Where to Stay in Budapest 🇭🇺: Best Areas, Districts & Hotels for Tourists

Updated on April 13, 2024
by Alex Miller

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and one of those places you want to keep coming back to.

Our Pick of the Best Hotels in Budapest 🔥

In addition to the numerous sights and friendly attitude of Hungarians, in favor of visiting Budapest is also the choice of accommodation, as prices here are more affordable than in most other European capitals.

We managed to visit the Hungarian capital several times and had the opportunity to stay overnight in different places. In our guide, we share our experiences, answering the question of where to stay in Budapest and which neighborhoods to look out for.

It’s worth remembering that the central part of Budapest is so large that it can be difficult to get around on foot. When looking for accommodation, it is worth paying attention to the proximity to a metro station on one of the four lines. The lines cross in two places, so you can easily make a change, although it will take some time.

Below we have prepared a brief overview of the most interesting neighborhoods in Budapest where you can stay overnight, along with examples of accommodation.

Quick Guide to the Best Areas to Stay in Budapest 📋

1. District I / Budavar – Buda Castle District 🏰

Nestled on the Buda side of the Danube river, the historic Budavar district is a must-see for any visitor to Budapest.

🚎 Well-connected: Budavar is located just across the Chain Bridge from the Pest side of the city, making it easy to access. Public transportation like buses, trams, and the metro are plentiful, or you can simply walk across the bridge.

🏰 Historic charm: When you visit Budavar, you will find a neighborhood full of old world charm. Cobblestone streets are lined with historic buildings like:

  • Buda Castle – Dating back to the 13th century, this sprawling palace is one of Budapest’s most iconic landmarks.
  • Matthias Church – With its colorful tiled roof and Gothic architecture, this cathedral is exceptionally beautiful.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion – Providing astonishing city views, this neo-Gothic terrace shouldn’t be missed.

Also do not forget to visit Hungarian National Library and National Gallery which are situated inside Buda Castle.

🌉 Different vibes: During the day, the entire historic district is filled with tourists, and in the evening everything almost subsides. After dark you will find only a few open pubs and restaurants, but no active nightlife.

When looking for accommodation in the castle area, you should expect higher prices than in the Pest area. In fact, it has the highest prices in the entire city.

All hotels in Budavar →

Where to stay in Budavar?

Expensive Hotels:

  • Hotel Clark Budapest – an elegant adults-only hotel with luxurious interiors, located in a historic building on Dulai Pala Street.
  • Hilton Budapest – a renowned hotel chain offering spacious rooms and superior services with views of the Danube and Buda Castle District.

Medium price category:

  • Mercure Budapest Castle Hill – modern boutique-style hotel with panoramic views of the Gellert and Citadel, excellent location.
  • Buda Castle Hotel – small cozy hotel in a historic building overlooking the Castle District, walking distance to major attractions.
  • Sunny Studio at the Castle – apartments with a sun terrace and breathtaking panoramic views of the Buda Castle and the Danube River.

Budget Hotels:

2. District V / Belváros – Lipótváros – Best Area for First-time Visitors 👀

🗺️ Central spot: Belváros – Lipótváros lies just east of Castle Hill and Gellért Hill across Liberty Bridge. Its central location puts visitors within walking distance or a quick metro, bus, or tram ride away from key landmarks.

👣 On foot: Getting around the Belváros – Lipótváros area itself is very walkable, as many sites sit just blocks from each other. Some top sites and activities in the area include:

  • St. Istvan’s Basilica – Huge Catholic cathedral built between 1851-1905
  • Vörösmarty Square – Large public square home to the famed Gerbeaud café and high-end shops
  • Váci Street – Iconic pedestrian shopping street
  • Dohány Street Synagogue – Europe’s largest synagogue and Budapest’s main house of worship for the Jewish community
  • Hungarian National Museum – Over 200,000 artifacts spanning Hungary’s history

And, of course, Liberty Square, a beautiful public space with the U.S. Embassy and a controversial Soviet monument

St. Istvan's Basilica
St. Istvan's Basilica
Váci Street
Váci Street
Vörösmarty Square
Vörösmarty Square
Dohány Street Synagogue
Dohány Street Synagogue
Hungarian National Museum
Hungarian National Museum

📍 Ideal location: In my opinion, this is the perfect place for those who are here for a short stay and plan to see as much as possible – by staying in this part of the city, you will be close to the most important sights and transportation.

All hotels in Inner City →

Where to stay in Inner City?

Expensive Hotels:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace – a luxury hotel in a grand neo-baroque building on the Danube riverfront, offers exquisite rooms, high level of service and panoramic views.
  • Aria Hotel – a boutique hotel with unique musical interior design, located in the heart of Budapest, close to St. István’s Basilica.
  • Áurea Ana Palace – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic 19th century building with luxurious interiors, high level of service and a central location.

Medium price category:

  • Hotel Central Basilica – a modern hotel conveniently located next to St. István’s Basilica, offering comfortable rooms and good value for money.
  • Hotel President – an elegant business hotel with an excellent location in the heart of Budapest, close to the Danube and major attractions.
  • Three Corners Downtown Hotel – a modern designer hotel in an ideal location for exploring Budapest, offers stylish rooms at a reasonable price.

Budget Hotels:

  • BpR B&W Elegant Home – a guest house with a homely atmosphere and friendly hosts, offers simple and cozy rooms at an affordable price.
  • Kálmán Apartman – modest apartments with fully equipped kitchens, conveniently located close to the metro station and major attractions.
  • Bachelor Apartment – spacious apartment in the city center with a fully equipped kitchen, ideal for budget travelers.

3. District VI / Terézváros – Best Place to Stay in Budapest on a Budget 💸

Terézváros, known for its thriving café culture, fascinating history and stunning architecture is a must-see in Budapest by any first-time tourist.

🏠 Central district: Terézváros covers the area just to the north-west of Belváros, being squeezed between the iconic Andrássy street on the east and Nyugati Railway Station on the north-west. This means that it takes only 15-20 minutes from here to get to places such as Heroes Square, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Opera House.

💎 Hidden gems: When you stroll along the tree-lined streets of Terézváros, you will find these hidden architectural gems at each corner. Here are some of them:

  • Király Street – Eclectic blend of neo-gothic, art nouveau and secessionist facades
  • Kálmán Imre Street – Grandiose neo-renaissance apartment buildings
  • The Liszt Academy – Amazing art nouveu concert hall

🎭 Lively area: Sit at a pavement café in Liszt Ferenc Square while watching live street performances. Also check out ruin pubs and trendy night spots around Terezvaros bordering Jewish Quarter when evening comes.

🏘 Affordable housing: The housing directly onto Andrássy út and in western part of this district is expensive but go slightly beyond that area and one can find something cheaper such as flats in old townhouses.

All hotels in Terézváros →

Where to stay in Terézváros?

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • BpR KYANIT Design Apartments with A/C – budget apartments with air conditioning, simple and functional design, good value for money.
  • Lovag Apartman – compact apartments at a reasonable price, suitable for a quick move or a short stopover in the city.
  • Avenue Hostel – friendly hostel with shared rooms, basic amenities and wifi, great for young people and budget travelers.

4. District VII / Erzsébetváros, the Jewish Quarter – Best Area to Stay in Budapest for Nightlife 🍸

👴 Historic revival: The past years have witnessed a sort of revival in the old Jewish neighborhood. There was once a ghetto here during the war and after that, the whole region decayed and was slowly ruined for many years.

🎉 Eclectic entertainment: Yet recently, it has become an unrecognizable place where you can enjoy all kinds of entertainment. This is where beautiful 19th century buildings mix with eclectic restaurants, ruin pubs, thermal spas and boutique shops.

📍 Centrally located: It sits right in the center of everything and is only a few steps away from public transport. With its iconic M1 metro line as well as numerous tram and bus connections, tourists find it easy to get to nearby landmarks.

🤸‍♂️ Overly touristy: Nowadays though nightlife thrives here; however, it has to be mentioned that most of these iconic sites have become overly touristy. This comes with the advantage of offering a wide range of accommodation options too. To be around trendy spots we should search for places to stay in Kazinczy utca area.

It’s an unmissable destination for first-timers and return visitors alike.

All hotels in Erzsébetváros →

Where to stay in Erzsébetváros?

Expensive Hotels:

  • Corinthia Budapest – luxurious 5-star neoclassical style hotel with panoramic city views, gourmet restaurant and spa.
  • Queen's Court Hotel & Residence – elegant apartments in a historic building in the heart of Budapest, with designer interiors and personalized service.
  • Anantara New York Palace Budapest – an upscale hotel in a historic 19th century palace with luxurious interiors, a restaurant and one of the best spas in Europe.

Medium price category:

  • Metropolis Budapest – modern designer hotel in the city center, offers stylish rooms with all amenities at a reasonable price.
  • Authentic Grand Boulevard – cozy boutique hotel in a quiet location with vintage decor, the perfect combination of comfort and authenticity.
  • Goldcentral Apartments Akacfa Studios – spacious apartments with kitchens and all amenities for extended stays at a reasonable price.

Budget Hotels:

5. District VIII / Józsefváros – One of the Busiest Part of Budapest 💃🏻

🏙️ Trendy district: Józsefváros is one of Budapest’s most historic districts. With its vibrant street art, trendy ruins bars, and diverse architecture, this neighborhood has become a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

🚊 Well-connected: The area sits just across the Grand Boulevard from landmarks like the Hungarian National Museum and the Hungarian State Opera House. Public transportation like the metro, trams, and buses also run frequently throughout the district.

👷‍♂️ Diverse buildings: Józsefváros boasts a fascinating blend of architectural styles. You’ll find everything from elegant 19th century buildings to decaying industrial complexes turned into hip hangout spots. Be sure to check out:

  • The beautiful Orthodox Synagogue with its distinctive copper domes
  • The iconic Corvin Promenade with shops and eateries
  • The graffiti-covered abandoned buildings like Központ and Tűzraktér

🍻 Trendsetter bar: In recent years, Józsefváros has become known for its ruin pubs – eclectic bars set inside old abandoned buildings. The original ruin pub, Szimpla Kert, offers a huge multi-level space for drinking, dancing, farmers’ markets, and more.

All hotels in Józsefváros →

Where to stay in Józsefváros?

Medium price category:

  • Impulso Fashion Hotel – stylish boutique hotel with original interior design and Spanish restaurant on the premises.
  • Baross40 Apartments – apartments in a renovated historic building, with comfortable rooms and fully equipped kitchens.
  • Novotel Budapest Centrum – modern hotel of a well-known chain with an excellent location in the city center and a wide range of services.

Budget Hotels:

6. District IX / Ferencváros – Best Neighborhood in Budapest for Local Vibe 🔮

🧑‍🎨 Artsy spot: Ferencváros offers visitors an authentic glimpse into local life. This eclectic neighborhood has blossomed into a thriving arts and design district filled with galleries and funky boutiques.

🏘 Offbeat area: Despite its proximity to top attractions, Ferencváros remains off the beaten tourist track. But those who explore its tree-lined streets will be rewarded with traces of old-world architecture.

🚧 Modern additions: The area of the ninth district towards the city center has undergone many renovations over the years, with the construction of museums, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Holocaust Victims Center. Despite the many transformations, the neighborhood has not changed its more local character.

🚇 Well-connected: Getting around Ferencváros is easy thanks to a convenient metro station on the M3 (blue) line as well as nearby tram and bus stops connecting all parts of Budapest.

Ferencváros warrants at least a day for those looking to discover where locals now flock for art, dining, and nightlife off the beaten path.

All hotels in Ferencváros →

7. District XIII / Újlipótváros – Stay on Danube River with Family 👪

The residential area boasts beautiful 19th century architecture and restaurants to discover. It feels local but still puts you near top sights.

🚶‍♂️ Strollable: Getting around Újlipótváros itself is a breeze, whether on foot, bike, or using the 4 and 6 tram lines that crisscross the area.

🔝 While smaller than some districts, key sights make it worth exploring like:

  • Margaret Island – This large park on an island in the Danube River has landscaped gardens, medieval ruins, a water tower, swimming pools, and more. Get there via Margaret Bridge
  • Aranytíz House – See a folk art collection in this cultural center

💆‍♀️ Relaxing: For relaxation, locals love gathering in Lehel tér or on the bank of the Danube for enjoying city views. The area along the riverfront also features biking and walking paths to enjoy.

💰 Affordable: When staying in Újlipótváros, you can walk or take quick transport to attractions while benefiting from lower prices than the main tourist zones.

More affordable accommodation options combined with its ideal location make it a perfect home base for your Budapest travels.

All hotels in Újlipótváros →

Where to stay in Újlipótváros?

Expensive hotels:

  • Adina Apartment Hotel – modern and stylish apartments with fully equipped kitchens and panoramic city views.
  • River Center Apartment – elegant apartments overlooking the Danube, equipped with the latest technology.

Medium price category:

Budget Hotels:

  • City Hotel Ring – small hotel with clean and tidy rooms at a reasonable price.
  • VisegradApartment – inexpensive apartments with basic amenities, located close to major attractions.

Best Hotels near Budapest Airport 🛫

Airport Hotel Budapest: Convenient Elegance ✈️

Nestled just a stone’s throw away from the airport, this gem boasts not only convenience but also some comfort. You’ll find modern amenities and a cozy atmosphere waiting for you.

In addition, their rooms are the perfect definition of relaxation – just what you need to energize from your long day of journeying.

Budapest Airport Hotel Stáció Wellness & Conference: Pampered Tranquility 🌿

If you like to be pampered a little bit, this is the place to be. This hotel also has a wellness package that ensures you are near your terminal.

Picture yourself relaxing in their spa or eating a hearty meal at the hotel’s restaurant. It is a vacation on its own before reaching your destination.

Ibis Styles Budapest Airport: Stylish Affordability 💼

Want a stylish look but with a tight budget? This place can sort you out. Ibis Styles near Budapest Airport is an affordable option without compromising on comfort.

The stylish design, together with the amenities, makes your stay enjoyable while the proximity to the airport allows you to hit the snooze button without worrying about missing your flight.

Best Neighborhoods & Hotels in Budapest on a Map 🗺

FAQ: Budapest for Tourists ❔

Where should I stay in Budapest for the first time?

For your first time in Budapest, consider staying in the central districts of Pest. Districts V (Belváros-Lipótváros) and VII (Erzsébetváros) are bustling with life, close to major attractions, and offer a great introduction to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Where to avoid staying in Budapest?

While Budapest is generally safe, some might prefer to avoid District VIII (Józsefváros) at night due to a higher concentration of nightlife and potentially rowdier crowds.

Is it better to stay on Pest or Buda side of Budapest?

Both Buda and Pest sides have their charm, but for a first-time visit, Pest is often preferred for its lively atmosphere, diverse dining options, and proximity to many landmarks. However, Buda offers a more tranquil setting with stunning views of the city.

What is the best district of Budapest for nightlife?

If you’re into nightlife, District VII (the Jewish Quarter) is the place to be. It’s packed with ruin bars, pubs, and clubs. Király Street and Gozsdu Udvar are particularly known for their vibrant nightlife scene.

Where to stay in Budapest on a budget?

For budget-friendly accommodations, look into hostels and budget hotels in Districts VI and VIII. They offer affordable options without compromising on proximity to attractions and public transportation.

How long is ideal to spend in Budapest?

Spending around 3 to 4 days in Budapest allows you to explore the main attractions, enjoy the local cuisine, and soak in the unique atmosphere. This timeframe strikes a balance between seeing the highlights and immersing yourself in the city’s culture.