Budget Budapest: 8 of the Best Hotels for an Affordable Stay in the Pearl of the Danube

Budapest ecarql/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Photo by ecarql/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Adrian Phillips, The Telegraph, November 20, 2019

Your money goes a long way in Budapest and the city has a rich vein of comfortable, well-equipped places to stay that come at a price far lower than you might expect in other capitals of the world. There’s no typical property in this bracket and cheap hotels in Budapest don't necessarily mean you have to compromise on style or amenities. You can choose from apartment hotels that offer access to large swimming pools as well as facilities like kitchenettes; boutique hotels with cool styling influenced from Asia; and super-characterful places like the Parisian-feeling Gerlóczy. Here's our pick of the best budget hotels in Budapest.

Gerlóczy

8Telegraph expert rating

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Gerlóczy lacks bells and whistles – indeed, it’s officially categorised as a private lodging rather than a hotel – but it oozes character you’ll find nowhere else in the city. The building itself was constructed in the 1890s, and is believed to have originally housed skilled artisans working on the adjacent City Hall. There are 19 rooms (15 standard and four attic), each with polished parquet flooring, high ceilings and the grace of an early 20th-century Parisian apartment. The café-brasserie is a popular spot, with its round tables spilling onto the square. The waiting staff are waistcoated, but there’s nothing formal about the atmosphere as locals catch up over coffee and cake beneath the shade of a large elm tree.

From £71per night

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Danubius Hotel Astoria City Center

7Telegraph expert rating

The four-star Astoria is one of this city's historic hotels, and plays very much on its yesteryear grace, the fin-de-siècle façade lording over the junction between Kossuth Lajos utca and the Great Boulevard. Inside, the small lobby, with its marble and gilding, gives on to the jewel in the hotel’s architectural crown – a beauty of a café-restaurant with parquet flooring and chandeliers. The café is so evocative of early 20th-century high society that it has frequently been used by film-makers as a backdrop to period dramas. Décor is on the chintzy side in the 138 rooms, and the furniture has seen better days, but they are a decent size and perfectly comfortable.

From £58per night

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Kalmár Pension

7Telegraph expert rating

This is a place that appeals to those after quirkiness and character, and lashings of historical interest. The hillside villa has a fascinating provenance, built for Count Pál Teleki – Hungary's prime minister during the early 20th century – by the great-grandfather of the current owner, Eszter Kalmár. There are 10 rooms in total, ranging from doubles to suite, and no two the same shape or look. All are a decent size (and some are very spacious). You might find parquet flooring or marble tiles, wood panelling or wallpaper, a four-poster bed or something less grand. There are upholstered chairs, heavy wardrobes, standing lamps and oil paintings, antique furnishings collected over generations.

From £52per night

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Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest

7Telegraph expert rating

If you don't mind the absence of a restaurant, the Adina has everything you'd expect from a top hotel – and a good deal more. There's a large swimming pool, a whirlpool tub, sauna, steam baths and a pleasant courtyard garden. But the guest rooms are where the Adina really comes into its own. If you choose a one-or two-bedroom apartment then you'll get heaps of living space, with a kitchen opening into a large sitting area with marble-topped dining table, a bathroom with washing machine, and a separate loo. The 21 smaller studios are decorated in the same way, with grey-green carpeting and plum-coloured throws on the bed. Most rooms have balconies, and all have tea, coffee and toaster.

From £62per night

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The Living Quarters

8Telegraph expert rating

The owners of this boho apart-hotel, positioned on a relatively quiet street running parallel with the UNESCO-listed Andrássy út, have long been immersed in Budapest’s contemporary arts scene – indeed, they also run a nearby arts club and bar called Brody Studios – and there’s real creativity in the furnishings. The décor is best described as shabby-chic, making imaginative use of upcycled items; one room has a headboard made from a reclaimed door, another wall lights made from desk lamps, another a hanging art work featuring old window frames. But for all the styling, the rooms are comfortable and practical, and the décor never feels out of tune with the traditional building that wraps around it.

From £77per night

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Marmara Hotel

6Telegraph expert rating

Like many boutique hotels, the Marmara's styling hints at an opulence and luxury that doesn't quite tally with the more basic level of amenities on offer. Nevertheless, the décor is nicely done, with an Asian flavour that reflects the tastes of the hotel's Turkish owner. Rich colours of gold and purple are very much at the fore, and a vine motif makes a regular appearance on chairs, mirror frames and pendant lights. The 93 rooms are divided between those looking outward to the street and those looking inward to the hotel's glass-covered atrium. They are compact but comfortable, with a gold vine motif swirling across the burgundy carpet and bedspreads of gold and black.

From £58per night

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Casati Budapest Hotel

8Telegraph expert rating

Artsy boutique hotels are all the rage in Budapest, but a great many of them are bland. Not Casati Budapest Hotel. In places, the stripped brick of the late-18th-century pokes through, but the hotel is otherwise contemporary in style. Bright, primary colours characterise the breakfast area in the atrium, and off that is a jazzy seating area with walls criss-crossed with multi-coloured stripes. The 25 rooms are decorated in four styles – Heaven, Natural, Classic and Cool – each evoking a different mood. There are dove-white walls and frosted glass toilet doors in Heaven rooms, while Classic rooms adopt darker, more sumptuous aubergine tones.

From £66per night

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Buda Castle Fashion Hotel

8Telegraph expert rating

This hotel sits on a peaceful street in the Castle District, atop Castle Hill on the Buda side of the river. A satisfactory blend of the old and new, evident from the very moment you enter. Above the lobby is a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling typical of the original 15th-century building, while the archway behind reception is now filled with clear glass – very much a modern touch – to give views through to the courtyard garden. The colour scheme is neutral, ensuring the medieval character is never overpowered by the stamp of the 21st century. The décor in the rooms is muted and elegant, with cream drapes, dark-wood furniture, and signature colours of beige and chocolate.

From £65per night

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Prices cited on Booking.com are subject to change in high season and during popular holidays and events.

 

This article was written by Adrian Phillips from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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