You may want to flip a coin to decide whether you want to see Buda first or Pest, or whether you want to stay somewhere in Buda side or in the Pest side. But take note of the fact that very much like a pair of inseparable twins joined in the soul, only divided by the river Danube in between, both Buda and Pest sides of the charming Hungarian capital remain equally delightful to enthrall you upon your arrival. In this post we bring to you our take on where to stay in Budapest.
Tips upon arrival
· Currency: Hungarian Forint, not euros. Withdraw from ATM machines at the airport.
· Travel card: You get 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours of travel card allowing you unlimited travel in buses and on underground in the metropolitan region. Strongly recommend you buy this travel card as soon as arriving at Budapest. However it is best to take a pre-paid taxi from the airport for the first time being sure that you would be dropped in front of the hotel. Avoid taking the metro from airport for the first time, who knows how the underground stations would be when you would be carrying baggage!
· Where to live: It is best to live somewhere in the Pest side of the capital. We did our research well and we strongly recommend you to stay where we lived – at Apartment B18. This is the best decision you will ever make. Book now before it gets reserved by someone else.
We took a Ryanair flight from London Standsted airport to Budapest. Two and a half hours later, you find yourself at a currency exchange kiosk in Budapest airport, that’s the beauty of living in London – you’re pretty much a couple of hours away from all major cities in Europe.
Why stay at Apartment B18 in Budapest?
Situated in the 5th district on the Pest side, the apartment was in the 1st floor of an archaic building still carrying the scars from the 2nd World War days. The rather ancient stairs, rusty rails and antic architecture of the exterior of the building really added to the anti-climax when the doors to the contemporary themed apartment were unlocked for us. Note that the apartment was not at the heart of tourist locations, but it was just 4-5 minutes short bus ride away. Which meant that we were not missing out the fun from the city’s hustle-bustle and at the same time had a peaceful neighborhood to have a good night’s sleep in.
Just too much! 70 square meters to be precise. For a couple like us, it meant that we found ourselves a home away from home in too much space which in fact is bigger than our London flat. Full with a master bedroom, a super clean and fully equipped kitchen cum a lounge, with sofas, 2 extra bed cum divans cum study room – the apartment would be an ideal choice for even a group of 4-5 people. We enjoyed this generous amount of space as we put our foot up after a day long excursion and completely unpacked ourselves comfortably as if it were our own home.
We just felt at the end that we should have had a plan to stay in this apartment for a full day, it was just so comfortable and peaceful. Especially the lounge was the perfect place to just lie down and contemplate at the wall-map of the World in front.
Spotless, it was that clean. Also the rooms were cleaned every day back to its original state.
Marton was a true friend in need and a professional host. Spot on time to welcome us, briefed us on the rules, showed us on a map what to do, where to go. Note that you would have to pay a certain amount of refundable deposit upfront upon check-in, so make sure you calculate that on top of your actual fees. Marton proved to be especially helpful when he allowed us to keep our luggage in the apartment on the day of check-out, till 2pm just before the arrival of a new guest. This was an exceptional help which he did going out of his way but it helped us with our last day’s activities in Budapest. We are grateful to him for this kind gesture.
The nearest metro station was a 5-minute walk on the right upon exit from the apartment. The nearest bus station was some 3 minutes walk turning left.
Attractions & activities on the 1st evening
Right after dropping our bags at the apartment and freshening up, we made sure we could catch glimpse of the setting sun over the river Danube which was just a 5-minute walk from our apartment. The Hungarian sun splashed its welcoming colors on the sky for us while we saw for the first time the famous Chain Bridge and the Buda Castle on the Buda side across the river. Flood lights were turned on to keep the Parliament Building as the centre of attraction even during the nocturnal hours. The very sight of this majestic Hungarian Parliament Building appeared to be so overwhelming that we knew it for sure that we will have to keep revisiting this iconic monument many times more during our stay in Budapest.
Some fine dining options were available in the neighborhood for a tranquil dinner. After having the introductory delightful sights of the National Parliament, the Danube river, the Chain Bridge and the Buda Castle all in one sunset – we went to one of these restaurants very close to the apartment to dine and relax.
A supermarket was 5 minutes walk away from the apartment from where we could get some items for breakfast, bottles of water etc. There were even pharmacies and also an internet cafe on the next street from where we could print out our boarding passes.
This is rather unusual that we are dedicating a separate blogpost to share with you on how wonderful this apartment was in Budapest. It actually proves that it was indeed worth every pound paid, we were just fortunate to have got it available during our intended dates. We are going to share a virtual tour of this apartment in our Budapest vlog very soon on my youtube channel. If you have any question regarding reservations, feel free to drop us a line and we hope we have helped you to make a choice on where to stay in Budapest!0