Published: July 21 2023
Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is beloved by expatriates worldwide for its striking architecture, rich history, and balanced lifestyle. Most expatriates in Budapest prefer residing in districts that offer an excellent balance of comfort, affordability, and ease of access to the city's landmarks, workplaces, and schools. Popular areas include District I, II, V, VI, IX, and XI.
District I - Várkerület (Castle District)
Situated on the Buda side of Budapest, District I is famous for its medieval and neo-classical architecture, offering breathtaking views of the city. The Castle District is home to Buda Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, and Matthias Church, capturing the essence of Budapest's historic charm. Although housing in this district can be expensive, the quiet, serene surroundings make it attractive to expats looking for a tranquil, scenic environment.
District II is a perfect blend of urban and suburban living, making it a preferred choice for expat families. This district is very residential, slightly less touristic, and offers a great selection of international schools. Prices for both properties and rentals are higher here, but the area's quiet, safe, and family-friendly atmosphere justifies the cost.
District V - Belváros (City Center)
The heart of Budapest, District V, is a bustling district filled with impressive historical sites, office buildings, and shopping outlets. If you're a fan of living amidst the hustle and bustle, this district could be ideal for you. However, since it's the city's business and tourist center, accommodations can be quite high-priced.
District VI - Terézváros
Regarded as the cultural center of Budapest, District VI features the famous Andrássy avenue - lined with theatres, boutiques, and iconic sites like the Opera House. A more affordable option than District V, it's popular among young professionals and students due to its vibrant nightlife, flourishing art scene, and proximity to several universities.
District IX - Ferencváros
District IX is primarily known for its remarkable transformation from an industrial center into a trendy neighborhood, with lively entertainment options and modern residential complexes. The district offers relatively affordable housing and has attracted numerous expats with its youthful, versatile vibe.
District XI - Újbuda
Újbuda, or “New Buda,” is home to the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and plenty of park spaces, making it a desirable district for both students and families. It's a relaxed, green ambiance blends with a selection of modern apartments, particularly in the Kopaszi Dam area. Here, international residents can enjoy living in an up-and-coming district with a relaxed pace of life.
Budapest's blend of history, culture, enterprise, and liveliness offers a unique European living experience. However, the best district for an expat entirely depends on one's lifestyle preferences, budget, and everyday needs. So, before choosing a place to live, consider exploring each district at different times of the day to get a feel for its vibe, amenities, and people.