Budapest, is divided by the Danube river in two diferents areas : Buda y Pest.
In each one of these areas have 23 districts and in there, are also several quarters and neighborhoods dividing it, making it more complicated when starting to search for your apartment to rent.
If the districts are divided by roman numbers (V, VI ), the quarters and neighborhoods are divided by names within specific areas of the city, the more important inner districts of Pest are listed below:
Neighborhoods: Inner city (Belváros) and Lipótváros.
The city center of Budapest is combined from two traditional neighbourhoods called Belváros and Lipótváros.
Belváros, the historical center of Pest, is positioned on the banks of the Danube river, and stretches between Vigadó tér, Deák Ferenc utca, Károly körút, Múzeum körút, Vámház körút and the Danube. Its bordering city center neighborhood to north, Lipótváros, is bounded by Szent István körút, Nyugati tér, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út, Deák Ferenc tér, Vigadó tér (the southern side of it), and the Danube river.
Some of the attractions in this area include the Szent-Istvan Basilica, Szabadság Square; which is a lovely green part with some wonderful historical buildings surrounding it.
The fashion and shopping street (Vaci utca), and the small “Bank district” area, which accommodates modern office buildings and banks. In addition, due to the CEU University situated on Nádor street, there are many international students filling the streets during the day.
This area of Budapest is one of the most expensive ones for renting an apartment, and is very popular with young professionals and the wealthier, posh individuals. The streets are well maintained, the classical buildings are mostly very well refurbished with their original detail, and it has many lovely pedestrian walkways with fancy restaurants and shops.
District VI (Terézváros)
This central part of Budapest’s downtown area is mostly famous for its gorgeous Andrássy avenue, which is home to some of the most luxurious world’s brands.
Connecting between Deák ter and Hösök tér (Heroes square), this district is very popular with students and diplomats, as it’s extremely central, yet is a bit cheaper for renting an apartment than in its neighboring V district, and a bit quieter than its bordering VII district (which is also referred to as the “party district”).
The part which is closer to Heroes square is quite lavish, home to many embassies, and offers downtown villas and private homes as well as luxury apartments along the avenue.
Some of the more famous landmarks in district VI are the National Opera house, Liszt Ferenc ter (and the music academy which is located on the square), Oktogon square, and the City Park, with its many attractions and major museums.
District VII (Erzsébetváros)
District VII in Budapest was in the past the Jewish neighborhood of Pest. Today, it is still considered as the center of Jewish life in the city, however due to the gentrification of the district over the last couple of years, it is not also a trendy hotspot, full of bars, restaurants and clubs, and generally speaking one of the most up-and-running areas in Budapest for purchasing or renting a flat.
The area itself is quite small, running along part of Wesselényi street up from Astoria, to Blaha Lujza metro station, Dob street, and bordered by the Grand Boulevard.
This district is extremely popular with students and expats from all over the world, district VII is a thriving, electrifying neighborhood of Budapest, commonly referred to as “the party district”, with some of the most famous ruin bars, which are rundown buildings converted to bars service cheap alcohol, and many other types of contemporary art exhibitions and leisure hangout venues, the most famous of which are the Szimpla kert or Gozsdu Udvar.
Some of the more famous locations include the big Synagogue and the masterpiece building of Boscolo hotel, and the closest university is Szent-Itvan Univeristy and McDaniel College.
Besides the mixture of old classical buildings and newly, trendy luxury homes, variety shops and local designer shops, the area is extremely well served by public transportation, with easy access to tram, metro and buses (made even easier to reach due to the neighborhood’s limited size).
District VIII (Józsefváros)
In the past, this part of the city had a bad reputation for being unsafe and neglected, however – these days, after massive gentrification procedures of some of its areas, it has some pockets which are the most sought after for living by international people.
This is mainly due to the Corvin Promenade and the surrounding area which practically single-handedly transformed district VIII into a very popular place for renting flats for long or short periods, though of course, the fact that the Semmelweis University and its clinics are spread across the district, also contributed substantially to its development.
District IX (Ferencvaros)
The central part of district IX, which have seen massive redevelopment and modern construction, is now one of the liveliest and trendiest pockets in the city.
Bordering with The Danube and the Fashion street on one side, and Astoria on the other, the area is filled with shops, restaurants, markets and easily accessible to a few of the main universities, including the new Corvinus campus just next to the newly constructed riverfront area, stretching along from Szabadsag Bridge to Petofi Bridge.
Some of the more popular streets and areas for renting flats for long term in this district are around Lónyay steet, the wonderful Ráday street with its numerous restaurants and colorful classical houses, and the area surrounding Kálvin tér metro station, which is within minutes’ walk from the national museum, ELTE University, and the shopping street located just across the road in district V.
Neighbourhoods: Angyalföld and Újlipótváros
This area is a neat, quieter and more “family friendly” area of downtown Budapest. Is has several shopping centers, parks and many modern office buildings, making it quite popular with professionals looking to rent an apartment in Budapest which is central, yet more homely and in a more peaceful environment, which is a bit farther from the city’s bustling noises.
There are several international schools located just on the opposite side of the river (in Buda) which also attracts expatriates and families with young kids who prefer to live in Pest, while benefiting from the school system across the river.
The Cost of Living
Generally speaking, Hungary is a lot cheaper than many Western European countries. Expats who have previously lived in cities with a particularly high cost of living will notice the difference right away. But don’t get too excited. Budapest, being the capital of the country, is a lot more expensive than smaller towns or rural areas. Moreover, in relation to local salaries the cost of living in Budapest is rather high. Whether you will lead a comfortable life in Budapest or if you will live in a tiny room somewhere on the outskirts of the city ultimately depends on your salary and how high your living standards are.
The cost of living in Budapest is also something you need to keep in mind when organizing your apartment search there. First of all, the rental prices largely depend on the area in which you choose to live.
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