Where to stay in Budapest

Budapest could seem like an overwhelming city, but when you arrive you’ll realise that it is a collection of neighbourhoods that are very well connected. Each one of them has its own character and charm and each provide a unique experience.
Getting around Budapest is easy and affordable as the city has a great tram, metro and bus network, however, it is also fairly accessible by foot. It is understandable that you want to stay in the best area based on your preferences and sometimes it is difficult to find enough information to make a decision without any regrets. Therefore our guide is the only thing you need to make your booking with confidence and make the most out of your stay. 

Budapest
Budapest sunset

Should I stay in Buda or Pest?

The million dollar question. When it comes to choosing where to stay in Budapest, there are more than enough options depending on what is most important for your particular needs. Before you arrive and certainly before you book a hotel, it’s helpful to understand the general city orientation and the fact that Budapest used to be two separate cities: Buda and Pest. It wasn’t until 1873 that the two cities merged into one. Even today, core Budapesters have very strong feelings about whether they belong to Buda or Pest.

Buda

Both sides have a very different vibe today. Buda is genteel, laid-back and green, dominated by the beauty of Buda Castle with sandcastle-like Fisherman’s Bastion and the Statue of Liberty on the top of Gellert Hill. Perfect for couples or families, Buda is the calm, quiet, shy little brother.

Fisherman’s Bastion

Pest

On the other side, Pest is energetic, vibrant and raw, with a dynamic mix of areas that always keeps things lively. Pest is the commercial heart of Budapest, and also the heart of the city’s nightlife and dining scene with the Best restaurants in Budapest. Whichever side you fancy being part of, Danubius Hotel Group will get you covered with an extensive selection of 3,4 and 5 star Budapest hotels around the city. With best price guarantee you are also ensured you find the best value for your money regardless of your budget.

Budapest
Szabadság Bridge

Overview of Budapest’s most exciting districts

The Royal District – 1st District

The Royal District is an upscale and charming part of the city. This is where we find Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church proudly towering over the capital. The views from here are some of the most instagrammable ones in the city.

During the day the Castle District is busy with tourists and government workers, however at night, it turns quiet pretty quickly. If you’re looking for buzzing nightlife, you’ll likely to find this district a bit too calm. This is an area to stay for families with young kids, art and history lovers looking for peace and quiet. There is nothing more romantic than taking a walk on the Promenade in the sunshine then enjoy an ice cold glass of wine in the most historic setting in the city.

If you wish to spoil yourself to a unique luxurious experience Hilton Budapest will do the job the for you. It will take you back to the ages of Kings and Queens right up in the heart of Buda Castle Royal District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The luxurious hotel offers its guests breath-taking panoramic views of the Danube both from their rooms and from their tables in the stylish LÁNG Bistro & Grill Restaurant.

Buda Castle
The Royal District Budapest
Hilton Budapest
Hilton Budapest
Luxury Travelers
5/5
Travelers With Kids
5/5
Romantic Trip
4/5
Senior Travelers
4/5
Stag Do
1/5
Backpackers
1/5

Pro’s and Con’s of staying in this district

Pro’s

Stunning setting and instagram-envy views with one of a kind architecture

Peaceful and quiet after the tourist hours

The best undisturbed evening walks

Con’s

Not the ideal choice for nightlife lovers

Peaceful and slower than other districts

Downtown – 5th District

The 5th district is what we usually refer to as Downtown.
The 5th is a fairly large district running alongside the Danube on the Pest side. It’s home to some of the city’s most popular and most impressive tourist attractions such as the spectacular Hungarian Parliament Building facing the Royal Palace on the opposite side. As are St Stephen’s Basilica, Shoes on the Danube monument as well as the stunning Chain Bridge. If you want to do some shopping while in Budapest, Fashion Street (Deák Ferenc u.) and Váci u., both in the 5th, are the place to do it. The overall vibe here is upscale and elegant. The gorgeous boulevards and pretty squares feel extremely classy.

This district is the best place to stay for tourist willing to stay in the heart of city and close to plenty of attractions, and loads of restaurants and cafés to enjoy. While it isn’t exactly a nightlife hub, 5th district is well-connected by public transit. With all the pros comes higher prices as it’s one of the city’s most expensive neighbourhoods. As such, it’s probably not a top choice for backpackers, budget travellers, and stag dos.

Chain Bridge Budapest
Chain Bridge Budapest
St. Stephen's Basilica
St Stephen’s Basilica
Luxury Travelers
5/5
Travelers With Kids
5/5
Romantic Trip
5/5
Senior Travelers
5/5
Stag Do
2.5/5
Backpackers
2.5/5

Pro’s and Con’s of staying in this district

Pro’s

All the downtown buzz

Great nightlife and close to main attractions

Excellent variety of cafes and restaurants

Con’s

Could be too busy for those looking for a peaceful and quiet stay

Higher price for accommodation

Our hotel recommendation in the 5th District

Another 4-star gem is Hotel Astoria City Center that opened in 1914 as one of the city’s most elegant hotels, and – over a century later – it stays true to that original character. Guests have always been attracted by its sublime fin-de-siècle architecture and comfortable rooms. And its location: a 10-minute walk from prime attractions like the Hungarian National Museum, the Great Synagogue (the largest in Europe), the Danube promenade and the famous Váci Street.

Danubius Hotel Astoria
Hotel Astoria

To further tighten the budget there are great 3-star options in the heart of the city such as Hotel Erzsebet. Whether you plan to do some sightseeing, browse the shops or go out for a special meal, this place is a great starting point. This modern, atmospheric hotel – occupying a recently pedestrianised street in the city centre – is popular among both business travellers and tourists exploring Budapest. It’s situated in the middle of bustling District 5, which is the capital’s business, commercial and cultural heartland.

Hotel Erzsébet
Hotel Erzsébet City Center

Terezvaros  – 6th District

Budapest’s 6th District has a split personality. The good news is, that means there’s something for everyone when it comes to finding a place to stay here.
The 6th district is home to the stately Andrássy Avenue, often called the Champs-Élysées of Budapest. Along here, you’ll find the Hungarian State Opera, gorgeous architecture, and high-end shops and cafés.
Head a few blocks off Andrássy, however, and you’ll find evidence of rapid change. Many of the streets look rather gritty from the outside, lined with ill-maintained buildings. With a prime location in downtown Budapest, however, it’s unlikely this area will maintain its grit for long. But overall, the 6th is a convenient area to stay in downtown Budapest, with something for everyone and staying well-connected to the city.

Hungarian State Opera House
Hungarian State Opera

Wishing to stay close to the beating heart of the city centre Radisson Blu Béke Hotel is an ideal choice for everyone who wants to explore the rich cultural life of the capital. The theatres, museums, restaurants and cafés located nearby guarantee that those interested in high-end entertainment will not be bored for a moment. The hotel is located near Western (Nyugati) Railway Station, just a few steps from Andrássy Avenue, and easily accessible by car or public transport.

Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Budapest
Radisson Blu Béke Hotel
Luxury Travelers
4/5
Travelers With Kids
2/5
Romantic Trip
3/5
Senior Travelers
4/5
Stag Do
5/5
Backpackers
5/5

Pro’s and Con’s of staying in this district

Pro’s

Best shopping destination for luxury lovers

Rich cultural life of the capital

High end cafes and outstanding architecture

Con’s

Higher price for accommodation

Busy avenues and continues buzz on the streets

Erzsebetvaros – 7th District

The historic Jewish quarter, Budapest’s 7th District is the ultimate destination for pleasure seekers. In addition to being home to long-time residents and a small Jewish community, today it is Budapest’s nightlife centre. If ruin pubs, food truck pods, craft beer, and hipster coffee sound up right up your street, you’ll fall in love with this district immediately. Stay here if you prefer walking home after you danced away your problems or tried to best wines in town.

Gozsdu
Ruin Pub Budapest
Luxury Travelers
3/5
Travelers With Kids
2/5
Romantic Trip
2/5
Senior Travelers
3/5
Stag Do
5/5
Backpackers
5/5

Pro’s and Con’s of staying in this district

Pro’s

Greatest area for nightlife and fun lovers

Cool ruin pubs, bars and vibes, young, energetic crowed

Craft beer and awesome street food

Con’s

This part of the city never sleeps

Always busy and loud

Higher prices

Ferencvaros – 9th District

The 9th is as far south as you’ll get in Budapest, while still feeling relatively central. On its northern edge, it touches the 5th district along the Múzeum Körút, turning into the Palace District at Kálvin Tér. The 9th is home to the Great Market Hall, which sits on its northern border, and is still considered “downtown.” Beyond the Market, the Bálna (the “Whale”) building is a great destination on a nice day. Its terraces offer unobstructed views of the Danube and Gellert Hill, and there’s some good coffee, drinks, and food options. Müpa Budapest (formally known as the Palace of Arts) and the National Theatre, the Holocaust Museum, Trafó Arts Centre and Corvinus University are all to be found in the 9th. There’s also a fair selection of craft-beer bars in the 9th as Budapest’s craft beer trend started here.

Bálna, The Whale
9th District Budapest, Ferencvaros
Luxury Travelers
1/5
Travelers With Kids
2.5/5
Romantic Trip
1/5
Senior Travelers
3/5
Stag Do
4/5
Backpackers
5/5

Pro’s and Con’s of staying in this district

Pro’s

Great attractions such as Palace of Arts, National Theatre

Best location for long, undisturbed walks alongside the Danube

Original home of traditional craft beer

Con’s

Slightly outside of the city centre

Further from the main attractions

Ujlipotvaros – 13th District

The big draw of Budapest’s 13th district is Margitsziget (Margaret Island), a large island-park on the Danube. The island has lovely gardens, a water park and sports pool, a fountain, a mini zoo and a running track all around.
Because Margit Sziget is such a huge draw for locals, this part of Budapest is a popular spot to live. Apartments here are snapped up quickly, and it has a pretty, residential vibe.
The inner section of the 13th, known as Újlipótváros, is the main part recommended for tourists. This part runs from Szent István krt. to Hungária körút. The closer to Szent István krt. you are, the more central it is. The area around Jászai Mari tér is very nice and super convenient with tramline 4 and 6 connecting the district to the main parts of the city.
The outer part of the district, known as Angyalföld, has much less to offer tourists. This is a working class district, and is quite far out of the city center for tourism.

Margaret Island
Margitsziget (Margaret Island)
Luxury Travelers
3/5
Travelers With Kids
4.5/5
Romantic Trip
3/5
Senior Travelers
4/5
Stag Do
1.5/5
Backpackers
3/5

Pro’s and Con’s of staying in this district

Pro’s

The beautiful Margitsziget is the best location for outdoor and sport lovers

Best running tracks on the island or alongside the Danube

Gorgeous views from Margit Bridge to both Parliament building and the Royal Castle

The city’s best outdoor swimming pools are found on the island

Con’s

Due to its great features and location some part of the district is relatively expensive

Where you should stay according your taste and interest

If you’re still wondering about Budapest’s best location to stay, here is a quick summary to make it easier for you to choose the ideal location based on your particular interest:

Budapest I – The Castle District: This district is great for travellers looking for peace, those with young kids who will be in bed early and couples looking for a romantic trip. Staying atop Castle Hill means you’ll have gorgeous views over the city, and can catch them early in the morning and late at night, when most of the tourists have already left. On the downside, this part of Budapest is a bit calmer and slower, so you’ll likely to have trouble finding much to do, other than dining out in nice restaurants.

Budapest V – Belváros: Budapest 5th district is perfect for pretty much everyone. It is the most upscale and beautiful district on the Pest side and with that it does come with a slightly higher price tag than other areas in Pest.

Hungarian Parliament Building
Hungarian Parliament

Budapest VI – Terézváros: To the south and west of Budapest 7th District, we find the gorgeous State Opera House, the high-end pedestrianised area along Liszt Ferenc tér, and the junction with Budapest 5th and 7th district at the very central Deák Ferenc Tér. This area is a great option for any type of traveler, but it’s worth checking what the right part of the neighbourhood is based on your own travel style and budget.

Budapest VII – Erzsébetváros: Budapest 7th district is a great option for those who are interested in Budapest’s famous nightlife, especially in the ruin bar scene. While there are plenty of places to stay in the 7th that are quiet, it’s the liveliest district with its buzzing bars and trendy restaurants to enjoy. The area is also the former Budapest ghetto; prior to WWII, there was a large Jewish community in this district making this a great area to stay in Budapest for those interested in Jewish history and heritage.

Dohány Street Synagogue
Jewish Quarter

Budapest IX – Ferencváros: If you want to stay in an area with only a few tourists and lots of locals, consider staying in the inner part of the 9th district, which also happens to be known for all its craft beer bars. This is a great part of the inner city to stay if you are on a tighter budget, or if you’re looking to live like a local in Budapest. Due to its craft beer bars, it’s also a good district for those who enjoy low-key nightlife focused on long, friendly conversations alongside tasty drinks. 

Budapest XIII – Újlipótváros and Angyalföld: Another ‘live like a local’ part of the city, the 13th is a great option for young families and couples. As Margaret Island is found in this district, it’s a great place to stay in the summer if you plan on spending lots of time outdoors.

Margaret Island
Margitsziget (Margaret Island)

Budapest welcomes everyone regardless of age, gender, money or relationship status. It will spoil you with its beauty, its wonderful food and wine, long walks and even longer summer nights. Wherever you decide to stay, your visit will surely be a one to remember.

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