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Where to stay overnight in Budapest

In December I will be traveling with two of my adult daughters in Vienna. We would like to see the Christmas Market in Budapest. The train trip is 3+ hours each way. It might be easier if we could travel to Budapest in the morning, spend one night and train back to Vienna the next afternoon.

Where is a good, reasonable place to stay near the markets for one night? We will need three beds, but just to sleep and then move on.

Thanks

Posted by
13559 posts

The trip from Vienna will be something less than 2:45 depending on the train. But yes, do arrive in the morning.

07:40 Wien Hbf 10:19 Budapest-Keleti 2:39
08:42 Wien Hbf 11:19 Budapest-Keleti 2:37

The Christmas Markets always get written up as some of the best in Europe so spending the night is an excellent idea.

But you didn't mention a budget for the hotel. For what you want to do the two best options are the Marriott https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/budhu-budapest-marriott-hotel/overview/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2&y_source=1_MzcwNzI2NC03MTUtbG9jYXRpb24ud2Vic2l0ZQ%3D%3D
and the Intercontinental https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/budapest/budhb/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-IC-_-HU-_-BUDHB These are both perfectly located between the River and the Markets. Hard to do better.

Other than those I am reluctant to recommend hotels I haven't stayed in. But i can suggest that you stay as close to a square called Vorosmarty ter as possible as that is where the main market is held. The second market is in front of the Basilica so near the basilica or between Vorosmarty ter and the Basilica might be a good option. A third option is anything on Andrassy ut. The M1 metro line runs under Andrassy ut, and the end stop is Vorosmarty ter. (the M1 is more like an amusement park ride than a big city metro line)

As you look at hotels, if any are interesting, let me now which ones and maybe i can tell you something about the hotel or the immediate area it is in.

With a an afternoon, an evening and the following morning you will have time for the markets and some. When you pick your hotel, let me know and I would be happy to help you see a bit more than the Christmas Markets.

Posted by
218 posts

In 2018 i took the train, a lovely ride, from Vienna to Budapest. I stayed at the Aria, a really fantastic hotel, central to all the Christmas marts...just loved it. Great breakfast, and tea, etc, in the cold afternoons. Just a thought! Once in Budapest, you will want to stay 2 nights, but if you take the morning train from Vienna, as another poster suggested, and a later train back, you will be in Vienna just in time to enjoy their evening marts! Have fun, and whilst in Budapest, I suggest a wonderful walk across the bridge to Pest!

Posted by
13559 posts

10:19 arrive in Budapest Keleti Station

Get off the train, walk to the front of the station and go downstairs in the center by the front wall. At the bottom on your right you will see an information office. Go in and get a 72 hour TravelCard for each of you (yes, 72 hours). They take credit cards and they will cost you 4,150 forints each (about $14).

Now you have a choice; taxi or metro. Since it’s a one-night stay, I am betting you are traveling light, so let’s take the metro.

Come out of the information office and look straight ahead and you will see signs to the metro.

You want to follow the signs to the RED M2 line. Show the guard (if there is one) your TravelCard and walk in. You want to board the metro running towards Déli pályaudvar and get off at the third stop Deák Ferenc tér (ter is a square). It is about a 5-minute ride.

Now you could switch to the M1 metro and get a bit closer to your hotel, but its Budapest and you want to see it, so go up to the street and put your hotel name in the GPS on your phone and you will find it to be about a 7 minute walk through (sort of around) the Christmas market Square.

Check-in. The markets are better in the evening and there is a lot to see and not much time. So the quick standard overview tour. So go out the door of the hotel that faces the Danube River and walk to your left to the No 2 Tram stop. You will want to get on a tram going down river (right to left) https://monkeysandmountains.com/budapest-tram-2-europes-scenic-tram-journey/

Sit on the river side of course. At the second stop, when the tram goes beneath a bridge, get off. See the stairs? Go up. You are now facing the Great Market Hall. Well worth the time. https://www.gettingstamped.com/great-market-hall-budapest/ You can eat lunch here too (upstairs).

OH, maybe a little local currency so you don’t have to keep using your card. Not always possible in the Market. So, there was one (I presume still there) in the lower level, go down the escalator at the front entrance and it should be right at the bottom in front of the grocery. If for some reason I am wrong, ask someone. OR, I am certain there is one across the street from the Market in the front wall of the Burger King (you will see it).

Okay, you have done the market.

Out front of the market is the 47/49 Tram. Hop on heading away from the river. Get off at the second stop and then walk a few hundred meters in the same direction until you see the Great Synagogue on your right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPUyjl5qxDo

Take the short tour: “1. DOHANY SYNAGOGUE & BASIC VISITING TICKETS FOR INDIVIDUAL VISITORS WITH COMPLIMENTARY PRIORITY ENTRANCE & GUIDANCE” https://www.greatsynagogue.hu/jewishquartertours.php#stand

After the tour continue walking following the direction of the tram to the end of the line and you will find yourself very near where you got off the metro from the Train Station. Look ahead and you will see the dome of the Basilica. There is a Christmas Market in front of it. Go, have fun. Then Google to the one at Vorosmarty ter (5 minute walk) then your hotel is about another 3 minutes.

Next Morning.
Take the 2 Tram to the Parliament
Leave a gift at the Shoes on the Danube
Maybe hit some of the antique shops on Falk Miska utca
Take the 4/6 Tram to Andrassy ut
Take the M1 up to Hero’s Square
Walk back down Andrassy ut to the Opera House then to the end of Andrassy ut
Get on the M1 to Vorosmarty ter
Walk to you hotel ................. and wish you were staying longer
Call Taxi to Keleti
Go back to Vienna

Posted by
202 posts

James E., THANKS!!! I booked a night at the Intercontinental. I have copied your itinerary as well. You have certainly helped A LOT!

Posted by
1812 posts

I may have to come for the Christmas markets just to see if I can follow these directions. I am thinking this could make a great Budapest game. 😂 Pass go and collect $200.

Posted by
202 posts

I statrted a new post asking where to have a traditional dinner in Budapest in a home style atmosphere. That was before I watched James E's link about the Christmas markets. There is more than enough food there.

I also updated my information with the self guided tour from James E. This will be a superb visit thanks again, James E!\

Posted by
13559 posts

I guess that you are interested. A bit more detail

Next Morning.
Take the 2 Tram upriver to the Parliament When it stops on the side of the Parliament look to the river and you will see a statue of a gentleman on a horse. Behind that are the stairs down to the Danube River. Go down, cross the road to the river and turn left. Then leave a gift at the Shoes on the Danube memorial.

Now google your way down Falk Miska utca and check out the antique shops. Especially the one called Pinka (in the basement). You will end up at major road that crosses the river (Margret Island Bridge) and here you can take the 4/6 Tram to Andrassy ut.

Take the M1 up to Hero’s Square

Walk back down Andrassy ut to the Opera House then to the end of Andrassy ut

Get on the M1 to Vorosmarty ter

Walk to you hotel ................. and wish you were staying longer

Call Taxi to Keleti

Go back to Vienna