Budapest has made a name for itself as one of the best places to party in Europe, in large part thanks to the low cost of living and abundance of cheap accommodation. You can find all the usual nightlife attractions, but one of the main attractions are the ruin bars, which are housed in abandoned buildings and stores throughout the old Jewish Quarter that was left in decay after World War II.
The number of backpackers that descend on the Hungarian capital every year means there is a huge variety of cheap accommodation on offer. You can find plenty of cheap hostels in Budapest that offer private rooms and somewhere quiet to spend the night, but most people come to party.
In-house bars are pretty much standard, but the best hostels in Budapest offer plenty of extras like pub crawls and a place to drink in the sun. Whether you prefer clean surroundings and modern design, or converted courtyards featuring graffiti from talented street artists, Budapest has countless cheap hostels staffed by friendly locals who are more than happy to show you the nightlife.
Nearly all of the hostels in Budapest are on the east side of the river, and if you’re looking to stay in the most central part of town, then you’ll want to stay in District V. The other option is District VII, which borders District V to the east. Also known as the Jewish District, this is where you’ll want to head for the best nightlife in town – especially if spending the night in a ruin bar is on your list.
If you prefer to stay somewhere a bit quieter, then look for hostels in District VI and IX. District VI caters to tourists and locals, including some of the best places to eat in Budapest, plus a bit more of a community vibe. IX is the craft beer district, which is much less touristy and caters to artistic types.
Divided in two by the River Danube, you can stroll across Chain Bridge, or sign yourself up for a river cruise that offers panoramic views of the city. There’s also Buda Castle, which you can see as part of a walking tour through the cobblestone streets and leafy promenades of Castle Hill.
Another option for when your feet need a break are the world-famous thermal baths, the most popular of which is the Szechenyi Bath. If you’re still keen to see more of the city after a few hours in the baths, there’s also the Parliament Building, Budapest Opera House and Central Market Hall.
Most attractions in Budapest are within walking distance of each other, which means you might not even need to step foot on public transport during your stay. Traffic is restricted on Castle Hill and there are plenty of pedestrian-friendly areas in the city centre. Budapest also has a large network of streetcars and trolley buses (plus the metro) which can get you almost anywhere in the city.