Burgeoning Budapest Awaits Its Largest Development In 30 Years
Bohemian Budapest may well be the new Williamsburg at a fraction of the cost.
If your image of Eastern European cities is a little grim—cobbled streets, crumbling historic buildings and impoverished citizens—then you have obviously never been to Hungary’s Budapest. Like a Petri dish left in an equatorial rainforest, the place is swarming with new things. Sparkling modern buildings, restored old ones and now the largest urban development the place has seen in 30 years.
Budapart is the neighborhood getting the make over—around 55 soccer fields worth (54 Hectares) of mixed used space, buildings big and small. it is constructed on the picturesque banks on the Danube River. Developers and architects have taken pains to create a master plan that is both eco-friendly and scaled to the surrounding neighborhood instead of simply tagged on to the riverfront as a boxy, shiny new development.
Part of the charm for Budapart is the irregular and historic quality of the city with a rigid urban grid, creating a design that, according to the press release, combines flexibility with a human-scale streetscape. Green and office space along with residential abodes in equal measure, are all part of the plan in a city which is betting big on its future, developing neighborhoods while embracing its war-torn past.
A storied history is the idea behind the renovation of some of the most treasured buildings. Eagerly anticipated is complete renovation of the Buda Castle. Within the framework of the Hauszmann Plan is the reconstruction of several other buildings—damaged and demolished in World War II. Other striking structures currently being painstakingly remodeled include the for Csikos Court and the Danube shoreline itself, with pedestrian-friendly walkways replacing car crash barriers. Bike paths, green spaces, cafes and restaurants are expected to totally transform the area running alongside the Elizabeth and Chain bridges. That’s not all though. A BMX Park, fitness park, and dog track sun beds will add some contemporary flair to the historic city, much of which is being completely rebuilt.
New transportation links from the UK (Wizz Air has a new Glasgow route along with a summer music festival) are making the city a Euro hipster hub. The once maligned Eighth District has been turned in Budapest’s Haight Ashbury with bohemians claiming it as their own along with all that goes with them—art, books, jazz and ethno-cool food.
The good news for expats looking to escape the States is that, once situated, Budapest is eminently affordable. According to expatistan.com, a 480-square-foot apartment in a decent part of town will cost you around $355 a month in rent. So what are you waiting for? Your new bolt hole by the Danube awaits.
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