#CityCenter #MidTown #BudapestBroadway #OperaHouse #HungarianChampsElysee #AndrássyAvenue #FirstEuropeanSubwayLine #Fashion #WorldTradeMarks #CobbleStoneStreets #PedestrianStreets #Oktogon #RuinPubs #LisztFerencSquare #OpenAirRestaurants #MusicAcademy #ManyPubs #HistroicalDistric #BeautifulArchitecture
Magnetic Midtown Mania around Andrássy Avenue, Pest Brodway and co.
This neighborhood can be the perfect middle ground of Budapest living. Its exciting midtown area alongside attractive sights of the Hungarian capital but still residential, somehow wild and colorful. It has more diversified microclimate even within its own imaginary borders.
As the main road and at the same time denominator of the neighborhood we picked the famous Andrássy avenue that is often referred as the Hungarian Champs Elysee. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as well and it's as long as the 6th District is because it runs completely through it.
The more than 2 kilometer long, four lane Andrássy avenue has different faces from the 5th District border to the Heroes square. Into this neighborhood guide the center part is involved: from house number 1. (at Erzsébet square) to the Oktogon square. This is the section with more cafes, many stores of world trade marks of fashion, jewelry and high technology. It's much more crowded, busy and urban-like than the outer parts beyond the Grand Boulevard.
Andrássy avenue is directly connected to interesting other Budapest spots and phenomenon above and below the ground level. Beneath the road runs the legendary M1 metropolitan line which was the first underground railway line of continental Europe and even today it is a historical, beautiful sight itself.
It is called a Millenium underground line because originally it was handed over to the public in 1896 and renovated one century later in 1996. Even if you don't move here into this Andrássy area for living put on your bucket list to travel with it at least once! (Not mention it takes you directly to the City Park either.)
On the surface the neo-renaissance style Budapest Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings and well known sight that is currently (2018) under renovation.
Source of this pictures: Wikipedia
Along with its strictly meant surroundings it can recall something of the classy civic milieu of the end of 19th century. Even nowadays is in operation for operas and balett performances.
Squares of the Topmost Andrássy Area
In terms of squares there are interesting relations in this neighborhood: there is a square that look like a square but actually isn't a square, only restricted traffic zone a of long street. This emblematic smaller territory of Nagymező street is the core of the so called "Pest Broadway".
Because this area contain quite a few theaters
and previously even more) that it where it got this name for.
The part where the Thália and Operett theaters are situated is restricted to the traffic, only open for two electric bus lines. Here are some coffees with artistic atmosphere matching the environment.
The further part of Nagymező street was and somewhat still is a well known party area but it has lost from this image a lot in the previous years. Many pubs and bars closed or have transformed into calmer venues of gastronomy. Even one of the once second biggest and second most famous ruin bar, Instant moved from here to the inner VII. District, the current Party District of Budapest. But there are still quite a few interesting drinking venues to explore. We'll line up some examples below.
The Oktogon is the opposite, it is often referred as a square but is not a place where people really can use for gathering (expect demonstrations) or spending quality leisure time.
Because it is just an intersection of two important urban roads, the Andrássy avenue and the Grand Boulevard.
On the other hand the name doesn't lie, the way they meet really creates a Oktogon shaped form with impressive unified looking buildings in three corners.
Liszt Ferenc square between Király street and Andrássy street is one of the most pleasant spots in downtown.
A small square with a tiny park in the middle and with two small avenues on the two sides full with open air restaurants in the good weather. Sounds good, doesn't it? Unfortunately it has sounded good to too many people for a certain time and the easy-to-see danger has proven itself. At some point it became too touristy and not so popular by locals anymore. Nearby workers come here more often in the lunch time for the daily menu and less for the night. Despite this there are some pleasant, good quality restaurants here.
Jókai square on the other side of the Andrássy square could be the twin brother of Liszt Ferenc square but they are surely just dizygotic twins. It is more local, more common, less posh with still a few but less trademark level gastronomical venues and less restaurant hostesses hunting guest from the street. It comes with many banks and a playground.
This two squares are also important for the special reason that practicality they are the biggest "parks" in the area due to the lack of an actual park.
The streets of the Topmost Andrássy Quarter
We spoke about the Nagymező street already by mentioning the Pest Broadway. Let's see the two paralel streets: the more profane Jókai street and the much more elegant Hajós street.
The Jókai street runs from the Jókai square till the Nyugati square at the Nyugati (=Western) Railway Station and is surrounded by residential buildings from both side. Actually is can be a good option to live here because it is less touristy and calmer in the night and is still a safe zone, even if it isn't as beautiful as some others streets nearby.
Here are also all the type of gastronomical venues to find from old fashioned Hungarian bars till fancy restaurants, sushi places or an Italian all you can eat trattoria.
About the pubs in Jókai street you can find more in this Pubtourist review on AoB:
About Hajós street you may will have suddenly the intention to talk in a poem or in an awkwardly kitschy contest because it is such a street: pedestrian zone, cobblestone pavement with some trees, small shops and cafes, outdoor restaurants. Do you feel it now, don't you?
The whole scene is a french movie-like, artisty flash, that wakes up the Good Morning Baltimore video clip feeling in you. Please don't start to sing and dance! It may be hard, but most likely better. But if you feel the power in you, show your talent!
On the other side of the Andrássy avenue we have to mention the Paulay street that runs behind the abandoned building of the former Ballet Institute.
Now the street image of Paulay Ede is - how to say - very eclectic.
It wouldn't be so fancy only after the look as Andrássy but it has pretty much to offer and surprises the visitor because the stores, shops and gastronomical venues aren't standardized at all. Here you will find great dance studio in an industrial looking building, new wave fancy cake shops, big Argentin steakhouse, reality show-like big transparent gym, small speak easy type bars, old fashioned restaurants and even a ruin bar.
There are of course other streets in the Topmost Andrássy area worth to explore but these were the most defining ones. The remaining ones aren't that exceptional, but good streets to have your apartment there. The most pleasant of the not mentioned ones is maybe the Lázár street
and Révay street
When we inspect the further paralel streets of Andrássy: Lovag, Ó, Zichy, Dessewffy and Lovag they are normal and exciting urban streets with a lot to explore and not much to avoid. If you wonder how it can be to live there, the only spot where it can be a bit noisier then usual is close to the party hostel and bar called Retox.
Shops and Stores in the Topmost Andrássy Avenue Area
In the deeper crossing streets of the Topmost Andrássy neighborhood you literally can find any kind of shops. If you decide once to live nearby, you won't miss no goods or services here. If we had to pick some very characteristic types o stands from which we find more here than usual, they would be: hairdressing salons, gentlemen's clubs and escape rooms and in the second row: design studios of fashion or interior design.
But there are many type of unique shops: T-shirt design shop, shooting zone or a crazy gym with life size superhero statues:
The Gastronomy of the Topmost Andrássy Avenue Area
It is no surprise, the gastronomy of the neighborhood is as multifarious as this zone itself. From high class restaurants even till some dive bars you can spot here quasi everything. The overall picture of the gastronomic scene isn't too posh or too trashy here. We rather stay in the middle with a great diversity.
(Disclaimer: the current line up of the places to visit is not complete at all. We'll update this list time to time as we explore new places in the area)
Street Food and sweets
If you wanna go real Hungarian, pick "Csirke Csibész" (more or less = Chicken Badbone) first.
This is the old school Hungarian way of KFC type fast food restaurants where you can eat standing on your foot while elbowing on a tall bar table and gazing out of the window. With always busy ladies behind the bar wearing traditional white work cloths and with food served on red colored plastic trays with always unnecessarily many napkins on them next to the food. And the food? Mostly fried chicken in crumbs with general Hungarian side dishes, pickles and mayonnaise based salads.
Of course you can find in this area any type of international street food hits with different concepts and diverse quality but we dare to stay the avarege street food level nearby is higher than in many other random areas in Budapest.
We can especially recommend you the the Pizzica slice bar ran by native south-Italian brothers who became pizza masters in their Italian home town Lecce, Puglia and they brought the original recpit with them and produce Lazio style square shaped pizza slices.
As extra show they cut the dough with scissors to pieces just like at home: with many different toppings and premium quality. This all with additional good atmosphere with some Italian beers on side.
To go on with the native street food miracles you shouldn't miss the original Greek gyros of Kerkyra. They moved lately also to this area. On more online sources they are said to be the best gyros in town.
They follow the old school Greek service with pommes frites, spicy cheese cream and carrot salad, good quality and crispy, well fried chicken meat. The seasoned pita comes from Greece. A must-have! We wouldn't motivate you having the food of an other nation in Budapest before ours but this is exceptional.
In Oktogon you can find a lot of street food restaurants. There are well known international trademarks like Burger King and McDonald's but also Hungarian ones even on the currently involved corners that we can be proud of like the Bamba Marha ("dump beef") is a burger joint of a Hungarian Burger blogger "the Burger Pope", János Jancsa
and also the maybe Italian looking Bellozzo fast food restaurant is ran by a Hungarian Subsidiary Company of an U.S. company.
Furthermore you can spot in this zone really everything you can simply think of in terms of sweets and street food. Just few examples:
Coffee and Tea
Especially in the "not square" of Pest Broadway there are few older type classy coffee shops like the Komédiás Coffeehouse or the Mai Mano that you have to experience for their unique atmosphere
but new waves specialty coffees started to mushroom all over the neighborhood either. You should keep your eyes open to locate them all everywhere you walk.
When it comes to tea lot of nearby residents would recommend you without thinking the Zöld Teknős barlangja (=the cave of the green turtle) teahouse.
Bars and Pubs
There are a lot of them to find in every genre. As written above many of the former ones have closed already but new ones are opening and you can also reveal some really longstanding examples.
It you are looking for one of the oldest, you should go to Bakegér.
If you are looking for nice - mostly Hungarian - craft beer - you should try Wunder Sörművek.
Czech beer is very popular in Hungary. Čech In is like a real Czech Hospoda with lot of Czech beer options and matching pub food.
For a real stamping ground of old fashioned elderly Hungarian citizen is the Cheers Pub.
One of the most intelligens spots with many frequenters and interesting drinks and people is a small corner of Hajós street, the Sandokan Lisboa Solingbar.
For the longest opening hours in a bohemian place find B. City Pub. If you would ever wonder what "B." is standing for? Here is the answer: Broadway...
For players Noiret can be the best place to go. In a maze-like huge cellar, there are plenty of billiard tables, darts boards and table soccer.
For digital players the new generation Esport bar, Vault 51 is the best choice. You can play a lot of video games on side but they are also prepared with board games and card games. The decoration is hilarious, based on countless popcultural sci-fi and fantasy references.
Lugas - A classic restaurant with white tablecloth. A place of traditional European cuisine with a stronger focus on the Hungarian kitchen.
MOST - A spectacular youngish wide space, with a modern look, with a famous daily menu, with a great terrace and also quality street food and diner options.
Apacuka - This is a visual attraction in the eye-catching building of the Merkúr Palace. No wonder one of the owners is a industrial artist.
But besides the sight they have a big bar and an appealing food menu. Once you're there you shouldn't miss their terrace in the courtyard:
Napos Oldal - Popular vegetarian and vegan restaurant
Drop - Progressive gluten free restaurant, with all-day program: breakfast, lunch, diner and also several wine options from more wine regions of Hungary:
Indigo Indian Restaurant
Parázs Thai Restaurant
Pesti Disznó - The popular restaurant of current days in the Pest Broadway "not square". The main profile is based on meat courses.
Rustic - We are again in the Hajós street, in a thematic temple of acrobats, pole dancers and trapeze artists with coffees of all over the world, selected craft beers, such drinks like avokado-coffee smoothie and delicious bistro food.
Hi 5 - Community space for digital nomads, a nest for start up meet ups, and also secret spot of great bar culture.
To see the available apartments also in this area and in other Budapest neighborhoods, click