See also: Best Things to do in Budapest
Widely hailed as the “Paris of the East”, Budapest is home to an all-encompassing traveller’s paradise- from thespian history and showy structural designs; to therapeutic thermal waters and a nightlife that is unsurpassed, it has it all. However, it would be a blatant lie to say that it was bestowed with paramount exquisiteness for much of what we see here are a result of human efforts. Hands down, Budapest is a fortune trove architecturally- with sufficient rococo, neoclassical, and art nouveau to please one and all. The capital of Hungary, it has emerged to be one of the best-loved destinations.
Straddling the river Danube, it is a sightseer’s paradise. Particularly noted for its amalgamation of traditional and luxury, the saga is all around. Across the river is situated the splendidly vaulted Parliament building. The graceful age-old mansions hem in the shops, bars and cafes that provides it with the hum and buzz it is renowned for. The hill of Buda sterns from the western bank and around there, you get a breathtaking glimpse of habitat to the paved medieval sector with its imposing turret and gaudy Matthias Church. The vibrant souks present a refreshing sight to our eyes. With every kind of fare characterized in the restaurant menus, provisions for accommodation to outfit any pocket, and sights that make you want to linger, you should not miss out on the opportunity to explore this blockbuster find. Whether you are a culture magpie or outward vulture, the city has a host of things to see and do. Here are our top picks of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Budapest.
The Castle District (District 1)
Positioned in the face of Buda part of the town, this ritzy neighbourhood is speckled with panoramic views. It is a true classic for anyone who wants to experience the quintessence of archetypal sightseeing. Within the closely knit wedge of the country, this place is easily accessible and navigable. Without doubt, it is a centre and a great base for having the best of everything the city has to offer while providing the much-required respite. This well-to-do side of the city is also sated with historical buildings that summon Budapest’s magnificent legacy. The aristocratic atmosphere is replete with attractions such as Buda Castle,
Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church along with other breathtaking views. The tourists can also take pleasure in the far-reaching views of Pest and the Danube.
Undeniably, this neighbourhood simmers contemporary oomph making it quite an idyllic place to take delight in the many pleasures that this city has to offer- fashion, gastronomy, and low-key entertainment. This iconic district presents a tepid, homey, welcoming intertwine of constricted blocks and lively architecture. What aids the castle district to be conspicuous as one of the city’s most unwavering and rousing pockets of city life has to be its old-time aesthetic charm.
This area boasts of an inimitable history, doubled with a leading waterfront location. Budapest castle is one the most in style attractions here. Along with a breathtaking figure in the skyline, one can also catch a glimpse of the impressively regal castle grounds. Despite lacking in historical legitimacy, the Fisherman’s Bastion is an aesthetic looking structure near Matthias Church. Lofty and well-designed, the tiled roof of the latter flushes against the Budapest sky glowing even on the most monotonous days. Even though it feels like a draw out, the neighbourhood has made considerable efforts at trademarking itself as Budapest’s culinary quarter. However, there are several great restaurants here that guarantee a sumptuous meal.
Hushed streets, plenty of scenery and an amiable, mountainous riverside sector namely ‘Taban’ is how District II is best described. Positioned towards the northern part of Castle District, this neighbourhood is just right for inquisitive explorers who love to experience Budapest isolating the “tourist traps”. The populace of this neighbourhood is often envied all through the city for a reason. Despite the city being far away from the dynamic downtown areas, this made-up shortcoming is what makes it quite striking. Anticipate hushed streets delimited by verdant vegetation and fauna that appease your mind while providing a respite from the chaos of the city.
In spite of this, this neighbourhood’s image is not as straightforward as it seems; this district is supplemented by a cosmopolitan vibe.
The Watertown (which also happens to be the oldest part of the district) close by the Danube sentries the clandestine of bygone eras. From here you can get around on the lately reconstructed public transportation hub which makes it all the easier to rally around and discover the many shopping and amusement conveniences in close proximity. A stroll along the Grand Boulevard is very much recommended. However, if you are in search of beautifully tranquil regions, waste no time and swirl up the Buda Hills. The most significant attraction in the district happens to be around the Margaret Bridge. The Tomb of Gul Baba, Lukacs Spa Bath, and the Millenaris Park Cultural Complex are some of the admired attractions here. When it comes to food and drinks, expect dependable dishes that lack culinary tumbling.
Belváros:5th district (Downtown)
Branded chiefly for the soaring Neo-Gothic behemoth, the Hungarian Parliament, this neighbourhood is an unmatched tourist destination for those who want experience daytime sophistication and night-time decadence. Expect to witness an inundation of fineness when it comes to dining, culture, history and breathtaking views. In addition to the parliament, the most sought-after tourist choices include Váci Utca, locally dubbed as the city’s frenzied fashion marketplace, St Stephen’s Basilica, and Széchenyi Chain Bridge among many others. For enjoying the local delicacies, take a detour to Hold Street Market.
This neighbourhood can be described as a true downtown in every sense of the term. A graceful locale and an abode to countless chief attractions, it is chock-full of gears to keep you on your toes. Adding to the convenience is its linking with chief public transit, making it well accessible. It is not without reason that they attribute this district as the authentic inner face of Pest. Be geared up to be blown away by the tempting attractions like the Hungarian Parliament Building, Chain Bridge, Liberty Square, German Occupation Memorial, and Shoes on the Danube memorial among many others. Across the southern border, one can witness the Great Market Hall. Beautifully wide boulevards and quaint cafes here would make you want to linger here for longer than intended. Conclusively, this district is out of harm's way as it bets everything you would ever want- expediency, gratification, beauty, and wellbeing.
Terézvaros: 6th district
Located within bustling Pest, this district is conceivably best identified for its fascinating assortment of historical architecture, enriching heritage, along with its modern-day art and design. This part of the city is hailed as the never resting region which boasts of lively nightlife and masses of perceptive street art. It is further celebrated for Andrássy Avenue- a World Heritage site recognized by UNESCO. It is unquestionably Budapest’s counter to Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and houses a multitude of prestigious upmarket fashion brands. Also contained here is the poised Hungarian State Opera House along with stretch that goes by the epithet of ‘Broadway of Budapest’ Notable for its impressive iron-and-glass camouflage, tourists can pay a visit to the Nyugati Railway Terminal which is one amongst the oldest train stations in Hungary. As far as other tourist options are concerned, the House of Terror is a great option for unearthing the country’s communist era.
Conclusively, regardless of the nature of the trip, you have planned, this district is a wonderful place to stay. This full of life fraction of the city mirrors austere distinctions- you can spot well-heeled to rag-poor; intellectual tourists to stag dos. Although seemingly a tad gritty on the surface, it comes with some eye-catching architecture. All long, you will spot striking buildings, ritzy shopping centres and posh restaurants. In short, this eventful downtown neighbourhood with all walks of life will make your stay in the city a memorable one.
7th district: Erzsébetváros
The streets of Budapest’s phenomenal Jewish Quarter now abound with wreck taverns, quaint teashops and boutiques. At this juncture, look forward to finding the Dohány Street Synagogue which also happens to be the biggest synagogue in the whole of Europe. The brazen and ostentatious New York Palace stands tall with its heavy draw on the Italian rococo design. You are positive to be moved by the many pulsating street arts such as the well-known Seurat-enthused Rubik’s Cube on Dob Street erected to pay homage to its inventor. Although the district teems with food and drink options, the visitors must particularly savour the multiplicity of Middle Eastern fares that tributes the district’s legacy in its recipes. If you are seeking caffeine fix, skip on to Magvető Café, a well-liked coffeehouse and bookshop.
This neighbourhood is a true hipster in the terrain of stacks. Despite being the city’s party quarters, it would be quite a blow not to look beyond the surface of this culturally loaded neighbourhood. The Jewish Quarter provides you with a run for the money with its diversity of selections when it comes to revitalizing Hungarian culture. Although the saturated bar scene may be overpowering for some, it is still a great place to explore. Squarely, this area is for those who appreciate terrains that are steeped in history while also being one of the most happening spots. This is where you should come for bohemian cafes, ruin pubs and amazing food trucks.
8th district: Jószefváros & The Palace District
Regardless of the sophisticated modishness suggested by its unconventional moniker – the Palace Quarter, this neighbourhood is debatably Budapest’s most fashionable and trendiest district. This relatively novel area is fast shifting into a block were growth is unprecedented and development flourishing hastily. Many colonnades, bars and second-hand shops have been coming up here over the course of the last few years. When in this neighbourhood, explore the ‘Szabó Ervin Library’ whose history dates back as early as the 19th-century Neo-Baroque Wenckheim Palace. ‘FERi’ (a feminist art gallery), Konfekció, (a vintage shop) the Hungarian National Museum and the National Radio station are amongst the top attractions here. In the evening, have a leisurely walk along the walking paths of the astonishingly uncanny Kerepesi Cemetery. The latter is a place of great historic significance as well- it marks the resting place of the country’s most fêted revolutionaries.
The magnificent palazzos and endearing side streets of this district radiates a puff of history and tender a sanctuary from the tourist-heavy Jewish Quarter close by. Despite blooming to take the lead of the area's pristine recognition, its cafés and restaurants nonetheless pale in contrast.
9th district: Ferencváros
Situated towards the banks of the Danube in the district’s northwest division, Ferencváros is amongst Budapest’s most assorted neighbourhoods. This miscellany is mirrored in the neighbourhood’s culinary scene, starting with the Central Market Hall, which is quite of a genuine hotspot. The latter lures a huge crowd primarily for its fresh supplies in addition to its structural magnificence. You can easily relish the best authentic and traditional flavours here. To name a few, salami and smoked paprika served here are dripping of scrumptiousness in every bite. You can also sample some tasty street food favourites. Standing in close proximity to the market is the Ráday Street where you will be struck by the great deal of bistros and eateries including Costes- the city’s foremost Michelin-star restaurant. Walking further, you can have a glimpse of the Danube esplanade along the road to the reputed institutions such as National Theatre and the Zwack Museum.
Although best acknowledged for its Danube Boulevard and innumerable museums, this vicinity glimmers with scores of cafes and bars. Even though it lacks the vibrant nightlife of the old Jewish Quarter, it would be a gross error to sack it off the cuff. This once drowsy region now boasts of a self-motivated cultural scene, featuring quite a few of the city’s celebrated museums, and partially, stimulated by the intercontinental student community, its options have infinitely enhanced for better.