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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 Fisherman`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.

District I is connected to the Budapest Metro system via Line 2 (red), accessible from Déli, Széll Kálmán Square, and Batthyány Square Metro stations.

Inner City (Belváros) - District V

The inner city of Pest, the oldest part of the city, is called Belváros. Deak Ferenc utca is the road that comprises its northern boundary, and Customs House Boulevard (Vámház körút) comprises its southern boundary, ending at Kalvin Square. Elisabeth Bridge and Free Press Avenue (Szabad sajtó út) cut through the district. Points of interest include the Inner City Parish Church, the oldest church in Pest; Vaci utca, well-known as Budapest`s toniest shopping street; and the Pesti Theater. Pilvax Cafe, located in Belváros, is the coffeehouse where the seeds of the 1848 Hungarian uprising were planted. At the fringes of the Belváros neighborhood, you will find the Hungarian National Museum and the Great Market Hall, along Customs House Boulevard.

District V in Belváros is connected to the Budapest Metro system via Lines 2 (red), 3 (blue), and 4 (green), accessible by Astoria (red), Franciscans` Square (Ferenciek tere, blue), and Kalvin Square (green) Metro stations.

Leopold Town (Lipótváros) / Financial District (Pénzügyi negyed) - District V

This area of District V is named after Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, who ascended to the throne in 1790 and also served as the Archduke of Austria. Originally it was also referred to as `St. Stephen`s Town` as St. Stephen`s Basilica was located here. When the Hungarian Parliament was built in the area at the beginning of the 20th century, financial institutions moved into the neighborhood and it became known as a large financial district. Today it is also well-known as the home of many governmental agencies and Magyar Televizio, the state television network.

In the southern part of the neighborhood, there are two city squares located along the Metro`s oldest line: Vorosmarty Square and Deak Ferenc Square. Elisabeth Square sits just to the north of these two squares. Going north, you will see St. Stephen`s Basilica before reaching the area in and around Liberty Square. To the northwest, there is Lajos Kossuth Square and the Hungarian Parliament.

District V in Lipotvaros is connected to the Budapest Metro system via Lines 1 (the Millennium Line, yellow), 2 (red), and 3 (blue), accessible by Vorosmarty Square (yellow), Deak Ferenc Square (yellow, red, blue), Lajos Kossuth Square (red), and Janos Arany Street (blue) Metro stations. Nyugati (blue) and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue (yellow) Metro stations are close by.

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.

District II is connected by Line 5 of the Budapest Commuter Railway (purple), served by Margit híd, budai hídfo and Szépvölgyi Avenue stations.

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.

District VI is connected by Lines 1 (yellow) and 3 (blue) of the Budapest Metro, served by the following stations: Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Avenue, Opera, Oktogon, Vörösmarty Street, Kodály Circus, Bajza Street, Heroes` Square (yellow), and Nyugati (blue).

Elisabeth Town (Erzsébetváros) - 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 1980s. 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.

District VII is connected to the Budapest Metro via Line 2 (red), and served by Astoria, Blaha Lujza Square, and Keleti stations.

Joseph Town (Józsefváros) - District VIII

Józsefváros, to the southeast of Erzsébetváros, has been a residential area of Budapest since the 1700s. 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 Square 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.

District VIII is served by Lines 3 (blue) and 4 (green) of the Budapest Metro. The following stations are located in the neighborhood: Kálvin Square, Corvin Quarter, Clinics, and Nagyvarad Square (blue); and Kálvin Square, Rákóczi Square, and Pope John Paul II Square (II. János Pál pápa tér) (green).