Are you wondering where to stay in Budapest? I have lived in Budapest for years with my wife Cory, and we loved it so very much. I wanted to share my experience living in the city, and help you find the best place to stay.
In this article, I will go into great detail about the best areas to stay in Budapest and give you my recommendations on which hotels to pick based on location and budget.
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What area of Budapest is the best to stay?
District V is the best place to stay in Budapest for first time visitors. This is one of the most charming districts in Budapest, and it's well suited for tourists.
Is it better to stay in Buda or Pest in Budapest?
It's best to stay on the Pest side. District V, VI and VII are close to the downtown area and most attractions are within walking distance. It's easy to reach the Buda side via public transport.
Can you walk from Buda to Pest?
Yes, you can easily walk from Buda to Pest. Depending on where you are, it takes about 25-30 mins to cross the Danube. For example, it takes 30 mins to walk from the Parliament (Pest side) to the Castle district (Buda side).
|❤️ Best Area for first-timers:||District V|
|💎 Best luxury 5* hotel:||Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Hotel Collection|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||12 Revay Hotel|
|🛏️ Best budget hotel:||The Hive Party Hostel|
Where to stay in Budapest
The best area to stay in Budapest is Downtown (District V). This is the most central part of Budapest, an upscale area with incredible buildings, cafés and restaurants, suitable for most tourists. Two of the most iconic shopping streets (Vaci street and Deak Ferenc street) are in District V alongside many important attractions like the Parliament and St. Stephen's Basilica.
District VII is referred to as the party quarters, with streets dotted with pubs, bars, and nightclubs. The famous ruin bars like the "Szimpla Kert" and "Instant & Fogas Ház" are all located here.
For a more upscale experience, get your accommodation close to the Buda Castle in District I. There are a few hotel options within the walls of the Castle. The Fisherman's Bastion and the Matthias Church are within a short walk.
District IX is a cool, upcoming hipster area. Shop for fresh produce in the Central Market or visit the many museums and galleries. The Citadella fort and the historical Gellért Thermal Bath are across the other side of the Danube and can easily be reached by tram.
Downtown (District V)
Stay in Downtown Budapest as a first-time visitor
For the first time visitor to Budapest, District V is the best place to stay. Located in the heart of the city, it's the most charming district in Budapest. Most of the buildings in the centre were built in neoclassical style.
Attractions like the Széchenyi bridge, Erzsébet square, and Gellért Thermal Bath are all conveniently located within walking distance.
The Downtown area is full of cafés, restaurants, and bars. Many restaurants offer traditional Hungarian food and drinks, but there are international and vegan/vegetarian options too. You definitely won't be going hungry.
Shopping lovers will find District V especially lovely, with several local boutiques and well-known brands located here. In the summer, there are regular street markets at the Deák Ferenc square and in the winter, go to the Vörösmarty square for the best Christmas markets.
Public transport can quickly take you to other parts of the city. The subway lines M1, M2, and M3 all meet at Deák Ferenc square. The airport bus (100E) from Budapest Airport also stops here.
Where to stay in Downtown Budapest
There are a vast number of hotels for all budgets. Prices have increased in recent years since Budapest become the newest target of international tourism. Most hotels and apartments will cost around $300 - $350 for 4 nights.
Rooms are usually large and comfortable, and you will get free Wi-Fi included. There are many apartments for rent as well. These typically come with a small kitchen, washing machine.
Our top hotel picks in District V - Belváros are:
- Luxury (apartment): DeLuxe Panorama Residence
- Mid-range: SasOne Apartments
- Budget Hostel: The Hive Party Hostel
Castle District (District I)
Stay in Castle District for the Budapest Castle
The Castle District is the most beautiful and most visited area in Budapest. It is home to the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the famed Fishermen’s Bastion. It's cobbled streets, stunning monuments, wonderful photographic opportunities and traditional restaurants are all good reason to get your accommodation here. It’s a brilliant neighbourhood for those in need of a relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of the Pest side.
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). Stay in District I if you want to explore the vibrant sides of Budapest during the day, but withdraw to a quiet hotel room at night.
Located on the Buda side, most of the district is sitting on top of the Castle Hill. Access to the subway line M2 from the foot of the hill at Batthyány square. If you don't fancy the walk up the hill, take the Buda Castle Funicular from Clark Ádám square at the Chain Bridge. Tram 19 and 41 will take you along the Danube. Bus 16 take you directly to the Castle.
Where to stay in Castle District
The high-end luxury hotels are mostly within the Castle walls. The average price for these hotels is about $500-$600 for 4 nights in the off season. During summer, these prices can double.
The rooms are well sized, and they often decorated in classic/traditional style.
Closer to the Danube, along the Bem wharf, there are plenty of 4 and 3-star hotels. 4 nights will cost between $250-$300.
Our top hotel picks in District I - Castle District are:
Terézváros (District VI)
Stay in District VI for culture & art
District VI is home to the famous Andrássy Avenue, The Opera House, the Music Academy, the Operetta Theatre, The House of Terror and many other museums. The spacious, tree-lined, UNESCO Heritage Andrássy Avenue will take you to the Millennium Monument, the Vajdahunyad Castle, and the Széchenyi thermal baths.
When you stay in District VI, try Retró Lángos Budapest, where you will find the best lángos 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.
The Városliget is a large park that includes the Heroes square, the Széchenyi thermal baths, Vajdahunyad Castle, the best museums in the city like the Museum of Fine Arts and a Zoo and Botanical Garden. During winter, the lake is converted into a skating rink.
Public transport is conveniently available within a short walk. Your main subway stations are the Opera and Oktogon stations with access to M1 subway line and trams 4,6.
The area is safe, but be vigilant during night, especially close to the Nyugati train station.
Where to stay in District VI
There are over 100 4-star hotels in District VI. Prices usually start from $350 for a 4-night stay. A few adults only hotels like the Cortile Hotel offer an indoor swimming pool or spa.
The new 5-star Hard Rock Hotel Budapest on Nagymező street opened in 2022. This hotel is the 14th 5-star hotel in Budapest. Depending on your room type, prices start at $715 for 4 nights.
You'll find a range of hotels and apartments here to suit your budget, but generally, rooms tend to be on the pricier side. For a quiet accommodation, stay on the side roads where car traffic is limited.
Our top hotel picks in District VI - Terézváros are:
Jewish Quarters (District VII)
Stay in the Jewish Quarters for nightlife
District VII in Budapest is a popular destination for young people, locals, and tourists looking for a vibrant nightlife and the famous ruin bars, such as "Szimpla bar". There are always new pubs, bars, nightclubs, cocktail, and wine bars appearing in District VII.
The district offers street food, crafts shops, and speciality cafés, as well as brunch restaurants with unique interiors. For a more sophisticated brunch, the New York Palace on Grand Boulevard is recommended, which has a 19th century lemonade recipe and delicious cakes.
Staying in this district also puts you in walking distance to the major tourist attraction, The Great Synagogue on Tobacco Street, the largest Jewish place of worship in the world beside New York City.
Where to stay in the Jewish Quarters
District VII is a popular place to stay among young people because it is the lively heart of Pest. There is a variety of accommodations to cover all spectrum of budgets.
For budget travellers, you can find colourful hostels like the 7x24 Central Hostel. A 4 night stay starts around $100, but can go up to $300 during the busy season.
Hotel rooms are a bit pricier, but depending on your location, it's still possible to find a good deal. Vagabond Downtown is a 4-star hotel and 4 nights only costs between £290 and $390. The Magazine Rooms is also a great choice with large, comfortable rooms.
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 at night, get a hotel room with views of the inner courtyard. This way the traffic and noisy Friday parties will not disturb you.
Our top hotel picks in District VII - Erzsébetváros are:
- Luxury ($$): Exe Danube Budapest
- Luxury ($$): Leonardo Boutique Hotel
- Mid-range ($): Hotel Mika Superior
Ferencváros (District IX)
Stay in Ferencváros for budget and families
District IX is an upcoming neighbourhood with many flats currently in renovation. Stay within the Erzsébet bridge, Kossuth Lajos street, Ferenc Krt street triangle for many budget hostels, hotels, and apartments. You might have to walk 20-30 minutes to reach main tourist attractions or take the M3 subway line from Ferenciek Square, or the M2 from Astoria.
You will 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". If you are plant-based or just love good, fresh food, then this District is ideal for you. There are many new restaurants, bars, and hipster places opening in District IX as well. 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 districts, and it can be just 10 minutes walk away from the Inner City.
Where to stay in Ferencváros
As always, the available accommodation options vary from high-end 5-star hotels to very affordable hostels. The newly renovated 5-star luxury hotel Matild Palace is offering beautiful rooms starting $1300 for 4 nights. The 4-star Bohem Art Hotel has a, well, bohemian interior and is significantly cheaper, only about $350 for the same 4-nights stay. The Maverick Urban Lodge Hostel has a great location and the starting price for a 4-night stay is only $50.
If you get your accommodation close to the Central Market, you are only 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.
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 the first to enjoy the baths with few tourists around.
Our top hotel picks in District IX - Ferencváros are:
- Luxury: The Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel
- Mid-range: Inn Side Hotel Kalvin House
- Mid-range: Ibis Budapest Centrum
Palace District (District VIII)
Stay in the Palace District for traditional city vibes
Right next door to the Jewish Quarters, the Palace District (aka Józsefváros) used to be a run-down, neglected part of Budapest.
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 many programs to rehabilitate this district and make it more investable and safe.
Today, this neighbourhood is a frenzy of renovation. It is a densely populated, urban area with many universities, museums, hospitals, and libraries.
The edge of the district at Astoria is close to Downtown and has various attractions, including the beautiful National Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Public transport is outstanding. Take the subway M2 from Astoria, or the M3, M4 lines from Kálvin square. Tram 4 will take you around the city, but it gets busy during rush hour.
Where to stay in the Palace District
Most hotels are within the Astoria, Blaha Lujza square, József krt street triangle. The prices increase as you get closer to the Downtown area, close to Astoria.
Our top hotel picks in Palace District are:
- Luxury: Hotel Museum Budapest
- Mid-range (apartment): Palace Residence
- Budget (apartment): The Only Way Is Up!
Óbuda (District III)
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 would rather not 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, Óbuda itself is far from most tourist attractions. 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 quickly and very early. So make sure you book well in advance!
Our top hotel picks in District III - Óbuda & Békásmegyer are:
- Luxury: The Aquincum Hotel Budapest
- Mid-range (apartment): Wine Cellar Boutique Apartment
- Mid-range (apartment): Poppy Flower
Where to rent long term in Budapest
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 to 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.
Újpest (District IV)
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.
Újbuda (District XI)
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 charming 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 the 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.
Angyalföld, Újlipótváros (District XIII)
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.
Zugló (District XIV)
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.
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.
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions in the comments section below. Enjoy your trip to Budapest.