Budapest is comprised of two parts that were separate cities before the 19th century, and even though the two are now connected, forming the splendid Hungarian capital city, they still kept their unique and opposing features. Almost everyone living in Budapest prefers one side to the other, so The Culture Trip decided to get to the bottom of things and list the locals’ reasons.
The debate over which side is better will likely be never be settled, as there are those locals preferring Buda who claim that the noise coming with living on the busy Pest side is unbearable, while those faithful to Pest will tell you straightaway that Buda is boring and life happens in Pest. Why is one ‘better’ than the other?
The first reason why people usually like Buda better than Pest is the peaceful atmosphere. Here you are away from the busy hustle of downtown Pest, yet still very close to it, and still in the capital city. It is like two distinct worlds. Do not worry about public transport, as despite the metro lines operating mainly on the Pest side of the city, public transport is really good at the Buda side too, and you can get to the other side very quickly.
Since Buda is the more relaxed half of Budapest, life here is a bit slower and quieter. There are lots of hills, walking paths, elegant, family-friendly parks and streets with endless rows of trees on each side,
providing a magical experience and the feeling that you are always connected to nature.
If you are roaming around the Castle, then you might notice the abundance of expensive homes: the first and second districts are close to the Danube bank, thus closer to the city centre too. Buda is favoured over Pest by the locals because tourists and visitors do not frequent this side through the night as much since the ruin pubs and other main sights are on the Pest side.
Even though there are not as many pubs or cafés in Buda as there are in Pest, where you can feel the buzzing and throbbing vibes of the lively people, Buda is perfect for those looking for a quiet place to work, read or immerse themselves in a frank conversation with its numerous restaurants and cafés. Do not worry about shopping opportunities; there are several big malls like Allee, MOM Park or Mammut, where the rush of the Pest malls is nowhere to be found.
As we have already mentioned, Pest is rich in bars, clubs and ruin pubs, and being close to the city’s nightlife is attractive to many. However, locals usually avoid the busy party streets as your sleep might easily get interrupted by a group of over-enthusiastic party-goers. Except for a couple of streets like the Király street, the streets of Pest are relatively peaceful.
Life is throbbing on the Pest side, not just because of the party districts, but also because of the variously themed cafés, markets (like the one on Fény street) and events.
Because of the flowering party and cultural scene of the city, more restaurants and food delivery services are available in Pest than in Buda. Aside from the trendy gastro pubs offering a lesson in the rich Hungarian cuisine, there are several fine dining options. Did you know that there are four Michelin-starred restaurants in Budapest? Well, all of them are located on the Pest side.
As Pest is not as quiet and green as Buda, accommodation is much cheaper here, and after all, flats were and will always be more affordable than suburban homes and family houses. There is, however, a downside of Pest becoming so popular, as rental prices are ever-growing thanks to tourism and expats and students deciding to settle in Pest.
featured image: Bódis Krisztián / Budapest Images