Where To Stay in Budapest, Hungary - Guide of Best Areas and Hotels

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and one of the largest cities in the European Union. It is a leading city with advances in commerce, finance, tech, education and more. It has been ranked world’s second best city by Conde Nast Traveler and Europe’s seventh idyllic place to live by Forbes. It is also the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe. Indeed, it is a gem in Central Europe – it is known for stunning architecture, history and nightlife.

Until 1873 Budapest ([‘budapɛst], Hungarian: [‘budapɛʃt]) was in fact two separate cities – Buda and Pest and even today the two sides, dramatically divided by the Danube river could not be more different. Buda is gentle, relaxed and green, while Pest is the energetic and dynamic center for commerce and nightlife. There are many hotels and places to stay in Budapest, for any kind of traveler and any wallet. The biggest offer of hotels is found in Pest, and aside from the 5 star hotels, much accommodation is priced lower on average that in most other EU cities.

Besides their Hungarian names, the neighborhoods in Budapest have also been allocated numbers, which makes them much easier to remember. Follow along to learn more about the most recommended neighbourhoods to stay in in Budapest from an insider’s point of view.

Table of Content


Part 1. A quick glance at Budapest’s recommended neighbourhoods

Budapest I – Budavár – the historic center of the city, busy by day and quite empty at night

Budapest V – Belváros – vibrant area by the river best for shopping, dining and upscale accommodation

Budapest VI – Terézváros – a largely upscale and cultured area with some budget hotels

Budapest VII – Erzsébetváros – former Jewish ghetto, now the nightlife hub of Budapest

Budapest VIII – Jószefváros & Palace District – a partly run-down area with several gorgeous spaces

Budapest IX – Ferencváros – up and coming and trendy craft beer hub with affordable hotels

Budapest XIII – Újlipótváros & Angyalföld – serene residential area with many holiday apartments


Part 2. Recommended neighbourhoods and hotels to stay in Budapest

Budapest I – Budavár

Pronounced: [‘budʌ’va:r]

- Overview

This district is Budapest’s most historic and beautiful one, dating back to the 13th century. Here you find the city’s most impressive buildings, stunning greenery, gardens and mesmerizing views of the Danube river. Each square meter of this area is steeped in the fascinating history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, showcasing its Golden Age.

During the day, Budapest I is filled with tourists queuing up to enter various attractions, while at night most of the crowd return to the Pest side of town, leaving this area virtually empty. Renting here can offer you a unique experience of the city: you can have the charming streets all to yourself before and after the wave of tourists arrives. If you decide to spend the night in a more dynamic way – Pest is just a short bus or taxi ride away. This area can be perfect for a mature couple, a family with kids or history buffs choosing to better explore the historic buildings. Price wise, this area is ready to host travelers with any budget –the ones preferring the Hilton, a mid-sized hotel or a youth hostel.

- Main Attractions

* Fisherman's Bastion (must see)
* Lanchid Palace
* Royal Palace (must see)
* Matthias Church (must see)

- Recommended Walks

Take this tour to easily explore the oldest part of the city and some of its most impressive settings:

* Buda Walking Tour

- Pros of Staying Here

- Most stunning architecture
- Major attractions located here
- Quiet after the tourist waves subside

- Cons of Staying Here

- Crowded during the day
- Dead during the night

- Recommended Hotels within $262 - $384

Hilton Budapest (5*) - a well-located hotel with gorgeous views available in some rooms and high quality facilities

- Recommended Hotels within $139 - $261

Maison Bistro & Hotel (4*) - a superb hotel with themed rooms, great food and professional staff
Boutique Hotel Victoria Budapest (4*) - a great hotel offering elegant and cozy rooms, magnificent views and professional service
Pest-Buda Hotel - Design & Boutique (4*) - a beautifully designed hotel offering a quiet location, perfect for business travelers or a romantic vacation

Other hotels worth mentioning: Baltazár Budapest - Boutique Hotel (4*), Hotel Clark Budapest (4*), St. George Residence - All Suite Hotel DeLuxe (5*)

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

Butik Design Buda - an interestingly designed guest house with small yet funky and original rooms and an elevator at your service
Budget Hotel Victoria (3*) - a neat hotel covering basic needs with a tad of upscale feel to it - good value for the prices charged
art'otel budapest, by park plaza (4*) - an artsy hotel welcoming you with spacious rooms and some amazing views, great for a romantic stay

Other hotels worth mentioning: Hotel Castle Garden (4*), Lanchid 19 Design Hotel (4*)


Budapest V – Belváros

Pronounced: [‘bælvaroʃ]

- Overview

District V, also referred to as downtown, is situated along the Pest side of the Danube river. This is the pulse of the city as it is the country’s political and economic powerhouse, and a hotspot for restaurants, bars and cafes. Architecturally, this area impresses with restored 19th century buildings as well as some spectacular Art Nouveau facades, many of which host fashionable shops. During Christmas time, here you will find charming markets. If you decide to lay your head in Belváros during your time in Budapest, you will be in the center of the action. Despite being quite touristy, this area is convenient due to its location and the wide range of entertainment on offer. There are many hotels concentrated in this area. The grander, more luxurious ones can be found on the main streets, while side streets will hide the smaller, budget ones.

- Main Attractions

* Vidago Palace (Concert Hall)
* Great Market Hall (must see)
* St. Stephen's Basilica (must see)
* National Academy of Sciences
* Shoes on the Danube Bank
* Vaci Street
* The Chain Bridge (must see)
* Parliament Building (must see)
* Gresham Palace (must see)

- Recommended Walks

To take the best out of your tour around the most touristy neighbourhood in Budapest, follow these self-guided walking tours:

* Danube Promenade Walking Tour
* Leopold Town Walking Tour
* Souvenir Shopping
* Falk Miksa Antiques Hunting
* City Centre Shopping Walk
* Inner City Hidden Courtyards Walking Tour

- Pros of Staying Here

- Many shopping and dining options
- Situated by the riverfront
- Beautiful architecture

- Cons of Staying Here

- Can get crowded

- Recommended Hotels within $385 - $638

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest (5*) - a luxury hotel hosted in a century old building offering great location and pleasing on-site facilities

- Recommended Hotels within $262 - $384

Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Hotel Collection (5*) - an immaculate hotel boasting great staff, gorgeous and fun rooftop bar and much more to offer
Walk Inn Váci 78 - a quite unique inn with an unusual decor, spacious rooms and a good location

Other hotels worth mentioning: Iberostar Grand Budapest (5*), The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (5*)

- Recommended Hotels within $139 - $261

Hotel Parlament (4*) - a snazzy boutique hotel spoiling its guests with nice touches and rich breakfasts: good value for the money
Prestige Hotel Budapest (4*) - an upscale elegant hotel with comfortable rooms and beds, spacious bathrooms and an on-site restaurant
The Loft Budapest - a nice hotel hosted in a century year old building welcoming you with spacious rooms and a very elegant design

Other hotels worth mentioning: Hotel Rum Budapest (3*), Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest (5*)

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

Vik Rooms Budapest - a neat guesthouse offering a great location and modern rooms: great for a family stay
Pal’s Hostel and Apartments - a very affordable hostel with an excellent location offering facilities to cover basic needs and a pleasant atmosphere
Downtown Oasis - a homey hostel with spacious rooms, including family rooms, offering good value for the prices charged

Other hotels worth mentioning: Budapest Heritage Guest House, Maverick Hostel & Ensuites


Budapest VI – Terézváros

Pronounced: [te’ri:zvʌrɔʃ]

- Overview

Budapest VI is yet another great and diverse neighborhood. Some of the city’s most elegant streets are found here, and its upper part is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is unique as it is both aristocratic and raw, both touristy and residential, and here you can find high class culture entertainment as well as nightclubs and many bars. If you choose to rent in Terézváros, you will get a taste of that life in Budapest is like for residents. While still being well connected to neighboring areas, you can spend your time wandering the tree-lined boulevards, visit cute hole-in-the-wall restaurants and shop in the many boutiques. The south end of this neighborhood will give you a more upmarket experience where you can find more upscale hotels, while in the northern and eastern ends you will find more of a budget travel vibe.

- Main Attractions

* Ferenc Hopp Eat - Asian Art Museum
* Pest Broadway
* House of Terror (must see)
* Oktogon
* Franz Liszt Square
* Royal (National) Opera House (must see)
* Zoltan Kodaly Memorial Museum
* University of Fine Art
* Academy of Music

- Recommended Walks

These guides will assist you in finding the most important attractions in this area and help you decide where to head out to party the night away:

* Pest Walking Tour
* Walking Tour on Andrassy Utca
* Nightlife Tour, Part 2

- Pros of Staying Here

- Mostly elegant and residential
- Many shopping and dining options

- Cons of Staying Here

- Some areas are gritty

- Recommended Hotels within $139 - $261

Hotel Moments Budapest (4*) - a well-located upscale hotel with comfy rooms and varied on-site facilities: good for a family and business stay
Callas House (4*) - a classy-modern hotel offering a great location, bright rooms and professional staff: perfect for a business stay
Mamaison Residence Izabella Budapest (4*) - a quietly located neat hotel offering spacious rooms and useful on-site facilities: good value for the money

Other hotels worth mentioning: Casati Budapest Hotel Superior (3*), Opera garden Hotel & Apartments (4*)

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

Hostel One Basilica - a very young and fun hostel where the party never stops offering varied tours to guests
12 Revay Hotel (3*) - a cozy boutique-style hotel boasting wonderful location, good breakfasts and friendly helpful staff
Pal’s Mini Hostel - a well-located colorful hostel with clean rooms and friendly staff, perfect for a budget traveler

Other hotels worth mentioning: Ho-Bi Room and Apartment, Friends Hostel & Apartments, Multipass Hostel


Budapest VII – Erzsébetváros

Pronounced: [,ɛrʒɪbʌt’va:rɔʃ]

- Overview

Budapest VII is the home of the former Jewish Ghetto, and is the Jewish Quarter today, filled with Kosher delis and gorgeous synagogues. It has been run down due to the war, however in the last years it became gentrified and is now an investment destination and up-and-coming district. Besides being the center of Jewish life and history, it is also the undisputed nightlife hub of Budapest. Here you will find a lively dining scene as well as the famous ruin pubs – bars located in non-renovated buildings, with a raw and urban feel.

Budapest VII is the perfect place to stay for the young and young-at-heart visitors, looking for some fun. If you choose to stay here, you will be up for a treat – the vibrant mix of history and fun will make your trip memorable. During the day you can explore the Jewish quarter and see many traditional craftsmen still working in this area, while at night you can hop the bar scene. Be aware that some of the streets are particularly loud at night. Renting here is averagely priced, with many more budget options than in most other areas.

- Main Attractions

* Tree of Life in the Raoul Wallenberg Park (must see)
* Rumbach utca Synagogue
* The Great Synagogue (must see)
* Orthodox Synagogue
* New York Palace

- Recommended Walks

No matter what your game is - exploring of partying, these self-guided tours will help you find your way around this neighbourhood:

* Jewish Heritage Walking Tour
* Ruin Pubs Tour
* Nightlife Tour, Part 1

- Pros of Staying Here

- Nightlife district
- Home of the famous ruin pubs
- Many attractions and historic sights

- Cons of Staying Here

- Gets quite loud at night

- Recommended Hotels within $139 - $261

Bo33 Hotel Family & Suites (4*) - an unusually decorated hotel with friendly staff and varied on-site facilities: great for a family stay
Eurostars Danube Budapest (4*) - a nice hotel with an upscale feel to it featuring comfy rooms and varied on-site facilities: good value for the money

Other hotels worth mentioning: New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection (5*)

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

E14 Design Hostel - an interestingly designed hostel with clean and comfortable rooms and a very welcoming host
Maverick City Lodge - a modern boutique style hostel offering nice and clean dormitory and family rooms, great location and great value for the money
Roombach Hotel Budapest Center (3*) - a quirky boutique-style hotel close to all the action and transport, and offering good value for the prices charged

Other hotels worth mentioning: AnVa House, Sissy Residence (3*)


Budapest VIII – Jószefváros & Palotanegyed (Palace District)

Pronounced: [‘euʒɛf,va:rɔʃ], [‘pɔlɔtʌ,nægɛd]

- Overview

This is one of the largest central areas in Pest. Its reputation varies, with some parts of Budapest VIII thought of being less-than-desirable. However, as any large area, it has good and bad parts. The area known as the Palace District is quite fantastic, while the eastern part is pretty gritty and run-down.

If you choose this neighborhood to stay in, you would be best advised to do so in the inner part of the area – the Palace District. This area is quite the gem of Budapest VIII. Here you can enjoy some lovely green spaces, museums as well as Budapest’s alternative scene. The Palace District area has several 4 star hotels, while the eastern part offers budget hotels and several hostels.

- Main Attractions

* Rabbinical Seminary
* Orczy Garden

- Recommended Walks

Follow this guide to discover the main settings and attractions of the area:

* Palace District Walking Tour

- Pros of Staying Here

- Many budget friendly options
- Beautiful architecture and museum grounds
- Budapest’s alternative scene concentrated here

- Cons of Staying Here

- Some areas are run down

- Recommended Hotels within $139 - $261

Hotel Nemzeti Budapest - MGallery by Sofitel (4*) - an upscale and stylish hotel, hosted in a historical building, offering rich breakfasts and useful on-site services
Bo18 Hotel Superior (3*) - an interestingly designed boutique style hotel welcoming you with good breakfasts and delightful relaxing on-site facilities

Other hotels worth mentioning: Art Photography Hostel Budapest, Courtyard by Marriott Budapest City Center (4*)

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

House Beletage (3*) - a very cozy hotel welcoming you with individually designed bright rooms and nice terrace: perfect for a romantic stay
Hotel Palazzo Zichy Budapest (4*) - a classy hotel hosted in a 19th century building featuring good-sized rooms, a sauna and a gym, great for a family stay
Brody House - a truly unique guest house with quirky designed rooms and a convenient location: good value for the money

Other hotels worth mentioning: Hipster Hostel, The Three Corners Hotel Anna Superior, Budapest Rooms Bed & Breakfast


Budapest IX – Ferencváros

Pronounced: [‘færɛntz,vʌrɔʃ]

- Overview

This is an up and coming neighbourhood, a bit farther from the center with not many tourists in sight. It is a largely residential area, with a relaxed and artistic vibe. Recently it became the hub for the craft beer scene of Budapest – you can see many locals and expats enjoying a nice cold one after work in its many trendy pubs.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed and immersive experience, this can be the place for you. Renting here will offer you calm surroundings to enjoy a slow paced vacation, removed from the tourist crowds. You can explore the many bars and pubs in the area and mingle with the locals. Staying here you will be close enough to the center, yet far from the noise and bustle. Hotels here are cheaper than in most other areas.

- Main Attractions

* Holocaust Museum (must see)
* Palace of Art (must see)

- Pros of Staying Here

- Best craft beer on tap in town
- Many hip bars and pubs
- Relaxed area with young locals and expats
- Not loud or crowded, yet close enough to center

- Cons of Staying Here

- Rough around the edges

- Recommended Hotels within $139 - $261

The Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel (4*) - a cozy modern hotel offering a good location and private parking, great for a family stay

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

Flow Hostel - a well-located modern hostel with varied and clean rooms providing good value for the money
Corvin Hotel Budapest Corvin Wing (4*) - a nice hotel with comfortable and clean rooms, featuring on-site restaurant and bar
Imre Guest House - a very affordable guest house featuring a lot of decor elements and covering basic needs

Other hotels worth mentioning: Inn Side Hotel Kalvin House (3*), Ibis Budapest Centrum (3*)


Budapest XIII – Újlipótváros & Angyalföld

Pronounced: [‘u:ɪlɪpɔt,vʌrɔʃ], [‘ɔŋial,fɔld]

- Overview

This quiet and pretty neighborhood is family-friendly and dreamy. The vibe here is serene, relaxed and cozy. You won’t see any nightclubs in the area but instead can enjoy a leisurely stroll. The Margaret Island which is very popular with the locals during the warmer months is accessible from this area.

This neighbourhood is perfect for families, mature couples and anyone else whose idea of a perfect vacation is to calmly observe the city by living like a local. This can also become a good base for those coming for a longer stay, as to not get too bogged down by the noisy center. There are several good and affordable hotels as well as plenty holiday apartments to rent.

- Main Attractions

* Japanese Garden (must see)
* Palatinus Water Park (must see)
* Musical Well (Fountain) (must see)
* Tamas Szechy Swimming Pools
* Water Tower (must see)
* Arpad Bridge
* Medieval Ruins (must see)
* Holdudvar

- Recommended Walks

Take the most of your tour to Margaret Island exploring its main attractions and entertainment options by following this self-guided walking tour:

* Walking Tour Around Margaret Island

- Pros of Staying Here

- A relaxed and safe area, good for families
- One can experience life as a local here
- Affordable accommodation

- Cons of Staying Here

- Almost no entertainment

- Recommended Hotels within $16 - $138

Aventura Boutique Hostel Budapest - an accommodating conveniently located hostel offering an interesting decor, useful amenities and good value for the money
Evergreen Budapest Guest House - a well located guest house with clean, nice and tidy rooms, offering good value for the prices charged
Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget (4*) - a delightful spa resort with indoor and outdoor pools, offering a quiet location and plenty of pleasing services

Other hotels worth mentioning: Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget (4*), Hotel Metro (3*), NH Budapest City (4*)


Part 3. Getting from the airport to your hotel

Budapest has just one airport, making it easy for you to find your way to downtown and back. Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is about 15 miles away from the city center, and the duration of the trip will depend on the transportation mean you opt for. Here are a few tips to help you get to Budapest downtown.

Taxi

A hustle free way to get to your hotel would be by taking a cab, but be sure it won’t be the cheapest. The fare from the airport to downtown would be around 7,000 - 8,000 HUF (US $ 25-$30), or even less, depending on the neighbourhood you are travelling to. Note, that there is just one official taxi company allowed to take passengers by the airport. It is called Főtaxi and you can find their representatives in booths by the exit doors. Usually their cars are painted in yellow and have their logo, waiting for their passengers right in front of the airport.

Besides regular taxis, a popular way to get a cab is by using Taxify app (available for both iOS and Android). Most of the times it is a bit cheaper, and you are able to track the driver’s arrival to the indicated pick up place. As soon as you provide you address and final destination, the price of the ride should be displayed. The backsides are that you’d need to have an internet connection to order the car, and that it’s a bit less reliable.

Busses and Metro

There are several buses that travel from the airport to city centre.

Bus line 100E is a very convenient shuttle bus as it connects the airport and the heart of Pest. Moreover, it has just a few stops, which makes the ride easier for the passengers. The bus has stops in Budapest IX, VII and its final stop is Deák Ferenc tér, in Budapest V. As the first bus leaves the airport at 5 am and the last one - at 12.30 am, no matter how late you arrive you won’t have to wait too much for it due to its advantageous schedule. The journey to the final stop will take about 45 minutes, and will cost 900 HUF (about US $3.25). Tickets can be bought from the driver or at the ticket vending machines. You can find the bus at the arrival level, between the two airport’s terminals.

Bus line 200E will take you from the Ferenc Liszt International Airport to the Kőbánya-Kispest station, in Budapest X. From there, you can take the blue metro line M3 heading to city centre. If you’d still need to change to other metro lines, you can do that at the Deák Ferenc tér station. Take the yellow line M1 if you’re heading towards Budapest VI, or the red line if you need to get to Budapest I. Bus 200E circulates between 4 am and 11 pm. The ticket for a bus ride will cost you 350 HUF (about US $1.30) if you buy it from kiosks or ticket vending machines, and 450 HUF (about US $1.60) if you get it from the driver.

If you arrive to Budapest by night and are in a real rush to get to your destination, you can take the 900 night bus. It circulates when 200E does not. You should get off the 900 bus at the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky station, and change to 950 night bus line, which has one of its stops at Deák Ferenc tér, in downtown. However, especially if your rental is not on a central street and is not close to any of the 900 bus line stations, we would recommend against taking this option at late night hours. The price of one ticket is similar to the one for 200E bus line.

There are no metro lines reaching the airport, so you’d need to take one of the mentioned busses and transfer to the metro lines wherever it’s more convenient to you.

Shuttles, Private Transfers and Car Rental

Private shuttles can be a very efficient way to get to your hotel, regardless of the time when you arrive to Budapest, especially when travelling with your family or a group of friends. There are a few services that you can pre-book online before your arrival. FYI the Airport provides its own shuttle service (called miniBUD) and the prices vary according to the final destination and number of travelers in the shuttle. For example, a ride of four passengers to downtown would total to about US $25, which is pretty convenient. The shuttle will drive you to the hotel door or any other needed destination. You can pre-book it online or find one on arrival. However, pre-booking will help you to avoid the hustle.

Private transfers are an upscale way to get to your destination. Usually, drivers will wait for you with a greeting sign, even if your flight is late. Private transfers are pre-ordered and, depending on the supplier you pick, you might choose between a car, minibus or bus, when traveling with a larger group of people. The main advantage of the private transfer over the shuttle services is that you won’t depend on other passengers or wait while they get to their hotels, and that you’ll enjoy a straightforward door-to-door journey.

If you are willing to move around the city whenever you want and wherever you want, then you should definitely rent a car. You can pre-book it or contact the car rental companies representatives at the arrivals (there are several, so you can make a brief research right away and choose what is best for you). One of the tips we’d like to give you here is to pick the “full coverage” option to have yourself and your loved ones insured.

Note: Make sure you have Hungarian Forints on your arrival. Neither Dollars nor Euros are accepted by bus drivers. Some taxis accept payments with credit cards.


Part 4. A Few Tips to Choose the Right Neighbourhood for You

Budapest’s many neighborhoods offer a distinct side of this dynamic city. Choosing the right neighborhood for the trip you envisage can make your vacation that much better. Here are a couple of tips to help you make your decision.

If your main goal is to explore the rich history of this capital, staying in Budapest I, V, VI and VII will help you reach this goal.

If you want your trip to include mingling with the locals over some late night cocktails, consider renting in Budapest V, VII and IX.

If shopping is on your itinerary, then you may want to choose Budapest V or VI.

In case you would rather prefer a slow-paced vacation, away from the tourist crowds, then Budapest IX and XIII can be your pick.

Those interested in the local beer scene and unpretentious fun, should consider Budapest VII or IX.

If you are travelling with your family, Budapest I or XIII could be the one you want.

Those searching for an artsy vibe, could opt for Budapest VI, VII, VIII or IX.