Finding your way around Budapest is easier than the welter of names might suggest. Districts and streets are well signposted, and those in Pest conform to an overall plan based on radial avenues and semicircular boulevards.
Budapest addresses begin with the number of the district - for example, V, Petöfi tér 3 - a system used throughout this section. When addressing letters, however, a four-digit postal code is used instead, the middle digits indicating the district (so that 1054 refers to a place in the V district).
As a rule of thumb, street numbers ascend away from the north-south axis of the River Danube and the east-west axis of Rákóczi út/Kossuth utca/Hegyalja út. Even numbers are generally on the left-hand side, odd numbers on the right. One number may refer to several premises or an entire apartment building, while an additional combination of numerals denotes the floor and number of individual apartments (eg Kossuth utca 14/III/24). Confusingly, some old buildings in Pest are designated as having a half-floor ( félemelet ) or upper ground floor ( magas földszint ) between the ground ( földszint ) and first floor ( elsoemelet ) proper - so that what the British would call the second floor, and Americans the third, Hungarians might describe as the first. This stems from a nineteenth-century taxation fiddle, whereby landlords avoided the higher tax on buildings with more than three floors.
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