BUDAPEST

Why Budapest?

Budapest is a beautiful European city, perfect for students who want to get ruined in the ruin bars and feast on its iconic goulash when they’re Hungary the next day. After exploring the city by foot, bike or tram, you can refuel with a hearty, national dish of goulash served in a bread-bowl, or snack on a Kürtőskalács Chimney Cake, a twirly swirly sweet dessert covered in cinnamon, vanilla, cacao or walnut sugar. Wash your worries away in one of the five thermal pools amongst the Roman architecture or remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Budapest has so much to offer…so, are you ready?

Highlights

"Avoid hop-on hop-off tours, as they can be overpriced and FULL of bum-bag wearing tourists."

St. Stephen's Basilica

Climb the stairs to the top of the Basilica at sunset and watch the light fall to dusk across Budapest. Admission is free and you can even go in, suitably dressed, to see the incredible architecture inside...standing tall in the centre of Budapest, this attraction that is very hard to miss!

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Visiting Europe’s largest thermal bath may set you back £20, but it’s worth it – especially considering that some packages even include a free massage. Come summer or winter, the pools, both outdoor and indoor, are always a toasty 27°C. Whether you experience them in the day or enjoy the pool parties at night, you simply cannot miss them! Buy your tickets on the door.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is home to many attractions. With neighbouring buildings like the Matthias church and National Art Gallery, the gothic architecture is incredible. Without paying a penny, you can walk up to the top of the castle to experience the views across the city and see this remarkable site up close. If you don’t fancy the climb, take the funicular up for a unique experience!

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar

‘Ruin bars’ are makeshift venues that are found tucked away in pre-war buildings, decorated with wacky vintage furniture that make for a ‘junk yard’ feel. Szimpla Kert is by far the largest and most iconic ruin bar, offering (very cheap) drinks, food and an unrivalled atmosphere. There's an open-air cinema and space to host concerts, theatre and cultural events. 

Explore these unique experiences and amazing tours

Hostels
Hostels in Budapest can be found from €6 per night, with the 6th and 7th districts having best access to some of the key highlights. Using HostelWorld, you can find affordable, clean and fun hostels in the heart of the city. Whether you want a 16-bed dorm to meet new people, or fancy your own little space, you can find accommodation to fit your needs and budget. Top tip - always read the reviews, for they will show you if it’s the right hostel to book.
Hostels
The Wombat City Hostel is in a fantastic location, central to restaurants, bars and sites, and residing here can even grant you access to some cool discounts across the city! The independently-run Lavender Circus is another fabulous hostel, with two locations across the city - you can rent a double room with a private bathroom, set out on a mezzanine if you are lucky, for a reasonable €30 per night.
Party Hostels
If you are there and want to have a party-filled time, you could even head to one of Budapest’s party hostels. Here, every night, there will be a member of hostel staff taking groups to different bars and clubs across the city and may even allow you to mingle with some other travellers! Top tip - always read the reviews, for they will show you if it’s the right hostel to book.
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  • Useful Tips
  • Resources
  • Safety
  1. If you have a bigger budget, get yourself an apartment. There are some awesome apartment spaces dotted across the city fitted with a kitchen and bathroom. These can be found on Airbnb or even Booking.com. Similarly, if you are looking for a city break with your partner, this may be a cheap way to have a romantic but budget-friendly time in Budapest. Even if you are in a group, these websites can offer larger apartment spaces that you can split the cost between that could be cheaper than a hostel. 

Take sensible precautions against petty crime. Bag snatching and pick-pocketing are common. Be particularly careful on busy public transport, in train stations, at markets and at other places frequented by tourists. Theft of and from vehicles is common.
 
 
Booking.com

Entertainment

Budapest is scattered with bars, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Across the city, there are a plethora of ruin bars based in old, Soviet buildings, full of people, cheap drinks and what can only be described as kooky paraphernalia. Ruin bars are makeshift venues that are found tucked away in pre-war buildings, decorated with wacky vintage furniture that makes for a ‘junk yard’ feel.

Szimpla Kert: Szimpla Kert is by far the largest and most iconic ruin bar, offering (very cheap) drinks, food and an unrivalled atmosphere.

Instant Club: There’s more to Budapest than just ruin bars: there are plenty of clubs too. Instant is a hybrid of a ruin bar and a club.

Otkert: If you want a big dance floor to bust a move, or else Otkert or Peaches and Cream may be more to your fancy. If you fancy a specific music genre, concert or DJ, have a look at https://welovebudapest.com/en/events to find what suits you!

Nighttime swim: If partying in the streets doesn’t tickle your fancy, why not head to the Szechenyi Spa Baths by night to swim the night away at an illuminated pool party? These only happen on certain days of the week, so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Transport

  • Public Transport
  • Bike
  • Taxis

Budapest can be easily navigated by its underground system, with stations across the city: you can even cross from Buda to Pest under the Danube. You can either buy single tickets or have a travel card valid for a longer period of time. Avoid hop-on hop-off tours, as they can be overpriced and FULL of bum-bag wearing tourists.  

Budapest has over 200 km of bike lanes and most are spacious and well-marked. The Euro Velo route #6 also runs through the city along the banks of the Danube. Budapest, like many cities around the world has a bike share program – MOL bubi. It offers over 1500 bikes at 125 docking stations.

There is no Uber in Budapest, however there is Bolt & Lyft.

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Gemma Ashworth

"Hi I’m Gemma, and I’ve been helping out at STT since the start of 2019. After visiting 37 countries, I am currently living and working at an International School in Dubai, UAE. During my University placement year, I worked in Phuket, Thailand at an International School where I travelled around Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia & Sri Lanka in the Summer holidays. I have lots of tips about the UAE, Australasia, Indonesia or inter-railing around Europe and am willing to help in any way I can!!"

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