I am looking for a convenient and moderately priced hotel or other type of lodging for Prague and Budapest in late June and early July. I am traveling with my husband and 2 adult children. We won't mind walking or taking a short ride on public transportation to get to popular locations. My concern is that if we are staying outside of the city and the kids want to go out after hours they may not find a club or bar with students or others their age. However, I would not want to stay in an area that would keep me up all night with people partying. Any suggestions for locations that might work for us would be appreciated. Thank you.
Budapest is a reasonably priced city to visit. In Budapest there is no reason to stay outside the city or outside the areas with entertainment. With a little care you can get a decent room at a reasonable price and be able to walk out the front door into the heart of the attractions of the city. Two options. The first, a hotel and my advice is in the next responce. The other option, since you are a family you might look at apartments. The company that I trust for apartment rentals http://www.budapestholidayservice.com/the_pond.htm They take care of my place in town and I can attest that they are honest and have some nice places in the area that i think is best for first time stays (read the next responce).
BUDAPEST: I don't like giving advice on a hotel I haven't stayed at and there are an awful lot of really great and reasonably priced hotels in Budapest. I do know the neighborhoods to some degree so what I do recommend is that you pull out a map of Budapest and look for a major intersection in Pest on Andrassy ut that has the shape of an octagon. This is oddly enough called, The Oktogon. Draw a line from the Oktogon down the center of Andrassy ut and then beyond until you hit the river. Now find a hotel that is within a block above the line and three blocks below the line. I don't think there is a better area in the city to stay, especially for a first time visit, but just my opinion. In that zone the K&K Opera is one that I have stayed at. It is well located, clean, excellent service, great breakfast, nice rooms and about 100 euro a night so in your budget. But there are others. In this zone you will have a hard time finding a really bad hotel so check them out and read the reviews. Use Google Maps or even better Google Earth to locate the hotels in the zone. If you do find something interesting outside of this area and want a comment on the neighborhood send me a note and if I can help, I will.
Budapest: You can find the best hotel zone (in my opinion) here http://budapestflat.shutterfly.com/fivedaysinbudapest look for a jpeg file called "The Zone". It's not that other parts of town are bad. This puts you centered on the M1 Metro and Andrassy ut. Andrassy ut is the Budapest's equivalent of Paris' champs de elysee and has something to do with why they call Paris "The Budapest of the West"; or maybe it's the other way around? The M1 is one of the easiest and least intimidating metros I have ever encountered; as well as being the oldest on the European continent. In one direction the M1 will take you to the Opera House, the Operett Theater, Paris Department Store Café, Franz Liszt Square, House of Terror, Hero's Square, the Szechenyi Baths and the Zoo all of which are A+ things to do. In the other direction the M1 will take you within a couple hundred feet of St. Stephen's Cathedral and the pedestrian zone in front of it, to the front door of the Gerbaud Cukraszda, the beginning of Vaci ut and within a 100 feet of the Danube River Embankment; more A+ destinations. The M1 also connects to the other two lines and one of the major tram lines making it possible to reach most corners of the city; but don't spend your visit underground; walk and where possible take the yellow trams (the ultimate hop on and hop off tour busses). For more touristy stay closer to the river. For more "real" stay closer to the Oktogon.
Thank you, James. I saw your suggestion in a previous post and will get the map out. Sue
We stayed in Hotel Hastal (its not a hostel!) last August. Its located just a few blocks northeast of the old town square and in a neighborhood that seemed to have a lot of evening/night activity. We thought it was moderately priced. Found it in the RS guidebook. Have a great trip.