TEREZVAROS (PEST) – DISTRICT 6
The vibrant Terezvaros is dominated by Andrássy ut, which runs through the district from the city centre to Heroes’ Square. This grand boulevard is home to stunning neo-renaissance mansions, restaurants, upscale boutiques and the Opera House, making Terezvaros a bit of a fancy area. It’s also a nice district for a night out. Liszt Ferenc Square, near Oktogon, has excellent cafes and restaurants, while Nagymező utca, the broadway of Budapest, is dotted with theatres and bars. Terezvaros has some quieter parts too, especially closer to Heroes’ Square, behind which is the City Park. North Terezvaros is home to the Nyugati train station. The area around the station is avoidable in the night.
BELVÁROS (PEST) – DISTRICT 5
Belváros is the historical centre of Pest, it’s also the most touristy part of the city. It’s packed with cafes, restaurants (most are overpriced), nightclubs, souvenir shops, street performers and people. It’s also where most of the luxury hotels are located. But Belváros is an enjoyable and convenient district to stay in. All three metro lines have stations in the district and it has more than its fair share of attractions: St. Stephen’s Basilica, Parliament Building, Chain Bridge and the pedestrian only shopping street, Vaci utca. And the best part is, on the western border of Belváros is the Danube and Dunakorzó, the lovely riverside promenade that’s ideal for strolling and enjoying great views of Buda.
ERZSÉBETVÁROS (PEST) – DISTRICT 7
If you’re looking for history, you’ll find it in Erzsébetváros. This old Jewish quarter of the city has come a long way since it was destroyed during WWII. Today it still retains its Jewish identity; you’ll find many kosher delis here and also the Great Synagogue, the world’s 2nd largest synagogue. Parts of Erzsébetváros are run down but its recent transformation has turned it into a cool district with a fantastic nightlife. It’s home to some of the best wine bars and ‘ruin pubs’ in the city. ‘Ruin pubs’ are abandoned buildings which are turned into open-air bars attracting a hip, bohemian crowd. Most of them can be found on streets behind the Great Synagogue. Erzsébetváros is also centrally located; it lies just southeast of Terezvaros.
GELLERT-HEGY (BUDA) – DISTRICT 11
The Gellert Hill area is an affluent and green neighbourhood in the hilly Buda side of the city, with private homes and embassies lining its winding streets. Gellert Hill itself is a 140 meter high hill over-looking the Danube and Pest. The area doesn’t boast of many attractions but it has something priceless: stunning views of the city from the Citadel fortress which sits atop Gellert Hill. In fact it’s the best views in the whole of Budapest. The Liberty Monument on the hill is also worth a visit. The foot of the hill is home to the famous Rudas thermal baths. Nightlife in the area is non-existent but it does have some good restaurants. The area is well-connected to Pest by bus and tram.
CASTLE DISTRICT (BUDA) – DISTRICT 1
Castle District is a small but beautiful and romantic district in Central Buda. Most of it is made up of a giant hill which is draped with cobblestone streets and lovely old houses. Naturally enough, walking here is a pleasure even though you’ll always be walking uphill. Of course, you can also take the funicular from Chain Bridge or bus 16 from Deák Ferenc tér in Pest. And once you’re on top, you’ll be in the midst of popular attractions like the Royal Palace, the National Gallery, Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion and picture postcard perfect views of Pest and the Danube below. Castle District is also home to some excellent cafes and local restaurants. Central Pest sits just across the Danube.