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Renting apt in Pest

Hi: I will be spending 4 or 5 ngts in Budapest in May/2015. I'd like to be quite central & be able to walk most everywhere. I'm a woman traveling alone, so want a safe area as well. I've found some apts & am hoping for opinions on locations. Here are my top 5 picks: #1) Révay utca, Budapest 1065, #2) Andrássy Way, Budapest 1061, #3) Zrínyi Utca, Budapest 1051, #4) Hercegprímás utca, Budapest, Pest 1051, #5) Kiály utca, Budapest, 1075, Thank you in advance to anyone to answers - most appreciated.

Posted by
10681 posts

First, Budapest can be “gritty” in places. If you want sanitized restoration go to Vienna. Second, Budapest has among the lowest crime rates in Europe. Generally speaking you are safer in Budapest than you are in Berlin or Paris; this despite the grittiness. There are a couple of districts that I wouldn’t suggest a my kids go to but none of the apartments you have listed are anywhere near those locations. Actually you have to be pretty lost to walk into a less than ideal neighborhood.

Next, great choice for staying in an apartment. Our staying in apartments while visiting Budapest over the last decade have really given us a wonderful insight of the city as a whole. I am sort of biased about the place but we greatly enjoy the culture and being able to observe it more closely and participate in it to some degree really enhanced our trips. A hint: utca means “street” while ut means “way” or “boulevard”. The postal codes such as 1061 the 1 = Budapest, the 06 = District 6, and the last digit is a smaller division of the district. You have chosen addresses in District 5 and 6 and 7. District 5 is very, very touristic or governmental. District 6 is very large and ranges from tourism to pure Budapest. District 7 encompasses the old Jewish Deportation Ghetto and is among the most fascinating of the areas in Budapest.

EDIT: Got too long. Had to split my post. See below.

Posted by
388 posts

Unfortunately we don't research any of these locations and cannot say whether they are good or not. Sorry we couldn't help more.

Posted by
87 posts

Hi James, thanks so much for such a detailed reply. Unfortunately the site does not give out the exact address until you book. I will see if the owner will divulge that upon making a query but would be surprised. As for your comment about gritty, I am going to Vienna as well as suggested, along with Prague & Krakow.
Thanks again,
Gail

Posted by
10681 posts

Gail, I guess I was a little too strong in my descriptions of Budapest and of Vienna. They are both wonderful and two completely different places enjoyable on their own right. The "gritty" for the most part in Budapest is the result of those that inherited the apartment buildings at the end of communism not having the resources to renovate them in the way that the government or society owned building in Vienna can be renovated. There is a dozen other reasons too, but that is a book. But, when you are there please look down at the street and most often you will find it spotless. Pride despite the situation.

You will be surprised that one apartment will show up on a doze web sites. Google the apartment names (most of these places have names, like Opera Apartment, etc.) and see if you can track them back to the primary management company. Then contact that company and ask for an address or a cross street. It really will make a difference. If you still strike out, send me the links to the advertisements and let me track them. I know some folks in the business and might recognize them.

I have a habit of beating things to death. You really cant go too wrong no matter what you choose. Especially in the areas you have been looking. The apartment is the right decision all around. When you do select one lets track down the address so we can get you good directions around town.

Always feel free to write if I can help.

James

Posted by
87 posts

Hi James - sorry I'm slow on the reply. I really appreciate you offering to help; it's very kind of you. As I can't book my flight as yet and am still toying as to whether I should spend 4 or 5 ngts in Budapest, I'm not going to write to any of the hosts just yet. All of the apts I previously mentioned, I found on Airbnb. I've never used Airbnb before, but will be this fall when I'm in Bali, so I'm hoping for great things. Traveling solo makes everything more expensive - I'm really trying to stay within budget of $60/ngt. You don't happen to rent apts do you (LOL)? Or have friends/relatives that do??? I'll be in contact with you James once I have my flight booked. Thanks again, most appreciated.

Gail

Posted by
10681 posts

Gail, you have to remember that I am a little biased. Four nights isn't a lot of time. Night means just that so:
1 you arrive late one afternoon pooped from the trip (night one)
2 good day of sight seeing. Maybe half of Pest (night two)
3 good day of sight seeing. Maybe Buda (night three)
4 good day of sight seeing. Maybe the other half of Pest (night four)
5 you leave; OR: Szentendre / Godollo / Antique Shopping / Communist Budapest / Jewish Budapest / Wine Tour / Hungarian Cooking Class / River Tour / Park Tour / Spa Tour / or ??????? and there are a lot of other ways to focus in on one subject of interest in Budapest.

So three full days. Okay, that's not terrible but like I said, I am sort of biased. To be fair, everyone likes different stuff so don't put all your eggs in one basket and if you can figure out a Plan B that's even better.

I am not gong to say that its impossible to get a decent well located apartment for USD65 a night in the High Season, but your choices grow dramatically at Euro65 a night. I don't know when you are traveling but if its in the warm months you will want AC so ask about that. Also, for 5 nights you might be able to negotiate a 65euro a night apartment down to 55 to 60euros. I happen to know from my own experiences that negotiation to fill an otherwise empty apartment does happen.

Posted by
2 posts

Hi,
James is right! I recommend you apartment in Kazinczy street! (It is where the Király street, in the city center) and it's only 60Eur/night, but if you need it for 5 nights just ask a discount! The owners (2 girls) are very kind and hospitable, and they will offer you discount for longer stay. You can check the apartment here or you will find them on Boooking or Tripadvisor.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi James,

I too have been thinking about going to Budapest, but I am thinking of going in the fall of this year. You say that spending only a few days isn't enough time. How is spending a week, or even a month? Also, since you seem pretty familiar with the city, if I was to stay for more than a week, or even a month, what sort of cost would you anticipate needing? I know airfare will be around $1k, but lodging, food, etc. AND, finally, one more question... what is the weather like in mid-Sept to mid Oct? P.S. I would be renting a flat. :)

Thanks,
Amanda

Posted by
10681 posts

The fall is a beautiful time to be in Budapest and Central Europe in general. I am sort of partial to Budapest but to be fair if you haven’t been to that part of the world before you need to not just sit in one town, you need to explore the region. Do a little research and look at Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria (among my favorite places) and if you see things of interest write back and we can help you organize a trip. The cost of housing can be averaged to about USD100 a night, food is somewhat less than the US for the same sorts of foods, transportation between cities can vary widely but in general is less, most often much less, than USD100. Entry fees, local transportation, etc might average to $20 a day. Personally I would spend a little less time and spend it a little better than trying to twist every penny for one more day, but that’s my style.

Or you can spend a month in Budapest and get close to the culture. Still about the same prices as above. I would enjoy that but then like I say, I am biased. Apartments are a good way to go but you need to be pretty selective. There are those here who can help with that in various countries and cities.

A good start??

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10681 posts
  1. Revay utca is in a very good location for being central. I have walked the street a number of times and it isn’t among the prettiest of streets in Budapest. You want to be between No. 1 and No. 30 more or less.

EDIT: Based on what you sent me ( https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/2040445 ) the address is No.22 Revay utca. A pretty excellent location adjacent to the K&K Opera Hotel and about 100 feet from the Opera House, Andrassy ut and the M1 metro. My favorite part of town is just across Andrassy ut. For location you can not do much better. But I can't help you with the quality of the apartment or the owner, but the reviews seem very good. There is a bar nearby across the street that i have seen get sort of roudy late at night but the apartment looks to be courtyard facing. It also appears to be on the ground floor.

  1. Andrássy ut is the grand boulevard of Budapest. The French copied it when they constructed their Avenue des Champs-Élysées (or was it the other way around?). It is an excellent street to make your home for a few days IF the address is between No.1 and No.50. Beyond that you will find yourself pretty far out. HOWEVER, if you don’t mind a really, really convenient metro ride on the oldest underground on the continent of Europe then Andrassy in the larger block numbers is pretty lovely and less commercial.

EDIT: Well, based on what you sent me ( https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/2350997 ) this one is at No.18 Andrassy ut. Andrassy ut is pretty prime real estate and again for location you can’t do much better. The absolute worst thing to say is that it’s about half way between two stops on the M1 metro line.

They say its 65sm which in American is about 650 square feet. That’s pretty large as rental apartments go. I would guess it is twice the size of the one on Revay utca. From the photos it is beautiful.

It doesn’t say which floor it is on, but it says there is an elevator and it doesn’t look like an attic space. Can’t tell if its courtyard or street facing but it really wouldn’t matter much at that address. No air conditioning. When were you going? Budapest can be “warm”.
The advert says “From $45 per night” My mama always told me if it sounds too good to be true……………it is. An apartment like that May through September should be going for 70euro or more per night. I know of an apartment, same size, about three blocks away that doesn’t have nearly the same distinguished address that rents for 65 euro a night and stays full 200 nights a year. So why would this be so cheap? I am going to guess “From $45” means in February its $45 with a long booking.
If you can actually get it for $45 that would be fantastic!!!!

  1. Zrínyi Utca is the pedestrian road that connects the Basilica to very near the Chain Bridge. It is a little North and West of Center but not bad. The only negative I can think of is that it is in the center of a tourist hub so don’t expect as much Hungarian character as you will find in some of the other locations. Also not very convenient to the metro or tram systems.

  2. Hercegprímás utca is very near number 3, but closer to the Basilica and closer to the metro stops. Still wouldn’t be my top choice based on location, but still very central and a good location on a street which has some pretty portions. I have a friend that lives on the street.

  3. Kiály utca is or is hoped to be some day, the fashion road. Right now it is my opinion one of the best choices if you want to be as deep into real Budapest as possible while staying central. But you don’t have a block number and it’s a very long street. You are looking for something between No.1 and No.40. Beyond that might get too authentic for some tastes. This isn't "beautiful" but it can be wildly convenient, full of locals and a real experience.