The Revival of Józsefváros, Budapest’s Eighth District

Posted in Budapest Articles by arpiboy on July 10th, 2014

Budapest’s Eighth District, on the Pest side of the river Danube, used to have a pretty poor reputation as rough, crime-ridden and best avoided. This was a mark of its sad decline: from its former grandeur as an area of large and ornate aristocratic town houses to one that was synonymous with the seamier side of Budapest life. The area suffered a great deal of damage during World War II, and it still bore the scars of the 1956 revolution. However, the past decade or so has seen Józsefváros shaking off this image to become one of Budapest’s most interesting and lively districts, where its faded and picturesque 19th century glamour provides the setting for everything that is lively, trendy and bohemian, with an attractive mix of modern café culture, art galleries, live music venues and interesting little specialist shops. These days, any tour of Budapest that leaves out a few hours exploring the Eighth District is missing out on one of Budapest’s most distinctive attractions.

Regeneration

In a marked contrast to the fate of the city centre, which received a large injection of state funding following Hungary’s joining of the EU in 2004, the Eighth District struggled financially and culturally. Its revival began in 2000 with the installation of security cameras. It never looked back. Crime rapidly began to decline in the area, which then became attractive to entrepreneurs aiming to take advantage of the low rents and grand architecture. This is an irresistible mix, which has made similar unloved areas of cities the world over come back to life.

While some travellers may still be wary of exploring Józsefváros, especially at night, these concerns have been outdated by the years of development and its transformation into one of Budapest’s most colourful districts, which might be a little shabby in parts but is not dangerous. Additional investment by the Budapest City Council is helping to ensure a bright future for the district as the country begins to recover from the banking crisis, while numbers of tourists looking for good deals in developing travel markets such as Hungary are beginning to rise. Most people travelling to Budapest will probably be new to the country, so getting updated information about the exchange rate, your likely day-to-day expenditure, travel cover and health protection, and learning something about the culture and history of Hungary is essential. Eastern Europe is rapidly changing. This means that it is becoming on the one hand more tourism-friendly, but on the other hand it may be more expensive than you expect. Budapest is still one of the best destinations in terms of value, and in up-and-coming areas such the Eighth District you can experience a city on the cusp of that change between a place that is devoid of tourists to one that is beginning to attract them and welcome them without changing its essential character.

Art and music, food and drink

The Eighth District extends south behind the Hungarian National Museum, between the river Danube to the west and the People’s Park to the east. Beyond a block of typically huge mansions is the hub of the district’s developing bohemian life, with a proliferation of cafés, restaurants and shops along Krudy Gyala Street and around Mikszáth Square—a peaceful little space with gardens, seating and a statue of the 19th century Hungarian writer and politician, Kálmán Mikszáth, to whom it is dedicated. On a corner of the square is the Zappa Café, named after the musician, Frank Zappa, who performed here in the 1990s when it was an alternative rock music venue called Tilos az Á. Hungarian punk music, rock ’n’ roll, blues or jazz can still be heard in the café’s basement, in the atmospheric Trafik Klub—great if you like relaxing on a beanbag and singing along.

Continuing the musical line of exploration, farther along the street is a shop called Ethno Sound. From the outside this may at first seem like your average hippy shop, but it actually houses an incredible collection of what seems like the world’s most exotic and unusual percussion instruments—guaranteed to get any visitor tapping, banging or shaking everything in sight. The Budapest Jazz Club is the best if not the only venue in Budapest that showcases Hungarian and international jazz artists: find it just around the corner from the National Museum. It’s open every day except Sunday from 4.00pm till midnight. If contemporary photography is more your scene, the nearby Lumen Kávézo, holds regular exhibitions of foreign and Hungarian photographers as well as being café, pub and wine bar, where you can relax over a coffee or a beer, or come back in the evening when it becomes another live music venue.

A short walk east of Lumen Kávézo, Ateliers Pro Arts houses artist’s studios in a converted pipe factory. You can visit its light and airy gallery space and relax in the cheerful and trendy Bar ApaCuka in the same building, which serves a robust menu of Hungarian dishes such as roast duck and potatoes. In the Café Csiga, which also has artworks covering its walls, you can enjoy another choice of Hungarian dishes, even though its owner is an ex-pat Irishman. Many Hungarian restaurants advertise a very reasonably priced lunch offer, and this is no exception. For less than €2 you can set yourself up for the day with a bacon and egg breakfast, or try a delicious lunch of buzdás kenyér, or bread dipped in egg, fried and served with cheese and sour cream.

Spend only a short time in the Eighth District enjoying its arty atmosphere, the people, the food and drink, and you’ll forget you ever heard this was the wrong end of town. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of those simple pleasures shared in good company and in convivial surroundings, which only needs a little encouragement and investment to flourish again in a forgotten corner of any city.

Contributor: Susie Catesby


Flamenco Hotel Budapest

Posted in Budapest Hotels by arpiboy on November 27th, 2011

Flamenco Hotel Budapest is a good choice for accommodation

Hungary is amongst one of the biggest tourist places of Europe and its capital city, Budapest is totally scenic. The first thing that comes into the minds of the tourists is no doubt a proper place to stay. And its very best and alive example is Park Hotel Flamenco Budapest. Flamenco hotel Budapest is situated in the XI. district of Budapest at a walking distance from a tram station and it nearly takes 2-3 minutes to reach from the station the hotel. Though the Flamenco hotel Budapest is not new but its service and environment is mind blowing.

Flamenco Hotel Budapest is a budget hotel and hence it doesn’t bother much on the pockets of the tourists. The rooms are good but a bit old designed furniture and bed sometimes pass negative impact on the visitors and hence beside good food, environment and people its ratings are not very high among the travelers. Instead of this some people get so much fascinated by this hotel that they like to visit this hotel again and again. The reason is that Danubius Hotel Flamenco Budapest is a bit far from the Budapest’s congested life and hence provides complete peace and harmony to one’s mind.

Flamenco Hotel Budapest and the Bottomless Lake

flamenco hotel budapest next to the hemingway restaurant

One more delighting place is the Hemingway’s restaurant (only at a distance of 200 yards from this hotel) where you can eat and drink in full swing. Hemingway restaurant situated next to the Feneketlen to (Bottomless lake) and a small park around them as you can see on the photo as well. The Sunday nights are awesome here and this is like a bonus that comes with the Flamenco Hotel Budapest. Moreover if you love swimming then it has a indoor pool for you and water is so cold that it shivers you for a while. Most of the visitors like this as they are on a vacation, so they look for complete fun.

So, if your budget is small and you still want some graceful stay, helpful staff, mental peace and yummy food then Flamenco Hotel Budapest is all for you.


Art on Lake Budapest

Posted in Budapest Parks,Budapest Photos by arpiboy on September 4th, 2011

The Art on Lake exhibition in the Varosliget Budapest

art on lake vajdahunyad castle


Budapest Parliament New Lights

Posted in Budapest Photos by arpiboy on September 2nd, 2011

The Hungarian Parliament in Budapest got new lights by August 20 2011. I’ll show you how the building looks like in daylight and with the old lights and the new one. I think the new lights are much better than the past ones.

budapest parliament in daylight

budapest parliament old light

budapest parliament new light

new cool light of the hungarian parliament

new cool lights of the hungarian parliament


Museums in Budapest

Posted in Museums in Budapest by arpiboy on August 23rd, 2011

If you are travelling to Budapest and want to make sure you soak up some culture, then the great museums which can be found here are the best places to start. You can travel to Budapest from the UK by plane in a few hours, but if you want to be adventurous, you can also travel by train.

If you choose to get to Budapest this way, then it will take a lot longer but may be more reasonably priced. On many trains, you will also be able to get wireless internet access, so you can surf the web, check you e-mails or play PartyPoker Hungary.
Once you get to Budapest the real fun can begin, as there is so much to see and do.

Perhaps you may want to begin by visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. This is the largest fine arts museum throughout Hungary and definitely has a lot to offer. The building was created between 1900 and 1906 in an eclectic-neoclassical style, its plans being made by Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog.

If you enter inside this grand structure, you will find ancient Egyptian Art, paintings by Raffaello and El Graco, and sculpture, as well as other great items of interest.

Another interesting place to visit is the M?csarnok. This gallery centers around the contemporary visual arts, with around five or six major exhibitions taking place every year.

There are many other museums in Budapest, including the Hungarian National Museum. There are several permanent exhibitions on here, including the ‘History of Hungary from the foundation of the state to 1990 Middle Ages’. As well as this, there is an exhibition entitled ‘Modern and Contemporary History’, so if you are interested in Hungary’s past, this is a great place to check out.


Budapest by Car Video

Posted in Budapest Videos by arpiboy on January 27th, 2011

Here is a video from my car when we drive through the Chain Bridge over the Danube in Budapest by night.


Budapest Shopping At Mammut Mall

Posted in Budapest Shopping by arpiboy on September 16th, 2009

You can come here to Mammut I & II. Mall for shopping near to Moszkva ter (Moscow Square).


Wakeboard Omszk Lake Hungary

Posted in Budapest Tours,Budapest Videos,Hungary Tours,Hungary Videos by arpiboy on June 4th, 2008

On the video it is ME Arpad Domonkos. I like wakeboarding and the weather is getting better in Hungary like Summer. If You like waterskiing or wakeboarding go to Omsz lake (Omszki tó) it is 15 Km far from Budapest only.


Wakeboard and Waterski at Budapest, Hungary

Posted in Budapest Videos,Hungary Videos by arpiboy on December 5th, 2007

I went to the famous summer fun place Omszk Lake near to Budapest, Hungary and Szentendre and I made videos about waterskiing and wakeboarding there to give you a Summer feeling in the cold Winter days.


Red Bull Air Race Budapest Again

Posted in Budapest Info by arpiboy on August 16th, 2007

On 20 th August you can enjoy again the flights of above the river Danube between the Chain Bridge and the Margaret Bridge in front of the Parliament of Hungary.
Red Bull Air Race Budapest


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