The main artery of Budapest, namely Andrássy Street

Vivi Bencze | Live the World

November 23, 2022

In the following article, I am now going to present you our capital city’s fanciest avenue, which is at the same time one of the most practical roads of Budapest too, considering that there is almost never a traffic jam in it. The full length of this prestigious boulevard in question is 2310 metres, and it connects the downtown with the City Park. Along the road, you can bump into dozens of luxurious boutiques and shops, several cafés and restaurants, an opera house, but also multiple embassies too. Let me introduce you the main artery of Budapest, namely Andrássy Street, which is a part of the World Heritage Site since 2002, and gently provides a connection between the downtown’s bustle and the charm of the suburban area.

A brief story of the Street

The construction of the avenue started in 1871. The project was so enormous, that the decision-makers ordered the construction of brand-new dwelling houses and other buildings along the road, and as the same time they laid the plans of a crossing grand boulevard too. The full construction works of the avenue and the mentioned houses took 14 years, as the last plot got built up in 1885.

I find it important and interesting to note the brief story of the previous times too. Ahead of Andrássy Street, the main road of this public area was the parallelly stretching King Street, where even trams operated back then. However, the width of the road was so narrow, that slowly but surely the traffic and other demands outgrew the other legendary street of Budapest. This was the point when certain Gyula Andrássy, Sr. brought up the idea of a more practical boulevard to be built - in order to unburden the Király Street, in which proximity you can find for instance the Gozsdu Courtyard.

But who was Gyula Andrássy, Sr.?

Earl Gyula Andrássy, Sr. was the prime minister of the Hungarian Kingdom and foreign minister of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy – a Hungarian statesman. He took part in the Hungarian War of Independence between 1848 and 1849, for what he was deported from the country and lived in France for a while. He was even figuratively executed at home, even though he was highly active in the social life of Paris, at the same time. To provide you with a little curiosity, he was considered one of the most handsome men of his time. French women called him “le beau pendu”, namely “beautiful hooked”. According to the compromise between the Hungarian Kingdom and the Habsburg Empire in 1867, Gyula Andrássy, Sr. was free to move home. Later, he become one of the three individuals, besides Franz Joseph I. and Ferenc Deák, who officially established the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, after the long decades of fray between the two powers.

What can you find on the Street today?

Andrássy Street is so various that there is nearly nothing you can not find in it today. To list only the biggest names, one can find shops of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Michael Kors, Tag Heuer, Rolex, Breitling, Armani or Hublot here. The Hungarian National Opera House also can be found here alongside numerous restaurants and bars on the way. If you are after the horrific events of the past, you can also take a tour of the House of Terror, which is similarly situated in Andrássy Street. The boulevard begins at the Deák Square, the busiest part of Budapest, and it ends at the Heroes Square and the City Park. The subway also operates along the road, which with its construction in 1896 was the very first underground train on the European continent. In addition, Albania, Bulgaria, Columbia, Macedonia, South Korea and Turkey all have their embassies in this street.

Some call it the Hungarian Champs-Élysées, owing to the fact that Andrássy Street is the main artery of Budapest and also the most prestigious avenue of the Hungarian capital. It’s redundant to suggest you check it out and walk along its pavements, as you will not be able to avoid it, when being in the capital city of this historical treasure in the middle of Europe.

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