Published: July 21 2023
Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is a fantastic city rich in history, culture, and beauty, making it a popular European travel destination. However, just like any other city, there are certain areas you may want to avoid for an array of reasons. In Budapest, these are generally District VIII and the outskirts of the city.
District VIII - Józsefváros - The Bad Part
Józsefváros or District VIII has a mixed reputation. While the inner part, closer to the city center (also known as the Palace District) is quite hip and safe, the areas farther off, such as Magdolna Quarter and Orczy Neighborhood, can be less appealing, especially after dark. These areas have seen problems with poverty, crime, and neglect, which can make them unsafe, particularly for tourists.
Many buildings here are run-down, graffiti-covered, and there are even some unlit streets at night. In addition, the relative lack of tourist attractions, good restaurants, and shops compared to other parts of Budapest can make the area seem less welcoming.
The Outskirts of Budapest
The outskirts of Budapest, especially the areas toward the city's periphery, may not be as dangerous as the problematic parts of District VIII, but they can be inconvenient for tourists due to poor public transportation connections and distance to the city's main attractions.
Areas like Kőbánya (District X), Csepel (District XXI), and the dormitory towns of Budaörs and Törökbálint don’t have a lot to offer tourists in terms of attractions or atmosphere. In addition, they’re further away from the city center, making it more time-consuming and complex to reach notable sights, restaurants, or bars.
Furthermore, the far outlying districts of Budapest have less of a 'city feel', which can reduce the overall travel experience for those who wish to immerse themselves in the classic Budapest atmosphere.
Ideal Districts to Stay in Budapest
By contrast, districts like V (Belváros-Lipótváros), VI (Terézváros) and VII (Erzsébetváros) are more centrally located and generally safer, with a wide range of attractions and facilities. Especially recommended for tourists are the areas close to Andrássy Avenue, the Danube River bank, and around the Hungarian Parliament Building.
While it's essential to consider these safer options, Budapest overall is considered a pretty safe city for tourists. Always remember that basic safety precautions apply wherever you stay, including avoiding secluded areas at night and being cautious of your belongings.
In summary, while Budapest is a fantastic city worthy of a place on everyone's bucket list, travellers should big goodbye to District VIII's remote areas and the outskirts of the city for better safety and a more pleasurable travel experience.