An insider's guide to the best budget hotels in Budapest, featuring the top places to stay for imaginative interiors, friendly service and cheap eats, in great locations across the city.
Brody House, Budapest
Facing the national museum in the elegant Pest side of the city, this boutique hotel is within walking distance of all the main “left bank” sights. The house dates from the 1850s and self-consciously exudes faded grandeur to dramatic effect. Imaginatively decorated rooms are left with exposed and damaged walls and the lounge and breakfast rooms give an idealised view of student living – nothing matches, and there’s lots of considered clutter and contemporary objets d’art. It’s all very “shabby chic” – but perfect to flop out after a day’s sightseeing.
Double rooms from £60 per night.
Read the full review: Brody House, Budapest
Not only is Gerloczy as central as you could wish, but it is on a quiet square away from the traffic. The hotel has heaps of style and character. The bustling café-brasserie opened a decade ago with a deliberately last-century Parisian slant to its look and feel, and the theme continued when the tourist accommodation was unveiled shortly afterwards. There are 19 rooms each with polished parquet flooring and the grace of an early-20th-century Parisian apartment. Every floor has a different signature colour that is picked out in the décor of the rooms themselves.
Attic rooms cost €85 (£60), standard rooms €95/110 (£67/78).
Read the full review: Gerloczy, Budapest
Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center, Budapest
The hotel is nicely central, standing just inside the Great Boulevard on the main avenue that runs right into the heart of the city. The Astoria plays very much on its yesteryear grace, the fin-de-siècle façade lording over the junction between Kossuth Lajos utca and the Great Boulevard. Inside, the small lobby, with its marble and gilding, gives on to the jewel in the hotel’s architectural crown – a beauty of a café-restaurant with parquet flooring and chandeliers. The café-restaurant is the hotel’s beating heart; a graceful room with rose-coloured pillars and long mirrors that faithfully retains its original feel.
Double rooms from €80 (around £59).
Read the full review: Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center, Budapest
Kalmár Pension, Budapest
The guesthouse is on the south-eastern side of Gellert Hill, rougly 300ft above the Gellért Baths at the Buda end of Independence Bridge. The Kalmár is all about character; its pale-yellow, turreted visage gives way to a sprawling set of guestrooms filled with antique furniture, old portraits and woven rugs. The Kalmár has 10 rooms in total, ranging from doubles to suite, and no two the same shape or look. All are a decent size (and some are very spacious). You might find parquet flooring or marble tiles, wood panelling or wallpaper, a four-poster bed or something less grand.
Doubles from €29 (around £22) in low season; rising to €49 (around £37) in high.
Read the full review: Kalmár Pension, Budapest
Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest
The hotel is fairly central without being right in the thick of the action, it’s a 15-minute walk to the heart of the tourist area. The Adina certainly doesn’t aim at daring design statements – its modern décor is relatively ‘neutral’ in style – but it’s superbly well-maintained and feels as if newly refurbished. Behind the lobby is a pretty courtyard with shrubbery and raised flower beds. The guest rooms are where the Adina really comes into its own. If you choose a one- or two-bedroom apartment then you’ll get heaps of living space.
Double rooms from £56 in low season; rising to £80 in high.
Read the full review: Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest
Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget, Budapest
The hotel sits on Margaret Island, a leafy spot in the middle of the Danube, the main tourist centre is around 15 minutes away by public transport. Operating since the 1970s, the hotel has always had a functional feel however, it is half way through something of a Cinderella-like design overhaul. Nearly 150 of the guestrooms are now fresh, modern and sleek, and the rather tired lobby will undergo a similar facelift. Rooms are lovely: decent-sized, with sleek silver-toned surfaces and bathrooms with frosted glass walls and walk-in showers.
Double rooms from £57 in low season; rising to £73 in high.
Read the full review: Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget, Budapest
The Magazine Hotel
This boutique hotel – which is closer to an upmarket hostel in feel – is well-kept, spacious, fabulously located in the shadow of St Stephen’s Basilica and comes at a budget price. The hotel occupies one of the old residential buildings that surround St Stephen’s Square, and as such enjoys the features typical of these apartments, such as high ceilings and parquet flooring. There’s more than enough room to swing a cat in the 12 spacious rooms and four apartments. All have polished parquet flooring, and décor that’s deliberately stripped back and minimalist – think whitewashed walls and hanging bulbs free of light shades, plus smartly tiled bathrooms (with shower over tub).
Doubles from £45 in low season; rising to £68 in high.
Read the full review: The Magazine Hotel, Budapest
Pal’s Hostel and Apartments, Budapest
Pal’s Hostel and Apartments location is fabulous. Five of the six apartments are on St Stephen’s Square itself (the sixth is a few metres off it), and several rooms have balconies overlooking the Basilica. Occupying residential apartments originally built in the 19th century, the rooms haven’t been homogenised for 21st-century tastes, the accommodation retains many period features, from high ceilings to parquet flooring and shiny ceramic stoves, and offers a genuine flavour of local living. The apartments are spacious and have a simple elegance, most with whitewashed walls, lofty ceilings and basic white-tiled bathrooms.
Double rooms from £19 in low season; rising to £40 in high.
Read the full review: Pal’s Hostel and Apartments, Budapest
Casati Budapest Hotel
Casati Budapest Hotel is well situated both for the main tourist centre near the river and the café-bars of Liszt Ferenc tér. In places, the stripped brick of the late-18th-century pokes through – most notably in the preserved well, which is the showpiece of the courtyard atrium – but the hotel is otherwise contemporary in style. Bright, primary colours characterise the breakfast area, while guest rooms are divided between four design approaches, all slick of design but comfortable too. This is also a ‘green hotel’, using recycled loo-roll, LED lighting and eco-friendly detergents.
Double rooms from €110–150 (£78-106).
Read the full review: Casati Budapest Hotel
Buda Castle Fashion Hotel, Budapest
The hotel sits on a peaceful street in the Castle District, atop Castle Hill on the Buda side of the river. A satisfactory blend of the old and new, evident from the very moment you enter. Above the lobby is a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling typical of the original 15th-century building, while the archway behind reception is now filled with clear glass – very much a modern touch – to give views through to the courtyard garden. The décor in the rooms is muted and elegant, with cream drapes, dark-wood furniture, and signature colours of beige and chocolate.
Superior rooms ranging from €60 (£42) to €450 (£319), depending on season and demand.
Read the full review: Buda Castle Fashion Hotel, Budapest