Now this might not be a hidden gem or a secret little alleyway in Budapest, but it is by far my favorite street in the city.
My Favorite Street in Budapest: Kazinczy Utca
Now this might not be a hidden gem or a secret little alleyway in Budapest, but it is by far my favorite street in the city. Kazinczy Utca is located in the the seventh district - what is now considered the Jewish quarter and the “hipster” part of town. During WWII, the Jewish people of Budapest were forced to live in this neighborhood under the Communist regime. A wall was built around the area, which can still be seen today. At the time, it was completely isolated from the outside world. Although many residents were sent to concentration camps, the isolation period only lasted for several months before too much damage could be done.
Now, there are still strong remnants of Jewish culture sprinkled around the area. Once open to the public, business owners began turning old courtyards into bars or hostels, and small shops began opening selling everything from juices to thrift clothing to hummus. Kazinczy street embodies a beautiful harmony between the old and new culture.
So let’s take a walk down Kazinczy and I’ll share my favorite spots! Starting on Kiraly Utca and turning onto Kazinczy, you will see a cute playground and a large mural outlining the neighborhood. This is where the magic begins!
BARS ON BARS ON BARS
The following street is filled with some of my favorite bars in the city. On the left you will see Mika Tivadar Mulató, where they hold open mic nights, live music, balkan music nights and everything in between in the basement of the bar. Drinks are cheap, there are good vibes all around and the music is always unique! Ellátó Kert & Taqueria is right across the street and the perfect place to grab a drink and some snacks before heading out for a big night. The bar doubles as a taco shop...it doesn’t get any better than that. Staff are friendly and there are tons of locals to chat with. If you’re looking for more of a “clubby club” just walk next door, with dark rooms and dance music, you can’t miss BRKLYN, with its vintage light up sign. They often hold erasmus and themed nights! If you’re visiting during a warmer season and need a quick stop, take a walk on the tropical side and visit Kőleves Kert, also on the same street. This local also serves amazing lunches but its main attraction are the colorful hammocks open for customers to swing on while sipping on yummy cocktails or a cold beer.
CULTURE & FOOD
Keep going down Kazinczy and you’ll notice the street turns to a cobblestone pavement. On the left you’ll find a beautiful synagogue, bringing you back to the city’s past. Nearby there are several restaurants: Soul Food, Tel Aviv Cafe and Fat Mama Eatery (also a hostel!). This road attracts families and an older crowd for its more sophisticated food options and cultural attractions.
Keep walking straight and you’ll be on the last segment of Kazinczy that’s worth visiting. Here is home to the famous Szimpla Pub, the most popular and famuos ruin bar in Budapest. It’s worth going to for the kooky and intricate decor, but you stay for the amazing company, delicious drinks, relaxing hookah and delicious food. It draws big crowds every night, but I personally prefer to go during the day to observe and interact with the space. PRO TIP: Make sure to write down 3 wishes and drop it in the fish tank upstairs and find the room where pushing certain buttons will activate various lights/hair dryers/TVs that are hung on the wall.
THE BEST SANDWICH SHOP EVER
If you’ve done a fair share of day drinking down Kazinczy, I would make a pit stop at Bors (what might be my favorite restaurant in all of Budapest). The owner used to be a 5-star chef, but got tired of the fancy life and decided to open his own sandwich shop. Inside is Star Wars themed while hip-hop music blares from the speakers. You must try a sandwich but don't forget about their soups, salads and sweets while visiting!!!
AN EASY WAY OUT
If you can't be fussed finding all of these places yourself, the Alternative Walking Tour takes you down the street and around the entire 7th district- showing off unknown street art, music venues and galleries in the neighborhood. If you’re more into nightlife, Bingo Bar Crawl’s party staff will take you to several ruin bars in the area and give you shots along the way.
To me, Kazinczy embodies everything that Budapest has to offer. On just one street (with a few crosswalks), the history of the city comes alive and takes form in the shape of bars, restaurants, street art and cultural buildings. But of course, Budapest has many streets similar to this one...what have been your favorite streets here?
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