Budapest is a fantastic city and it has a lot to offer tourists. The city has 22 districts and covers more than 500 km2. As a result, it isn’t always easy to find out where to stay and which hotel/apartment is ideal for you as you visit the Hungarian capital. This article will give you helpful advice about some of the most popular Budapest districts and also come with concrete suggestions based on your needs and the size of your wallet.
We have met many tourists who booked a cheap hotel in Budapest, only to discover that it was located more than 10km outside the city center of Budapest. If you don’t mind spending lots of time traveling by public transportation, or if you rent a car, that is okay. But we do know that it isn’t an ideal situation for most travelers. Where should you book your hotel in Budapest? Let us take a closer look at the best areas.
The best areas to live in as a tourist in Budapest.
If you come to Budapest to discover the city, most people agree that the first, fifth, sixth, and seventh districts are the best. The first district is on the Buda side (near the Castle), while the fifth, sixth, and seventh districts are on Pest. Tourists, in general, spend most of their time at Pest, while Buda is somewhere they go once or twice as they visit the castle area and also Gellert Hill. Based on this, we normally recommend tourists to book a hotel on the Pest side as it saves them time whenever they go shopping, sightseeing, or eating in a restaurant.
District V (Belváros-Lipótváros):
This is the city center and the most popular neighborhood for tourists. It’s home to many of Budapest’s famous landmarks, such as the Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the shopping street Váci utca. This area is bustling with restaurants, cafes, and shops, and it also hosts traditional the famous Christmas markets and spring markets. If you want to live as close to the action as possible, it is worth booking a hotel or an apartment in this district. This area is popular among tourists, but it is quiet at night (meaning this is not where locals go to parties).
Would you like to book a hotel or an apartment in the fifth district of Budapest? Here you have some suggestions.
- Hotel Aria: The most expensive and luxurious hotel in Budapest at the moment. It is very central, close to Budapest Eye, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and other famous attractions.
- Hotel Zenit: Very close to the Danube and only 150 meters from the shopping street Váci utca. Ideal solution for those who want a cheap and brilliant four-star hotel in Budapest.
- City Hotel Pilvax: Is your goal to live close to the shopping street, museums, and attractions, but without paying too much? This three-star hotel might be what you have been looking for.
All these hotels are close to metro stops, bus stops, and tram stops. That makes them ideal for traveling elsewhere in Budapest with public transportation or by taxi whenever that is needed.
District VII (Erzsébetváros):
It is said that Picasso liked to sleep during the day and stay up during the night to paint. Do you feel like Picasso? Would you rather sleep until noon and stay up until early morning? If you are a party creature, the seventh district in Budapest is for you. We should mention that the district is perfect for “normal” people as well, but it is extremely well-suited for those who plan on staying up drinking, dancing, and chatting after midnight.
In the seventh district, you find the famous synagogue in Budapest. This area was earlier a Jewish ghetto. Today it is a vibrant district that never goes to bed. Here tourists can visit some of the best pubs in the world, including Szimpla Kert (the most famous ruin bar in Budapest) and tens of others. Most restaurants close at midnight, but there are bars and clubs remaining open until early morning.
If you want to live here, we can recommend some of the following hotels/apartments:‘
- Continental Budapest: A four-star hotel with elegance and luxury. It is a quiet hotel, but very close to attractions, bars, pubs, and restaurants.
- Stories Boutique Hotel: It is located in Király utca, a street with lots of restaurants and stores. It is also close to the ruin pubs and bars.
- Maverick City Lodge: This is the neighbor of Szimpla Garden, the legendary ruin pub in Budapest. The street is packed with other restaurants, bars, and pubs, making it the best place to stay if you plan on enjoying life to the max while visiting Budapest.
These hotels are also close to tram stops, metro stops, and bus stops. In other words, you can easily travel around Budapest if you decide to reserve a room in any of the mentioned hotels. Even though it is a different district, you can easily walk from any of these hotels to the shopping street (Váci utca) within less than 15 minutes from any of these hotels.
District VI (Terézváros):
The sixth district is located next to both the previously mentioned district, the fifth and the seventh. Just like the seventh district, it is a quite big district, meaning that it parts of it are very close to the city center, while you might end up far away from the city center if you book in the wrong area of the district.
Even though the seventh district is the number one district for nightlife, you will find several awesome ruin bars and pubs also in the sixth district. This is also an area with exclusive shopping along the Andrassy Avenue, the Hungarian State Opera, fancy restaurants, and cool theme restaurants such as Sir Lancelot (medieval), The Magic (Harry Potter), and Pirate Empire. If you visit one of those restaurants you will enjoy more than just the food on the table.
If you want to live in the sixth district we can recommend the following hotels.
- Bliss Wellness: A quite cheap hotel with four stars in Budapest. It has an indoor pool and other wellness services available.
- Revay Hotel: Are you only in need of a place to stay? This is a cheap three-star hotel with a great location in the sixth district of Budapest.
The hotels mentioned above are centrally located in the sixth district. They are good options, and you can reach the city center within 15-20 minutes of walking from both of them.
District I (Castle District):
Don’t you mind walking across a bridge to reach the city center of Budapest? Would you like to live possibly in a hotel with a view towards the Danube and the Hungarian Parliament? Does it sound nice to live in a neighborhood quiet at night, but bustling with tourists during the day?
The first district in Budapest is the castle district. Here you can find the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion, and many other beautiful buildings and historical locations. Inside the walls surrounding the area, you will also find many restaurants, souvenir shops, and a grocery store. This area is full of tourists in the middle of the day, but in the evenings, it becomes strangely quiet.
The most famous hotel in this article is the Hilton Hotel which is the immediate neighbor of the Matthias Church and the Fishermen’s Bastion. This has a fantastic location with a view towards the Danube that will give you double joy while eating the marvelous breakfast the hotel is offering. There are other hotels within the castle walls as well, but they are just quiet and do not have the same view as the Hilton hotel.
Would you like to live in the castle area? These are some suggestions for you!
- Hilton Buda: If you first live in the castle district, do it in a five-star way. Stay in the legendary Hilton hotel and enjoy the view towards the Parliament while eating your breakfast.
- Hotel Castle Garden: This hotel is just outside the walls surrounding the castle. It is close to both the castle and the nearest metro station, making it ideal for those who want to live in a peaceful area on the Buda side, but still close to the castle and public transportation.
It is important to remember that people spend most of their time on the Pest side. It is easy to reach the city center on the Pest side using the castle bus. If you decide to walk on foot you should calculate spending 20-30 minutes, depending on your speed and exactly where you decide to live. Walking from Hilton Buda to Váci utca at normal speed with a nice view is fully possible in twenty minutes.
What is the price of a hotel room in Budapest?
Hungary has seen a steep price increase for all services since 2022. As a result, you should calculate spending at least 100 Euro per night for a double room, no matter what time of the year you arrive. You can, of course, find cheaper rooms, but that requires you to compromise either on the location or the quality. If you book a room in any of the hotels or apartments recommend above, you need to calculate at least 100 Euro per night. Some of them are, of course, much more expensive.
Hotel Aria which we mentioned as the best hotel in the fifth district often charges more than 400-500 Euro per night. Hilton Buda which is another exclusive five-star hotel often charges approximately 250 Euro per night for a double room.
It is worth looking around and if you find other hotels in the district you are interested in with better prices, choose one of those instead.
The goal of this article has been to introduce you to the different districts in Budapest where we believe it is ideal to live as a tourist. Based on this you will have an easier job understanding where you want to live, and thus, find a hotel suitable for your wallet and plans.
Should I live in a hotel or an apartment?
This is an essential question and both alternatives have pros and cons. If you travel as a family an apartment often makes it easier to live together at a cheaper cost. It is also great to have the chance to prepare food in the apartment and store food in a fridge. There are many apartments all around Budapest and they often give you more value for your money, especially if you travel with 3 people together or more.
A hotel is a brilliant option if you need a place to sleep, but don’t plan to spend much time in the actual hotel room. Here you can eat your breakfast and you don’t have to worry about anything. Many hotels have additional services such as swimming pools, saunas, taxi services, 24-hour reception, and own restaurants, making it less worrisome than if you have to fix everything yourself.
We hope the information in this article has helped you and given you insight and ideas for where to stay during your trip to Budapest. If you have further comments, questions, or input, please use the comment field below.