Are you looking for a good neighbourhood to stay in Budapest? In this article, we inform you of the various types of accommodation on offer in the Hungarian capital.
With its surface area of 525 km², Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is five times bigger than Paris! It is one of the largest cities in Europe but rest assured: everything happens in the city centre. Budapest was founded by the merger – on 22nd December 1872 – of three independent cities, divided in two by the Danube: Obuda, Buda and Pest. Here is a presentation of the various neighbourhoods where you can stay in Budapest and their atmospheres.
In general, Hungary is a cheap country by European standards, even for accommodation in Budapest. With all the 1 to 5-star hotels, homestay accommodation, Airbnb accommodation, rooms for rent and hostels, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to stay. The hard part is choosing between Pest and Buda. Near the nightclubs and trendy bars, close to the streets where you can go out, near the gourmet restaurants? On Buda’s quiet heights? Near the central train station? We’ll help you to make your choice:
Buda and the castle district
Photo credit: Flickr – Dimitris Kamaras
The Castle district, on the west bank of the Danube in Buda, is the heart of Budapest’s historic centre. Perched on the hills, it reflects Hungary’s good times: it houses the Royal Palace (where you can visit the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery), Habsburg Gate and the Turul (an eagle with its wings unfolded, the mythical bird of the Magyars), the Matthias Fountain, Sandor Palace (the residence of the current President of Hungary), Fisherman’s Bastion and Trinity Square.
The neighbourhood will also give you a magnificent view over the Danube and the city. It is a neighbourhood that is very busy with tourists during the day and quieter in the evening, when it is occupied by locals and artists. It’s an ideal place in which to find a cosy nest in a romantic setting, but the nightlife could not be quieter.
Belvaros and the 5th district
Photo credit: Flickr – zsoolt
It is a very central area of Pest, and what’s more, a very quiet area. Belvaros, a small enclave of the 5th district is “THE place to be” for all visitors looking for a dynamic environment: a wide range of bars and restaurants and accommodation for all budgets, as well as access to most of the most interesting monuments and museums to visit. In addition, these monuments and museums are accessible on foot, without taking public transport.
This very safe neighbourhood is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has many sights to discover, such as the Hungarian Parliament, Váci Utca (Budapest’s main pedestrian and commercial street), Vörösmarty Square, the Basilica, Gresham Palace, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Hungarian National Bank building and the temple in Deák Square. This neighbourhood will delight you if you want to stay in Budapest, but since it is very popular, it is also a bit more expensive than other neighbourhoods.
Terézváros, the 6th district
Photo credit: Flickr – Alex Barrow
Also called Terézváros, it is the 6th district, on the Pest side, that you should to choose for your stay in Budapest if you want to visit the Opera, Andrássy Avenue (which is characterised by its neo-Renaissance buildings and its artistic architecture), the House of Terror (a museum dedicated to the periods of dictatorship that Hungary experienced during the 20th century, including of course the totalitarian Nazi period) and West train station.
As in the 5th district, in the 6th district you can go from a political institution to a cultural or historical monument, an unusual bar or a majestic Square while you stroll about on a sunny day. At the north-east end of the district, you can go and enjoy Városliget Park, which is located in the 14th district. There’s something for every taste and budget.
Erzsébetváros, the 7th district
Photo credit: Flickr – Daniel Antal
Also very popular with tourists, the 7th district – or rather Erzsébetváros – is a good option for accommodation in Budapest. Located in Pest, on both sides of the Nagykörút, between the Kiskörút and Dózsa György út (two of the city’s major thoroughfares) and squeezed between the 6th and 8th districts, it is at the heart of Budapest activity. It is centrally located and corresponds to the former Jewish quarter, which was the scene of the Budapest Ghetto during the Second World War.
If you stay in this area of Budapest, you will have access to many synagogues, including the Great Synagogue of Budapest, which is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world, a real stronghold of Judaism in Central Europe. With all of the apartment hotels, youth hostels, hotel rooms and Airbnb accommodation, you’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of accommodation and be close to the vibrant city centre so that you can enjoy Budapest’s nightlife, restaurants and bars. The atmosphere is likely to be livelier to the west of Erzsébet Körút Avenue, the city centre’s big circular boulevard. Nevertheless, it will be quieter further east.
Ferencváros, the 9th district
Photo credit: Flickr – Bruno
Ferencváros, the name given to the city’s 9th district, is interesting because of its southern part. If you go further south, you will be too far out of the way and you’ll have to spend too much time on public transport. It is the students and university neighbourhood (Corvinus University and Semmelweis Medical University). You will have access to the Hungarian Museum of Decorative Arts, the Hungarian National Theatre (Nemzeti Színház), the MÜPA (a museum promoting interdisciplinarity between music, visual arts and performing arts) Ráday Street and its many restaurants, the Protestant Temple in Kalvin Square, the indoor market and the Holocaust Museum. If you go further, Népliget Park, in the 10th district, will give you an opportunity to relax.
Finally, we advise you to book your stay in advance, so you have a drop-off point when you arrive at the airport where you can leave your luggage and then walk around the city serenely.