Budapest has got to be one of the COOLEST cities in Europe. It’s got it all – from rich history and impressive architecture to its youthful vibe and epic ruin bars.

Whether you plan to spend your time mooching around museums, or getting loose after midnight – there is something for everyone in Budapest. Plus, it’s affordable which is a big tick for many of us backpackers.

Did you know Budapest actually separates into Buda and Pest? The two are separated by the Danube River. They form the two halves of Hungary’s capital and have been linked by the famous Chain Bridge since 1849 (the more you know!)

Budapest has been growing in popularity and is on most backpacker’s European bucket lists. With many tourists flocking to the city, there are more and more accommodation options to choose from – especially Hostels.

Choosing which area to stay in Budapest can be tricky without knowing the city. Each neighborhood offers something slightly different to the next. But I’ve got you covered, I’ve prepared this guide on where to stay in Budapest to help you decide which is best for you.

So, when you’re ready, get scrollin’ and let’s dive into the best spots in town.

Budapest Chain Bridge. View from Budda, looking toward Pest.
In Buda, looking at Pest.
Photo: Sasha Savinov

Where Is the Best Place to Stay in Budapest?

Looking for a specific place to stay when travelling in Budapest but don’t have much time? These are my top recommendations for places to stay in Budapest.

Leo Boutique Rooms, Budapest | Best Hotel in Budapest

Bedroom with large windows, bed, couch and coffee tables

Luxurious and refined, the Leo Boutique Rooms is an up-and-coming boutique hotel in Budapest that opened its doors in December 2021. It has easily hit my number-one spot for the best hotel in the city.

Located in the iconic Ferenciek Tere area of District V, this charming Budapest hotel is located in a historic building. It has elegantly designed, spacious rooms equipped with a variety of modern amenities including air conditioning and private bathrooms.

Its city centre location means you are within walking distance of the Hungarian National Museum, the Great Market Hall, and the Jewish Quarter.

Onefam Budapest | Best Hostel in Budapest

Shared living space in the hostel with couches, high tables and bright walls

Keep the good vibes going all day long at Onefam, a lively and social party hostel in Budapest. Surrounded by ruin bars, clubs, and restaurants, this hostel is within walking distance of Budapest’s best nightlife spots. Enjoy clean and comfortable dorms and a fun atmosphere at this conveniently located hostel.

The reviews and awards this hostel has received speak for themselves. If you’re looking to meet new friends and have an EPIC time exploring Budapest – you can’t beat this hostel.

Centrally located apartment for 2 or 4 | Best Airbnb in Budapest

Modern living room with comfy couches and coffee table. With staircase leading to upper level.

Located seconds away from the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Budapest and the Budapest Terez Korut in District V. This apartment is perfect for any first-time visitors to Budapest.

It’s also close to restaurants, bars, and shops in the inner city centre, and comes with a fully equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, and air conditioning. The decor is modern and cosy making this apartment the perfect home away from home for your stay in Budapest.

Budapest Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Budapest

FOR A UNIQUE STAY
Varkerulet, Budapest
FOR A UNIQUE STAY

Várkerület

District I Várkerület, or the Castle District, is one of the most iconic neighbourhoods in Budapest. Located on the Buda side of the River Danube, this district offers quaint cobblestone streets, grand medieval architecture and picturesque views.

ON A BUDGET
Terézváros, Budapest
ON A BUDGET

Terézváros

District VI, Terézváros, is one of the smallest yet most densely populated neighbourhoods in Budapest. Located on the Pest side of the Danube, this lively district is a hub of excitement and activity.

NIGHTLIFE
Erzsebetvaros, Budapest
NIGHTLIFE

Erzsébetváros

The smallest district in Budapest, District VII Erzsébetváros packs a big punch. The city’s historic Jewish Quarter, this central neighbourhood is home to a number of heritage, cultural and religious sites, including several notable synagogues.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Jozsefvaros, Budapest
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Józsefváros

A few years ago, travellers would have avoided Budapest’s District VIII Józsefváros at all costs. Rough and dangerous, it was not a nice place to visit. Thanks to an influx of stylish bars, trendy restaurants and independent boutiques, Józsefváros is now one of the hottest neighbourhoods in the city.

FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS AND FAMILIES
Belvaros, Budapest
FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS AND FAMILIES

Belváros

Located on the eastern edge of the River Danube, Belváros or Pest is the downtown and heart of the city. One of the biggest neighbourhoods in Budapest, this is where you’ll find a variety of historic and cultural attractions, including the Parliament Building, the Chain Bridge, and the Central Market Hall.

Grand and magnificent, Budapest is a jewel on the River Danube. The capital city is known for its impressive architecture, historical attractions, youthful atmosphere, and vibrant nightlife. As well as its long history and hearty goulash soups.

When it comes to places to stay in Budapest, you’re never short of options. However, some neighborhoods are more ideally located than others depending on your Budapest Itinerary.

To the west of the River Danube is Várkerület. Otherwise known as the Budapest Castle District, this neighborhood is famous for stunning landscapes and ornate palaces. It’s home to the gorgeous Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, and impressive views from Castle Hill.

If you’re travelling on a budget, District VI or Terézváros is a popular area that provides wallet-friendly accommodation. Known as the Palace District, it’s close enough to the best sights of Budapest that you won’t have to make any unnecessary sacrifices. Many of the places to stay here are in old historical buildings which is pretty damn cool.

For the best nightlife, stay in District VII or Erzsébetváros. This area is full of the best bars, restaurants, and clubs in the area. It’s a great place to stay if you want to meet travel buddies to explore the city with. It’s also close to the Jewish Quarter and is the ideal location for travellers wanting to check out the ruin bars.

Busy Budapest Szimpla Kert party.
One of the coolest bars ever – Szimpla Kert.
Photo by: Sasha Savinov

Józsefváros, also referred to as District VIII, is the coolest area to stay in Budapest. It’s an up-and-coming area of the city. It has a combination of the old and ruined with contemporary and stylish shops, bars, and restaurants.

Finally, District V (aka Belváros or Pest) is downtown Budapest and the heart of the city centre. This neighborhood is home to great restaurants, impressive architecture, and several key cultural and historic sights. It’s a great all-rounder and is within walking distance of many of the top sites in Budapest’s inner city.

Budapest’s Five Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Whether you’re just visiting for the weekend or planning to stay for longer, there are a ton of great hotels in Budapest. So read on, reader! As I’m about to get into the good stuff.

1. District I / Várkerület (Buda) – Where to Stay in Budapest for a Unique Stay

District I Várkerület, or the Castle District, is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in Budapest. Located on the Buda side of the River Danube, this district offers quaint cobblestone streets, grand medieval architecture, and picturesque views.

View of Varkerulet, Budapest from across the lake.
That reflection though!

Castle district is the place to stay if you’re interested in seeing the Fisherman’s Bastion and Mathias Church. It’s home to stunning art galleries and of course the amazing view of the city from the top of Castle Hill.

Well connected to Pest via public transport, this district is the ideal base for those wanting a unique stay. Popular during the day but peaceful at night, this district is a relaxing oasis in the city. Enjoy the city’s top attractions, great restaurants, and panoramic views right on your doorstep.

Buda Castle Fashion Hotel | Best Hotel in Várkerület

Buda Castle Fashion Hotel

Just steps from Buda Castle, this four-star Budapest hotel offers guests stylish and spacious rooms equipped with flatscreen TVs, bottled water, and free wifi. Enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel restaurant or nightcap in the chic lounge bar. For a luxurious stay in the Castle District, this is the place for you.

Boutique Hotel Victoria Budapest | Best Boutique Hotel in Várkerület

Boutique Hotel Victoria Budapest

On the shores of the Danube, this delightful boutique hotel has stunning views of the river and Pest. The city’s top attractions, including Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge, are just a short walk away. Modern and stylish, this hotel boasts a day spa, sauna and fitness centre, and massage service, ideal for unwinding after a day of adventures.

Shantee House | Best Hostel in Várkerület

Shantee House

This quirky hostel in Budapest‘s Castle District is close to local attractions as well as public transport so you can travel further afield. Private and dorm rooms are available – but the highlight is the Mongolian Yurt-tent which provides comfortable accommodation during the summer months.

The hostel provides a full kitchen, free wifi, and hot drinks, and is even pet-friendly upon request. A perfect all-rounder!

Centrally located apartment for 2 or 4 | Best Airbnb in Várkerület

Centrally located apartment for 2 or 4

Located seconds away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Budapest Terez Korut, this Airbnb in Budapest is perfect for first-time visitors. It’s also close to restaurants, bars, shops, and public transport.

The apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning. So you can enjoy a comfortable stay in the heart of the city.

Things to See and Do in Várkerület

  1. Marvel at the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque architecture of Fisherman’s Bastion.
  2. Walk along the terrace and take in the amazing views of the Danube and Pest.
  3. Wander throughout Buda Castle, the Hungarian Royal Palace which is home to the National Gallery and Budapest History Museum.
  4. Climb (or drive) to the top of Gellért Hill and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
  5. Pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for independence at the Liberty Statue.
  6. Explore the Citadel, a 19th-century fortification that sits atop Gellért Hill.
  7. Warm up with a cup of coffee at Ruszwurm Coffeehouse, one of the oldest cafes in Budapest.
  8. See the intricate detail and curious architecture of Matthias Church.
  9. Explore the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker, a World War II hospital situated in the caverns under Buda Castle. Now a museum, it features waxwork re-creations and authentic equipment.
  10. Soak in Gellert Baths or Rudas Baths and feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a long day of sightseeing.
  11. Take the ram over to Margaret Island for a picnic.
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2. District VI / Terézváros – Where to Stay in Budapest on a Budget

District VI, Terézváros, is one of the smallest yet most densely populated neighborhoods in Budapest. Also known as the Palace District. Located on the Pest side of the Danube, this lively district is a hub of excitement and activity.

From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels in Budapest, there’s something for travellers of all styles and budgets here. If you’re trying to cut costs down in Budapest, this is where you’ll find a bunch of the budget gems!

View of the Terezvaros, Budapest on a blue sky day
Budapest has a rich history waiting to be discovered

12 Revay Hotel | Best Hotel in Terézváros

12 Revay Hotel

Modern and spacious, 12 Revay Hotel is one of the best value hotels in Budapest. Surrounded by bars, shops, and restaurants, this hotel is conveniently located near Terézváros’ main tourist attractions.

With 56 stylishly decorated rooms, this three-star hotel offers guests a comfortable and relaxing base in the heart of the city centre.

Star Inn Hotel Budapest Centrum by Comfort | Best Budget Hotel in Terézváros

Star Inn Hotel Budapest Centrum by Comfort

Rest and recharge after a day of sightseeing at the Star Inn Hotel Budapest. Located in the Terézváros district, this three-star hotel is within walking distance of Heroes Square and the House of Terror.

Guests can relax in the garden or enjoy a unique meal at the on-site restaurant. The hotel also offers a continental breakfast each morning, and there are plenty of cafes nearby.

Avenue Hostel | Best Hostel in Terézváros

Avenue Hostel

This hostel in Budapest is close to the city centre and local amenities. This well-equipped hostel comes with everything you might need. It has private and shared accommodation options to choose from.

Whether you’re there to meet travel buds or get some work done – they’ve got designated spaces for both. Plus, they provide FREE breakfast (always a winner for me!)

Cosy Home for 4 | Best Airbnb in Terézváros

Cozy Home for 4

This apartment located in the city centre has two bedrooms, sleeping up to four guests. It has a living room, kitchen, and bathroom with all the essentials.

The best thing about this apartment is its location. It’s close to some of the best places to visit in Budapest, including St Stephen’s Basilica, Vörösmarty Square, and the Parliament.

Things to See and Do in Terézváros

  1. Dive deep into Hungary’s communist and fascist history at the House of Terror Museum.
  2. Wander along the iconic Andrassy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  3. Get back to nature and take a relaxing stroll through Városliget, one of the largest public parks in the city.
  4. Stand at the centre of Heroes Square, a massive statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other iconic Hungarian leaders.
  5. See works of art by local artists at acb Galéria.
  6. Check out a show at the Hungarian State Opera House.
  7. Walk up to the city park and check out the Vajdahunyad Castle and the world-famous Széchenyi fürd thermal bath.
  8. Join a tour of St Stephen’s Basilica and head up to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the Buda side.

3. District VII / Erzsébetváros – Where to Stay in Budapest for Nightlife

Budapest is one of the best party cities in Europe – and the smallest district in Budapest, District VII Erzsébetváros packs a punch in the party department. As the city’s historic Jewish Quarter, this central neighborhood is home to several heritage and religious sites, including several notable synagogues.

Erzsébetváros is also the best area to stay in Budapest for nightlife thanks to its trendy bars, vibrant clubs, and rustic street food. If you’re looking for a great night out in Budapest, Erzsébetváros is the place to be.

The inside of a fancy, old building with high roofs and chandeliers. People sitting around small tables.
Erzsébetváros is my top pick for vibey nightlife.

Continental Hotel Budapest | Best Hotel in Erzsébetváros

Continental Hotel Budapest

Enjoy four-star accommodation in the heart of Budapest’s party district at the Continental Hotel Budapest. Featuring a relaxing wellness centre, guests can rest up after a night on the town in the sauna or by taking a dip in the indoor/outdoor pool.

The hotel has spacious rooms that feature modern décor, A/C, a mini-bar, and on-demand movies – ideal for the morning after a big night.

Queen’s Court Hotel & Residence | Best Luxury Hotel in Erzsébetváros

Queen's Court Hotel & Residence

The Queen’s Court Hotel & Residence is a five-star, luxury hotel in the Erzsébetváros neighborhood. Surrounded by restaurants and bars, this luxurious hotel is at the heart of Budapest’s nightlife scene.

Enjoy a drink at the bar before a night on the town, and make sure to line your stomach at one of the nearby restaurants!

Onefam Budapest | Best Hostel in Erzsébetváros

Onefam Budapest

Onefam Budapest is a lively and social party hostel in Budapest. Surrounded by ruin bars, clubs, and restaurants, this hostel is within walking distance of Budapest’s best nightlife spots. Enjoy clean and comfortable dorms and a fun atmosphere at this conveniently located hostel.

The reviews and awards this hostel has received speak for themselves. If you’re looking to meet new friends and have an EPIC time exploring Budapest – you can’t beat this hostel.

Classic Luxury in the Heart of Budapest | Best Airbnb in Erzsébetváros

Classic Luxury in the Heart of Budapest

This gorgeous apartment is brand new. It’s located in the heart of the old Jewish District, in one of the finest corners in town (Dob & Kazinczy). This spacious home has two large bedrooms with extra large king beds, comfortably sleeping four guests (plus one more, if you’re up for a sofa bed).


The apartment is in the “party district” so you’ll be within walking distance from the action. Including well-known Szimpla Bar and Gozsdu Udvar. As well as, almost all of Budapest’s must-see landmarks (e.g. Opera, Deak Ter and Synagogue).

Things to See and Do in Erzsébetváros

  1. Visit Dohany Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, and the second largest in the world.
  2. Drink, dance, and laugh the night away at Doboz, an open-air ruin bar where the music’s great and the drinks are cheap.
  3. Spend a night at Szimpla Kert. Built in a former factory this converted open-air space was the first ruin bar in the city.
  4. Savour custom cocktails and a charming atmosphere at Warmup Bar.
  5. Enjoy urbane cocktails at Bar Pharma, a stylish speakeasy in the city.
  6. Dance the night away at Instant, a forest-themed ruin bar with six floors of great drinks and music to choose from.
  7. Wander the streets and look at the massive murals and street art that bring life and colour to once mundane grey buildings.
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4. District VIII / Józsefváros – Coolest Area to Stay in Budapest

A few years ago, travellers would have avoided Budapest’s Józsefváros. Rough and dangerous, it wasn’t considered a trip-worthy place. Today, thanks to an influx of stylish bars, trendy restaurants, and independent boutiques, Józsefváros has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city.

Popular with students, Józsefváros is a lively and social neighborhood. Here you’ll find several great ruin bars, casual eateries, hip shops, and stylish galleries. It’s come a long way, and despite its past is perfectly safe to visit.

Man riding a bike through Budapest roads

Eurostars Danube Budapest | Best Budget Hotel in Józsefváros

Eurostars Danube Budapest

Set at the centre of Budapest, this four-star hotel is close to the city’s main attractions and hottest bars. Each spacious room has free wifi, a mini-bar, and a flat-screen TV. Guests can unwind in the stylish lounge or on-site restaurants at the end of an exciting day.

Bo33 Hotel Family & Suites | Best Hotel in Józsefváros

Bo33 Hotel Family & Suites

Modern and spacious, this hotel is a relaxing hideaway in one of Budapest’s most exciting districts. Guests can relax and recover after a night on the town on the rooftop terrace or in the sauna. Enjoy daily breakfast and an on-site bar at this stylish four-star hotel.

Pal’s Hostel | Best Hostel in Józsefváros

Pal's Hostel

Tucked away in Józsefváros, this Pal’s hostel is within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and public transport. Housed in an old building, this hostel is oozing with historic tales to be told.

This hostel has private and shared rooms and offers different styles of rooms, perfect for those travelling as a couple, solo, or in groups. Guests can enjoy free wifi, comfortable beds, and a social atmosphere.

19th Century Home in Budapest City Centre | Best Airbnb in Józsefváros

19th Century Home in Budapest City Centre

Built in 1890, this traditional city house has a quiet courtyard. The apartment retains many of the original 19th-century architectural features. Such as the 4-meter high moulded ceiling, decorated door panels, and large glass doors.

This unique accommodation has a gallery and a kitchenette with all the essentials you could need. Guests can also enjoy wall and floor heating, and FREE Wi-Fi.

Things to See and Do in Józsefváros

  1. Take a deep dive into Hungarian history at the Hungarian National Museum.
  2. Dance the night away at Trafik, where DJs spin the best music until the early morning.
  3. Browse the racks at Iguana, a high-end thrift shop where you can often find designer labels.
  4. Rustic and charming, the courtyard of Gondozo Kert is great for late-night drinks.
  5. Drink under the star on the rooftop terrace of Corvinteto, a ruin bar built in a former supermarket.
  6. Party late into the night at the Corvin Club, one of Budapest’s most iconic nightclubs.
  7. Stop and smell the roses, flora and fauna at the Botanical Garden.
  8. Walk over to the city park and see the Vajdahunyad Castle and bathe in the world-famous Széchenyi fürd thermal bath.
  9. Catch a show at the Hungarian State Opera House.

5. District V / Belváros (Pest) – Where to Stay in Budapest for First-Time Visitors and Families

Located on the eastern edge of the River Danube, Belváros or Pest is the downtown District V and the heart of the city. This is where you’ll find a variety of historic and cultural attractions, including the Parliament Building and Chain Bridge.

Well connected to neighborhoods throughout the city, Belváros is a great base for families or first-timers travelling to Budapest. The area is within walking distance of many top attractions, so little legs won’t get too tired while exploring this part of the city.

St Stephen’s Basilica
So much beauty within so few steps!

SasOne Rooms | Best Hotel in Belváros

SasOne Rooms

Family rooms in the SeasOne are designed for groups of three, comprising one double and one sofa bed. Each room has a private bathroom and internet access, and breakfast is included in the price. Just 200m from St Stephen’s Basilica and public transport connections, this hotel provides stress-free accommodation for small families exploring Budapest.

Prime Star Fashion Street Apartments | Best Apartment in Belváros

Prime Star Fashion Street Apartments

This apartment is everything you need and more for your stay in the Inner City. With gorgeous decor and a fully equipped kitchen, this pad will feel like a home away from home. It even has a washing machine which I’m not sure about you but I bloody love to have.

The location is ideal for exploring as it’s right in the hub of the tourist attractions. You will have most of Budapest’s main attractions at your feet. As well as loads of restaurants and cafes to indulge in.

Maverick Hostel & Ensuites | Best Hostel in Belváros

Maverick Hostel & Ensuites

Located in the heart of the city in a renovated old building (an old royal mansion), you can’t go wrong with Maverick Hostel. It’s in a super central location with most of Budapest’s main attractions within a 15-minute walk. Plus the infamous ruin bars are just 10 minutes walk.

The hostel has FREE Wi-Fi and coffee (gotta love free coffee!) and they even do Hungarian wine tastings now and then. Whether you’re up for a shared dorm or a private apartment – this hostel has a room for everyone.

Balcony Suite Apartment in pedestrian Vaci Street | Best Airbnb in Belváros

Balcony Suite Apartment in pedestrian Vaci Street

This Airbnb is a dreamy abode in the Inner City of Budapest. It’s freshly renovated and located on a charming pedestrian street in the heart of the city. It’s in a fab spot for exploring the city and is nice and close to cafes and restaurants.

This pad comes with loads of FREE stuff for you to use. Including Wi-Fi (a must), a Nespresso coffee maker, an orange juicer and a smart TV. It’s hard to beat this spot.

Things to See and Do in Belváros

  1. Visit the statue of Imre Nagy, a communist Hungarian politician and leader of the Hungarian Revolution against the Soviets.
  2. Pack a picnic and spend a relaxing afternoon on Margaret Island, a lush green space located between the Danube.
  3. Stand in awe at St Stephen’s Basilica, a Roman Catholic basilica and architectural masterpiece.
  4. Marvel at the impressive Hungarian Parliament building.
  5. See the Shoes on the Danube bronze statues that serve as a memorial for 3,500 people who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen during World War II.
  6. Take a night cruise along the Danube and see the city’s most iconic sights illuminated and glowing (with unlimited prosecco!).
  7. Walk across the bridge that connects Buda and Pest. One of the most iconic locations in the city.
  8. Sample delicious sweets, treats and authentic Hungarian fare at the Central Market Hall.
  9. Indulge in a delicious gelato at Gelarto Rosa where the scoops are sculpted into the shape of a flower.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Budapest

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Budapest and where to stay.

What To Pack For Budapest

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Budapest

Unfortunately, things can go wrong when you least expect it. This is why good travel insurance is essential before you head on your trip to Budapest.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Budapest

Budapest is a treasure trove of culture, history and natural beauty. With its relaxing thermal baths, mouth-watering cuisine and mind-blowing architecture, it’s not a spot you want to miss on your European tour. 

It’s up there with one of my favourite cities in Europe. If you’re around in August, don’t miss the infamous Sziget festival – that is what originally drew me to the city! But the epic vibes are what kept me coming back.

After diving into what each area offers, I hope you’ve got a better idea of which is best suited for you and your Budapest Itinerary. If you’re still undecided, I highly recommend Onefam Budapest as one of the best hostels in Budapest. Or, if you’re looking for something more luxurious, you can’t go wrong with Leo Boutique Rooms, Budapest.

If you think I’ve missed anything I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below.

Looking for more info on travelling to Budapest and Hungary?
The streets of Budapest
Enjoy your time exploring Buda and Pest!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!