckheim Palace that houses the Szabó Ervin Library. The neighborhood is also famous for its underground nightlife scene, as well as a thriving arts community. The Keleti Train Station is here as well.