Budapest 7th District Neighborhood Guide: Introducing Erzsébetváros
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Introducing Budapest VII: Budapest's 7th District
Budapest’s 7th District is the heart of hip and bohemian Budapest. It’s grittier than the pristine 5th District and gentile 1st District, and livelier than the 6th. This is where you’ll find Budapesters who are young and young at heart.
Crumbling buildings stand next to freshly renovated architecture from every era. Kosher delis serve long-term customers while tourists stumble from hipster speakeasies next door. And food truck pods, craft beer bars, and ruin pubs are everywhere.
If this all sounds a bit messy to you, you’re right. Since the early aughts, the 7th has steadily transformed into Budapest’s nightlife hub. While locals and tourists flock to the District for a great night out, the neighborhood struggles to cope. Trash piles up, and night noise causes long-time residents to balk at how their home has changed.
In 2018, the 7th district government held a failed referendum to limit bar opening hours. Voter turnout didn’t meet the requirements, and so the party lives on.
For now, the 7th still feels cool and – sorry – #authentic. When we moved to Budapest, we chose to live in the 7th. And despite the problems caused by over tourism in the warmer months, Budapest 7 is still pretty damn lovable.
Whichever area you choose stay in Budapest, don’t leave Budapest without spending some time in the 7th. Wherever you choose to stay in Budapest, this district deserves some of your time!
Our Budapest 7 Hotel Picks
Our Top Pick in this Neighborhood: Stories Hotel Budapest
Where Is Budapest District 7?
Budapest 7 Map
Book Your Trip to Budapest
Save Money in Budapest
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Book Your Flight to Budapest
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Book Your Budapest Hotel in Advance
We use Booking.com when making hotel reservations in Europe. In our experience, it has the best inventory/selection of hotels and holiday apartments, and we’ve had good experiences with their customer service team when things go wrong (which has been a rarity for us, thank goodness!). TripAdvisor is also trying to get into the hotel booking game, and may be worth checking out.
Skip the Line in Budapest
Budapest is getting busier by the year, meaning you should expect to wait in line at the most popular attractions, especially in high season. If you only have a short vacation, consider getting a Skip-the-Line ticket for the most popular attractions: The Great Synagogue, Széchenyi Thermal Baths, and the Parliament. If you want to visit the interior of the Parliament, you have to pre-book. You can either use an international tour aggregator like Get Your Guide or use the Hungarian website Jegymester.hu.
Book Your Budapest Tour
Why use an aggregator instead of going direct? Personally, we like to compare the different tours available for each attraction, as well as read reviews. Both Get Your Guide and Viator let us see multiple, similar tours, and compare prices and past reviews before making a booking.
Getting from Budapest Airport to the City Center
Budapest’s public transportation system is generally excellent, and this extends to the airport. For a detailed post about getting from Budapest Airport to the City Center via public transit, shared shuttle, or airport taxi, read our guide here.
If you’re arriving late at night, coming in on a long-haul and expect to be exhausted, or would rather have the peace of mind of a private transfer, you can book one here.
Buy Travel Insurance (Just in Case)
We can’t actually recommend a travel insurance provider. Apparently it’s against the law.
However, we can say this: we know several people who racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses during separate, life-or-death situations while traveling. They were both insured by Allianz, they both received life-saving care, and they both made a successful claim.
No one wants to need travel insurance, but you’ll certainly be glad you have it if something goes wrong. And if something does go wrong in Budapest, we personally go to FirstMed for our healthcare. Staff and doctors speak English.
Make Restaurant Reservations in Advance
If you visit Budapest in winter, you’ll probably be okay if you don’t make restaurant reservations, although we’d still recommend you reserve in advance Thursday to Saturday evenings where possible.
In summer, things fill up pretty quickly, although capacity at many restaurants increases when the city’s terraces open, usually sometime in May. It’s worth noting Budapest’s restaurants are all non-smoking inside, but get quite smoky on the terraces.
What to Do & See in Budapest 7
New York Café
Often lauded as the most beautiful cafe in the world, New York Café is one of the most popular spots to visit in Budapest 7. Once you see it, you’ll be hard pressed to argue.
Despite the name, New York Café is actually a restaurant. We’ve been several times for breakfast, and the food is good, but not spectacular. Really, it’s the ambience and Renaissance-style décor that sets this place apart. It truly is spectacular.
They’re open daily from 09:00 to midnight.
Dohány Street Great Synagogue
Budapest’s Great Synagogue is the second-largest Synagogue in the world, and the largest in Europe.
The Synagogue belongs to Budapest’s non-Orthodox, Neolog community. It’s a modern, liberal congregation. Both the interior and the exterior of the Synagogue are beautiful. The back garden has a moving Holocaust memorial, and there is a small museum included in your ticket, as well.
The Synagogue is easily the biggest tourist draw in the Seventh District, so expect to wait in line for tickets. There are also a number of fantastic tours of the Jewish District, which will cover the history, the Holocaust and WWII, and other points of interest and Jewish history.
Kazinczy Orthodox Synagogue
Compared to the Great Synagogue, the Orthodox Synagogue on Kazinczy Street is tiny. But as they say, good things come in small packages.
You won’t need a lot of time in here, but it’s worth popping in, as it’s just as beautiful as the Dohany Synagogue.
The entrance fee also reflects the diminutive size: Ft1000.
Carl Lutz Memorial
Continuing on the Jewish history theme, there’s a small monument to Carl Lutz on Dob Street. Lutz was a Swiss diplomat who single-handedly saved upwards of 60,000 Jews during the Holocaust. He issued Swiss safe conduct documents allowing families and children to emigrate. He also set up safe houses around the 7th district.
You can find the memorial at Dob u. 12
Where to Eat & Drink in Budapest's 7th District
We’ve listed some of our favorite cafes, bars, and restaurants here, but it’s not a definitive list! Budapest 7 is packed with great places. You’re sure to find some gems simply by wandering around!
Best Cafés in Budapest 7th District
Address: Klauzál u. 35 Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 17:00; Saturday, 08:30 to 16:30; Sunday, Closed
Dorado Café and London Coffee Society (below) are our personal favorites for grabbing coffee in the 7th District. Open for about a year now, the interior is bright, with a Scandinavian hipster vibe to it. Coffee is top notch, and there are a few baked goods if you’re feeling peckish. Staff are super friendly here too – which is a bit of a rarity in Budapest, TBH.
London Coffee Society
Address: Dohány u. 27 Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 18:00; Saturday, 09:00 to 18:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 17:00
Great for coffee, London Coffee Society also serves beer and wine and have great breakfast/brunches. Another fairly tiny space, the ground floor, loft, and a few sidewalk tables provide seating, but it’s worth confirming if there’s room for you before you place your order. For laptop workers, there is fairly good wifi, and a few electrical outlets if you get the right table. Staff are super friendly and inviting, an added bonus for great coffee. The stylish owner looks like a much younger version of Ted Danson’s character in The Good Place (and I mean that as a compliment). He is almost always in, and is very welcoming.
My Little Melbourne
Address: Madách Imre út 3 Hours: Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 19:00; Saturday & Sunday, 08:30 to 19:00
My Little Melbourne consistently makes it onto best cafes in Budapest lists, and once you visit, you’ll see why. Together with its next door neighbour and sister cafe, My Little Brew Bar, which is designed for filter coffee lovers, My Little Melbourne is consistently packed with locals and tourists looking for a great cup. The place itself is tiny, with limited seating upstairs, a few seats at a bar, and – in nice weather – outdoor seating. But they make it work, and people don’t seem to mind once they taste the coffee. Not a great spot to take your laptop, as seating is very limited, but a great spot to enjoy a coffee on your own or with a friend, or to grab a ‘to go.’
Address: Dohány u. 13 Hours: Monday, 15:00 to 22:00; Tuesday to Saturday, 08:00 to 22:00; Sunday, 08:00 to 15:00
A coffee house with a full bar, Magvető Cafe is attached to a bookshop, where they hold regular events. Full of people on laptops, this is a great spot to while away a rainy afternoon with a book or tablet, enjoying a coffee, bite to eat, or glass of beer or wine.
Address: Múzeum krt. 5 Hours: Monday to Friday, 07:30 to 19:00; Saturday 08:00 to 19:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 18:00
Technically in the 8th, we’ve included Fekete here as well, because it’s just across Rákóczi út from the 7th, and is less than 5 minutes’ walk from the 7th. In nice weather, the courtyard is a great place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, and in poor weather there is indoor seating to enjoy as well
Where to Eat in Budapest 7th District
Address: Király utca 1/d Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10:00 to 22:00; Friday & Saturday, 10:00 to 24:00; Sunday, 10:00 to 20:00
Our favorite place to grab a quick and cheap Hungarian lunch in the centre. It’s always busy with both locals and visitors, and the food is great. It’s basically a butcher where you can choose your choice of grilled chicken, pork, beef, etc., plus a multitude of salads, pickled veggies, and starchy sides.
Simply choose your meat from the case, and they’ll grill it on the spot for you. Then you can choose your sides, which range from fresh salads to french fries to pickled veggies. Staff speak English, so don’t be intimidated!
Address: Kazinczy u. 3b Hours: 12:00 to 23:00 daily
A new favourite of ours. It’s a rotisserie chicken joint with probably the best potatoes! You can order breast, half or whole chicken with a selection of house made sauces. Dine in or take out, usually fills up later in the evening around 7-8pm, so if you plan to eat late, pop in and make a reservation. Staff speak English and Spanish, and Hungarian of course!
Address: Located in an alley between Király u. (in and around #20) and Dob u. (around #17) Hours: Varies by business
Gozsdu Alley is an entertainment area in the 7th filled (mostly) with restaurants and bars. On weekends, it holds a market (Saturdays and Sundays) with antiques and artist-made crafts, jewellery and accessories, and home decorations. Note, this area is pretty touristy, and prices reflect this.
The main part of the alley runs from Király u. to Dob u., but if you think of it like an upside down capital ’T,’ you’ll also find places worth discovering on the road running up to Holló u., and even further to Kazinczy u.. Going in the other direction (towards the river), you reach My Little Melbourne cafe.
Street Food Karavan
Address: Kazinczy u. 18 Hours: 11:30 to midnight or 2am, Open Seasonally from Spring to Fall
Sitting right next to Szimpla (see drinking, below), Karavan is a food truck pod in an outdoor parking lot. Not exactly offering the healthiest of choices (but there is one quite popular vegan truck), most of the stalls serve up burgers, pizza and pasta, Hungarian lángos, and sausages. There are plenty of picnic tables to eat, and drinks on offer as well. Good for a quick lunch or dinner, or for hanging out for an entire evening over beers in nice weather.
Where to Drink in Budapest 7th District
Address: Síp u. 24 Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10:00 to 24:00; Thursday to Saturday, 10:00 to 02:00; Closed Sunday
A barber shop AND cocktail bar with a speakeasy feel, this place is easy to miss: it’s in the basement of the building, and easy enough to walk right past. Inside, it’s got a retro feel and great cocktails, and the bartenders are always happy to help you find something you like.
Address: Kazinczy u. 14 Hours: Monday to Saturday, Noon to 04:00am; Sunday, 09:00 to 05:00am
Szimpla is Budapest’s most famous Ruin Pub, a uniquely Budapest trend to create bars out of (or in between) ruined buildings. Back when ruin pubs started, Budapest (and the 7th district, in particular) had a lot of derelict old buildings that weren’t being used for anything. So some creative entrepreneurs grabbed any old furniture and decor they could find, got the city to check the buildings for safety, and started transforming these abandoned buildings into pubs and nightclubs. The ruin pubs survive to this day, and are popular with locals and visitors alike. If you want to experience a ruin pub without a nightclub vibe, go early in the day or on a Sunday morning, when Szimpla hosts a farmers’ market from 09:00 to 14:00. This is a fun option for a DIY lunch, cobbled together from all the different foods for sale!
Address: Kazinczy u. 41 Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 24:00; Saturday & Sunday, 09:00 to 24:00
Attached to a restaurant of the same name (Kert means garden in Hungarian, and refers to a garden/terrace restaurant or bar) Kőleves Kert is a nice option for a beer, a rosé fröccs (wine spritzer- the drink of summer in Budapest), or a lemonade. A gravel parking lot turned into an outdoor bar, the place is filled with brightly colored furniture and a few hammocks, for those who want some next-level relaxation. Closed in winter – although the restaurant of the same name remains open!
Address: Dob utca 31 Hours: Monday to Saturday, 09:00 to 01:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 23:45
Not to be confused with Fekete cafe (fekete means black in Hungarian), Fekete Kutya is a cozy pub in the 7th. With only a few seats and tables inside, customers inevitably spill from the indoors when the weather is nice, taking over the outdoor covered passageway just outside its front doors. They have Czech beers and craft beers on tap.
Who Should Stay in Budapest 7
The best part about the 7th is its lively vibe. Add to that a wide selection of restaurants and bars, and ultra-convenient location. It’s easy to understand why this is one of the best areas to stay in Budapest!
Depending on the type of trip you’re after, the liveliness and party vibe of this neighborhood could also turn out to be the worst part of the 7th.
Budapest 7 is a favorite of bachelor and bachelorette parties (stag-dos and hen parties). Hungarians and tourists ready to enjoy a night out also gravitate to the 7th. If you come to Budapest 7 looking for a fun, lively and central location, you’ll probably enjoy your stay. If you stay in this area looking for a tranquil and calm oasis in the city, you’ll probably be disappointed.
Despite the prevalence of crowds and people having a good (sometimes drunken) time, the 7th is very safe. While pickpocketing and purse snatching isn’t unheard of, we feel quite safe walking around this part of Budapest at night.
Pros and Cons of Staying in Budapest 7
- Right in the center of the action
- Lively and fun
- Walkable within the district, and to other areas of the city
- VIbrant Jewish history to explore
- Loud at night
- Quite touristy, although Hungarians hang out in the 7th too
Best Hotels in Budapest 7
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Getting Around Budapest 7
Distance to Other Budapest Attractions
Distances listed are from Dohany Street Great Synagogue to other major attractions in Budapest. Times are approximate, and transit times depend on traffic.
- Elizabeth Square and the Budapest Eye: 10-minute walk
- Hungarian Parliament Building: 25-minute walk or 11 minutes on the M2
- Széchenyi Chain Bridge: 30-minute walk
- Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Sandor Palace, and Matthias Church: 22 minutes via Bus 16 from Deak Ferenc Square. You can also take the Castle Funicular from the base of Castle Hill at Clark Adam Ter.
- Hungarian Opera: 13-minute walk
- St Stephen’s Basilica: 13-minute walk
- Heroes’ Square & Széchenyi Baths: 20 minutes on the M1 from Deak Ference Square
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