Use this map to find all places mentioned in the article below.
Often called the "Champs-Élysées of Budapest," Andrássy Avenue is a 2.3 km (1.4 mile) UNESCO World Heritage-awarded leafy boulevard, connecting Budapest's city center with its City Park. The impressively consistent Renaissance Revival buildings lining it are the result of systematic urban planning in the 1870s. Wealthy Hungarian businessmen, many of the Jewish, commissioned the majority of these lavish homes, motivated by a desire for upward mobility and social acceptance by the Hungarian aristocracy, which also owned property here.
Having been renamed a total of five times over the last century or so, Andrássy Avenue's moniker bears witness to Budapest’s tumultuous history. In fact, leading up to WWII, parts of it were named after Hitler and Mussolini, and during communism it was called "Stalin Avenue" and later the "People’s Republic Avenue." Since 1990, it's back to Andrássy, named after Gyula Andrássy, a Prime Minister of Hungary and later Foreign Minister of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
To appreciate its magnitude and landmarks to the fullest, start your trip at Erzsébet Square and saunter all the way to Heroes' Square, a light, 30-minute stroll. The first section of Andrássy, up to Oktogon, comprises Budapest's high-end shopping area, meaning that it's here that you can quickly shell out a fortune on Gucci coats, Louis Vuitton bags, and handmade Hungarian porcelain. If you're curious about local designer labels, walk over to The Garden Studio and Je Suis Belle, both of them on Paulay Ede Street, parallel to Andrássy (see our best shopping toplist for more options).
Back on Andrássy is the ornate building of the Hungarian State Opera, decorated with statues of famous composers. Across from it is the less conspicuous but comparably impressive Drechsler Palace, designed by Hungary's pioneering art nouveau architect, Ödön Lechner (the building will soon become a W Hotel).
If food is already on your mind, let me recommend a few places. Nearby Menza serves some of the best traditional Hungarian dishes in the city. If it's full, which is often the case, try Két Szerecsen a couple of blocks down. Ristorante Krizia, tucked away on a side street off Andrássy, is an elegant Italian restaurant specializing in delicious northern Italian fare. If a quick snack and a coffee or a drink is what you're after, your best bets are Café Zsivágó, an atmospheric café with bourgeois-bohemian vibes, and Kiadó Kocsma on the opposite side of Andrássy.
Hajós Street, a quiet pedestrian area behind the Opera House, keeps rumored to be the next party street, similar to Kazinczy in the Jewish Quarter, but right now it's a far cry from the lively District 7. If anything, it's best known not for its bars, but for Gyros Kerkyra, an excellent gyro takeout joint.
Several of Budapest's contemporary art galleries are clustered in the side streets near Andrássy, including acb, Deák Erika, and Viltin. These galleries sell expensive modern pieces by Hungary's leading artists, but even if you aren't ready to drop thousands of euros, you might enjoy their temporary exhibits, which can be visited for free.
Beyond the Grand Boulevard, the side streets of Andrássy on both sides look and feel a little different. The unkempt condition of the otherwise grand housing stock here shows long decades of neglect that started during communism (these buildings are a good approximation of what much of Budapest looked like in the 1990s). There's little commercial activity in these still mainly working-class neighborhoods, and even the main market, Hunyadi, feels like a journey back in time. It's worth quickly stopping by the University of Fine Arts to appreciate the frescoes of its sumptuous-yet-disintegrating lobby.
House of Terror, one of the city's most visited museums that showcases the savagery and stupidity of the Nazi, and especially the ensuing communist regimes. Szondi Street, two long blocks away, is becoming an international-food mecca; Saigon Bistro, a takeout-style Vietnamese, and Taj Mahal, an elegant Indian restaurant are the two highlights. Somewhat unexpectedly, also near here is Brody Studios, a hip, members-only private club that's popular among the local expat community.Across the street is the
The last section of Andrássy, from Kodály Körönd to Heroes' Square, is dotted with handsome villas. The families who once lived here and their descendents are long gone thanks to the Holocaust and communism, and today many of these buildings serve as embassies. To appreciate the neighborhood's quiet charm and dramatic palazzos, venture out to Benczúr and Bajza Streets just off Andrássy. If you're in for an elaborate dining experience right along Andrássy, visit La Perle Noire, whose outdoor terrace is especially enjoyable during the summer months.
On the other side of Andrássy is the weird and wonderful Epreskert, an exotic artists' colony from the 19th century that serves as a training ground for students of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, as indicated by half-finished statues scattered around its lawn (Epreskert isn't open to the public, but you can see much of it from outside if you walk around it).
Museum of Fine Arts, the biggest museum in Hungary with a renowned collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, and Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle), with excellent temporary exhibits. Behind Heroes' Square lies Budapest's City Park, home to the Széchenyi Baths and the Vajdahunyad Castle, but since this is no longer Terézváros territory, you can read more about them in our Zugló neighborhood review. If you're low on energy, take the charming, century-old Millennium Underground Railway / M1 back to downtown.Andrássy Avenue terminates in Heroes' Square, a must-see plaza with monuments and a colonnade depicting historic Hungarian figures, including the seven chieftains who led Hungarians here in the 9th century. Two important museums flank it: the
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