Budapest treasures, Váci utca: know the pedestrian street!

Váci Street is considered to be one of Budapest’s best known and perhaps one of the most beautiful shopping areas, stretching from Vörösmarty Square to Vámház körút. Along the 1.5 km long street, you will find many historic buildings, gastronomic options and luxurious shops. The northern and southern streets are very different. While the north of the pedestrian area is filled with tourists and fashion shops, the southern section is more relaxed, less crowded and there are more restaurants and cafés.

Váci Street has been an important venue in Budapest for centuries. The specialty of today is well-known thanks to the town planning program that started in 1873, when most of the buildings were built. It is important to know, however, that even before the end of the nineteenth century the street had played a prominent role in life in the capital, as can be implied from its former name of High Street. Today’s name was first given in 1899, at the northern end of the street, which coincided with the border of Pest.

 

The gastronomic citadel known as Váci Street

There are excellent gastronomic choices on Váci street, as everything from fast food to luxury restaurants can be found in this neighborhood.

There are plenty of confectioneries and cafes waiting for those wishing to go there. You should try the Anna Café where you can enjoy a variety of coffee specialties, as well as mouth-watering desserts and sandwiches. Molnár’s Kürtőskalács café is also recommended, where you can enjoy traditional kneading biscuits. For those with a sweet tooth, do not miss out on the Belgian Waffel Bar where you can enjoy a Belgian waffle based on the original recipe. If you are in Budapest in the summer, we recommend trying out the ice cream there that’s based on a delicious, well-prepared Italian recipe.

If you are looking for a hearty lunch or dinner after sightseeing, you will never be disappointed with what Váci Street has to offer. The Asian fusion cuisine at the Buddha-Bar Restaurant is perfect for lovers of Oriental flavors. In the restaurant at Klotild Palace, the specialties and flavors of Japan, China, Thailand and India are mixed with the best that the French cuisine has to offer.

For those looking for Middle Eastern food, we recommend the Baalbek Lebanese Restaurant where you can taste the masterpieces of Arabic cuisine and traditional Lebanese dishes made using the traditional “halal” method.

 

Culture at its best

The city’s unique pedestrian street contains both artistic and historical monuments. The cultural heritage of many centuries can be discovered in the buildings, so it is always necessary to keep an open eye at the every turn of Váci utca. You will find people standing and admiring the design and construction of a building, for it is totally worth it.

A tip that you should keep in mind: while in Budapest we occasionally look up, because the meticulous design at the top of buildings never cease to dazzle us.

There is abundant theater life throughout Budapest, so it is not surprising that one of them is on Vaci Street. The neo-classical Pesti Theater was built in the 1840s by József Hild, only for World War II to almost completely destroy it. Since the 1960s, the Chamber Theater of Vígszínház is located here, with a repertoire that ranges from comedies to tragedies. Thanks to the wide selection, you will surely find the perfect show for your vacation!

 

Turn of the century buildings

There are many exciting and interesting buildings along the street which have a number of stories behind them. The Neo-Baroque Klotild Palace is an iconic spot for Váci Street and the capital itself. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the symmetrical twin palaces at the gate of the Erzsébet Bridge were built at the initiative of Archbishop József Károly and Archbishop Maria Klotild. The northern building was destroed during World War II, and only decades later it was restored in the 1950s. Today it houses cafés, shops, galleries, offices, and the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace.

Near Vörösmarty Square you can find the first modern trading house in Budapest, located at 11/A Váci Street, which was erected at the end of the 19th century. The four-story Thonet House was designed by the famous architect Ödön Lechner. The Art Nouveau façade features Zsolnay tiles and wrought iron balconies, and the exterior is decorated by renaissance dolphins, shell motifs, indo-wood carvings and flower bouquets.

Typical of the old tenements of Budapest, they have unique and special staircases. This is also true on Váci Street, where in some of the dwelling houses you can find truly exceptional stairs. You will not regret going to one of the houses and admire the unique staircases.

 

Buy it up!

In the small shops along the shopping street, you can choose from a wealth of souvenirs, all of which can serve as a perfect gift for people at home. In addition to the small gifts, we can also find folk costumes, wines, handmade shoes and designer products on Váci Street. You should not miss the luxury boutiques as well, as many of the world’s leading retailers are represented in the Hungarian market on Vaci Street.

Váci Street also offers opportunities for those who wish to upgrade their wardrobes. You can choose from a selection of multi-storey fashion stores, for example, Zara, H&M, C&A and Reserved. Check out about the shops and buy new clothes that will remind you of your holiday in Budapest later.

 

Great accommodations to relax in

In addition to the cultural, shopping and gastronomic offers, there are several excellent hotels on the pedestrian street. Due to the central location and excellent foot traffic, there are incredible accommodations on Váci Street. The four-star La Prima Fashion Hotel, the Estilo Fashion Hotel and the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace offer real luxury for the guests.

The Promenade City Hotel and the Cosmo City Hotel are 3-star hotels offering comfortable relaxation and a friendly atmosphere.

Not only for convenience, it is worth choosing one of the hotels on Váci street to better experience the neighborhood’s unique downtown atmosphere. The Danube River, Vörösmarty Square and Fashion Street are only a few hundred meters away, so after dinner you can take a light evening stroll in the sunset. Besides, the tourist attractions are a few minutes’ walk away from the busy street and the entertainment venues are close by. Coming home after a night of partying will not be a problem if you stay at one of the hotels in the heart of the capital.

 

In a few words: Vaci utca is a unique treasure of Budapest. Everyone can find something perfect for them along its one and a half kilometers, be it cafes, restaurants, comfortable hotels, souvenirs or even a new cloak. During an afternoon walk on the northern and southern stretches, admiring the unique buildings and interacting with the charming people is guaranteed to make you fall in love with our beautiful and cozy capital.