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Where to stay in Budapest

Where to stay in Budapest: our favorite neighborhoods for globetrotters and expats

Sitting right on the Danube, Budapest is one of the most fascinating historic cities in the world. Its architecture is stunning, and there are hundreds of cultural and historical hotspots around the city. The Hungarian capital is also known for its delicious cuisine, vibrant party scene, and overall friendly vibe. What makes things even better, it is incredibly affordable. There’s no doubt Budapest is an amazing city both for tourists and expats looking for a place to settle in. 

Photo credit: budapest_hungary

Top 5 neighborhoods to stay in Budapest

Budapest is a gorgeous town and each one of its districts comes with a lot of benefits. Still, each of them has a distinct culture and lifestyle, so it’s important to pick the one that suits your own needs. If you’re not sure where to stay while in Budapest, check out our top picks:

  1. Ferencváros (District IX)
  2. The Castle District (District I)
  3. Belváros (District V)
  4. Erzsébetváros (District VII)
  5. Buda Hills (District II)

Where to stay in Budapest, Hungary

Best on a budget Ferencváros (District IX) A lively, bohemian district with affordable accommodation
Best for your first visit The Castle District (District I) Medieval-looking historic center with plenty of sights
Best for bohemian souls Belváros (District V) The downtown area with immense cultural and historical significance
Best for night owls Erzsébetváros (District VII) The partying district with countless bars and clubs
Best long-term Buda Hills (District II) A peaceful neighborhood well-connected to central areas

Photo credit: budapest_hungary

Where to stay in Budapest on a budget: Ferencváros (District IX)

Staying in Ferencváros is a great way to save some money and stay close to the city center. This district is well-connected to other parts of the city and a short ferry ride is all it takes to get to the Castle District. Ferencváros is a lively area with a laid back, bohemian spirit. There are many interesting cafes, cute galleries, and traditional Hungarian restaurants. 

What to see and do in Ferencváros

Ferencváros has an incredibly rich cultural scene and there are many things to do during your stay in this lovely neighborhood. Here are some places we highly recommend:

  • Great Market Hall
  • Budapest Music Center
  • Holocaust Memorial Center
  • Zwack Museum
  • Trafo House of Contemporary Arts
  • Trapéz 

Zwack Museum

Zwack Museum is devoted to Hungary’s legendary herbal liqueur, Unicum. It has been the country’s most famous drink since the King Joseph II era, and the Zwack family still keeps the recipe carefully hidden. If you visit the museum, you will learn all about this amazing liqueur and, of course, have a drink.

Photo credit: eeheetihn

Where to stay in Budapest on your first visit: the Castle District (District I)

The Castle District, also known as Várkerület, is an iconic, memorable part of the city. It is located on the Buda side of the Danube and has immense historical significance. There are many shops, bars, and cafes, as well as tourist attractions, which is why we recommend it to first-time visitors to Budapest. Its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture create a tender atmosphere so it’s also great for romantic getaways. Foodies will also appreciate this district as it is home to some of the best restaurants in the city.

What to see and do in the Castle District

If you stay in the Castle District, you will have a wide range of sightseeing and entertainment options to choose from. Check out our top picks:

  • Buda Castle 
  • The Citadel
  • Gellért Hill
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Ruszwurm Coffeehouse
  • Rudas Baths

Buda Castle 

Buda Castle is a place no history buff should miss. This palace was the seat of many Hungarian kings and is one of the finest representatives of Baroque architecture. 

Photo credit: budacastletour

Where to stay in Budapest for bohemian souls: Belváros (District V)

Belváros, a Hungarian word for “downtown,” is the central, most vibrant area on the Pest side of the Danube. Its countless museums, galleries, and monuments make it an ideal place for any culture vulture out there. This area is also fantastic for those in need of a shopping spree as there are several amazing shopping streets. After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, you can unwind in one of its many bars and cafes. 

Top places to visit in Belváros

Belváros is where you will find the greatest tourist attractions in the city. Since it offers so many landmarks and fantastic spots, it’s hard to decide where to go first. If you need some ideas, check out our favorite places:

  • Hungarian Parliament Building
  • Dunakorzo (Danube Embankment)
  • Pesti Vigado
  • Vorosmarty Square 
  • Church of St. Anne
  • Impostor
  • Holló Műhely

Pesti Vigado

This almost two-centuries-old building is bursting with art and history. It was where many crucial historical events took place, including the coronation dinner of Franz Joseph and concerts of musical legends such as Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms.

Photo credit: pestivigado

Where to stay in Budapest for night owls: Erzsébetváros (District VII)

There is no doubt that Erzsébetváros is the best Budapest neighborhood for nightlife. Although small, it is packed with amazing bars, pubs, and clubs. It’s a favorite among students, young travelers, and party animals for its lively, vibrant vibe and trendy nightspots. But Erzsébetváros has much more to offer than just nightlife. It is Budapest’s historic Jewish Quarter, and there are many gorgeous religious and cultural sights to see. 

Best places to visit in Erzsébetváros

Erzsébetváros has a lot of tourist attractions worth visiting. As for the nightlife options, you can choose between its many bars and clubs based on your music taste and personal preferences. Here are some ideas of places we think you shouldn’t miss:

  • New York Palace
  • Jardin Bar
  • Doboz
  • Szimpla Kert
  • Instant
  • Dohany Street Synagogue,

Szimpla Kert

Budapest’s first ruin bar, Szimpla Kert, is the best place in the city to party all night long. During the day, the bar offers delicious food and cultural events, such as movie screenings. At night, it turns into the best dance floor in the whole Budapest. The program is incredibly diverse, so you can hear live local bands, free jam sessions, and the best DJs.

Photo credit: grumpy_humour