Which side should I stay on when visiting Budapest?
If you have been wondering which side of the river is best to stay on for first timers, read on. Basically the trick is to stay close to the tram lines #4 and #6 because they run all night long - this way you can go out and get home without any problems if you don't want to use a cab. Without further ado, here's our breakdown of the best areas to rent an Airbnb / apartment or room in Budapest. If you want to know more about each side, come on tour with us!
Should I stay in the Jewish quarter?
Pros: bars, clubs, escape games, street art within walking distance. Close to: Opera house, Deák Ferenc tér, rooftop bars, big ringroad, metro lines
Cons: can get loud if your windows face the streets. People smoke outdoors
What's on the streets around here?
Kazinczy street: Szimpla kert, Bors gastro bar, food trucks, synagogue, street art
Dob street: Bodeguita del Medio, Fidel’s cabaret, Doblo wine bar, barber shop, Ellátóház, Könyvbár restaurant, close to Doboz club
Király street: the most „Pest street”. Kuplung, Kardarka wine bar, Wombats hostel, entrance to Gozsdu udvar, bars and food joints open all night long
Akácfa street: Fogas/Instant ruin bar and club, Mazel tov restaurant, Liebling rooftop bar
Should I stay downtown on the Pest side?
Pros: airport bus takes you to Deák Ferenc tér, many main sights are within walking distance
Cons: depending on which part of the area you are staying in, you might have to walk more
By the Parliament and Liberty square: it’s pretty dead at night which is great because you can sleep. Red metro line takes you to Deák Ferenc tér or across the river to Buda. With tram #2 you’ll have easy access to the Great Market Hall, Váci street or the big ringroad. Close to Margaret island.
St Stephen’s Basilica: there is a lively square, good restaurants and bars all the way down to the river. This is a more fancy area, with the 4 Seasons hotel at the end of Zrínyi street. In summer, there are open-air party places on the Pest side of Chain bridge as well.
Deák Ferenc tér and Erzsébet tér: you can change between 3 metro lines or hop on the airport bus and walk to the Jewish quarter or Váci street easily. The ferris wheel (Budapest eye) is here, too. It’s busy, super central. People love to hang out on the terraces and on the grass, it attracts a young crowd.
Váci street between Vörösmarty tér and Ferenciek tere is about shopping (Zara, Pull&Bear, Bershka etc) and some restaurants (Kiosk on Március 15 tér is cool). From Ferenciek tere until Fővám tér (where the Great Market Hall is) Váci street is full of souvenir shops and (touristy) restaurants. (Avoid night clubs on Váci street!)
Oktogon and Andrássy Avenue: is easily accessible. Rooftop bar 360, restaurants on Liszt Ferenc square, Opera house, Basilica, Deák Ferenc tér, Operetta theatre are within walking distance. Jewish quarter is a stone's throw away. The part between Deák Ferenc tér and Oktogon is the best choice if you want to be able to walk home at night because the other end of Andrássy Avenue is 30 mins on foot.
Should I stay near the Great Market hall?
Pros: easy to get to, cute squares, close to sights
Cons: further away from the Jewish quarter, trams don’t run at night
Fővám tér: here you’ll find the Great Market Hall, Váci street, the Whale (Bálna) which has great open-air bars in the summer.
Just a short walk over Liberty bridge you can chill out at the Gellért baths.
Kálvin tér: there are a bunch of restaurants on Ráday street, you’ll be 5 mins from the Great Market Hall, the National Museum and the Metropolitan Library
Mikszáth tér: tucked away square with nice cafés. Építészpince’s open-air garden in summer is a neat hide-away spot in summer, in winter Altair tea-house is cosy
Egyetem tér: close to good food (Belvárosi disznótoros), ruin café Csendes, Károlyi garden (and open-air café) + Váci street
Should I stay on the Buda side? Which side is Buda?
It depends what you're looking for. Buda is the hilly side.
Pros: calm, green, beautiful views and sights
Cons: further away from the parties
Castle quarter: one of the most beautiful areas of Buda, with all the sights at your doorstep. At night there is barely anyone, it’s super calm.
Gellért baths area: you can visit the cave church, Pagony (Gellért baths old children’s pools turned into a bar open until 10pm in summer), cafés on Bartók Béla út (e.g. Kelet Café, Hadik..). You can hike up to the Liberty statue and by crossing Liberty bridge you’ll find the Great Market hall, the outdoor bars by the Whale (Bálna) and Váci street.
Móricz Zsigmond körtér: with bus nr 27 you can visit the Citadel and Liberty statue, the Gellért baths are within walking distance. There is good food at Semmi extra, you can go shopping at Allee mall and get home by public transpo 24/7
Széll Kálmán tér: main hub of Buda, great access to the Castle quarter by bus #16 and anywhere with the trams (as well as the red metro line that takes you downtown in a few mins). Grab a café on Lövőház street, go shopping at Mammut mall, check out Marxim's communist pizzeria or visit Gül Baba's tomb. With the cog railway, reach Széchenyi hill to hop on the children's railway.
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