The historic Jewish Quarter is located in the heart of Budapest. The community once numbered over 200,00 has now shrunk to under 10,000 Jewish citizens during the Hungarian Holocaust. Budapest has three main synagogues with only two are still active today. Each synagogue was for a different branch of Judaism: Reform, Conservative and Orthodox.
Once situated outside of the city walls of Pest it was the perfect location to settle down for Jewish merchants. They started to build a residential neighborhood with synagogues, schools, kosher butchers and mikves, ritual baths.
Although the Jewish Quarter holds a majority of the stops, there are other important places to visit outside this district such as the Holocaust Memorial Center, the shoes in the Danube and the Pava Synagogue, all covered in this guide to the Jewish places to visit in Budapest.
We strongly recommend taking any of the free walking tours of the Jewish Quarter as you will learn more about the history of Jews in Hungary and what Jews went through during the Shoah in greater detail.
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One interesting fact to start out is that Budapest was actually threes cities that combined: Buda, Pest, and Obuda. Jews were only allowed to live in Pest for several centuries which is why the main Jewish District is located in the Pest side of the city. Although you can find other synagogues in the Obuda side. The cities were divided by the Danube River and Buda was on the hill while Obuda was along the river and Pest is in the other side of the river.
Today, the Jewish Quarter is the most lively district in all of Budapest. It is full of bars, restaurants and nightlife. In this neighborhood you will find the famous ruin bars. Hungary is such an interesting country with so much history. Check out this article if you are interested in learning more about Hungary.
Top Jewish Places in Budapest Map
Guide to the Top Jewish places in Budapest:
Kazincy Street Synagogue
Kazincy Street Synagogue is the Orthodox Synagogue and is still an active community. You can visit the synagogue from Sunday to Friday morning for a small fee. Even though in the outside it does not look as fantastic as the other two synagogues you will instantly fall in love with the interior.
Rumbach Street Synagogue
The Conservative synagogue, Rumbach Street, is not longer active after its community faced complete destruction during the Shoah. We visited the inside of the synagogue in 2016 and it was beautiful although it was falling apart inside and outside. We are happy to note that when we went back in 2018 and it is well under the renovation process and will soon open a Jewish Museum.
Dohany Street Synagogue
The Reform Synagogue, Dohany Street, is the biggest synagogue in Europe and the third biggest in the world. To go inside the Dohany Street Synagogue there is a small fee that also includes the entrance fee to the Jewish Museum, the Heroe’s Temple, the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park and the Jewish Cemetery.
This synagogue has a complex design as it was designed and built ultimately by three different architects. In the outside it has a Moorish revival style but inside it looks more romantic and reminiscent of a catholic church.
It is a series of connected courtyards, which served as the Jewish Ghetto during the Holocaust. In this small area is where thousands of Jews were forced to live and locked in with heavy gates.
Holocaust Memorial Center
The Holocaust Memorial Center was built in memory of all Hungarian Victims of the Shoah. It includes the Pava Synagogue, a museum, and a mesmerizing glass memorial.
Frankel Leó Street Synagogue
The Leo Frankel Synagogue has recently been restored and remains an active synagogue today with weekly services. Built in 1888, it was surrounded by houses in 1928 to hide the building from the street.
It is the oldest synagogue in Budapest built between 1820 and 1825 to serve the Jewish community that lived in Obuda at the time. It was sold to the Hungarian State-run television station in the 1960’s and it was converted into studios but in 2010 it was transformed back into synagogue and today it offers services again.
Shoes on the Danube
This memorial is one of the most impactful, moving and powerful memorials we have seen. It is located a few steps away from the Hungarian Parliament. The memorial was inspired by all the victims during the Holocaust who were taken along the Danube and tie in pairs, forced to take their clothes off, face the river and were thrown into the river being shot. The shoes are still waiting for their owners to come back from the river.
Where to eat Kosher food in Budapest?
There are several Glatt kosher restaurants in Budapest for those looking to enjoy traditional Hungarian and Jewish foods. Our favorite restaurants are Mazel Tov, Carmel, Hanna, Frohlich Pastry Shop, and Carimama.
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