At the back of its larger, better-known and much better preserved neighbour, the Kerepesi Cemetery, the Jewish Cemetery is arguably more evocative and atmospheric. To reach it, you need to follow the wall of the Kerepesi Cemetery along Fiumei Ut, turning left to continue following the wall and the tram lines along Salgótarjáni utca till you reach the entrance. Alternatively, tram 37/37a from Blaha Lujza tér stops just outside.
You may need to call the cemetery caretaker to unlock the gates and let you in – there is a number on the wall. He speaks a small amount of German as well as Hungarian.
The cemetery itself, founded in 1874, is now in a sad state of disrepair. Many of the tombs of wealthier families which line the perimeter have been broken into at some time and the graveyard itself looks as if it just hasn’t had much care taken of it over the years. The impression is of funds, manpower and time in short supply. However, the neglect does lend its own sense of atmosphere. Many of the tombs of the grander families – and some were clearly very grand – were built by leading architects of their time. They still retain a sense of stature, even clothed in ivy. The centre of the cemetery is crammed with graves, leaning one against another, only just making room for walkways between the rows. At the far end of the plot is a section where Holocaust victims were buried. With its simple stone markers, this is a very moving memorial.