Where to stay in Budapest? We suggest that you mainly stick to the eastern part of the city (called Pest) since most of the famous attractions and landmarks are located on the east side of the mighty Danube.
With the exception of the area called Buda (on the western side of the river), most of the fun happens on the east side. If you want to find out why, keep reading this guide which presents the five best neighborhoods that the city of Budapest has to offer.
Where to Stay in Budapest
Budapest is one of those cities upon which the history of the whole of Europe is inscribed. Together with Vienna, Bratislava, and Belgrade, it shares the title of the biggest city on the mighty river Danube.
Budapest has been culturally significant throughout history and an arena for constant clashes between the East and the West. Today, it is one of the most visited cities in Europe, with more than 12 million tourists arriving in Budapest annually.
One look at a picture or a photograph of the city speaks volumes of history and fiction. With its gothic and baroque buildings, the sublime Danube in the middle, castles, museums, restaurants, and nightclubs — Budapest possesses a charm of its own that’s indescribable.
It’s all about the vibes and atmosphere, and to experience that, you have to stroll its streets and feel the breeze along the shores of the Danube. The Jews left a strong mark on the history and culture of Budapest.
That’s why the city is not only an important center of Christianity (both Catholic and Orthodox) but also boasts the second-largest synagogue in the world.
Also, there are a lot of monuments and landmarks connected to the Holocaust and the perils of the Jews during the Nazi regime in Hungary.
Finally, Budapest is a fun city. Great for young people, it is full of cafes and nightclubs (and the famous “ruin bars” where you can experience some unforgettable nights. Hungarian cuisine is also well known, and we recommend that you visit some traditional restaurants.
The 5 Best Parts of Budapest
Budapest presents a specific way of ordering its areas. In addition to their proper names, every district in the city has a number.
So, sometimes you’ll find the downtown areas called Lipótváros and Belváros, but don’t be surprised if the locals call it District V.
Taking that into account, most of the fun happens in the eastern part of the city (Pest), with the exception of District I, where you’ll find Budapest’s most beautiful castles and palaces.
The best areas include:
- Buda (District I): Located on the western side of the Danube, it offers some of the most important landmarks in the city, like the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
- Lipótváros and Belváros (District V): The proper Downtown of Budapest — we recommend this area to every first-comer in the capital of Hungary.
- Erzsébetváros (District VII): Also known as the Jewish quarter, it offers a lot of landmarks connected to Jewish culture and history and the best nightclubs in Budapest.
- Terézváros (District VI): A hidden gem, located right next to Districts V and VII, it offers great nightclubs, popular streets, and a lot of budget hotels and motels.
- Józsefváros (District VIII): Probably the most versatile area on our list; it is very old and full of interesting museums and cultural institutions.
The Best Areas & Hotels in Budapest
As a major and very old European city full of tradition, culture, history, and well-known cuisine, Budapest is an extremely popular tourist hub.
That being said, it is quite accessible, with a lot of budget and mid-range hotels and hotels while still keeping a pretty high standard and boasting some of the most famous chains of hotels — most of them located in District V.
You won’t find many two or one-star hotels, but there’s no reason to panic. Almost every district presented in our guide offers a bunch of very cheap three-star hotels that definitely cover the budget area.
But if you’re looking for something affordable, you had better stick to Districts VI, VII, and VIII.
For luxury, Michelin-star restaurants, and famous chains of hotels, District I and District V are the places you’re looking for, which are also nearest to the Danube.
1. Buda (District I)
Staying in Buda — also known as District I — is probably one of the best ways to get to know Budapest. Lipótváros and Belváros are also great choices, but we decided to start with “the old castle district” because some of the most important landmarks in the city area are located here.
Located on the west side of the Danube river, it is the perfect choice for those visitors who want to do a lot of sightseeing.
There are three things that must have a priority on your list, and they are — in the following order: the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, and the Halászbástya. We listed them by their age since experienced sightseers know that, in this case, what is older is usually better.
Buda Castle was the royal palace of Hungarian kings, first completed in 1265. It got today’s baroque look somewhere around the 18th century, and it is the central building of Castle Hill. Around it, you’ll find the Castle Quarter and many old and beautiful houses.
Matthias Church is a 14th-century Catholic church that, according to the ecclesiastical traditions (but without any material proof), is said to date back to 1015.
Unreasonably beautiful, the church is the witness to the rich history of Hungary and the crowning place of two of its kings. Finally, Halászbástya — better known as Fisherman’s Bastion — was built by the same person that restored Matthias Church.
It was said that its walls were defended by the local fishermen’s guilt, hence the strange name. Some people say that it looks like a real-life Disney castle.
You won’t find any accommodation with less than three stars in District I, but some of them are quite cheap and affordable.
On the other hand, there are a bunch of high-end hotels in Buda, as well as a lot of fancy and beautiful restaurants. We don’t recommend the neighborhood for those who are looking for budget accommodation.
Things to Do
- Visiting Castle hill is definitely the first thing you should do in District I. Aside from strolling Buda Castle, you have to go both to the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest Historical Museum, which are located inside it. Truly speaking, you don’t have to visit anything in particular, aside from strolling the narrow cobbled streets of the district and enjoying the magical architecture around you.
- Other than the museums in Buda castle, there are a lot of other museums in Buda that are worth your time. Here are some of them: Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum is about WWII; there’s The House of Houdini; the Museum of Military History; the Museum of Music History; and the Panoptikum.
- Hungary has a huge religious history and a lot of beautiful churches and statues you’ll encounter. District I offers — first of all — the sublime Matthias Church, then the Statue of St Stephen on Trinity square, the baroque Church of St. Anne, the Calvinist Church, and the Holy Trinity Column. From this perspective, Budapest is not much poorer than Rome or Paris in terms of religious buildings and monuments.
- If you’re looking for Budapest from the fairy tales, the one that looks like a Disney movie, you better go to Fisherman’s Bastion, probably the most visited in this part of the city. The Fisherman’s Bastion is a sight to behold, with its staircase and out-of-this-world interior and exterior.
Where to Eat
- Arany Kaviár Restaurant is a European and International fusion restaurant that’s been selected as the 2022 Travelers’ Choice. It’s a Micheline star restaurant too, with a lot of luxurious dishes, like caviar, and a perfect place for a tasty and fancy lunch or dinner.
- NOOR Lounge & Restaurant is a 2022 Traveler’s Choice selection that serves an interesting combination of Lebanese, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines, with a lot of vegetarian and halal options. It offers probably the best humus in Budapest.
- Riso Ristorante & Terrace is a classical Italian and Mediterranean restaurant that also serves a lot of European dishes. Yet another 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection, we recommend the pizza, the risotto, and the pasta in combination with a nice glass of wine.
Buda (District I) Budget Hotels
- Hotel Charles is a decent but not very expensive three-star hotel that offers large rooms with kitchenettes and a bus stop in front of its premises. It also offers free Wi-Fi, private parking, a restaurant, a terrace, and daily housekeeping.
- Hotel Orion Várkert is another very cheap three-star hotel with a convenient location, close to many of Buda’s most important landmarks. The hotel has a fitness center, a sauna, and a bar on its premises, and delicious breakfast is served every morning.
Buda (District I) Mid-Range Hotels
- ibis Budapest Castle Hill is a decent three-star hotel that comes quite cheap for a mid-range option. It has a restaurant and a bar on the premises, free Wi-Fi and private parking, a 24-hour desk, and an effective airport shuttle.
- Monastery Boutique Hotel Budapest is a very good four-star hotel that’s particularly suitable for couples. It has spacious rooms furnished with flat-screen TVs, a restaurant, and a bar.
Buda (District I) Luxury Hotels
- Hilton Budapest is both a luxurious five-star hotel and a historic building full of old statues, relics, and a Dominican cloister. In terms of modern amenities, it has a restaurant, a bar, a fitness center, and professional room service.
- Hotel Clark Budapest – Adults Only is a five-star hotel which — as the name suggests — is particularly suitable for couples. It offers elegantly furnished rooms, a restaurant, and a bar, as well as a fitness center and a quick airport shuttle.
2. Belváros-Lipótváros (District V)
On the opposite side of the Danube lies Budapest’s District V, better known as Belváros-Lipótváros, which roughly translates as “Inner City” and “Leopold Town.”
The proper downtown of the city, District V, is Budapest’s economic, administrative, and business center and the obvious choice for first-time visitors. Moreover, Belváros-Lipótváros is as beautiful as the old Buda area and full of monuments, old buildings, and museums.
Let’s start with the architecture. What Buda castle is to the Buda area, the Hungarian Parliament Building is to District V. A sublime gothic building that looks like it came from a painter’s canvas or a writer’s book, it is more than a century old and still the biggest building in the whole of Hungary.
The Parliament building is located on the banks of the Danube and spontaneously leads to the Dunakorzó, or the Danube Embankment, definitely the best strolling location in the city.
Following it from the north to the south, you’ll reach — without even planning it — many other important landmarks in Belváros.
Highlights include the Shoes on the Danube Bank, dedicated to the massacred Jews during the Nazi era, and the art-nouveau Gresham Palace, which today is the Four Seasons hotel.
Moving from the river and the embankment to the depths of the mainland, more and more things get in your way.
- The 18th-century Vaci Street, today full of restaurants, cafes, and expensive shops;
- The sublime St. Stephen’s Basilica, the third-largest church in Hungary;
- The Danube Palace (theater);
- The Hungarian State Opera, and much much more.
One more thing that you have to know if you’re thinking about staying in District V: since the area is full of tourists, there are a lot of accommodations and restaurants, but they are far from cheap.
There’s almost nothing lower than three stars, and if you prefer a more budget-oriented option, we recommend that you move away from the center of the city.
Things to Do
- Some of the striking buildings in Budapest are located in District V. The list is practically endless, but there are some things you just have to see: the neo-gothic and very big Parliament building; the stunning St. Stephen’s Basilica can accommodate more than 8,500 people; the Hungarian Orthodox Cathedral of Our Lady; the Pesti Vigado, where the emperor of Austro-Hungary Franc Joseph held his coronation banquet.
- Budapest, and especially the Belváros-Lipótváros area, is great for walking. That’s mainly because of the Danube Promenade, which stretches from the Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Erzsébet Bridge, the two most famous bridges in the city. Also, along the way, you’ll see a bunch of statues of local and international personalities.
- If you’re not only interested in architecture and beautiful buildings, but you also like art in every form and through every medium, District V has some important places that you have to visit: the Danube Palace held and still holds some of the most important dance, music, and cultural events in the city; and in Pesti Vigado, where you may also see an exhibition or listen to some marvelous music.
Where to Eat
- Zincenco Kitchen is a Central European restaurant where you can eat a six-course meal. Both a Michelin-star restaurant and a 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection, it’s one of those places where you can go to have a very luxurious lunch or dinner.
- Byblos – Fine Lebanese and Levantine Cuisine is another 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection, which serves an interesting combination of Lebanese and Arabic dishes with a lot of integrated elements from the broader Mediterranean tradition. We recommend the falafel, the mixed grill, and the chicken shawarma.
- Pintxo Budapest is a Spanish and Mediterranean seafood restaurant and yet another 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection. With its relaxed and down-to-earth atmosphere, it’s the favorite place for a lot of young people. We recommend the churros, the prawns, and the goat cheese dishes.
Belváros-Lipótváros Budget Hotels
- D8 Hotel is a very cheap three-star hotel located very close to St. Stephen Basilica. Every room has a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV. There’s a bar on the premises of the hotel, an airport shuttle, daily housekeeping, and a good breakfast.
- Danubius Hotel Erzsébet City Center is another very cheap three-star hotel with a good location, just a few steps away from the famous shopping street called Vaci utca. Particularly suitable for couples, it offers a nice breakfast, housekeeping, and free Wi-Fi.
Belváros-Lipótváros Mid-Range Hotels
- Promenade City Hotel is a decent three-star hotel that comes at a really reasonable price. It is located right in the center of the city, on the pedestrian Vaci utca. It offers a 24-hour desk, an airport shuttle, good breakfast, and facilities for disabled guests.
- Gerlóczy Boutique Hotel is a four-star hotel located in a historic 19th-century building and decorated in Parisian style. It offers free Wi-Fi, airport shuttles, room service, a terrace, and a bar and a restaurant on the premises.
Belváros-Lipótváros Luxury Hotels
- Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest is a very expensive and luxurious five-star hotel, which was built in 1906, and fully renovated in the early 20th century. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, a restaurant, and a bar.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest is a very expensive and very upscale hotel located just a few minutes away from both St. Stephen Basilica and the Danube. It has a spa and wellness center, an indoor swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar, and a superb breakfast.
3. Erzsébetváros (District VII)
Erzsébetváros, like many of Budapest’s areas, is known by two other names: District VII and the Jewish Quarter. It is one of the smallest and most densely populated districts in the city.
If you choose Erzsébetváros as your base, you should expect a lot of things connected to Jewish history and culture, as well as vibrant nightlife and a hip, urbane atmosphere.
Let’s move to the inner half of the area, the one which is the Jewish quarter proper. The center of the district is the immense Great Synagogue (Nagy Zsinagoga), the second biggest religious building of its kind in the world.
After you’ve seen it, continue to the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives and check out its huge collection. But that’s not all. The whole quarter is very beautiful and brimming with historical traces. Just strolling around it is an experience in itself.
That being said, you have to visit at least three other things: the Kazinczy Street Synagogue, The Tree of Life, and the Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park.
In the after hours, Erzsébetváros turns from a historic district into a vibrant nightlife hub full of young people and parties.
Budapest is especially famous for its so-called “ruin bars,” which — as the name suggests — are a combination of bars, galleries, and restaurants located in ruined buildings. Most of them also offer some kind of interactive fun activities.
We recommend the following clubs and places:
The prices of accommodations get lower as you go away from the center.
Here, you’ll find a lot of budget and mid-range hotels but significantly fewer five-star accommodations (there are only two). It may not be the cheapest place in Budapest, but it’s significantly cheaper than Buda and Belváros.
Things to Do
- There’s no better place to learn about Jewish history and culture and find out more about the beauties of their culture and the perils of their people than Budapest’s Jewish Quart. Starting from the Great / Central Synagogue, you’ll continue to Kazinczy Street Synagogue, the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, and the Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park.
- District VII is one of the best places in Budapest for having a crazy night and grabbing a few drinks. The “ruin bars” are almost endemic to this city, and most of the bars in this area are part of this “genre.” We named a couple of them earlier, but here are some more: Warmup Bar, Hotsy Totsy Budapest, Bar Pharma, Hopaholic – in hop we trust, and Barside bar. Most of them offer some specific and out-of-the-ordinary activity or game.
- We recommend that you spend most of your time in the Jewish quarter in simple strolling. Its streets and buildings are overflowing with history and life, and its streets tell stories by themselves. As you walk around the district, make sure you visit the elegant New York Palace. It also has a cafe and a restaurant if you want to see the interior and drink a cup of coffee or grab a bite.
- Concentrating on the Jewish history in District VII doesn’t mean that you can’t visit other museums too. We recommend going to the contemporary and fun Museum of Sweets & Selfies No.2: Bubbles (2022 Travelers’ Choice) and the Amazing Metal Art Gallery (another 2022 Travelers’ Choice), where you’ll find uncanny replicas of your favorite cartoons, games, and other media — as long as they’re made of metal.
Where to Eat
- Caviar&Bull Budapest is a contemporary International seafood restaurant, which is mostly famous for the salmon and the oysters, as well as the numerous other vegetarian options on the menu. The restaurant has also been selected as the 2022 Travelers’ Choice.
- Uncensored Restaurant is a 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection that offers an interesting and unusual combination of generally European cuisine mixed with traditions both from the Mediterranean and Hungary. The restaurant has won a lot of awards throughout the years and is quite famous.
- Vicky Barcelona is yet another 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection (there are plenty in the whole of Budapest) that is all about Spanish, Catalan, and Mediterranean food. The restaurant is perfect for large gatherings, special occasions, birthdays, and for drinking too.
Erzsébetváros Budget Hotels
- City Hotel UNIO superior is a very cheap three-star hotel located close to almost every important landmark both in District VII and the whole of Budapest. It offers free Wi-Fi, an airport shuttle, daily housekeeping, a 24-hour front desk, and breakfast.
- Hotel Sissy Residence is an even cheaper three-star hotel with a great location in District VII. Every room is equipped with a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and a fridge. The hotel also provides a nice breakfast and an airport shuttle.
Erzsébetváros Mid-Range Hotels
- Royal Park Boutique Hotel is a decent but not very expensive four-star hotel that offers sound-proof rooms with Wi-Fi. Aside from the great location in Erzsébetváros, it is approximately five minutes away from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
- Danubius Hotel Hungaria City Center is another great, not very expensive four-star hotel. It offers free Wi-Fi, private parking, a fine restaurant on the premises of the hotel, as well as a bar and facilities for disabled people.
Erzsébetváros Luxury Hotels
- Corinthia Budapest is a long-lasting five-star hotel that’s definitely the most upscale and luxurious accommodation in District VII. Existing since the late 1800s, it offers an indoor swimming pool, spa and wellness center, a gym, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises.
- Anantara New York Palace Budapest is the second five-star hotel in Erzsébetváros which comes really close to the exquisiteness of the best accommodations in the city. The rooms are furnished with Italian furniture and boast all the amenities. The hotel also has a swimming pool, a gym, bar, and a restaurant.
4. Terézváros (VI)
Just to the east of Belváros and to the north of Erzsébetváros (District V and District VII) lies Terézváros, which is also known as District VI.
It’s Budapest’s hidden gem because it is not as famous as the first or the fifth districts, but it’s as elegant and full of beautiful architecture as both of the central areas.
But the best part about Terézváros is that it’s very cheap, and it’s a perfect match for budget travelers. You should do your explorations around district VI from Budapest’s Champs Elysees, a street called Andrassy Avenue.
This broad street was constructed in the 19th century. It’s lined up with trees from both sides and surrounded by elegant, historic buildings and a lot of shops.
We’ve already mentioned that Budapest is a walkable city, and Andrassy Avenue definitely is a part of it. Terézváros is a versatile area and offers everything that the other districts have to offer, but concentrated on a smaller space.
It has a lot of cultural institutions:
- The Hungarian State Opera House,
- The Budapest Operetta Theatre,
- The Budapest Puppet Theater;
- The House of Terror Museum;
- The Museum of Sweets & Selfies,
- Franc Liszt Memorial Museum.
But, what’s even more interesting, the partying atmosphere from Erzsébetváros and its ruin bars are also part of District VI. We recommend Peaches and Cream Club, the interactive Palinka Experience Budapest, and the colorful Tuk Tuk Bár.
What kind of people would like to stay in Terézváros? As you can see from our small list of cultural institutions, museums, and nightclubs, the answer is everybody.
There is something of interest for all kinds of people here, whether they’re interested in art, culture, shopping, architecture or nightlife. On top of that, District VI is the definite budget area in Budapest, with a lot of cheap hotels and hostels.
Things to Do
- Terézváros is great for shopping. Like neighboring Erzsébetváros, it is both small and densely populated, meaning that everything is close by. The first choice is obviously Andrassy Avenue, the most elegant street in Budapest. But if you prefer something more concentrated and practical, we recommend the Westend Shopping Center.
- Like almost everywhere in Budapest, District VI is full of different kinds of museums. We are almost bored with repeating this fact, but we can’t run from the truth — Budapest is a city-museums, and a city full of museums. Aside from the ones mentioned earlier, we also recommend that you visit the 3d Gallery Budapest, the Museum of Illusions Budapest, and the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center.
- If you’re a fan of performing art, Terézváros has a rich tradition to offer in that domain, and some very interesting cultural institutions that are both worth seeing and visiting while they’re giving performances: the Hungarian State Opera House is simply sublime; the Budapest Operetta Theatre is also very beautiful, but on a smaller scale (from Opera to Operetta); and the Budapest Puppet Theater is the smallest, both in terms of architecture and performance, but as interesting as the previous two.
- Finally, the nightlife. Terézváros shares the energy and the vibe of its neighboring district and its endemic and usually interactive ruin bars. But there are also some regular bars and clubs where you can go out and have a drink: House Bar & Kitchen Terrace, El Cañonazo de la Habana, and Giero Pub. You can even join the tour called Pub Crawl Budapest and visit more places in one night.
Where to Eat
- Hoppá Bistro is a French, Hungarian, and European bistro and restaurant that offers a lot of healthy traditional dishes. A 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection, it’s great for romantic evenings or serious business meetings. We recommend the steak tartare or risotto and catfish.
- Ape Regina Italian Restaurant is a 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection that is mostly famous for its pizza. However, it also serves a combination of Mediterranean, Italian, and Neapolitan cuisines. The salmon pasta, for instance, is very popular.
- Porc & Prezli Restaurant is yet another 2022 Traveler’s Choice restaurant, but this time from the domain of traditional Hungarian cuisine. There’s no better place to get to know Budapest than from a place like this, trying all the local specialties, like the paprikas, the duck liver, etc.
Terézváros Budget Hotels
- Avenue Hostel offers rooms with shared and private bathrooms at a very low price. There’s free Wi-Fi on the premises and parking. The front desk works 24 hours a day, and there’s an airport shuttle at your disposal.
- Easy Star Hotel is a very cheap three-star hotel with a great location that’s particularly suitable for couples. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi, an airport shuttle, a designated smoking area, and a nice breakfast. There’s also a supermarket around 50 meters from the hotel.
Terézváros Mid-Range Hotels
- Medos Hotel is a decent three-star hotel located very close to the area’s metro station. It offers free Wi-Fi and private parking, as well as rooms equipped with private bathrooms and flat-screen TVs. It also offers breakfast and daily housekeeping.
- 12 Revay Hotel is a slightly more expensive and upscale mid-range hotel located around 300 meters away from the St. Stephen Basilica. It offers a cool on-site bar, an airport shuttle, a 24-hour front desk, and facilities for disabled people.
Terézváros Luxury Hotels
- Hard Rock Hotel Budapest is one of the two five-star hotels in District VI. It offers all the things you would expect from a hotel of its kind: a restaurant, fitness center, and bar on the premises, but also very quick room service and facilities for disabled guests.
- Mystery Hotel Budapest is the second five-star hotel in Terézváros, and it’s quite a catch. Very luxurious and quite expensive, it has a restaurant and a bar on the premises, as well as a spa center and a fitness center. There’s also room service and breakfast options.
5. Józsefváros (District VIII)
Budapest’s District VIII, also called Józsefváros — named after emperor Joseph II — is one of the oldest in the city. Usually classified as a “cool” area, it’s full of beautiful architecture and has a lot of museums, universities, and libraries.
The district is great for strolling and can be a fascinating place for lovers of culture and history.
Józsefváros has a special place in the hearts of the residents of all Budapest since most of the action in The Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnár — one of the most famous Hungarian novels for younger people — takes place in locations around the area like Füvészkert (botanical garden), Mária utca, and Pál utca.
We recommend you start your adventure by visiting the Natural History Museum. It dates back to the early 19th century and has the biggest natural history collection in the whole of Hungary.
That makes it one of its most important attractions worth visiting, even if you are not staying at District VIII.
Very close to the Natural History Museum you’ll find Erkel Theatre, part of the already mentioned Hungarian State Opera House; the Corvin Budapest Film Palace, which is a famous multiplex cinema; and Orczy-kert, Budapest’s biggest garden.
There’s an area in Józsefváros called the “Palace Quarter,” where you’ll find most of the old universities and libraries if you’re into such activities and love books.
But the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library located in Wenckheim Palace is definitely to everybody’s taste and preferences. Like in other aspects, District VIII is also versatile and all-around in terms of accommodation.
In comparison to the other areas, it is neither very cheap and budget-friendly nor very luxurious and over the top in terms of prices.
If you’re looking for a decent three-star hotel, Józsefváros is definitely the place for you. The restaurant options are also nice and quite versatile, offering both Hungarian cuisine and international and European options.
Things to Do
- Visiting the Natural History Museum in Józsefváros is definitely a must-do activity, no matter in which part of Budapest you’re staying at the moment. It’s a very old institution, founded in the beginning of the 19th century, and has the biggest collection of everything connected to natural history. The collection is mainly connected to zoology and paleontology and also features a huge library.
- While you are in that part of the city, if you love performing arts and cinema, you should definitely go to the Erkel Theater and the Corvin Budapest Film Palace.
- If you are more of a studious and bookish type of person, the Palace Quarter offers a bunch of universities like the Eötvös Loránd University, the Semmelweis University, and the Academy of Drama and Film. But the biggest attraction in this area is the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library located in Wenckheim Palace. It offers the largest collection of books (around 1,100,000 of them) in the whole of Hungary.
Where to Eat
- Krak’n Town Steampunk Saloon is an untypical Irish pub with steampunk aesthetics. Its menu is quite usual for a place of its type, and there’s a lot of beer options too. We recommend the steak and ale pies.
- Carne di Hall is a traditional Hungarian restaurant that’s a true hidden gem of District VIII. Located in a cellar, it offers some of the most interesting and tasty local dishes, like goose, a very peculiar steak, and Hungarian veal.
- Padron is a Spanish restaurant that serves tapas. A very popular place, especially for younger people — its main focus is always a smaller group of guests and a lot of smaller meals for them to share while sipping a drink. If you find yourself among them, you won’t regret it.
Józsefváros Budget Hotels
- Central Hotel 21 and Apartments is a very cheap three-star hotel with stylishly decorated rooms and a hearty breakfast to prepare you for a hard day of strolling. It also offers free Wi-Fi and parking, a bar and a beautiful garden.
- Triple M Hotel is another very cheap but decent three-star hotel located less than a mile from the metro station. Every room has a private bathroom, a desk, and TV, and the hotel offers free Wi-Fi, parking, a nice bar, and great breakfast.
Józsefváros Mid-Range Hotels
- House Beletage-Boutique Hotel is a three-star hotel that offers free Wi-Fi and air conditioning and has a private parking area available for those guests who have cars. The hotel is particularly suitable for couples and also offers an airport shuttle.
- The Three Corners Hotel Anna Superior is a great three-star hotel located less than half a mile from the Hungarian National Museum. It has free Wi-Fi and private parking, an on-site bar, great breakfast, and it also offers an airport shuttle.
Józsefváros Luxury Hotels
- EST Grand Hotel Savoy is a very luxurious hotel, equipped like an upscale five-star hotel, but not that expensive. It has an indoor pool, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises.
- Kozmo Hotel Suites & Spa is a very upscale and luxurious five-star hotel with an indoor swimming pool, spa and fitness centers, a great restaurant, and a bar. The breakfast server every morning is usually described as “superb.”
So, Where Should You Stay in Budapest?
Once you get over the long and difficult middle-European name (Hungarian is not the easiest language in the world) and the numbering of the districts, Budapest is a very practical and easy city to navigate through.
To clear things up, let’s do a quick recap and give a summary of our main findings:
- Buda (District I) is the only area on the west side of the Danube we presented in our guide. It’s old, it’s sublime, it’s immense: some of the most important landmarks, museums, and castles in the whole of Hungary are located in this area.
- Lipótváros and Belváros (District V) are the definite downtown of Budapest and the perfect choice for any traveler who is visiting the city for the first time. Together with District I, it owns the richest cultural capital in Budapest.
- Erzsébetváros (District VII) is worth visiting for two things: first, it’s the place where you’ll find the Jewish quarter and where you can learn the most about their culture and history; second; it offers the most vibrant nightlife and the best nightclubs and bars in the city.
- Terézváros (District VI) is a real hidden gem, located right next to the Jewish quarter and downtown. It is the obvious choice for every visitor who wants to save money and go for budget-friendly accommodation options.
- Józsefváros (District VIII) is definitely the most versatile area on our list, and sometimes even called the “coolest” area in Budapest: it’s also quite old and a perfect option for people who like culture and history, mainly because of its numerous museums and libraries.
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip to Budapest and experience all this lovely city has to offer today!