Budapest is an art lover’s dream, it’s a city brimming with medieval carvings and freshly daubed murals, post-industrial studios and Neoclassical galleries. Spend your days wandering the Hungarian National Gallery and Ludwig Museum and your nights in spaces dedicated to contemporary art and photography. Combine your artistic exploration with a stay in one of the many design-forward hotels in the city, where you can sleep under original artwork or within an architectural marvel.
On warm days, Baltazár has wooden tables spread over the car-free cobbles at one end of the historic Országház Street, which winds up past delis and bookshops to the medieval riches of the late-Gothic Matthias Church. This historic heart of Unesco-listed Buda is a foodie paradise, and the hotel’s charcoal grilled duck livers and poppy-seeded millefeuille with plum sauce and pistachio ice cream fit in perfectly. The 11 luxurious yet quirky rooms invoke Pop art and fashion icons, while the brick-walled bar, with a gallery of different shaped mirrors, serves shots of Hungarian fruit brandy or rum-cinnamon hot grog. Egészségére!
At Park and Art, some headboards incorporate part of an intricate musical instrument, the breakfast tables were once sewing machines and the iridescent lamps are beaten copper – it’s safe to say the contrasting styles in the individual rooms here are enjoyably eclectic. Just across the six-lane Dózsa György Boulevard you will find the expansive lakes and gardens of the work-in-progress City Park and Museum Quarter. From the hotel, stroll through the trees and flowerbeds outside to the imposing Heroes Square, which will awe you with its statue-topped columns and colonnades.
With plate glass windows overlooking the limpid Danube, the modern Lanchid 19 is sandwiched between a classic art nouveau mansion with ornamental faces and a 1930s block with curved balconies and a café on the ground floor. Lánchíd, Hungarian for chain bridge, refers to the elegant 19th-century Széchenyi Chain Bridge nearby, linking Buda and Pest. And it’s not just the views that are stylish: the glass-floored lobby reveals a subterranean medieval ruin, and the walls are hung with paintings by Picasso’s lover Françoise Gilot.
Grand colourful houses, fine art galleries and pavement cafés line the cobbles of the Castle District in Buda, where this 17th-century inn has become a stylish 10-room boutique. Bedrooms mix it up with retro radios and designer limestone bathrooms, modern prints and wooden walls. The restaurant, one of the oldest in Budapest, serves classic Hungarian dishes: fish soup, stuffed cabbage and goulash, and sweet nutty arany galuska in custard alongside citrusy Kreinbacher sparkling wine or fruity craft beers.
This cool, contemporary hotel has views of the Parliament Building across the Danube, plus colourful abstract designs by US artist Donald Sultan. There are more Sultan works in the restaurant, where an international menu features a no-holds-barred art’burger or cinnamon-spiced plum pie with Tokaj dessert wine. Work up an appetite by strolling out the front door and walking under lime and chestnut trees along the riverside, with views across the wide shining water.
Style is taken to new levels at the chic Bohem. Eye-catching, original paintings by Budapest-based artists form a focal point in minimalist rooms, some of which have individual features such as wooden floors and upper levels. You could be sleeping under the colourful geometry of Donáta Gajzágó’s Airport – Monoscope or the golden eye of Roland Horváth’s huge sunflower. Great location, too: fresh fruit and veg are laid out in the Neo-Gothic market hall at the end of the road, and there are boat trips on the Danube a few steps away on the riverfront.
Café-lined Király Street is one of the trendiest thoroughfares in Budapest, heaving with hipster bars and ice-cream kiosks. But Stories does its best to keep you inside all day with on-call mixologists, yoga teachers and tattoo artists. The triple-storey Presidentials, the biggest of the bold, colourful suites, are tailor-made for stag and hen parties with a sauna and jacuzzi on the top floor.
In need of more options? Embrace the hospitality of the best bed and breakfasts in Budapest, bookable with Culture Trip, or for an action-packed weekend, discover our guide to how to spend a long weekend in Budapest, Hungary. On a budget? Check out our pick of the best budget-friendly hotels in Budapest, bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.