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Budapest, a popular backpacker destination, is teeming with hostels. From party-friendly stays in the heart of the action to chic boutique retreats for the more chilled visitor, the best hostels in Budapest are budget-friendly without skimping on quality.
Located around the corner from the Dohány Street Synagogue, in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, Hostel One Budapest is perfect for travellers hoping to socialise. Every night there’s a free communal ‘family dinner’, followed by drinking games in the on-site bar and a pub crawl to some of the coolest ruin bars, led by friendly staff. Not only is there a great social vibe and sense of community, there are also excellent facilities that include luggage storage, a 24/7 reception and clean dorm rooms with comfortable beds.
This party-centric hostel in Budapest certainly lives up to its name, as a constant buzz and a range of activities are on offer here. The popular courtyard bar often has live music, and in the summer, you can enjoy drinks at the exclusive rooftop bar. Social activities are prioritised here, and the modern and comfortable rooms also measure up to the friendly vibe. The subtle beehive-themed decor extends throughout the hostel, with lots of black and yellow stripes – even the bunk beds in the dorm rooms have a custom-designed honeycomb shape.
This boutique hostel is just 100m (328ft) from Szimpla Kert, Budapest’s biggest ruin bar. Despite being located so close to a major nightlife spot, the atmosphere is more chilled than in party hostels, and you can easily get some rest in the modern, minimalistic rooms. The twin and double rooms are perfect for couples looking for an affordable, hotel-quality stay. There are also both mixed and female-only dorms for larger groups, as well as those travelling alone. The in-house concierge service is on hand to assist with organising river cruises, caving tours and Hungarian wine and pálinka (traditional fruit brandy) tastings.
This European hostel chain has an excellent reputation as a high-quality and affordable backpacker accommodation. Wombat’s City Hostel Budapest lies inside a neoclassical building constructed around 1840, and though the interior has undergone extensive renovation, period elements such as the elegant spiral staircase remain. This centrally located hostel is a short walk away from several bars and restaurants and just a six-minute trek from the Hungarian State Opera House. The womBAR has a daily happy hour and hosts regular events, so finding new friends is effortless. There’s also a cheap all-you-can-eat breakfast and late check-out on offer.
Set just a short stroll from the Chain Bridge, Fashion Street and Deák Ferenc Square, Pal’s Hostel has an incredible view of St Stephen’s Basilica – from the balcony, it feels like you can almost reach out and touch it. The hostel offers a selection of rooms (dorm rooms, private rooms, ensuite rooms and apartments) to suit every type of traveller, and the friendly vibe is reflected in the decor, with vibrant hand-drawn murals. There are plenty of restaurant options nearby, and St Stephen’s Square hosts many events and festivals throughout the year, including one of Budapest’s best Christmas markets.
Avenue Hostel offers mixed and female-only dorms, along with private rooms and studios for guests looking for more seclusion. The bunk beds feature privacy curtains, power points, reading lamps and lockers. The hostel also offers a free breakfast buffet daily and a fully equipped kitchen for guests wanting to cook up a storm. Although this is a sociable hostel with a bar and organised events, there is mandatory quiet time from 10pm, so exhausted guests can catch some much-needed shut-eye. With the M1 metro line right outside, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Heroes’ Square and the City Park are reachable in less than 10 minutes.
All of the stylish private rooms and dorms at the Full Moon Design Hostel have private bathrooms and air conditioning – a much-needed amenity during the hot summer months. As a guest, you gain free entry to the popular student bar, Morrison’s 2, downstairs in the inner courtyard. Stumble no more than a few steps to enjoy the several dance floors, karaoke room and weekly beer-pong tournament. Nyugati railway station, serving many international destinations, is only a five-minute walk away, making this is a convenient choice for travellers arriving or leaving by train.
Flow Hostel is a premium accommodation option set within in a century-old classical building on a quiet street close to the Central Market Hall. The interior style is modern and minimalistic, with plenty of houseplants. There are both private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, plus shared dorms where each pod-style bed has a locker and curtain. It’s a good spot for digital nomads as there are spacious communal areas to get some work done. Flow Hostel is perfect for those looking for a bit of privacy, away from the bustling party venues.
Mandala Hostel is a home away from home. This homely accommodation is located in an apartment block, so it feels like you’re staying over with a friend. It features bohemian-style dorm rooms and original wooden floors, giving the hostel a warm and intimate feel. Adding to this welcoming vibe, you are invited to borrow a book from the library and play the guitar or ukulele. Set away from the bustle of the city centre in the Palace District – an up-and-coming neighbourhood full of pre-war architecture, welcoming cafes and teahouses – Mandala is ideal for travellers looking to discover Budapest beyond the tourist traps.
This hostel on green and leafy Margaret Island is a peaceful oasis, easily accessible from the centre by public transport. The spacious terrace and hammocks overlooking the Danube create the perfect place to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. A restaurant is conveniently located on-site, so there’s no need to head into the city to grab a drink or a bite. With bikes available to rent and a running track right on its doorstep, this hostel is ideal for those wanting to stay active during their trip. It’s also close to the Sziget Festival for those festival-goers not keen on pitching tents.
Phoebe Taplin contributed additional reporting to this article.