Budapest, formed of the historical cities of Buda and Pest separated by the Danube River, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Vienna at the center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, World War I and the subsequent collapse of the Habsburg and the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a disaster for the city, sending it spiraling and plummeting towards a 20th-century history marked by revolution, occupation, communism and, more recently, rapid regeneration.
Today Budapest still largely retains its medieval streetscape, with a maze of alleyways that wind through the central city. District VII, located in the historical core of the city and formerly the heart of Budapest’s Jewish community, is one of the modern city’s most vibrant districts where trendy ‘ruin pubs’ and historical landmarks converge. Here are ten of our favorite apartments listed on Airbnb for exploring this unique district.
Gone, it seems, are the days when hyper-polished modernist lines marked the gold standard of design. Instead, this flat pays homage to an emergent bohemian aesthetic seen in trendy cafés, restaurants and boutiques throughout Europe. Café-style pendant lighting, unvarnished wooden schoolroom chairs and vintage details — including the requisite typewriter perched on a stack of old-school travel cases — lend this Budapest apartment an urban-salvage charm. Adding to its hipster credentials, guests can borrow bikes to cycle around the city free of charge.
Price: Around £58 per night
Opting for mustard yellow as the dominant design color is a bold move that could go horribly wrong. But somehow, it doesn’t in this charming Budapest apartment. Formerly the residence of the Counts Andrássy, the hallmarks of the building’s historical character are lovingly preserved, including the gently patterned herringbone parquet and alabaster ceiling chandelier. Not least, the flat features stylish period armchairs and sofa with a mohair velvet finish and original art by Péter Zsuffa.
Price: Around £46 per night
Vintage meets avant-garde at the Modern Design Apartment. Sleek lines with heavy black accents underscore the functional modernity of this Pest apartment, which is housed in a spectacular brickwork building. All of this is set against an architectural backdrop of old vaulted ceiling and original hardwood floors. This flat is truly a destination for the design-conscious contemporary traveller.
Price: Around £106 per night
Simplicity governs the design aesthetic of this Budapest apartment. Each room features unique décor with a different ambiance. Clean, minimalist lines and contemporary décor, such as a palette-coffee table and boldly chequered kitchen tiling, breathe life into this flat, part of a century-old neo-Renaissance block built in the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian empire. We particularly love the wonderful lighting fixtures throughout the flat, including the bistro-style pendant lights. The flat’s fun, original artwork infuses the space with a sense of fresh originality.
Price: £39 per night
Flawlessly designed with a strong sense of proportion, we fell in love with this singular Budapest apartment. The Art Deco Style Luxury Apartment exudes classic elegance. Renowned design pieces such as the iconic 1970 Panthella table lamp by Danish designer Verner Panton are paired with luxurious crystal chandeliers and vintage furnishing. Highlights of the flat include its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, arched interior door frames and comfortable yet well-proportioned furnishing. Awash in light from the apartment’s many arched windows, the flat exudes timeless sophistication.
Price: Around £134 per night
The Stunning Art Nouveau Apartment offers an unparalleled opportunity to stay in a Hungarian Szecesszióapartment, part of the Art Nouveau movement that swept through Europe from the end of the 19th century. Delightful ceiling mouldings and glass ornamentation form into flowing arabesques with sinuous, elongated lines that mimic the patterns of nature. Likewise, in solid Szecesszió manner, floral-shaped lamp shades and olive greens, mustards and browns predominate.
Price: Around £81 per night
Whether one calls it Jugendstil, Art Nouveau or Secession, the Erzebet Royal Suite bears the distinctive motifs of this exceptional style. Painted red lines run through the flat in marked patterns and flourishes, culminating in highly stylized abstracted women’s faces. The bold red accents are mirrored in the sleek furnishing, which is balanced by the unadorned all-white walls and herringbone parquet. Not least, the Erzebet Royal Suite is steps away from the best of District VII, from contemporary design shops to Pest’s hippest ruin bars.
Price: Around £99 per night
The ‘Luxury Budapest Apartment’ exudes luxury. In each room, handcrafted Murano glass chandeliers tower over the room, casting its light over the space. Magnifying the sense of opulence, the apartment is fitted with red and gold ornately patterned wallpaper that contrast with the well-polished chevron parquet. Located in the heart of the city, the apartment offers convenient access to the best of Budapest’s District VII.
Price: Around £116 per night
Located in the UNESCO-listed Andrassy Avenue, this flat offers a unique opportunity to stay in one of Budapest’s graceful urban townhouse apartments. Spacious and brightly-lit with large windows complemented by large chandeliers in each room, the design aesthetic of each room is stately yet fun, with characteristic muted greens and yellows paired with sharp reds and strong blues. A wonderful mélange of vintage finds such as the shell-shaped sofas and modern fixtures make for a charming and comfortable stay.
Price: Around £63 per night