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Best place to stay in Budapest?

We will be in Budapest in May 2020 for 4 nights. Any suggestions for your favorite or the best place to stay?

Posted by
11230 posts

Unfortunately parking can be expensive. With no more to go on than what you posted my favorite general duty hotel is the K&K Opera. The location is about perfect for seeing all of Budapest, close to all the tourism but also well connected to some more "real" Budapest. They do have a parking garage. And you are correct in that it will be "parked" for four days as a car is pretty useless for sightseeing in Budapest and equally unnecessary for seeing most of the surroundings too.

If you want a 5 star hotel look at the Corinthia Hotel is second to none. If you want a little on the cheaper side the Medos Hotel and the Hotel Moments are both well located and those I have known who have stayed there liked it.

You will see a pattern on the locations of those hotels.

Posted by
6544 posts

My wife and I are now staying in apartments anytime we can. Not only do we get a more authentic local experience, but we can carry fewer clothes whenever a washing machine is available. And we prefer to cook breakfast and some other meals on our own.
For Budapest, we go through Andy Croyden at BudapestApartmentService.com. We hope to be staying back at Paty's Place on our trip to Berlin & Dresden April, 2020.

Posted by
55 posts

Thank you James. I have contacted the K+K Hotel Opera and probably that's where we'll end up. I did notice all of the hotels you mentioned are in district VI...that's your favorite, right? I think I've read several of your posts, and you are always helpful to everyone. I may have some questions for you before I get all my planning done. We are going for 3 weeks next May and prefer to drive everywhere between places, even though it's not the most economical way of going. We won't be driving while in the big cities. At least the K+K has a parking garage...I've written to see how much that costs each day. We are starting in Prague, then a couple of other Czechia places, then to Bratislava for one day, then on to Budapest, Eger, then up into the Slovakia country up near Poland. I have found lots of things up there that I'm interested in seeing. Then we'll finish in Krakow, Auschwitz, and drive back to Prague where we started. Do you know much about the Slovakian area?

Posted by
55 posts

Carol and David, thank you for your suggestions. I am also checking into the Kapital Inn. I hadn't thought of renting apts., but that's a different idea.

Posted by
1601 posts

The staff at K&K Hotel in Budapest are so helpful. I booked a few tours and activities through them, though they did want payment in cash.

I like to tell people that there are 2 towers at K&K, a central tower with elevator in the lobby, and a tower that you reach by going through the lobby, through the bar, past the breakfast room and through a small hall. Then up to find your room. I like to run back to my room between sights or before dinner and found the trek to the back tower to be a waste of time. You might consider asking for a room in the central tower. Though I don't know where the towers are relative to parking.

Posted by
11230 posts

When I stumbled into Budapest nearly 20 years ago I stayed at the K&K and did again a dozen or so more times before finding a more peremenent solution.

Ground zero for all of the tourism is the Deak Ferenc ter metro station. But there is no place to stay right there. Next best choice is a hotel on a metro or tram route that connects at Deak Ferenc ter. I’m not saying that you do the tourism with the metro, it just happens that the station is pretty much dead center of everything so it’s a good reference point.

The hotels I suggested are all on the M1 metro line. Okay, metro lines aren’t what vacations are made of, but the M1 looks like it came out of an amusement park. Tiny little cars just a couple of feet under Andrassy ut. The oldest metro on the continent of Europe. Above the M1 is Andrassy ut. The French modeled the Champs-Élysées after Andrassy ut. Okay, probably not or the Champs-Élysées would be more beautiful. The M1 will take you to your hotel to Deak Ferenc ter in 3 to 6 minutes from any of those hotels; or walk in 5 to 10 minutes depending on which hotel

Buda? Well, it’s a half to a full day visit.

From Deak Ferenc ter all of the Pest sights are within a 10 minute walk or combo walk/tram. The trams are fun so that’s okay. The one exception is City Park/Heros Square/ Szechenyi Baths which is about 7 minutes on the M1 metro.

Your problem with an apartment will be with parking. Parking is a challenge in Budapest and after nearly 20 years I still couldn’t tell you how to use the parking kiosks. But I bet David’s apartment guy could tell you. I suspect it might be cheaper than the hotel parking garage and I know a decent AirBnb in the same area we discussed will be 40 to 60 percent cheaper than the K&K.

Here there are some parking garages; one near the K&K if it is cheaper. http://visitbudapest.travel/budapest-info/parking-in-budapest/ 440HUF an hour which is about $35 per day.

Posted by
55 posts

Thank you CWSocial...I had heard that somewhere else, too, possibly from you in another post, about the two towers. I did contact K+K and requested that our room be in the central tower. I would want the shortest route to our room rather than wander all around the entire hotel to get to it. Thank you for that suggestion!!

Posted by
55 posts

Thanks again, James. I hadn't looked at Metro lines yet to try to figure out how to get from place to place. I will be studying that before our trip to figure out the system. Thank you for the alternate parking garage...I'll see how much K+K charges, then go from there. I know we will spend extra $ to park a car when we don't need it, but that's the way we like to travel so we can be flexible and go anywhere we want to go on our own timetable.

Posted by
11230 posts

Everyone needs to travel in the way that provides them the most enjoyment. Thats what its all about. You rent a car. I have only driven outside the US in 2 countries: Mexico and South Africa. Both disasters...... In South Africa you have no idea....

But I completely get it. My confession is, if i need a car, I hire a car and driver. In Eastern Europe its affordable. One of the reasons I love Eastern Europe.

The garage that says Opera is the one near the K&K. A really interesting garage is in front of the Basilica https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf6z_Oae0u0 It would be about a 10 minute walk from the K&K but its where I would go, just so i can say i did.

Okay, I said South Africa, so I have a story.

I went to hear the Budapest Klezmer Band at an outdoor venue in Buda. Before the performance begins this sweet old white haired woman sitting next to me begins talking with me. She was a Jewish holcaust survivor who ended up living in South Africa and this was her first trip back since the end of the war. As the seats began to fill up, she looked around and asked me, "did you ever think you would see so many Jews in one place". I guess there are few in South Africa and she was feeling something special ... so she thought. I had to ask, "how do you know? what do Jews look like". Of course I said it with a smile. She laughed and she said they are tall, white hair, beard, gentle smile .... she was trying to describe me. I held her hand and said, then Jews look just like Baptists. I had a lovely evening beside that sweet woman. Why do I love Budapest?

Posted by
55 posts

James, that's quite an interesting parking garage! Unless their directions are in English, I guess I'll pass on that one. I'll keep the info on the garage near the Opera in case we need it. Thanks! We have rented cars in many countries in Europe and haven't had any problems.

Posted by
11230 posts

I know I could do a lot more if I would rent one. I'm just scared by the JBurg SA experience. Discovered I cant drive on the wrong side of the road. Especially on narrow streets. I destroyed a lot of side view mirrors on parked cars and burned up a clutch in a part of town that really wasnt warm and fuzzy. Within minutes there was an angry looking crowd around my car. I called Avis and they said they would send me a new car. I told them to keep their freaking new car and they had 5 minutes and I was going to throw the keys in the sewer and start running. Called the hotel and they sent a driver. I left the keys in the car and got in the ride that was sent. I guess Avis got their car back as I never heard from them again. Mexico was only slightly better. By the way, so there is no misunderstanding, South Africa was an amazing trip. I would love to go back. Wonderful people.

Posted by
55 posts

James - I can relate to driving on the wrong side of the road. My daughters and I have gone to England twice by ourselves, and I drove! It is a little nerve wracking, but we survived without any mishaps.

Posted by
2011 posts
Posted by
11230 posts

Each to their own so there is no right or wrong. With just four nights I would want to be closer to the center of things so I could use the evenings more efficiently. I like to spend nights in street side cafes within a short walk of "home" but thats just me.

Posted by
40 posts

The new Hilton Garden Inn is within walking distance of Deák Ferenc tér. It's not going to give you a Hungarian experience, but you won't spend much time at the hotel. For your purposes, it has underground parking for 19 euros per day and it's in the backyard of the Bazilika. Great location!

Posted by
11230 posts

Paul's boat hotel might be fun. If that's the sort of experience you are looking for, then it might be just the bill. I've stayed in far too few hotels in Budapest and some quite some time ago, so I cant really discuss the hotels themselves. But I can talk a bit about locations. I've stayed at the Art O'tel very near where Paul's boat is docked and the view of the Parliament is pretty spectacular. But, remember, you will be in Buda, not Pest. The center of 90% of the sites in Budapest will be a 45 minute walk or maybe 20 to 30 minutes on the trams. Maybe a little faster if you take the underground. Hero's square, even on the metro is 40 minutes away. Still, it might be worth it for the experience or if its your second or third trip and you want to explore new parts of town. Thats why I stayed at the Art O'tel once.

Christy's Hilton is in Pest. You know when you have a really good time that your memories can become a little romanticized. Its not exactly in the "back yard" of the Basilica. Front door to front door of the Basilica is maybe a 5 to 7 minute walk down a fairly narrow, very typical, Pest street with great typical architecture in various states of repair and disrepair. The view of the Basilica at the end of the street is pretty special. To get off the beaten path a bit, its a plus. Deak Ferenc ter is about a 10 minute walk and there is no metro or tram to get you there faster. The hotel is basically on the backside of the Opera K&K. The Opera K&K faces towards Andrassy ut if you are one of those that likes wandering the streets in the evening. All things being equal, I might choose the K&K over the Hilton. But thats just based on location. The Hilton might be a nicer hotel, dont know.

Posted by
181 posts

The Intercontinental - while lacking charm - is amazing. Right on the river, at the Chain Bridge at the tram stop, easy walk to the metro. River-side views are mind-blowing.

Posted by
11230 posts

ewwww.... yes! The trade off with the Continental and the Marriott next door is it puts you in the center of tourist hell. But the corso is amazing, especially in the evening. While I would send my brother a little further out, if he had 4 or 5 nights in town, so as to avoid the tourists and see a little more that is typical of Budapest, I cant think of a better place for someone who only has one or two nights. The impact of the views and the river front is that good

Posted by
964 posts

Ha! Speaking of that Marriott, we were in Budapest a couple of weeks ago and had rented a 3 BR 3 bath apt in an area that was Jewish quarter adjacent. The apt was well done and clean but the bldg and street was a bit shabby looking, although we never felt unsafe. Anyway, my friend who had one of the rooms spent one of the 4 nights she had planned to stay there and promptly booked herself into a river view room at that said Marriott. We went with her to check in and admittedly after 3 weeks on the road staying in centrally located RS type hotels, walking into the lobby was like coming home! Her river view room was just the icing on the cake lol. I swear if I ever return to Budapest I’m staying there so I can stare at the view all day and all night.

Posted by
10 posts

We returned from Budapest Nov. 5. We stayed at the K+K Opera finishing up an RS tour for three nights and then moved to the Marriott for two nights. No view at K+K but the location was great. Fortunately I could reach the tissue box from the toilet because the toilet paper was painful to use. Marriott views were wonderful but the rooms have been "updated" to remove chairs, drawers and much closet space. The K+K room was larger - it had one chair and a table!

Posted by
55 posts

mkfoss...thanks for the warning! We are planning to stay at the K+K, so maybe we need to carry our own TP!

Posted by
11230 posts

European TP sucks. I always bring American TP for my European friends.

Posted by
11230 posts

I've stayed at the K&K a number of times. Pretty much my favorite of those I have stayed at. Worst was the Art O'tel. Casita Hotel was just "okay" as was the Ambra. But in 12 days I am spending a night at the Corinthia which would be nutty, except their rates in January are almost reasonable.