With its maze of cobblestone lanes and wealth of historic landmarks, Budapest’s Jewish Quarter (District VII) is one of the city’s liveliest areas. The district has a harrowing past, as the site of the Jewish Ghetto during the city’s Nazi occupation, and it’s dotted with monuments and memorials. But in recent years, it’s also undergone regeneration, emerging as one of Budapest’s coolest quarters, full of cozy cafés, gastropubs, kosher restaurants, and live music venues.
The best way to explore the Jewish district is on a walking tour, which will cover landmarks such as Dohany Street Synagogue, the second-largest synagogue in the world; Kazinczy Street Synagogue; and the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park. To learn about the city’s Jewish history, once one of Europe’s most thriving such communities, set aside some time to visit the Hungarian Jewish Museum and the moving Budapest Holocaust Memorial Center.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear comfortable shoes to tackle the winding lanes and cobblestones.
- Walking tours of the Jewish Quarter typically take two to three hours.
- Getting around the quarter is possible for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility, but not all of the district’s historic landmarks are fully wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Jewish Quarter is located in Pest on the east bank of the Danube River, a 10- to 15-minute walk from the riverfront. The closest subway station is Astoria.
When to Get There
The Jewish Quarter is a hub of activity both day and night, and while weekdays are the quietest time to admire the monuments, the most atmospheric time to visit is in the evening, when the pubs and bars begin to fill up. Alternatively, time your visit for the Jewish Cultural Festival in September or visit over the holidays, when the streets will be dazzling with festive illuminations and a Christmas market is held in Gozsdu Udvar.
Nightlife in the Jewish Quarter
In recent years, the ruins of the former Jewish ghetto have been transformed into one of Budapest’s liveliest nightlife quarters, breathing life back into the long-abandoned area. Head to Gozsdu Courtyard (Gozsdu Udvar) after dark, where you can tuck into exotic cuisine at one of the many international restaurants, enjoy a beer at one of the atmospheric ‘ruin bars’ (so-called as they are built in and around the ruins), or dance the night away at one of the many bars and nightclubs around Kiraly and Kazinczy streets.