Váci Street (Váci utca) – Main tourist street of Budapest
A Brief History of Váci Utca
Váci Utca has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages when Budapest was surrounded by a medieval city wall. The street was originally a central boulevard that led to one of the city gates, which was later transformed into Vorosmarty Square. Váci Utca was established during the 18th century and quickly became popular among Budapest’s wealthiest families. Many grand buildings were constructed along the avenue during this time, and some of them still stand today.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Váci Utca became a bustling commercial street, packed with retailers, shopping malls, souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants, and cafes. The street’s popularity continued to grow, and today it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Budapest.
Exploring the Northern Part of Váci Utca
The northern part of Váci Utca is the oldest and most historic section of the street. It stretches from Elisabeth Bridge and Szabad Sajto Ut to Vorosmarty Square and was the first pedestrian zone in the town center. The area is characterized by its beautiful set paving, which was placed in 1986.
The northern part of Váci Utca is home to many notable buildings, including the Church of St. Michael, which was built in the Baroque style in the 18th century. The church has undergone several restorations throughout its history and is a must-see for visitors to the street.
Other notable landmarks in the northern part of Váci Utca include the Hermes fountain, which features a bronze statue of the Greek god Hermes, and the Fountain of a Little Boy, which has a statue of a naked boy in the center.
Discovering the Southern Part of Váci Utca
The southern part of Váci Utca is a newer addition to the street, having been established in 1996 as a pedestrian zone. This area is known for its modern architecture and is home to several notable landmarks, including the famous Mercure Budapest City Center hotel.
The southern part of Váci Utca is also home to several cafes, restaurants, and eateries, many of which offer outdoor seating. The area around Devam Square is particularly popular, with a fountain, small park, and several cafes and restaurants.
Shopping on Váci Utca
No visit to Váci Utca is complete without indulging in some retail therapy. The street is packed with a wide variety of shops, ranging from international brands like Zara, H&M, and Nike to smaller, independent boutiques.
One of the most popular shopping destinations on Váci Utca is the Central Market Hall, located near the bridge of Freedom. This historic market is filled with vendors selling a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and souvenirs.
Dining and Drinking on Váci Utca
Váci Utca is also a popular destination for dining and drinking. The street is home to a wide variety of cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs, ranging from traditional Hungarian cuisine to international fare.
One of the most popular dining destinations on Váci Utca is Café Gerbeaud, which has been serving up delicious pastries and coffee since 1858. Other popular options include the Hard Rock Cafe, which offers American-style dining and live music, and the iconic New York Cafe, which is known for its opulent decor and traditional Hungarian cuisine.
Exploring Vorosmarty Square
Vorosmarty Square is the southern terminus of Váci Utca and is one of the most popular public squares in Budapest. The square is home to several notable landmarks, including the statue of the poet Mihály Vörösmarty and the Gerbeaud Cafe.
Vorosmarty Square is also home to several events throughout the year, including the Budapest Christmas Market, which is one of the largest and most popular Christmas markets in Europe.
Getting to Váci Utca
Váci Utca is located in the heart of Budapest’s historic center and is easily accessible by public transportation. The street is just a short walk from several metro stations, including Deak Ferenc Square and Ferenciek Square.
What is Váci Street (Váci utca)?
Váci Street (Váci utca) is one of the most famous pedestrian thoroughfares in central Budapest, Hungary. It is a major shopping street, with a variety of high-end boutiques, retail stores, restaurants, and cafes.
Where is Váci Street located?
Váci Street is located in the heart of Budapest. It runs from Vörösmarty Square to the Great Market Hall, near the Liberty Bridge.
What can I find on Váci Street?
Váci Street is filled with high-end fashion stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes, and galleries. Landmarks include the Great Market Hall and the former Paris Courtyard shopping arcade. You'll also find several hotels and beautiful examples of architecture along the street.
What are the operating hours of the stores on Váci Street?
Most stores on Váci Street open around 10:00 AM and close around 8:00 PM. However, hours may vary, so it's best to check specific store hours in advance.
Is Váci Street pedestrian-friendly?
Yes, Váci Street is a pedestrian zone, making it perfect for leisurely strolls. It's a bustling area, often filled with street performers and musicians.
Are there any traditional Hungarian restaurants on Váci Street?
Yes, Váci Street has a variety of restaurants serving traditional Hungarian dishes. However, it's important to note that since Váci Street is a popular tourist destination, prices can be higher and some places may cater more to tourist tastes.
How do I get to Váci Street?
Váci Street is centrally located and easily accessible by public transport. You can take the M1 or M2 metro lines and get off at Deák Ferenc tér station. From there, it's a short walk to the northern end of the street.
Is Váci Street safe at night?
Váci Street is generally considered safe at night, with plenty of people and well-lit areas. As with any major city, however, it's always important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Is Váci Street worth visiting?
Yes, Váci Street is worth a visit, particularly for first-time visitors to Budapest. It offers a vibrant atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and plentiful shopping opportunities. However, if you're looking for more local and less touristy experiences, there are many other neighborhoods in Budapest to explore.