Districts of Budapest
Although Budapest is administratively divided into 23 numbered districts, each with its own local government. Officially they are marked with Roman numerals (I-XXIII). The city is often divided into two parts by Danube River, roughly corresponding to the two major areas called Buda and Pest.
There are six districts at Buda side (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, 12th and 22nd), sixteen districts in Pest (5th and 6th district are considered as Historical Downtown) and there is one district (21st) on Csepel Island. Each district has one or more city parts named after former towns within Budapest.
Budapest's districts are numbered clockwise in widening circles, similarly to the arrondissements of Paris. Inner districts have lower numbers (I., II.), while outer districts are marked by higher numbers (XX., XXII.).
The middle two numbers in a zip code of mailing addresses indicate the district number. For example 1026 is a zip code of an address in the 2nd district.
Expat life in Budapest
Being an Expat in Hungary definitely has downsides and upsides too.
It really depends on you how you evaluate the pros and cons, but honestly speaking we do believe that Budapest is a good place to live: good location, safe and culturally very colorful. Since Budapest is a popular destination of expats for many years, you as a new comer have several possibilities obtaining information about the city, its everyday life, activities and facilities.
The sites below give different useful information and help about discovering your new home: Hungary.
There are plenty of local specialties that you can enjoy:
We have plenty of ruin pubs in Budapest: they are easy to recognize as they are located in very old, ruined buildings that need to be fully renovated. Their interior design is also very simple, low budget, mainly using basic wooden items. All these attributes might suggest that they are ugly places, but after entering once a ruin pub you will definitely change your mind: in spite of simple furniture they look really fantastic and unique, offering a special atmosphere, not to mention the coldest beer for lowest price!
There are some really high quality cooking schools where you can master the basics of Hungarian and international cuisine in a funny and friendly atmosphere. These schools also offer master courses for advanced students. During hands-on courses you have the opportunity to cook and ask questions side-by-side with Chefs. You will get to known with gulyás, rétes and some other typical Hungarian meals.
It’s really worth to visit some beautiful places at the countryside as they are only within few hours driving distance from Budapest. You must see Esztergom, Visegrád, Szentendre, Lake Balaton, etc. We have many museums, castles, restaurants at the countryside as well.
Hungary is famous of its delicious wines. There are many vineyards all around Hungary offering red, white and rose wines both in dry and sweet taste.
Tokaj is the home of sweet white wine. Tokaj wine region, officially called Tokaj-Hegyalja, was declared a world heritage site in 2002 and produces the world’s oldest botrytized wines.
Visiting Villány or Eger you can try the best dry red wines and Lake Balaton area (especially Badacsony) is famous of its white wines.
Monuments of Budapest
Budapest with a different view – Sights
All the employees of Prime Estate are very proud to live in such a beautiful city as Budapest that is extremely rich in monuments and sights. Foreign tourists don’t really have enough time to discover the hidden treasures of Budapest, but expats who spend longer period of time in our city have the chance to experience the real atmosphere of the capital.
We recommend you book a city tour by bus as a first step, which gets you straight to the most important tourist attractions. Within a few hours you can visit Heroes’ Square, Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Opera and Parliament from outside, take a ride around the City Park and continue the trip to Buda Castle, where the Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion is a must see.
After finishing the mandatory part, it’s better to leave the standard touristic path and start with the real discovery of the city.
The cheapest and efficient way to see the city is to travel by tram line No. 2. This tram is passing by the most beautiful places of the Danube River. Enjoy the view to the downtown, the Parliament, the bridges, Gellért-hill and last but not least to the Great Market Hall. Have a break here and taste any of the typical Hungarian dishes as Gulyás soup or lángos on the first floor of this amazing building. Asian food lovers can get all the ingredients of an Asian dish at the shop just next to the Great Market Hall, at the corner.
Many travel agencies try to introduce the sights of Budapest in a different way, with help of a walking tour, or a Segway, or with a Trabant (well-known car type of the socialism period), or even with a floating (amphibian) bus.
Walking tours are themed walks, specialized in small parts of the city, like the 5th District or the Jewish quarter. Those programs are not only interesting but also informative, even for Hungarians.
One of the most unique ways to experience the true beauty of Budapest is by cruise boats. Services are offered on both banks of the Danube. The best time for boat excursion is just before sunset.
It has become a fashion to arrange bachelor and bridal parties in Budapest, because prices are more reasonable here than in other countries and the service is excellent.
Budapest is also famous of its thermal baths and spas, which are fed by 133 underground springs. Not only thermal water is to be found under the street level at Buda side, but there is a long cave system as well. A part of this cave system can be visited with guided tours and couple of years ago, the Cave Hospital was also opened for the public, which used to be a top secret place before.
Buda Castle area is especially inviting when all tourist buses and street peddlers are gone and it calms down. It is worth to walk among the small streets, have a look down from the Fishermen’s Bastion to the Danube River, to the bridges and Pest side. At this moment our hearts beat loud and we realize once again: Budapest is a fantastic city, we all love to live here and we hope that you will feel the same!
Public transportation in Budapest
Budapest has an excellent public transportation system compared to other European cities. We heard our clients complaining many times how difficult it was in other countries to get to their work place or rented homes. Good news: you definitely won’t have a problem like this in Budapest! Although vehicles are not really conforming the latest environmental standards and also not the youngest and cleanest, but they are always on the run and will take you safe home or to your office.
The name of the Budapest Transportation Company is BKK and it has a website in English and German as well with much useful information. You can explore how to get to different places within the city, how long it will approximately take and which kind of means of transportation is needed with the assistance of the route planner (also available on BKK’s website).
Budapest has 4 subway lines, called metro. The yellow line, the Millennium Underground was the first subway on the European continent and it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It’s a kind of time travel back to the past. Budapest offers not only the standard transport vehicles as bus, tram or subway, there are several interesting vehicles as well.
The cogwheel railway runs on Buda side up to Széchenyi Hill, where there is an excellent place to start with a long walk or switch to the children’s railway. The highest point of Budapest is in the 12th District, called Normafa, at Erzsébet look-out tower. This is a famous excursion area of the city, an ideal place for walking, talking and eating strudel (rétes) whole year long. The most beautiful way to get there is by the chairlift.
Since summer 2012 you can travel by the Danube cruiser boat service on the Danube River as part of public transportation services. There are several stops, it’s real fun, but please account for longer cruising time. This service can be used with regular BKK tickets and passes.
You can see tourists queuing and waiting for an interesting vehicle at the foot of the Castle near to the Chain Bridge especially in the summer months. It is the funicular, a 95 meters long track, which takes you from the Tunnel up to the Buda Castle. The trip takes only few minutes and the view onto the Danube River and Pest side is amazing!
Our favorite is definitely the Christmas tram, which runs temporarily (around Christmas) on multiple tram lines. It’s a fully decorated tram fitted with lots of lights and it’s a real fun to travel with.