Budapest Feature

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Navigating Budapest

As in Paris, neighborhoods in Budapest are known and referred to locally not by name but by their district number, the equivalent of the Paris arrondissement. The standard format for street addresses is: first the district number—on maps Roman numerals designate each of Budapest's 22 districts, while on envelopes the middle two numerals of the four-digit zip code indicate the district (e.g., a specific neighborhood in District VII might have a 1072 zip code)—followed by the word "Budapest" (sometimes followed by the Roman numeral, just to be certain); and then the street name and street number. For the sake of clarity, in this book the word "District" precedes the Roman numeral. For easier reference, we've also delineated and named neighborhoods. Although the lower-numbered districts are generally downtown and the farther you go into the outskirts in all directions the higher the district number, it's not quite as simple as that: the first several numbers—Districts I (including Castle Hill), II, and III—are in Buda and border the Danube, while District IV somehow ended up in northern Pest (along the Danube) well away from downtown, and Districts V through IX are all wholly or at least partly in downtown Pest (parts of V and IX border the river). Whereas District X is in eastern Pest, far from the Danube, some areas of downtown Buda by the river fall within District XI.

Districts V, VI, VII, and some of IX are in downtown Pest; District I includes Castle Hill, Buda's main tourist district.

You will find few reminders among street names of the era of communist rule, when streets and squares were named after Soviet heroes and concepts. If you look carefully at street signs, you may still find some with the old names crossed out with a triumphant red line. Today many of Budapest's streets and squares are named after famous Hungarian composers, poets, and painters, reflecting the nation's strong regard for music and the arts.

Keep in mind that Hungary numbers building levels starting from zero (i.e., the ground floor is 0, next floor up is 1, etc.)

The following translations will help you in your navigating:

út (sometimes útja) means road or avenue

utca (u.) means street

tér (sometimes tere) means square

körút (krt.) means ring road

körtér and körönd mean circle

kerület (ker.) means district

emelet (em.) means floor

földszint (fsz.) means ground floor

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