Deciding where to stay in Budapest during your trip is worth considering carefully; the city consists of 23 districts, numbered clockwise as they appear on a map of Budapest and spread across both sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest. Central districts have lower numbers while suburban districts have higher numbers. Though it is a large city, it has a fantastic public transport system linking all of the districts and areas of the city. we know that researching where to stay in Budapest might seem a daunting task, so we've come to your rescue with this guide to the best districts to stay in, the average cost of accommodation in Budapest districts, and the different things to do in each.
What is the best area to stay in Budapest?
You're probably wondering whether to stay in Buda or Pest, and in which district. Well, this largely depends on how you want to experience Budapest during your visit. Each one offers its own charms, so we've picked the six best districts to stay in in Budapest for this list. By the end of this short read, you'll have a local's grasp of these different Budapest districts and the one that best suits you to stay in when visiting the Hungarian capital.
District 1 -The Castle District of Budapest
The castle district is on the hilly Buda side of the city and offers the best views in Budapest. Home to the impressive Buda Castle complex were the famous changing of the guard ceremony takes place, Matthias Church, and the famous Fisherman's Bastion which has incredible lookout posts offering unbeatable views over the Budapest Parliament building and beautiful bridges over the Danube.
This area is full of fascinating history to uncover, a cultural mecca of Budapest, and as such is teeming with tourists during the daytime. However, it is not really an area with a vibrant nightlife. The Castle District is well suited to couples as it oozes romance, especially at night when the city lights up.
The Castle District also has a Funicular, a cable car a la ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, taking you up and down the hill to and from the castle providing more spectacular views of the Danube.
The most popular thermal baths in the Castle District are the Rudas Baths. Originally a 16th century Ottoman building, the now modernized rooftop baths provide an enchanting view of Budapest.
Average prices per night for accommodation in the Castle District are as follows;
Summer mid-week / Summer Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €120/€130, Quality Hostel €49/€52, Air B&B €54/€60
Winter mid-week / Winter Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €80/€100, Quality Hostel €34/€35, Air B&B €49/€49
District 5 - Downtown Budapest
District 5 is on the Pest side of the Danube and is the city's downtown. The grandiose imperial history of the city is documented throughout in buildings such as the incredibly beautiful Hungarian Parliament and St Stephens Basilica.
District 5 is the most central of all the districts, allowing easy access to the whole city For exampe, the Jewish Quarter is but a shot metro trip, and a 15 minute stroll will have you in District 6. It is not the cheapest area to stay in in Budapest though, indeed it is one of the most expensive areas of the city for accommodation and may not be suitable if you're looking for cheap hotels in Budapest, though there are several high quality hostels in this area with reasonable prices for shared dorms. Average prices of accommodation in Budapest's 5th District are;
Summer mid-week / Summer Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €113/€120, Quality Hostel €17/€30, Air B&B €50/€60
Winter mid-week / Winter Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €75/€90, Quality Hostel €8/€16, Air B&B €36/€40
In front of St Stephen's Basilica you'll find the meeting point for all our free tours in Budapest
, which is a perfect way to get orientated with the city, get to grips with the vast history and culture around you, and get local insights and tips for your stay from us lovely local free tour guides!
This district also offer a vibrant nightlife with a fantastic selection of restaurants, cafés and bars. Our Budapest Pub Crawl
also starts in this area, at the Akvárium Klub, and District 5 is also where you will find the majority of the LGBTQ+ friendly bars in Budapest.
District 6 Terézvaros
There are many cheap areas to stay in Budapest, and while budget accommodation is in no short supply, few areas offer as central a location as District 6.
Though still boasting some very impressive buildings, such as the Hungarian State Opera House and a plethora of amazing shops and cafés, District 6 is definitely the more rugged district of downtown Budapest. This is an area of the city most suited to backpackers, but there is of course accommodation to suit every budget and taste.
Like District 5, this is a very central district and most other areas of interest are within walking distance or a short journey on public transport. If you are looking for a quiet city break, this district is not for you as it can be busy and buzzing at night.
The average accommodation cost in Budapest District 6 is;
Summer mid-week / Summer Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €50/€60, Quality Hostel €26/€33, Air B&B €45/€45
Winter mid-week / Winter Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €30/€40, Quality Hostel €6/€10, Air B&B €30/€45
Budapest 7th District - Erzsébetváros
District 7 is the old Jewish Quarter of the city and holds lots of charm and intrigue. This is a good area to stay in if you want a mix of history, sights, and good nightlife. Don't miss our free tour of the Jewish quarter in Budapest
for an unbeatable insight to the area and it's remarkable stories.
Budapest's 7th district is the epicenter of Budapest nightlife and has so much to offer in terms of pubs, ruin bars, coffee shops, food truck vendors and Budapest’s now-famous craft beer community. There are also 2 LGBTQ+ nightclubs in the Jewish Quarter.
You will need to get public transport if you are staying here to visit Downtown or the Castle district, but it takes a short amount of time and it’s very cheap. This area is perfect for budget travelers and anybody who is looking to have a good time experiencing Budapest’s famous nightlife.
This area has a good selection of accommodation for every price point. The average rates for hotels in Budapest District 7 are included below;
Summer mid-week / Summer Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €56/€60, Quality Hostel €20/€25, Air B&B €45/€60
Winter mid-week / Winter Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €35/€45, Quality Hostel €7/€10, Air B&B €30/€34
Budapest 8th District - The Palace District
District 8 is the student/hipster part of the city. It has a budding café scene and tonnes of cool bars and art. There are many stately homes and government buildings in this district too, and you will also find the National Museum of Hungary and it’s beautiful gardens here.
If you love art, coffee, and Instagram this area is for you. While an up-and-coming vibrant and creative district, it does not have very many mainstream tourist attractions like other districts in the city, so it's perfect for those of you seeking an alternative, not-so-touristy Budapest experience.
Summer mid-week / Summer Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €50/€60, Quality Hostel €15/€15, Air B&B €30/€35
Winter mid-week / Winter Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €30/€35, Quality Hostel €8/€8, Air B&B €24/€29
Budapest 9th District - Ferencváros
The 9th district is where you can find the Great Market Hall, a neo-Gothic marketplace selling food, trinkets, and souvenirs.
This part of the city is a great option for people who want to go museum hopping. You can find the Holocaust museum, the Trafó Arts Centre and the Fradi Museum.
The 9th district is the proud birthplace of Budapest’s Craft Beer boom and it has plenty to offer in terms of Cafés and Bars
The Dandár baths are a must-visit in the 9th district. They offer 3 thermal paths at 20, 36, and 38 degrees, two outdoor pools and a sauna.
We recommend to stay in the 9th district if you would like to get a feel for local life in Budapest. It is a quieter part of the city, but is still well connected to busier districts by transit link.
Summer mid-week / Summer Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €55/€65, Quality Hostel €20/€23, Air B&B €35/€35
Winter mid-week / Winter Weekend: 3-4 Star Hotel €30/€35, Quality Hostel €6/€10, Air B&B €20/€30
There you have it, dear Budapest-bound traveler, the 6 best districts to stay in Budapest. Hopefully, it has helped you get familiar with the different parts of central Budapest and made deciding where to stay in Budapest a little bit easier for you. Let us know in the comments where you stayed in Budapest if you've already been, and any recommendations you want to share.