It feels a little weird to be doing this but I’ve decided to go ahead a give a quick apartment tour of my home(s) in Budapest. It’s not something I considered doing before but a few people have asked for photos so here you go.
Firstly I’ll share a little background for those of you who don’t know how I came to be here.
After almost seven years living in Paris I decided I wanted to get away from what I found to be a suffocating daily routine and do something different. Living in Paris was becoming less appealing and as I was travelling half of the time anyway it made little sense to keep an apartment there.
As my business is online, I can work from everywhere and eventually decided to become ‘location independent’ or a ‘digital nomad’ or whatever you want to call it. We put our stuff in storage, handed in the keys to our apartment and went on a three year road trip around Europe in my adorable blue Fiat 500.
I loved being on the move, visiting different places, seeing something new all the time but eventually working and travelling at the same time became exhausting and unbearable. I couldn’t do it anymore and after about two years on the road I started looking for somewhere to use as a base.
The criteria for a home base was a largish city, fairly central for travelling in Europe, affordable property (we were looking to buy), low cost of living, good infrastructure, fast wifi and ease of getting residency as I’m a non-EU citizen. A handful of cities met those criteria but in the end we settled on Budapest as property prices were at rock bottom and set to boom.
It helped that very little paperwork is required to buy property here and settlement can take place in a matter of days. Within a couple of weeks of looking we’d had an offer accepted on an Austro-Hungarian era apartment in the popular Jewish Quarter.
District VII: 2 Bed Apartment in a Renovated Building Built in 1869
I’m not too worried about giving away my address as after a year we’ve already put the apartment on the market. Like anywhere, Budapest has its good and bad points but for me, at this time in my life, I’d rather be somewhere else. So if you’re looking to buy in Budapest I can assure this apartment will look incredible in the right hands even though its current status is a ‘renovators delight’. 😉
My favourite spots in the VII neighbourhood
- Franz Liszt Academy of Music
One of the most spectacular Art Nouveau buildings in Budapest although often overlooked by tourists. You can see a concert or just admire the gorgeous architecture.
- Born 2 Bio
Budapest is seriously lacking in organic food stores and cafes but a few new places have sprung up this year including Born2Bio on the ground floor of my apartment building. The cafe section does delicious hot chocolate, hand made fruit teas and all kinds of organic coffee.
- Klauzal Market
The last of Budapest’s indoor market halls to undergo renovation, it finally reopened selling local fruit and veg, delicious Hungarian cheese, raw milk, massive loaves of hand made bread and and entire section devoted to the famous mangalica. This is my local market where the friendly stall holders already know me by name.
- Bookcafe – Lotz Hall
Just around the corner from my apartment and a favourite spot to take visiting friends. If the incredible Art Nouveau exterior isn’t stunning enough, the escalator up to the first floor takes you to a small cafe in the Lotz Hall with floor to ceiling mirrors, pretty frescoes and expensive cakes. The summertime roof bar is worth visiting too.
- Bors GasztroBar
Hands down the best sandwich place in Budapest, as confirmed by the never ending queue out the door. The guys are super friendly too.
One of the biggest and most popular ruin bars in Budapest. It’s a chilled spot for an early evening aperol spritz or a little crazier late night spot.
Nice spot for a set menu lunch. 1390 Ft for 2 courses or 1590 Ft for 3 courses including vegetarian options.
- Jewish Street Food
My favourite summer beer garden and some of the best street food in Budapest made with passion by Ricsi.
- Holmes Place
One of the few nice gyms in Budapest or ‘fancy’ gyms as I would say. Massively overpriced but it’s quiet during the day and one of the few gyms with a pool.
District VIII: 2 Bed Renovated Rental Apartment in the Palace District
As our (potentially) beautiful apartment is currently in an unliveable state we rented an apartment in the hipster 8th District, also known as the Palace District or the University Precinct. This is an up and coming area but as the name suggests the streets are filled with palaces and former homes of the aristocracy so it’s not too bad on the eyes.
The 8th had a negative reputation in the past and to be fair parts of it still do but the Palace District has undergone gentrification in the last couple of years. Where we live we’re literally one block from the popular V and VII districts so for me the location couldn’t be better.
My favourite spots in the VIII neighbourhood and nearby
- Budapest Baristas
Mega-hipster cafe with flat whites, chai lattes and even matcha cappuccinos if you want something totally different. Popular co-working cafe.
An eclectically decorated ruin bar/cafe which is perpetually busy. Ridiculously cheap prices and not surprisingly hugely popular with students. In summer they set up on the corner in front of Karolyi Kert, one of the best aperitivo spots in Budapest.
Cute, girly cafe with nice smoothies and teas.
- Rubens Restaurant
One of the cheapest set menu lunches in the city. 3 courses for 890 Ft. Brilliant value for money even though service can be rushed.
- Karolyi Kert
Not in the VIII but only a few minutes from my apartment. This reminds me so much of the parks in Paris although not quite maintained to the same standard of perfection.
My go-to burger joint not just because it’s close to my place but also thanks to their tasty, spicy burgers and friendly atmosphere.
- Metropolitan Library
This public library is amazingly gorgeous. Tourists have to pay a small fee to enter but it’s a fantastic off the beaten path spot well worth a visit if you’re in the VIII district.
I’ve neglected writing about Budapest since moving here but I’ll be correcting that in the coming months. Even though it’s not for me as a place to live I do believe it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a fun and fascinating destination for visitors. I do hope you’ll come visit if you get the chance.1