City guide

Nagykörút

Photo : Balkányi László / We Love Budapest
Nagykörút

Running for more than four kilometres through Pest, the Nagykörút (‘Grand Boulevard’) is known by all as the körút, the city’s busiest throughfare where trams 4/6 whizz by every two or three minutes. Starting and finishing in Buda, the körút crosses the Danube over Margaret and Petőfi Bridges before cutting through Districts XIII, VI, VII, VIII and IX, delineating the restaurants, bars, hotels, theatres and shops to one side as inside the körút, ie within the city centre, and those beyond as outside. This is the second of three concentric circles radiating out from the city centre, bisected by major arteries that fan out to distant points in Pest. Four of the five main sections of the körút are named after Habsburg royals, who also lend their names to their particular districts: District VI/Teréz körút is Terézváros, and so on.

Starting at Margaret Bridge, a ride on the 4 or 6 tram will take you past the Vígszínház, Nyugati station and the Művész Art Cinema. Afterwards, you go past Oktogon and a string of late-opening bars on either side of the street all the way to Blaha Lujza tér and beyond. More refined venues include the illustrious New York Café. Tucked inside the körút where Districts VIII and IX meet, the Museum of Applied Arts is a masterpiece of Hungarian Art Nouveau. The junction here, Corvin-negyed, is another major crossing point, with landmarks related to the 1956 Uprising, whose most bitter fighting took place around here.