Where to stay in Budapest, Hungary? This guide will show you the best areas for first-time visitors (including hand-picked hotels and apartments on the Danube River).
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and it’s located in the central part of the country. Due to its outstanding architecture, the city is known as Paris of the East. It is the ideal place for a romantic escape or a city gateway. The capital is a fascinating mixture of history, marvellous buildings and a modern vibe.
Danube River splits the city into two – Buda and Pest. Although being part of one city, the two sides have a completely different atmosphere. Buda is the historic part, while Pest is the city’s beating heart. But what is the best location to stay in Budapest?
There are 23 districts in total. Yet, if your vacation is all about sightseeing or nightlife, there are only a handful of them that are good choices. The most popular areas to stay in Budapest are Belváros (V), Castle District (I) and Erzsébetváros (VII).
Where to stay in Budapest first time
- Belváros – the best area for tourists
- Erzsébetváros – for nightlife
- near the Danube river – for stunning river views
- Keleti station – for transport links
- Buda side of Budapest – for romantic trip
The best option for you depends on the reason for your visit. Choose the 1st district if you’re looking for romance and the 5th for sightseeing. If you come to Budapest to party, then the 7th is the place for you.
During my trip, I chose to stay on the Pest side of Budapest. This was my first time in the city and wanted to be at a walking distance to the main attractions and restaurants. And this was the area that suited my needs perfectly.
If you’re visiting Budapest for sightseeing, I’d totally recommend staying on the Pest side. It’s a very convenient area for tourists and transport links.
Most popular hotel in Budapest
In a hurry? Looking for a convenient hotel with an excellent rating?
Then check out Eurostars Danube – it’s the most popular hotel in Budapest City Centre.
Eurostars Danube has a fantastic location, just a short walk from many tourist attractions, a shopping area and Deák Ferenc Tér (a major transport hub). The air-conditioned rooms are modern with huge bathrooms.
Why book – 250m from Deák Ferenc Tér transport hub, free luggage storage, spacious air-conditioned rooms
Belváros – best area to stay in Budapest
The main touristic areas are Castle District (in Buda) and Belváros (in Pest). This is where you’ll spend most of your time.
Buda is quieter and offers stunning views of the city, but it’s more hilly. In contrast to Buda, Pest is the beating heart of the city. Here you’ll find most of the tourist attractions and restaurants (plus a wide range of hotels). Also, it’s a great base if you’re visiting the city for a short period of time.
Book a private transfer directly to your hotel (Welcome Pickups are always on time) for a worry-free arrival.
The best place to stay in Budapest is the Belváros neighbourhood. Located on the Pest side of Danube River, it’s the perfect location for sightseeing, restaurants and transport links. Belváros is the best place to stay in Budapest for first-timers, too.
In fact, the full name of the district is Belváros-Lipótváros. And it consists of two historical neighbourhoods – Belváros (Inner City) and Lipótváros (Leopold Town).
Benefits of staying in Belváros
- You’ll be in the heart of the action, close to everything.
- Walking distance from Danube River and Buda Castle.
- Take a guided tour of Hungary’s Parliament and discover the third-largest Parliament building in the world.
- A perfect district for shopping with lots of boutiques and souvenir shops. Don’t miss to take a stroll along Váci utca, the most famous pedestrian and shopping street.
- Transport links are convenient with several metro stations to get around the city. Three of the metro lines cross here at Deák Ferenc tér. Also, Nyugati Railway station is just a stone’s throw away.
- You’ll be close to most of the trendy bars, cafés and gourmet restaurants.
Where to stay in Budapest (Belváros)
Hotels in Budapest City Centre (Best for couples)
Hotel Moments is a 4-star boutique hotel with a perfect location on Andrássy Avenue. It’s the ideal base for sightseeing and luxury shopping. The architecture of the building is fantastic and the rooms are finished to a very high standard. It’s a lovely place to stay both for business travellers or on a leisure break.
Why book – next to St. Stephen’s Basilica, 24-hour free coffee, tea and mineral water in the reception area, spacious comfy rooms
Prestige Hotel is a well-priced boutique hotel. This elegant hotel is housed in a former 19th-century townhouse. Its location makes it a comfy base to explore both Buda and Pest sides. Stay here if you look for magnificent architecture and divine cuisine at an affordable price.
Why book – 200m from the Danube River, very central location, quiet comfortable rooms
Hotels in Budapest City Centre (Best for families)
Eurostars Danube is the perfect place for family stay. The location is fantastic, just a short walk to many tourist attractions, a shopping area and Deák Ferenc Tér (a major transport hub). Modern air-conditioned rooms with huge bathrooms.
Why book – 250m from Deák Ferenc Tér transport hub, free luggage storage, spacious air-conditioned rooms
If you look for a central location in Budapest, don’t look further! Hilton Garden Inn is the perfect choice – central, but quiet location. You’ll be just a short walk from the main tourist attractions, restaurants, metro and the bus to the airport.
Why book – 200m from St. Stephen’s Basilica, quiet air-conditioned rooms with extra-long beds, rooftop terrace overlooking the basilica
Luxury hotels in Budapest City Centre
Aria Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Budapest. This 5-star exquisite hotel features a design inspired by music. The lavish atmosphere of the rooms makes you feel like you’re staying in a palace. Yet, at the same time, you’re embraced with the comfort of a private residence.
Why book – next to St. Stephen’s Basilica, rooftop bar, wine and cheese reception, handy smartphone with unlimited calls, selection of international newspapers
Located just a short walk from the Danube River, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is a great place for a luxury stay. The spacious rooms are comfy and designed in a unique contemporary style. Plus, the location is perfect for sightseeing, shopping and transport links.
Why book – next to Deák Ferenc Tér transport hub, several restaurants on-site, summer terrace, indoor pool
Best apartments in Budapest City Centre
Basilica Apartments are located right in the city centre. You can reach St. Stephen’s Basilica in 5min and it’s a 2min walk to metro and bus stations. The apartments are spacious with high ceilings, blackout shutters and efficient kitchens. A 24/7 supermarket is available opposite the building.
Why book – next to St. Stephen’s Basilica, free WiFi access, air conditioning, fully equipped kitchen
7Seasons Apartments are centrally located with lots of bars and restaurants in the vicinity. They are a few minutes away from the metro and the airport bus stop. The apartments are modern, clean and very well equipped at a great price.
Why book – next to Deák Ferenc Tér transport hub, 24-hour reception, daily maid service
Erzsébetváros – best area to stay in Budapest for nightlife
The best place to stay in Budapest for nightlife is Erzsébetváros, the 7th district. Located east of Belváros, Erzsébetváros is still a central neighbourhood. This makes it the best area to stay in Budapest for both nightlife and sightseeing.
Erzsébetváros is the home of the so-called ruin bars (old buildings transformed into hipster bars without any renovation). Designer shops, unique cafes, beer gardens, fine dining restaurants, all this is at your doorstep. Erzsébetváros is lively and colourful, the best place to party.
Benefits of staying in Erzsébetváros
- featuring numerous bars and clubs, Erzsébetváros is considered one of the best places to party in Budapest
- central location, at a walking distance to many tourist attractions
- most popular bar areas here are Kazinczy utca, Kiraly utca, Dob utca and Gozsdu Udvar
- this is the best area to stay for a stag party
- don’t leave without a visit to Szimpla or Élesztő (the best ruin bars)
Roombach Hotel is located on the border between the 5th and the 7th district. The location is very central, close to the main attractions, restaurants and underground. Plus, it’s within a few minutes walk to Deák Ferenc tér, where the airport bus 100E stops.
Why book – free WiFi, 24-hour reception, air conditioning, plentiful breakfast with lots of choices
If you look for a high-class hotel with affordable prices, the New York Palace is the best choice. The hotel is housed in an absolutely beautiful building from the 19th century. The lavish rooms feature luxurious Italian furniture, silk wallpaper and Murano chandeliers. Don’t miss the hotel’s café, which is one of the most beautiful cafés in Europe.
Why book – perfect location for nightlife, wellness centre with a relaxation pool, spacious and air-conditioned rooms
Hotels on Danube river
For spectaculars views from your hotel room, choose a hotel on the Danube river. This location is also a great choice if you’re visiting Budapest as a part of a Danube river cruise. It’s a very convenient base as you can easily access the ships and tour the landmarks on both sides of the river.
Benefits of staying near the Danube River
- easy access to the attractions located on both sides of Danube River
- the best area to stay for cruise ships
- spectacular river views from your room
Bohem Art Hotel is only 50m away from the Danube River and the main shopping street, Váci Utca. Besides, the route of tram number 2 passes less than 100m away from the hotel. This tram is the best way to see the main attractions along the river. Also, the location is strategic for Gellert Spa Baths. The hotel is a unique mixture of a hip hotel and an art gallery.
Why book – 50m from the Danube River, next to a shopping street, amazing breakfast with a lot of vegan products
Hotel Zenit is a perfect spot to explore the city. It’s right on Danube bank and close to restaurants, a shopping street and transportation links. The hotel occupies a gorgeous old building, transformed into a modern and cosy oasis.
Why book – 50m from the Danube River, modern air-conditioned rooms, excellent buffet breakfast with freshly prepared omelettes
InterContinental is a 5-star hotel featuring dazzling views of Buda Palace and Danube river. The location is ideal, close to Chain Bridge and the cruise ships, metro and tram stop.
Why book – 50m from the Danube River, luxury spa area with indoor pool, excellent modern restaurant
Hotels near Keleti station
If you plan to take several day trips in or out of Hungary, choose a hotel near Keleti train station in Budapest. Check out these three hotels, located in Erzsébetváros, the 7th district. This neighbourhood is right next to the Keleti train station, yet not far away from the main tourist area.
If you’re looking for accommodation really close to Keleti Railway Station, this is the best option. The hotel has a perfect location for transport links (trains, metro and night transportation).
Why book – 300m from Keleti Railway station, 24-hour front desk, quiet spacious rooms
Bo33 Hotel is only 800m away from Keleti train station. Besides, it’s less than 10-15 minutes walk from the main attractions and nightlife area. The hotel features a rooftop jacuzzi and spa facilities, a PlayStation and kids corner at the reception.
Why book – 800m from Keleti Railway station, 24-hour front desk, spacious rooms with comfy beds
Where to stay in Buda side of Budapest
The Castle district has a more tranquil and romantic vibe than the touristy 5th district. It is located on a hill and faces exactly towards the Hungarian Parliament building. Thus if you decide to stay in the area, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the city early in the morning or late at night.
Dominated by the centuries-old Buda Castle and the fairytale Fisherman’s Bastion, the neighbourhood has a romantic medieval atmosphere. This is also the best area to stay if you’re visiting Budapest on a romantic trip. For more details take a look at my guide to the most romantic places in Budapest.
Benefits of staying in Buda
- calm area full of history and close to the main attractions
- gorgeous views of the river and Pest side both day and night
- getting to Pest side is easy – you can walk or take metro line M2, that will take you straight down the city centre
- many attractions are right on your doorstep – Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church
- a quiet and romantic atmosphere
For an affordable place in the heart of the historic Buda, choose Maison Bistro & Hotel. It’s on a walking distance to the castle and other significant sites. This little boutique hotel will charm you with a romantic atmosphere and an excellent service.
Why book – 300m from Matthias Church, garden courtyard, fabulous bathrooms with L’Occitane products
If you want incredible views of the Parliament building from your room, then book this hotel. Victoria Hotel is located directly on the Danube riverbank on the Buda side. You can easily walk to Chain Bridge and Buda Palace.
Why book – located directly on the Danube riverbank, river views from rooms, close to metro and tram stops
Hilton is a modern 5-star hotel in an idyllic setting. A 13th-century Dominican monastery once stood on this place. Nowadays, its remains are incorporated in the hotel’s interior. The rooms feature spectacular views of Matthias Church and the Parliament building.
Why book – next to Matthias Church, city views, spacious rooms with large windows, outstanding breakfast
These historical apartments are located across the stunning Fisherman’s Bastion. There is a bus stop in front of the building and the Chain Bridge is just a few minutes away (if you prefer walking). The apartments have a kitchen with all necessary facilities and large rooms with beautiful chandeliers.
Why book – next to Matthias Church, a small grocery store on the same block, fully equipped kitchen