Budapest has quickly become one of the most visited capital cities in Europes. The ideal city for those interested in culture, soft adventure, food and explosive nightlife, Budapest is packed with incredible tourist attractions, like the Országház, the Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya) or the famed Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Now that you decided to visit, next to plan is where to stay in Budapest.
There are 23 districts in Budapest and they are numbered clockwise, in widening circles, similar to Paris. With so many districts full of different types of accommodation, it can easily become overwhelming and confusing to find the right hotel for any first time visitor to Budapest.
That's why we did deep research for you, to highlight the best neighbourhoods and the best areas to stay in, especially for first-time tourists. Trust us because we know Budapest very well because we lived in the city and explored every inch of it. We also speak Hungarian, the local language, so we can make trustworthy recommendations, from locals.
In this article, we go into great details about the areas to stay in Budapest and give you our recommendations with carefully handpicked hotels to help you with your individual needs and budgets.
Table of Contents
Where to stay in Budapest
When you visit Budapest for the first time, you should locate yourself in the Inner City (District V). This is the most central part of Budapest, an upscale area with incredible buildings, cafes and restaurants, suitable for all tourists. You will be next to many shopping boutiques as well, along with two of the most touristic streets in the city, called Vaci and Deak Ferenc streets.
If you are young at heart and fancy being in the more eclectic streets of Budapest, then the district VII is the right options for you. District VII is referred to as the party quarters, with streets dotted with bars and nightclubs.
For a more upscale experience, being in District I, next to the Buda castle is the place to be. You will be very close to the Rozsa Hill which is the richest part of the whole country, where celebrities live.
A cool, hipster, upcoming area is the district IX. This is where you will find the Central Market which offers daily fresh produce, but you will also be in proximity to important attractions like the Citadella, historical Gellért Thermal Bath and the Rudas Baths.
For down to earth cultural travellers, stay in District VI so you can be close to the Opera House, St. Stephen's Basilica and the famous Andrassy Avenue, a UNESCO boulevard with shops, restaurants and cafes.
Did you know? Budapest is bisected by the River Danube. One of the most popular tourist attractions, the 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the upscale Buda district with the more vibrant Pest side.
Insider Tip: Once you decided on a hotel, you can easily check if it's located in your desired district. Every address in Budapest contains the local postcode which is always 4 digit. The codes refer to Budapest addresses always start with 1 and the middle two numbers represent the district number. For example, 1066 refers to district 06.
Want to select something quick? Here's our personalised recommendation for the best areas to pick in Budapest based on your interests.
- Where to stay in Budapest for luxury: District I
- Where to stay in Budapest for first-time tourists: District V
- Where to stay in Budapest for culture: District VI
- Where to stay in Budapest for nightlife: District VII
- Where to stay in Budapest for budget and families: District IX
- Where to stay in Budapest for the Sziget Festival: District III
District V - Belváros (Inner City)
For the first time visitor to Budapest, District V is the best place to stay. Not only this is one of the most charming districts in Budapest but it's tailored for tourists too. You will find a vast number of hotels for all budgets, great cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops right at your doorstep. Shopping lovers will find District V especially lovely with several local boutiques and well-known brands located here.
By staying in District V you are never too far from any attractions like the Széchenyi Lánchíd, Erzsébet tér, Gellért Hill or Gellért Thermal Bath. Despite its vast size, Budapest is a surprisingly walkable city, so you can strategically locate yourself in District V and enjoy all tourist attractions, bars, restaurants and cafes around you.
Architecture lovers will want to stay in District V. Many buildings are neoclassical and several streets have been converted into pedestrian-only zones so you can walk at your own leisure. Vaci Utca is one of our favourite streets and we know you are going to love it too because it's full of shops, restaurants and boutiques tailored for all people and all budgets.
District V is home to many hotels, and while most of them are luxury 5-star accommodations, you will find well-priced apartments here too. District V is a great location for all types of travellers, thanks to its key proximity to all attractions and food establishments.
Insider Tip: Visiting Budapest for the Christmas Market? Then even more reasons for you to stay in District V as you will be walking distance from all the market stalls. Don't forget to walk to the nearby St. Stephen’s Basilica, one of the best tourist attractions in the city. During the summer you should take a Danube cruise as the ports are mainly located in front of the hotels of District V.
District V is essentially the heart of the city, where you can shop, eat, relax and enjoy a tremendous amount of wonderful architecture. District V is on the pricier side but when you stay here, everything is within walking distance from your hotel. If you want to visit the Buda side, cross the Danube on either The Chain Bridge, Elizabeth Bridge or Liberty Bridge.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in District V.
District I - Castle District
District I is one of the most beautiful and most visited areas in Budapest. District I is home to the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the famed Fishermen’s Bastion. You will stay in a district with cobbled streets, stunning monuments, wonderful photographic opportunities and traditional restaurants. The area is one of the most expensive in the city and this is the most coveted part of Budapest for locals. It is really quiet at night which makes it very appealing for luxury travellers.
The Castle district is especially stunning at night. You can walk along the Danube and admire the lit-up façade of the Országház (Hungarian Parliament). Many world-class photographers come to this district to take some of the most stunning photos of the Hungarian Parliament.
District I is a luxury area and the hotels and apartments here are priced for luxury travellers. This is the best place to stay if you want a hotel room in a calm and serene environment. It’s a brilliant neighbourhood for those in need of a relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of the Pest side.
Insider Tip for luxury travellers: Stay in District I but walk towards District II, where you will find Rózsadomb (Rose Hill). This area is known to offer spectacular views over the whole of Budapest. It’s also where you will find the rich quarters with impressive villas where celebrities live. There are three baths in the area called Veli Bej, Kiraly Bath and Lukacs Thermal Bath.
You can relax with a long walk around the Citadella from where you can take panoramic pictures of the city. For a great way to end the day, don’t forget to check the Gellert Hill which is right next door.
Stay in District I if you want to explore the vibrant sides of Budapest during the day, but withdraw to a quiet hotel room, in one of the most expensive areas in the city.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in District I.
District VI - Terézváros
District VI is the best area to stay in Budapest if you are a culture seeker. It is home to the famous Andrassy Avenue, The Opera House, the Music Academy, the Operetta Theatre, The House of Terror and many other museums. You can walk from one end of Andrassy Avenue to the other and admire the tree-lined spacious boulevard. The journey will take you to the Millennium Monument, the Vajdahunyad Castle, and the Szechenyi hot baths.
The Nyugati train station also belongs to District VI, where you will find a large shopping centre, West End, with all sort of recognizable high street brands, for your convenience
Insider Tip: Andrassy Ave is a UNESCO Heritage site, so pick your accommodation close to the main avenue. You will be in close proximity to district VII, where you can go and party but also close to the district V for shopping, cafes and restaurants. On Andrassy Avenue, you will also find major boutique brands like Burberry, Gucci, Rolex, Ralph Lauren and more.
District VI is great for those who wish to stay closer to shopping and cultural attractions. There are so many great things to do in this district including walking around the Varosliget, soaking in the Szechenyi baths and visiting virtually every single museum on the Andrassy Avenue. Talk to your hotel reception to help you book tickets to the opera and have a delightful cultural night out.
When you stay in District VI, make your way to Retró Lángos Budapest, where you will find the best langos in Budapest. If you love seafood, make a reservation at the Bigfish Andrássy Seafood Bistro and for a fancy drink with a view, head over to the 360 Bar.
Very important! Many guides suggest that District VI is ideal for budget travellers. This is NOT true. Except for Ó utca which is home to a few hostels, District VI is home to expensive hotels and brands. District VI is ideal for culture travellers and the hotels in this area are suitable for mid to top-range budgets. In the last few years, District VI has been renovated fully. It is just walking distance from the expensive streets of Andrassy Avenue, and shopping locations in District V. This is now a fairly expensive neighbourhood!
District VII - Erzsébetváros
District VII is the former Jewish district in Budapest and the ideal place to stay for the young party people. Your hotel in this neighbourhood will be walking distance from The Great Synagogue located on Tobacco Street (Dohany Utca), a major tourist attraction in the city.
This district is popular amongst locals and tourists who wish to enjoy a vibrant nightlife and visit the famed ruin bars. Stay in District VII if you want to party, mingle with locals and have a great time.
When staying in District VII make sure to visit the Szimpla bar is one of the most popular tourist ruin bars. It's known for its Trabant car located right in the middle of the bar.
There are several street food places, crafts shops and speciality cafes so you will never be far from any amenities you need during your stay in Budapest. You can find great brunch restaurants with an eclectic interior here, making it ideal for young tourists and couples.
For a sophisticated brunch, head to the New York Palace on Grand Boulevard and enjoy a lemonade made with a 19-century recipe and a great selection of scrumptious cakes. This is where many famous Hungarian writers and artists used to meet.
District VII is a popular place to stay amongst young people because it is the lively heart of Pest where people come to the party and have a good time. District VII is home to an array of bars, nightclubs and a variety of accommodation to cover all spectrum of budgets.
For budget travellers, you can find colourful hostels here which are just minutes away from the party places. District VII is more vibrant, but also down to earth, multicultural and exciting. If you want to party, meet like-minded individuals and have an explosive time in Budapest then district VII is where you need to stay.
Insider Tip: With so many lively party places it's natural to see parties going strong until the morning. If you are a light sleeper or need quiet in the night, get a hotel room with views of the inner courtyard. This way the traffic and noisy Friday parties will not disturb you.
District IX - Ferencváros
District IX is a diverse part of the city, an upcoming district with many flats currently in renovation. Stay in district IX if you are on a budget and don't mind walking 20-30 minutes to reach main tourist attractions in the city.
If you decide to stay in District IX, position yourself as close to the Liberty Bridge as possible. This is because your accommodation will be just 5 minutes away from the coveted District V, but with a much lower price tag. You will also be right next to the Central Market Hall for daily fresh produce and close to many affordable restaurants like the For Sale Pub or Vega City.
There are lots of new restaurants, bars and hipster places opening up in District IX also. It's quickly becoming a gentrified area and a preferred hotspot for young couples and professionals.
Staying here is a smart choice for budget travellers, as the area is not yet as expensive as other district and it can be just 10 minutes walk away from the Inner City. If you are plant-based or just love good, fresh food, then this District is ideal for you.
If you get your accommodation close to the Central Market, you are just a few minutes walk from the Inner City, but without having to pay the high prices. The area still has various restaurants and bars and it is lively in the summer but relatively quiet at night which makes it great for couples and families.
Insider Tip: Rent an apartment close to the Liberty Bridge and walk first thing in the morning to Gellért Thermal Bath. The Baths open as early as 6 AM, so thanks to your locations mean that you can be one of the first visitors, enjoying the baths with lesser tourists around.
District III - Óbuda-Békásmegyer
Óbuda is the second largest district in Budapest. It is also the oldest. One of the main reason why tourists stay here is for the proximity to the Sziget Festival. The famed Sziget Festival is held on the Hajógyári-Sziget in District III.
Apart from the festival, you should visit the main squares in Óbuda and admire the wonderful baroque buildings located in the district. This is an excellent place for traditional Hungarian taverns which offer well-made dishes at great prices, affordable for locals.
You will also find unattractive large tower blocks built during the communist era but this is part of the historical charm of Budapest. If you don't want to be close to the tower blocks, you can avoid the Békásmegyer area and stay around the Óbuda.
Insider Tip: We are going to be honest. While visiting Óbuda is a great experience while you are in Budapest, Óbuda itself is far from most tourist attractions in Budapest. Therefore, there is only one reason for renting accommodation in District III: Sziget Festival. For those interested in private hotel rooms or nice apartments away from the festival grounds, District III is a great choice. Of course, make sure you pick something closer to the Hajógyári-Sziget and not on the outskirts.
Because District III is not very close to the main attractions, there are better districts to stay in Budapest, as mentioned previously in this guide. Nevertheless we do recommend this district if you come specifically for the Sziget Festival.
Very Important: The Sziget Festival is incredibly popular. We are talking about over half a million visitors coming to Budapest just for the Sziget Festival. This means that accommodation around the festival gets booked up very quickly and very early. So make sure you book well in advance!
Outer Budapest Districts
The information below is mostly suitable for those interested in renting long term in Budapest. Budapest is a hotspot with digital nomads and we know that many like to know where to stay in Budapest for a longer period of time. We still recommend that you try and get something in the previously mentioned districts, as they are closer to amenities, main squares and cultural attractions.
However, if you are on a budget and want to experience a more local-oriented district, have a read at what to expect below and where to find the right accommodation.
District VIII - Józsefváros
District VIII is one of the most populated areas in Budapest. This area has a distinctive atmosphere with various libraries, hospitals, universities and museums. The area looks more underdeveloped than other Inner districts in Budapest. District VIII is home to the Keleti train station, so it's great for day-trippers. The edge of the district which is close to the Inner City has various attractions including the beautiful National Museum and the Natural History Museum.
District VIII acquired its nickname Chicago, as it used to be among the most crime-ridden parts of the city. But this is all changing as the government initiated a lot of programs to rehabilitate this district and make it more investable and safe.
District IV - Újpest
Rather far from the inner city, District IV is mainly residential. There are a lot of communist type houses in the area. You can take the M3 metro line to get to this district, although, unless you are a resident, this is not the ideal place for tourists. Expect very affordable accommodation for the long term visitors and digital nomads.
District XI - Újbuda
Many wealthy citizens used to live here before they moved to the fancy Buda Hills. District XI has Gellert Hill, which is absolutely fantastic for an evening walk to see incredible panoramic views. It’s a really beautiful place for day visits, but not so much for tourist accommodation. This is because it will take a while to cross the bridge and make your way to livelier quarters of the inner city.
If you love soft adventure and are an outdoors person, head to District XI and enjoy the hills which are perfect for a hike. You escape the bustle of the city and admire beautiful views of Budapest from the Széchenyi Hill. If you don’t fancy a hike, you can use the cogwheel railway.
District XIII - Angyalföld-Újlipótváros-Vizafogó
Újlipótváros is the newer part of the District where you will find more and more young professionals. There are new housing developments in the area.
Angyalföld is more typical for working-class residents. You might find yourself in District XIII if you wish to relax on Margaret Island.
District XIV - Zugló
Zugló is the largest green district in Budapest. It’s currently undergoing a lot of development because it’s recently become a more popular target for residents interested in buying flats. It’s a lovely place to visit because of the Hero’s Square, the City Park, Budapest Zoo and Botanic Gardens.
If you decide to stay in Budapest long term, it's a good district to check out and find affordable flats.
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Thank you for reading our ultimate guide on where to find the best Budapest accommodation. We are excited that after reading our article you now know how the city is structured and understand which neighbourhood and hotel are most suitable to you. Don't forget to check how to get from the Airport to the city centre.
Budapest is a fantastic city, one which really stole our heart. We started with just 24 hours in Budapest, then spent another 3 days in Budapest and ended up moving here. We love Budapest and we know it's one of the most popular cities in Europe. It's ideal for a long weekend but also for digital nomads who want to rent long term accommodation. You will love all traditional Hungarian food also, especially if you love travelling to discover new cultures and culinary treats.
We always handpick our hotel recommendations and offer options for all budgets and price ranges. Now you know everything you need to be able to book an excellent hotel in Budapest.
To reiterate, this deeply researched guide was created thanks to the fact that we lived in Budapest and we speak Hungarian as natives. Any further questions you might have or help you need, let us know in the comments section below. Enjoy your trip to Budapest.