A cheerful bunk-bed hostel with a leafy garden or a cutting-edge luxury hotel on the banks of the Danube? A bohemian artist retreat full of original artworks or a five-star design adventure in a former Masonic palace? Whatever vibe and budget you’re going for on your Budapest break, you’ll find somewhere that suits you in Hungary’s happening capital. Here’s our guide to the best places to stay in Budapest, bookable with Culture Trip.
Right next to Kossuth Lajos tér underground station and a few steps from the Danube, this elegant, early 20th-century art nouveau mansion has oak floors, high ceilings and striking sunset pictures of Budapest landmarks on the walls. These include floodlit shots of the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge – both a short stroll from the entrance. Tuck into the continental brekkie to prepare your sightseeing adventures: fresh berries, sweet melon and warm pastries with cream cheese, jam and honey.
Arrive in spring and you could find the pavement outside this hostel full of Japanese-style pink cherry blossoms. The stone walls of this converted family home overlook trees and roadside benches, a 20-minute walk from riverside parks and a short tram ride from the major sights. There are wood-walled curtained bunk beds with colourful rugs, a games room with pool and table football, and a leafy garden with deck chairs and a barbecue.
There are views of Buda Castle on one side and the tree-lined Danube on another. Outside, it’s a few steps to the 19th-century Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the art-filled castle and the ornate bronze fountain of King Matthias. Designs and ambience in the stylish rooms are inspired by innovative, international names in furniture and lighting such as Cappellini, Living Divani and Moooi. Through a glass floor in the lobby, you can see the ruins of a 14th-century tower that once supplied water to Buda Castle.
In the affluent Pest streets, Kempinski Corvinus wows from the minute you step into the towering smart lobby with tree-like pillars and glowing walls. The rooms are unflaggingly elegant with pale-gold accents, designer bathrooms and floor-length brocade curtains. Major sights are on your doorstep, but with a bistro, bar, luxurious spa and swimming pool, you’ll hardly want to step outside.
Wood laminate floors, bright colours and well-equipped kitchen-dining areas make for a great base, just steps from the Gothic-Revival towers and gables of St Elisabeth’s Church. There’s underground parking, or trams and trolleybuses are just a short walk away on Grand Boulevard where you’ll also find upscale eateries such as the Renaissance-style New York Café or the Beer Point pub, serving beers from around the world with hearty, alcohol-tempering bar snacks.
Glamorous marble bathrooms with giant tubs and shiny wood floors, double-draped long curtains, designer lights and big sofas – these apartments, with one to three bedrooms, overlook fancy Liszt Ferenc tér, home to a gesticulating bronze statue of composer Franz Liszt. Upmarket cafes surround the lime tree-shaded square, from the California Coffee Company, with seasonal drinks and fluffy paleo cakes, to Menza restaurant, serving hearty Hungarian faves such as beef stew with homemade spaetzle or crispy, twisted, forest berry jam-filled doughnuts.
Everything about the Párisi Udvar is impressive, from the gilded cathedral-like lobby to the warm, tranquil lines of the spa. The building was once a glamorous neoclassical shopping arcade, then a fancy early 20th-century bank HQ, and now the art nouveau architecture has been converted into a palatial hotel. Glass domes, turrets, gothic and Moorish details, original ceramics and metalwork mean the results have to be seen to be believed. Rooms are suitably stylish – orchid-pale in elegant greys and creams with views of the nearby Danube.
Walking distance from the city centre with a hot tub, sauna and gym, Bo18 will keep you glowing and ready to experience Budapest. Chic, modern rooms have coffee machines and full-length mirrors, and the breakfast bar downstairs can cook eggs as you like them to get you ready for the day. There’s even a chocolate fountain with fruit skewers. Stroll along the narrow lanes outside, through tall 19th-century apartments, to find gems such as the HungaRio cafe serving fresh coffee and Brazilian street food snacks.
This eclectic palace was once a masonic HQ, while interior designer Zoltán Varró has taken the theme of secret grandeur to create a fantastical adventure of a hotel. Bedrooms take inspiration from orders of classical architecture: leafy Doric rooms, overlooking the spa garden, are soothingly green; Ionian rooms on the top floor have pale floral motifs and classic elegance; while Corinthian rooms sport gilt-framed replicas of old masters, dark velvet and baroque crystal. Among all the luxurious touches, there are themed details such as a free Mystery Library of suitably esoteric books and movies.
There’s nothing shabby about this boutique hostel and student hangout in the middle of the action and close to the Danube. Besides bargain dorms, there are private ensuite rooms with pristine minimalist decor. The huge 19th-century Central Market Hall is at the end of the road, so you can stock up on fresh veggies, smoked cheese and paprika sausages (or take a 45-minute tasting tour). Grab a gourmet picnic and cross the nearby Liberty Bridge with its mythical bird statues to explore the hilly forts and gardens on the Buda side of the river.
Although on a major Budapest boulevard, close to a metro station and iconic Heroes Square, it’s still easy to find peaceful streets nearby and sit to watch the world pass by. Try local specialities such as wild boar or chicken livers in the Paprika Vendéglő restaurant, a few doors down, or cook up a storm with local produce in the shared kitchen. The rooms are arty and individual, with wood floors, mezzanines and statement walls in turquoise or indigo; they might have abstracts, African animal prints or hats on the wall, but always look stylish.
Looking for more places to stay in Budapest? As one of Europe’s main cultural hubs with a diverse creative landscape, Budapest is an art-lovers dream. Discover our guide to the best art and design hotels in the Hungarian capital. Explore the city in style at one of Budapest’s chicest boutique hotels, or if you’re travelling on a shoestring, check into one of the best budget-friendly hotels in Budapest. Wherever your itinerary takes you, be sure to book your stay with 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.
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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!
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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.
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