The forgotten neighborhoods of Budapest

Bartók Béla avenue

The forgotten neighborhoods of Budapest

So enchanting is the center of Budapest – the architecturally stunning 5th district and the vibrant Jewish Quarter in the 7th district – that some visitors never venture much further out in the city. That’s a shame, because Budapest truly is a melting pot, with each neighborhood contributing something different to the city’s overall flavor and feel – we’re going to clue you in on some other places worth exploring.

Újlipótváros

Újlipótváros

Újlipótvárs – photo: varosilevego.blog.hu

Known as ‘New Leopold Town’ this neighborhood is in the 13th district of Budapest, and sits along the Pest shore of the Danube opposite Margit Island. When people tell you that Budapest is ‘the Paris of the East’ this is the part of town they are talking about.

Come here if you’re in the mood to relax. There are plenty of small streets to explore, dotted with coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, particularly along Pozsonyi Way, the epicenter of action in the area. And, if you fancy a picnic, head over to Szent István Park for stunning views out over the Danube, or go and browse the works of local Jewish authors in Láng-Téka Bookshop if the weather isn’t so good.

Óbuda

Óbuda town hall

Óbuda Town Hall – photo: wikimedia.hu

Budapest was originally two cities, Buda and Pest – that’s the story you’ll hear on all the tours. What they don’t always tell you is that Óbuda was the other part of the city – ‘Old Buda’. It charts its history as far back as the Roman times when the area was on the furthest border of their empire and known as Aquincum.

There are Roman ruins to be explored – a villa, amphitheaters and even an even an aqueduct. And, aside from that, you’ll find charming streets to wander around Óbuda main Fő Square.

Ráday street and surrounding

Ráday street

Ráday street – photo: budapestbynight.hu

Ráday Street – known for its nice restaurants – and surrounding streets such as Lónyay Street and Mester Street should be considered well and truly up and coming. Free from the worst effects of gentrification (so far), buildings here have been tastefully renovated and there are some great places to relax and people watch.

This part of town is also well known for its craft beer scene. Worth checking out are Monyó Café, Jónás Sörház, and Élesztő.

11th District & Bartók Béla Avenue

Bartók Béla avenue

Bartók Béla avenue – photo: ittlakunk.hu

Across the stunning Liberty Bridge, you’ll find another buzzing neighborhood, populated by young families and students from the local universities. It’s another area of the city where cool bars and restaurants seem to be opening on a weekly basis.

Walk the street and be sure to check out Veganlove if you want the best vegan burgers in Budapest, Kelet Café or Gdansk for a great coffee in a quirky environment, and then grab a beer from somewhere and go chill by Lake Feneketlen at sunset.

8th District beyond Grand Boulevard

Gólya alternative community center

Gólya underground cultural bar- photo: facebook.com/roncskocsma

The part of the city that time left behind, the 8th district looks shabby and has a bad reputation among locals. It’s a shame because it doesn’t deserve it. Explore here and you’ll find the creative heart of the city, thanks to young artists and entrepreneurs that are slowly bringing new life to the area with community projects.

Spend at least an afternoon here. Start with a beer at either Gólya or Kék Ló – two of the coolest bars in the area, then head over to Csiga for some great food. And, see if there is anything going on at Auróra, a buzzing community hub with office space for NGOs, a sprawling basement for concerts and cozy cafe and restaurant. We’ve created a tour that will show you one the most interesting parts of 8th district.

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