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Safety In District 8

leeds UK
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32 posts
35 reviews
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Safety In District 8

Three of us have booked for a trip to Budapest later this year. We are staying on the corner of Luther Utca and Racoczi Utca in Districe 8.

I am now a little concerned about the area after reading various reviews. This seem to be an area for prostitution and pick pockets. We are in our sixties and the safety aspect of the holiday is a bit worrying.

We will be arriving around 8pm and will of course need to go out for a meal. Are there restaurants near to where we are staying?

My main concern is out and about in this area on an evening. We like to have a drink and mix with the locals as part of our holiday.

Is the taxi company Fotaxi still the main taxi from the airport? I think read somewhere that they had lost the contract from the airport.

Szada, Pest, Hungary
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1. Re: Safety In District 8

Rákóczi út is a main street, safety can not be a problem there, it is not like a red lamp district.

Regarding food, at the first glance, Rosenstein is not far from there (10-15 mins, see the map on their webiste). It is a Hungarian - Jewish restaurant, great food:

http://rosenstein.hu/en/

Főtaxi has won the tender of the airport, it is an old company, you can trust them.

www.fotaxi.hu

leeds UK
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32 posts
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2. Re: Safety In District 8

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

luton
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for Luton
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3. Re: Safety In District 8

safety is relative,we stayed around the corner from you in the royal hotel and a friend that lives in hungary told me district 8 is a rough area

It might not be as pretty as other parts but we strolled around no problem day and night

chess restaurant in dob utca we found very pleasant,about a 10 minute walk from where you are staying

tony

USA
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4. Re: Safety In District 8

I've been in the District a few times and in general it is sort of "earthy". Some of the architecture, even in its ruin state is stunning. And it is the location in Budapest where you are most likely to learn some phrases in Roma. I don't think it is particularly dangerous especially on the major thruways and in the light of day. All that having been said the District would not be my choice as the best geographic location from which to visit Budapests marvels.

nyc, usa
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for Budapest
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5. Re: Safety In District 8

This question taps into a rather broad array of misconceptions, out of date information, prejudices, and matters that lie at the boundary between snobbery and taste...not on the OP's part of course, who is simply being prudent, but on the part of the muddle of sources out there casually disbursing well-intentioned disinformation...

How to sort it out?

Well start by saying that while your hotel's address may be in the VIIIth, if it is at the corner of Rakoczi and Luther, two of those corners are ion the VIIth (the district that is home to the Opera, the Operetta Theatre, Andrassy ut, Liszt Ferenc ter, many embassies, and onb and on ... And your hotel is a good bit closer to the center of the VIIth than that of the VIIth.

Continue by noting that bobandco, like most everyone, has spent a good deal more time in the VIIIth than perhaps he thinks he has. The National Museum is in the VIIIth, as is the 'Palota District' just behind it, where the wealthiest middle-class Hungarians built their mansions in the late 19th Century, as their counterparts did on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Those mansions are still there (one is now the Budapest Public Library, another is owned by Magyar Radio, another by the Italian Institute) ... the district is referred to as the Inner Eighth" and has always been grand and continues to be.

The Outer Eighth is the area that most locals remain deeply prejudiced against, andy there was a time when aspects of that prejudice were justified (the part about prostitution; probably also pickpockets in the sense that many of them went home to the 8th after quitting work in the 6th, 7th, and 5th; neither of these is characteristic of the Outer 8th these days, in part because largest urban renewal project in Europe took place there over the past half dozen years, inn part because all of Budapest is rather safe, if not all beautiful these days, and pickpockets and prostitutes stay in the upmarket tourist districts to the extent they are around at all.

The Outer Eighth was a large swamp in the 19th Century, and festered with typhus, and was the neighborhood in which the very poor lived, the Jews and Roma and the unskilled day laborers who were brought in to build the city. So it was very poor and relatively lawless, but we're talking more than a century ago. It evolved into a poor district still, and remains so in chunks (much of the '56 revolution was fought door to door in the streets of the 8th) and it is still the Roma district as bobandco suggests, which is the reason why it is still bad-mouthed by many locals as anti-Roma prejudice is both unfounded and deeply embedded.

So, in sum, you are staying more in the VIIth than the VIIIth, a substantial part of the VIIth is among the most upscale areas of the city, and the remainder is no longer the sort of Dickensian swamp that it perhaps was twenty years ago.

Budapest, Hungary
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6. Re: Safety In District 8

As johnfarago said, district 8 has nice and safe parts.

But: Try to avoid streets and areas such as: Szigony utca, Tömö utca, Práter utca, Teleki László tér, Kálvária tér.

nyc, usa
Destination Expert
for Budapest
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7. Re: Safety In District 8

I disagree even about the areas sont lists that i know reasonably well ... i have spent considerable time around Teleki ter and also somewhat less around Kalvaria ter and both are perfectly safe, though the surroundings are very run down ... but one person's run down is another's history and both have rich histories in addition to their current disrepair ... there is no reason for a tourist to find his or her way to either of them, unless perhaps headed to the cemetery or, as in my case, to the absolutely remarkable Teleki ter Synagogue or the discount duvet and pillow shop off Kalvaria ... still, i wouldn't remotely call them dangerous, and, again, your hotel is in a different neighborhood entirely

USA
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8. Re: Safety In District 8

It’s funny who has the preconceived ideas. I have appreciation for the earthiness and the architecture; they are both a plus for the District.. Personally I would still exercise caution in some areas of District VIII. Which areas? Well I don’t know because I am a tourist, so I would say everywhere; just to be on the safe side. To put into context I am certain John would give me similar advice in New York - only I would probably be safer no matter where I go in Budapest vs. New York. After all I am a tourist and I will always look like a tourist. The Roma bent is well worth the experience so that was meant to encourage. When I go back in June District VIII is one of my destinations. I am extremely intrigued by it. Despite the good things the location isn’t particularly ideal for what I look for when traveling. I am fairly certain that there are many other locations closer to what most people come to see that still have competitive prices. Yes, it borders District VII but the address is a quarter mile walk to the nearest M2 stop and 3/4 mile as the crow flies to any of the theaters or Andrassy ut. I personally wouldn’t stay outside the Erzsébet körút ring road, especially if I only had a few days in town.

But it’s all a personal thing.

USA
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9. Re: Safety In District 8

John, where is District VIII are your apartments?

nyc, usa
Destination Expert
for Budapest
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10. Re: Safety In District 8

there's safety and there's tourism and they are pretty different things ...

a tremendous amount of most major cities would be characterized as objectively safe but of little or no subjective interest to tourists, and one could say that about the VIIIth as well

the tricky part about the Rakoczi at Luther location is not that it's in the VIIIth but that it's so far out from the river, a good bit beyond the ring road; that makes it something of a trek to get anywhere from there, but not an awful one as Rakoczi's well-served by public transit ... its a dour commercial area, but surely a safe one, all of two blocks from Blaha Lujza ter, a major hub

would i pick it as a neighborhood to stay in? no, but there's much of the VIIIth that's high on my list of places to stay outside the center (the Zichy is in the VIIIth I think)...and while none of our apartments are in the VIIIth, several friends' places are and I've stayed in at least three of them very happily over the years

i love walking the VIIIth ... perhaps my favorite building in all of Budapest is the abandoned telephone exchange building, which i'm pretty sure is in the depths of the VIIIth; and my favorite specialized tour of the city is beyondbudapest.hu which is entirely in the VIIIth

but that's all a mater of taste and travel style ... the core issue is safety and the inner VIIIth (the part within the ring road) is as safe as anywhere else in the center, which is to say very, very safe; and the part beyond it is basically as safe as the other districts beyond the ring road, which is to say very safe compared to similarly poor neighborhoods in cities like London or Paris (the 6th and 7th extend beyond the ring road as well)

i always feel that the great risk of wandering the city outside the tourist area late at night is isolation and getting lost...i recommend strongly against doing so, simply because once you get outside the center (in general, beyond the ring road), English is far less common, very few people are wandering about, and the streets angle and curve in disorienting ways...