The day of my interview started leisurely. My interview started at noon, so I had time to sleep in, slowly get ready, perform some final interview preparations, and conduct a test walk to the office. After my interview—my seven hour interview—I decompressed with dinner, wine, and an early evening. I would have three more days in the city to explore and see if I could imagine myself living in Budapest.
Before my trip, many people told me that Budapest used to be the cities of Buda and Pest. That’s almost correct. I’ve since learned that current day Budapest was actually three cities: Buda, Óbuda (Old Buda), and Pest. Buda and Óbuda were both west of the Danube, and Pest was on the east. Today, people still refer to Buda and Pest when they discuss the two sides of the river. Óbuda was absorbed into Buda and is essentially the third district.
The three cities were unified in 1873 and became Budapest. There are four bridges that connect the city center area: Margaret Bridge, Chain Bridge, Elisabeth Bridge, and Liberty Bridge. There are many more bridges across the Danube, but these are the most central ones.
Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge connecting the two sides. It was completed in 1849, destroyed during World War II, and quickly rebuilt.
The city is divided into 23 districts. I found this completely confusing before I visited. After a day of exploring, I found it completely helpful.
When looking at addresses, oftentimes the district is listed, so your search is more focused instantly. If the district isn’t listed specifically, you can still figure it out. The postal codes in addresses actually tell you. If an address has the postal code 1051, you know that it’s in the fifth district. The first number, 1, tells you the address is in Budapest. The middle two numbers, 05, tell you the location is in the fifth district. The last number shares where within the district it is, which is really only helpful to people delivering the mail.
Coming up: Buda