budapest-feature

It’s been said many times before: Budapest stands between Eastern and Western Europe, not just geographically, but culturally too. The city is grand, clean and functional, yet it’s also gritty, chaotic and serendipitous, which makes it all the more exciting. But not all parts of Budapest are equal, so here are a few words on some of the best neighbourhoods.

Towering over the Danube River, Castle Hill (District 1) includes the medieval old town, with landmarks like the Buda Castle and the Matthias Church. Spend the day here roaming the charming streets lined with baroque residential homes, but after sunset, it’s time to cross the river to the Pest side.

The old Jewish Quarter (District 7) is currently the undisputed hotspot of Budapest. During the day, hip cafés, designer stores and restaurants dominate the scene. And come nighttime, the area’s many bars fill to capacity with locals and tourists alike.

Nearby lies the Palace Quarter (District 8). Hungarians often describe this as the “new cool part” of Pest, so take time to explore this neighbourhood dotted with impressive pre-war buildings and new restaurants. At the centre of town, Budapest’s Downtown (District 5) is turning high-end with a growing number of five-star hotels, rooftop bars and excellent fine-dining options.

TO STAY

Brody House

Exhibiting unusual creativity and good taste, the team behind Brody House has converted 11 high-ceilinged rooms of a historic pre-war residential apartment into artistically designed suites featuring rustic decor and contemporary art. The common room overlooks the faded grandeur of the villas of Budapest’s once glamorous Palace Quarter. Guests of Brody House receive free admission to Brody Studios, a sought-after Budapest private club operated by the same owners.

Hotel Rum Budapest

This 40-room boutique hotel in the heart of the city overlooks a pretty downtown plaza lined with the city’s top law school. The industrial-chic interior complete with light wood finishes tastefully blends with the 19th-century exterior. The cherry on top is the year-round rooftop lounge with 360-degree views over Budapest and a brand-new modern Hungarian restaurant on the ground floor.

Casati Budapest Hotel

Located on a quaint backstreet in between the famous Andrássy Avenue and Király Street, this 25-room boutique hotel is just a stone’s throw from both Budapest’s upmarket shopping area and the city’s party centre. Quench your thirst with a nightcap at the Shanghai-themed bar, Tuk Tuk, on the ground floor, or if you’re curious to see one of the best ruin bars in town, walk over to Anker’t.

Iberostar

Despite being part of a hotel chain, Iberostar feels like a boutique hotel. The gut-renovation of this 50-room building was the last work of one of Hungary’s best architects, Péter Reimholz, and the result is an eye-catching combination of old and new. The hotel is centrally located near most sites and the best restaurants, and it also boasts some of the most spacious rooms in Budapest. Don’t miss the dimly lit, mosaic-tiled hot tub in the spa and be sure to ask for a room where the regal Liberty Square provides the backdrop.

Brody House

Iberostar

Casati Budapest Hotel

Rum Hotel Budapest

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