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Budapest - Hotels vs. Apartments and A/C

I am planning a long (up to 8 weeks) trip next year, beginning in Budapest. It will be our first time there and I will be traveling with my husband. We will stay an as yet undetermined amount of time, but up to a week. We are flexible on that since it is our first stop. It will be this time of year. We need to be in Munich about September 15.

My first question is whether it would be best to stay in an apartment vs. a hotel? We like apartments, but I'm not sure if it's the best choice for Budapest. I've been tracking the weather and it seems there is the possibility to have quite warm weather. How necessary is A/C?

I welcome any specific apartment and hotel recommendations, how many nights are enough but not too long, and any other advice that would make our visit wonderful.

Thank you for your help.

Posted by
630 posts

I have stayed in four hotels in Budapest, three on the Pest side - which is recommended - although I like the Buda side, better (not for first time visitors - too far away from the sites you will want to see). There will be several forum regulars who will respond to your questions with far more experience and expertise on the subject of Budapest - but I will add this.....I have no idea "how many nights are enough".....except to say, when I am there, I do not want to leave.

Posted by
6536 posts

We've got to where we try to stay in apartments anywhere we travel. We prefer having a full kitchen, and we can carry fewer clothes when our apartment has a washing machine. And you want a/c anywhere you go in the southern part of Europe.
Checkout BudapestApartmentService.com for a number of properties available at great prices. I stayed in Paty's Place which is a ground floor apartment in the greatest location in town.

Posted by
6015 posts

I stayed at the Gozsdu Court apartments in Budapest and I loved it. It's now called Hotel Gozsdu Court but it is self contained apartments. There is 24 hr front desk if needed. It's in the Jewish Quarter a couple minutes walk from the Deak Ferenc Ter (large square and a big transportation intersection and metro station), also a few minutes walk from the Dohany Street Great Synagogue and close to the chain bridge, parliament, fisherman's bastion, St Stephens Cathedral and the boat docks for river cruises. A short tram ride from the Central market hall, the city park, Szechenyi baths, and other sights. I don't specifically remember if the apartment was air conditioned but I assume it was - I was there in July and temps were in the upper 90's and I was never uncomfortable in the apt.

Posted by
7539 posts

Thank you both for your replies. David, thanks for recommending that apartment website. I looked at their options and Paty's Place looks perfect for us. Blue439, I expect to really enjoy Budapest and am inclined to spend a week there. I welcome any and all suggestions.

Edit: Thanks Nancy. We were posting at the same time.

Posted by
10681 posts

If you stay in the Gozsdu Udvar I would suggest an inner facing apartment. That place can get loud at night. The location otherwise is very good and close to quite a bit, but the statement:

and close to the chain bridge, parliament, fisherman's bastion, St
Stephens Cathedral and the boat docks for river cruises. A short tram
ride from the Central market hall, the city park, Szechenyi baths, and
other sights.

I am certain was based on romantic memories of a beautiful city, but is a bit overly enthuastic. The Chain Bridge is a solid 15 minute walk, fishermans bastion a solid 30 minute walk and there is no tram from the udvar to City Park or the Szechennyi Baths; but you can reach both with a 5 minute walk followed by something less than 10 minutes on the M1 metro. It does lead into the old ghetto and there is a lot of night life in the courtyard. And its close to the 47/49 Tram stop which is also convenient.

There are a lot of good hotels well situated and a lot of short term rental apartments well situated. For a week long stay I would go for the apartment for the reasons David stated and a substantial savings in cost. Its nice to come "home" at the end of the day. Air Conditioning is a must, but always ask, because its not the norm. I travel to Budapest 2 or 3 times a year (returning this Friday) and long ago switched to staying in an apartment. For shorter stays it can be a toss up between hotel and apartment.

The place David recommended is on a side street about two blocks from the Opera House and the Opera House stop of the M1 Metro. The M1 goes from City Park and the Bath House at one end of Andrassy ut to within a block of the river at the other end, so the location works well. My favorite wine bar is at the end of the same street. Again, a good location.

For hotels if you go that way, the best all around hotel in town for cost / location / quality I believe to be the K&K Opera which is on Andrassy ut next to the Opera House. If you read my posts you might guess that I like that part of town. Pretty ideal for tourism.

I would not recommend Buda. You will spend all your time going to Pest.

If you find a place you like, PM me the name or the location and I might be able to tell you about the neighborhood.

Posted by
10681 posts

Oh, how long is long enough? Wellllllllll, 2019 - 2002 = 17 years of traveling to Budapest. Figure an average of 2 times a year (fewer in the early years, more per year now) = 34 trips at an average of 10 days per trip = 340 days..... Yea, still too short.

A little more seriously, in general:

Day One: Arrive and you get half a day. I would stay on Andrassy ut. Relax in the apartment a bit, then go to the river embankment at sunset for dinner and the lights of the castle in Buda. Stunning view. Finish the night at a wine bar.

Day Two: Lets get Buda out of the way. So do a morning tour of the Parliament and then head to Buda for the rest of the day. Do a night boat tour / dinner.

Day Three: Take the commutter train to Szentendre and the boat back. Go to a Jazz Club for dinner and the music.

Day Four: Old Market Hall and Jewish Budapest. Finish the day at the bathhouse. Late dinner at the Wine Bar.

Day Five: District V tourist zone to do some shopping and it really is interesting. Then there are a number of special interest things to do. It could be art museums, military history museums, Hospital in the Rock, Train Museum (neat!!), Deeper Jewsh or Deeper WWII or Cold War, spelunking, Margaret Island for nature and beauty and drinks and drinks and dri... never mind.

Day Six, Leave

Or do an overnight to Eger or Pecs. Great visits. Do it in the middle of the stay if you have an apartment you just leave the heavy stuff and take what you need for the two days. Im doing that next week. Dropping the heavy stuff in an apartment then flying to Sarajevo to do some Fly Fishing for a few days.

Posted by
7539 posts

James E., thank you so much for your detailed information. I've been bookmarking other posts you have responded to so I can refer back to them. Given enough time I am hoping to do a day trip or two. I hadn't considered an overnight trip. It's definitely something to consider.

Posted by
6015 posts

I am certain was based on romantic memories of a beautiful city, but is a bit overly enthuastic. The Chain Bridge is a solid 15 minute walk, fishermans bastion a solid 30 minute walk and there is no tram from the udvar to City Park or the Szechennyi Baths; but you can reach both with a 5 minute walk followed by something less than 10 minutes on the M1 metro. It does lead into the old ghetto and there is a lot of night life in the courtyard. And its close to the 47/49 Tram stop which is also convenient.

James, some clarification. For me, anything within walking distance I consider 'close' when it comes to sightseeing and wandering around a city. As far as city park and baths, I meant on the metro, not the tram (not romanticizing, just mis-remembered the mode of transport). As far as the noise, yes the courtyard is a 'happening' place and the bars and cafes were patronized late in the the night but my apartment was several floors up (I don't remember if it was 4th or 5th) and I never heard any noise at all at night. So, I guess I would qualify my recommendation that if you don't want any street noise make sure your apartment is on an upper floor. The apartments are obviously well constructed because I never heard anything from the hallways or other apartments either.

Posted by
10681 posts

Nancy, I tend to be a little to functional on such matters. I remember someone here who got a hotel room based upon their advertisment that they were "steps away from all the sights". "Steps" was correct; but 20,000 steps. Still, you are very near Deak Ferenc ter which as you pointed out is a major transporation hub and conincidentily about equal distance to 80% of the sights one would try and see in a 5 day visit. The area I like best is a tad bit further removed but is connected with the M1 so it works out about the same. The M1 by the way, is one of the tourist attractions, as it is the oldest underground line on the continent of Europe. The tiny little cars run directly under the length of Andrassy ut and on to very near the river by way of Deak Fernec ter. Being a little closer to Andrassy ut does provide Andrassy ut's interests in the evening.

The Gozsdu udvar (udvar = square or courtyard) is a very good location in my estimation. I would worry about the noise is all. You should have seen the place 10 years ago. Misserable wreck. We watched them create what is there now over about a 2 year period. Pretty impressive renovation. The street that borders it on one side is Kiraly utca, and I still try and love that street because of good memories. Unfortunately it has gone from a street of design and home shops to a bit of a bar street. I bought most of my furnishings on Kiraly utca almost 10 years ago. Now, almost nothing of that is left. But do look for the Stolperstein on Kiraly utca (and elsewhere in town). The opposite side of the udvar is the old ghetto and its amazing still. People should recognize that at a point in the udvar about halfway between Kiraly utca and Dob utca, just beyond the pedestrian path to the loop road, that they are entering what was a very terrible place in WWII.

Posted by
1869 posts

Andrea, in reference to David's recommendation, we highly recommend Paty's Place. We stayed 5 nights at the end of August. It had all the comforts of home. We were grateful for A/C during our stay. The location was in walking distance to restaurants and many sites.

We would stay there again.

Posted by
7539 posts

Janis - thanks for reinforcing David's thoughts on the apartment. I'm going to check into the cancellation policy and if it is acceptable I may book it as soon as I'm sure of my dates.

Posted by
10681 posts

If you find a few places that sound interesting, tell me the names or addresses, and maybe I can tell you about the neighborhoods. A good location can add a lot to a trio anywhere.

Posted by
7539 posts

James E., thank you. I appreciate your advice. Once our exact dates are determined I will be able really see what's available.

We have a trip with friends that will be approximately 4 weeks, from about mid-September to mid-October. I was thinking that we could go to Budapest first for about a week, then fly to Munich to meet them. After the time with friends the plan is to visit with relatives who live in northern Germany for a couple of weeks. I will be going to Germany next week and can have further discussions with them then regarding whether they prefer for us to visit the first half of September or the last half of October.

Posted by
7539 posts

Okay, that's good to know. I think I won't even give the family an option and we will go to Budapest first. It should be the second week of September.

Posted by
154 posts

I stayed at the Maverick Apartments, Ferenciek tere 2. Does´t look like much on the outside but my apartment was very updated. Bath, kitchenette and table downstairs with queen bed and tv in the loft. No a/c but has a ceiling fan and floor fan. Close to transportation and, for me, easy walking to most sites.

https://mavericklodges.com/en/apartments-budapest

Posted by
16591 posts

Definitely choose a place with air conditioning. I had some low-80s weather in Budapest during early May 2018.

Posted by
10681 posts

My favorite thing about the location of the Maverick Apt is that's it's almost directly across the street from the Auguszt Cukrászda, my favorite cukrászda in town. If you go, check out the building courtyard. Amazing.

The apartments are a bit removed from things, but the M3 Metro, the 47/49 tram a and the 2 tram are a 5 to 10 min walk and will get you to the sights.

If you enjoy evening strolls, I guess you could walk over to Vaci utca, but a bit too touristy for me. Or you could walk down to the 2 Tram and take that to the Corso.

Posted by
10681 posts

End of September this year it did hit 75, maybe a few degrees warmer. Even at that I ran the AC one day. Temps are always unpredictable. End of Sept can be 60 or 80.

Posted by
2456 posts

We stayed for a few nights in the Three Corners Hotel and loved it and the location. It’s right by a pedestrian area with lots of restaurants, culture and shops. Three Corners Hotel. They have rooms with extra seating spaces (suites?) so take a look at some of their pictures. The very reasonable prices include breakfast.

We loved being able to walk everywhere. The only time we used the beautiful, historic metro was our trip to the extensive park and museum area near Heros’ Square.