Whoever would have thought that Budapest’s old Jewish ghetto would become the trendy part of the city, home to all the pubs and restaurants, popular with both tourists and with the young hip Budapest crowd?
The stone wall built to contain the ghetto has long since disappeared, and what was once a run-down part of the city has become well and truly gentrified.
The Jewish ghetto in Budapest was functioning for less than two months, from late 1944 until January 1945, when it was ‘liberated’ by the Soviets. After the wall went up then nothing would have been allowed in, nobody would have been allowed out and no provision would be made for the removal of dead bodies or of waste, meaning that many inside the wall would succumb to typhoid.
You can wander around and discover things by yourself or take one of the walking tours around the area. There are four Synagogues (one of which is the second largest in the world), some memorials, some truly unique architecture plus, of course, lots of bars and restaurants, including my favourite little ruin pub (and Lonely Planet’s 3rd favourite) Szimpla Kert. Budapest’s first ever ‘ruin pub’ has had its home here for ten years now and has more recently been joined by numerous others.