Trying to capture a world view of Budapest

Hadik Kávéház - Hadik Café

I would not say it is easy to get used to living in a big city, especially if you come from a little town like Mezőberény with its 11.000 inhabitants. Although I had been studying in Békéscsaba for six years it can’t be compared to Budapest, even if it has 60,000 inhabitants.

It was the greatest change in my life when I moved to Budapest in the autumn of 2012. I cannot deny I was lucky since I got the opportunity to move in Collegium Eötvös – it was a great opportunity, not only because of my studies but because it is located at the foot of Gellért Hill.

It couldn’t be better. It takes 15 minutes to get to the University but, living in Buda, I am only one minute from Móricz Zsigmond Square, one of the main centres of Budapest.

Coming from a little town, moving into a 19th century castle built in peaceful city surroundings could not have been better.

”Living in Buda is a world view.” Of course, I didn’t grow up here, so I can’t identify totally with the words of the famous Hungarian writer, Sándor Márai, but I think the last 18 months have taught me something about the place. It is not because I became an “arrogant, stupid person from Buda”, but because living here has helped me to discover the most beautiful parts of it.

Leaving the Collegium and heading down Himfy Street I arrive at Móricz Zsigmond Square. I just have to turn left to start to walk on Bartók Street. This is a famous and meaningful street in the history of Budapest.

If you go along Bartók Street, you find many memorial tablets on the walls, and the first one is the table of Zsigmond Móricz, another great writer. By walking on further you will find Szatyor Bar and Hadik Café, two traditional pillars of Hungarian literary life. I take this walk quite frequently and I always start to think about going in and having a beer, even if it’s quite expensive. I have been there a few times with my friends and it is definitely worth spending the extra for the experience.

It would be a mistake to stop here however. Keep on going and you find yourself at Gellért Square next to Szabadság Bridge, the most beautiful bridge in Budapest in my opinion. Every guidebook mentions that Gellért Square is famous for Hotel Gellért but they usually forget to write about Tamás Cseh, who lived here in his apartment. I cannot really recommend him to foreign students because lyrics are very important to his songs, although you will struggle to find a better partner to have some wine with – except for your friends of course.

So we are almost at the end of our walk. It is usual to see young people lying on the green truss of Liberty Bridge. It isn’t surprising- the view is stunning.

I have lived here for one and half years and I still haven’t got bored of this walk. When spring arrives, I usually take a fancy to go out and walk along Bartók Street between Móricz Zsigmond Square and Szabadság Bridge. I think this walk and this street have become a symbol of my whole life in Budapest. It includes everything I love in this city- historical buildings, interesting stories and a beautiful view. In a few decades, this place may become a world view for me too. Just like for Márai.


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