We noticed this ever recurring question that we’re very eager to answer for you… in detail!
What is the best area to stay in Budapest? If that’s your specific question and you don’t want to know more about the specific Budapest districts, check out this post with a great overview of the best areas to stay for every type of traveler.
It all begins with understanding the city and the districts of Budapest in order to understand where to stay.
We’re going to explain in detail which neighbourhoods there are in the city and what to see in each of them.
Let’s check out the most important regions in the city first!
Districts of Budapest map and layout
Budapest is one of the most popular cities to visit in Hungary and it has 23 districts, but not all of these will be equally attractive to tourists or travelers. So let’s sort that out in a minute.
The counting of the different areas started in the most historic part of the city. Then the other quarters have gotten their number in a (more or less) clockwise pattern as you can see in the illustration.
The further you move away from the heart of the city, the higher the numbers will be.
So that’s something you can use! If someone invites you for a drink in district 23, you’re going to be quite far away from the city center!
The most important touristic areas are district 1, 5, 6, and 7.
We’ll discuss these interesting neighbourhoods first.
If you want to know a little more about the other regions, we talk about those a bit further down the road!
Map of the districts of Budapest
District 1 - Castle District
District 1 is located on the West side of the Danube River.
From downtown, you can access it via the Széchenyi Chain Bridge or the Elisabeth Bridge.
The Castle District in Budapest is the most historic part of the city and it’s also where the famous Buda Castle, the most visited castle in Hungary, is located.
Landmarks in District 1
- Széchenyi Bridge
- Elisabeth Bridge
- Buda Castle
- Fisherman’s Bastion
- Matthias Church
- Vienna Gate
- Castle Garden Bazaar
- Statue of Independence
- Church of Saint Mary Magdalene
- Military History Museum
- Hospital in the Rock
- Northern part of Gellert Hill
- Garden of Philosophers
- Citadel Lookout (but not the Citadel which is officially in D11)
- Rudas Thermal Baths
- Fairy Tale Museum
Getting there and around
District 1 is easy to reach, both on foot as by public transportation.
Two bridges connect this neighbourhood to the downtown area: the Széchenyi Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge. Both bridges are easy to use as a pedestrian.
For public transportation, the Castle District is also easy to reach.
The RED metro line or M2, has 2 stations in here: Batthyany Ter and Budapest-Deli Railway Station.
Batthyany Metro Station can be reach with the M2 metro or with the H5 commuter train.
Budapest-Deli Railway Station can also be reached with the M2 metro or by train from outside the city.
On top of these metro stations, there are also tram and bus stations all over the neighbourhood.
Spending the night in District 1
District 1 is a good place to spend the night, if you want to have a good night of sleep without hitting the downtown bars or ruin pubs. There aren’t too many bars and the place is very quiet at night.
What to expect when staying in this neighbourhood:
- romantic location for couples
- quiet nights
- luxury hotels and boutique hotels
- amazing views over the city
- main attractions within walking distance
- no hostels budget accommodation
- not too many shops, stores, bars, or restaurants
- no nightlife
Explore the Castle District
District 5 Budapest - Downtown or Belváros
District 5 is the actual inner city of Budapest. It’s the a vivid and lively part of the city, even though it’s pretty tiny.
This neighbourhood is pretty and well maintained. It’s designed for tourists and it has an upscale vibe to it.
You still won’t find too much of the famous nightlife in this quarter, but it is a nice place to hang out during the day. There’s a lot to see and do in this part of town and there are quite a few restaurants and shops.
Also, it’s pretty easy and quick to get from this part of town to the Jewish quarter or District 7, where more nightlife can be found. We’ll get to that in a bit!
Landmarks in District 5
- Hungarian Parliament Building
- Shoes on the Danube
- Széchenyi Bridge
- Elisabeth Bridge
- St Stephen’s Basilica
- Soviet War Memorial
- Underground Railway Museum
- Vaci Street – the famous shopping street
- Deák-Ferenc Street or fashion street
Getting there and around
Most distances are easily covered on foot within this area and you’ll find yourself walking here quite a bit.
But you can also get here by public transportation and district 5 is well-connected with several metro lines and tram lines all over the neighbourhood.
The Yellow line or M1 metro line has its end station in Vörösmarty Square.
The Red M2 line has 2 stops in this area: Deák-Ferenc station, which is a metro station where you can switch lines, and Kossuth Lajos Tér, before the M2 line moves on in the direction of Buda Castle.
The Blue M3 metro line has 1 stop: Ferenciek tere.
There are also a few metro station on the actual edge of the quarter and you can also find tons of tram and bus stops inside this neighbourhood.
Spending the night in District 5
Downtown is not the cheapest and most hotels in this area are luxurious and upscale.
This area is amazing for luxury travelers who want to be near all the main attractions and spend the night in a beautiful, but expensive hotel. It’s also a great place for families with kids, who don’t want to stay in the even more expensive Castle District, nor in the middle of the nightlife action.
District 5 is a good area to spend the night in Budapest for luxury travelers, couples, and families.
- Beautiful and well-maintained
- Great surroundings and buildings
- Romantic for couples
- Luxury hotels and boutique hotels
- Quieter at night
- Central location near most attractions
- Everything is within walking distance
- No real nightlife
District 6 - Terézvaros
District 6 is still near most major landmarks. It even has its own small set of landmarks, but the further you move away from the inner city, the less interesting this area becomes.
On the other hand, it does have a little bit of everything, which makes it more attractive for finding accommodation for a larger spectrum of travelers.
District 6 may not be the main tourist highlight as it doesn’t have tons of things to see, it is still pretty near within walking distance of the more interesting landmarks, for a lower price.
Landmarks in District 6
- Andrássy Avenue
- Hungarian State Opera
- Liszt Ferenc Music Academy
- The edge of Heroes Square (which is officially in D14)
- Anker’t ruin bar
Getting there and around
District 6 is easily accessible on foot and within walking distance from all the main tourist highlights.
On the East edge of district 6, you can find the Budapest-Nyugati train station, which is not the main train station of Budapest! It’s not the most beautiful place to hang out and if you’re looking for a train in or out of town, this is most likely the wrong train station.
The Yellow M1 line crosses all the way through this area and there are 5 local stations on the yellow line. All of these stops are located on the beautiful Andrássy Avenue. There are stops at: Bajcsy-Zsilinszky útca, the Opera, Vörösmarty utca, and Heroes Square (the actual Heroes Square is located in D14).
The Blue M3 line also has a stop here, near the Budapest-Nyugati train station.
Spending the night in District 6
District 6 is accessible for all travelers. The closer you get to district 5, the more upscale and expensive accommodation gets. But after all, this area is a good place for a variety of travelers to find affordable and neat accommodation.
This region is more popular among backpackers and budget travelers, but you can still find more upscale places as well.
So it might be the best place to spend the night in Budapest for a lot of travelers who have to keep an eye on their budget.
- Within walking distance of most landmarks
- For all different budgets
- Andrássy Avenue is a beautiful street
- more nightlife options
- Beautiful quickly changes into dodgy in this district
- Can be loud at night
Explore more of Budapest
District 7 - Jewish Quarter - Erzsébetváros
Budapest’s district 7 or Jewish Quarter lies next to district 6 and it also edges district 5, so it’s quite conveniently located near the Inner City.
This quarter is appealing to most travelers as there is loads to see and do. District 7 also has some of the most epic nightlife in Budapest. This is the actual neighbourhood that draws so many visitors to the capital of Hungary.
Aside from the sightseeing places all over the city, district 7 offers this hipster and laid back vibe.
In this area, you can find the best bars and beer gardens in the city. There are also tons of delicious diners and restaurants in this neighbourhood.
Landmarks in District 7
- Gozsdu Weekend Market
- Dohány Street Synagogue (the Great Synagogue)
- Rumbach Street Synagogue
- Madách Theater
- Karavaan street food
- New York Palace
Ruin bars and awesome bars
Getting there and around
You can easily get around the Jewish Quarter by walking. The area isn’t too large and it’s pretty close to all the major highlights in the city.
Even though there are no actual metro stations within this quarter, the Red M2 line runs just on the edge of the neighbourhood.
Furthermore, there are quite a few trams and buses running through.
Spending the night in District 7
District 7 is the loudest and most lively of them all. So even though you can spend the night here for an affordable price, you might not get the best night sleep. That is, of course, unless you’re out in the bars all night!
If you don’t mind the noisy streets, District 7 has accommodation for all types of travelers. Lodging varies from luxury hotels and boutique hotels, all the way to backpacker hostels.
- Center of the nightlife
- Loads of bars, cafés, and restaurants
- Walking distance from all the main sights
- Different lodging options for all budgets
- Hip and popular area
- Loud during the day and at night
- Super busy with a lot of tourists
- Drunk partying people at night
Check out nightlife in District 7
District 8 - The Palace District - Jószefváros
District 8 is a massive area, compared to the previous downtown areas. As it was with district 6, this neighbourhood also gets less interesting the further you move away from the inner city.
The district is separated in two distinct areas through a large ring road that crosses through it. And it is the area West of that road which is more interesting.
There are, however, a few interesting place to visit within this district and most of these are easily accessible and within walking distance from downtown. The highlights of district 8 are located near District 5.
So the area close to the downtown area is a great place to go for a walk, but the area further away from downtown is one of the poorest and most densely populated areas in the city.
District 8 is an evolving area of Budapest and we expect more interesting venues and bars to pop up over the next few years.
This area of Budapest also has a lot of schools and it is an emerging student area.
Landmarks in District 8
- Budapest Keleti train station
- Szabó Ervin Library
- Wenckheim Palace
- Hungarian National Museum
Getting there and around
District 8 is where you will find the main train station of the city. Budapest Keleti is the main travel hub for people who arrive in the city by train.
The red M2 line has 3 metro stations on the North edge.
The blue M3 line also edges the area, this time on the South side with 3 different metro stations.
And the green M4 line has also 3 stops here, which are more centrally located.
Spending the night in district 8
District 8 has accommodation options for all budgets and it is a convenient place to spend the night as it is easily accessible and within walking distance of the main sights.
We must say, on a side note, that if you’re staying in this neighbourhood, you should definitely choose your exact location wisely on a map. The best area to find accommodation is as near as possible to the downtown area.
- Cheap accommodation
- Walking distance to the main sights (if you stay near the downtown area)
- less interesting the further you move away from downtown
- not many landmarks and highlights
- can be loud at night
District 9 - Ferencváros
District 9 is the area of Budapest which is located South of the city center. It’s also a very large neighbourhood and most of the interesting sights can be found near the inner city.
The area is cut into 3 pieces with large ring roads splitting up the sections. The area closest to the city center is the most interesting part.
It edges the Danube River and you can still get some amazing river views from the banks.
Most travelers never venture out to the South side of this area, but almost every tourist wants to see the beautiful landmarks on the North side of district 9.
Landmarks in District 9
- Central Market Hall
- The National Theater
- Palace of Arts
- Holocaust Memorial Center
- Zwack Unicum Museum
Getting there and around
Walking into district 9 is easy and it’s just a short walk from district 5. Just walk South and you’ll end up in district 9.
The blue M3 metro line edges the neighbourhood as it makes its way into district 5. The M3 line has 6 stops throughout the edge of district 9.
The green M4 line has 1 stop near the North edge.
Within district 9 you can also easily catch a tram or bus as stops are scattered throughout the neighbourhood.
Spending the night in District 9
The best area to spend the night, is the area sitting between the inner city and the first ring road. So that would be between the Muzeum Krt, edging district 5, and the Ferenc Krt ring road.
District 9 is a relatively cheap area to spend the night, as you’ll find mostly budget accommodation here. This area is definitely not the place to be for luxury travelers and there are almost no boutique hotels or luxury hotels.
- Most affordable area of the city center
- Quiet during the day and at night
- Less touristy
- More locals
- Not too many hotels
- Only the Northernmost part of this neighbourhood is nice
Other Districts of Budapest
District 14 - Zugló
Zugló is a very interesting region and even though it’s not in the top districts of Budapest, you’re very likely to visit it. Zugló has a few landmarks you have to visit!
In this neighbourhood, you’ll find one of the most popular parks in the city, along with the second most popular castle in the country: Vajdahunyad Castle.
The area around the park and Heroes Square is pretty touristy and most highlights are centralised around this Square.
The Yellow M1 metro line has a stop at Heroes Square and Szechenyi Thermal Baths.
Interesting landmarks in District 14
- Heroes Square with the Millennium Monument
- Széchenyi Thermal Baths
- Vajdahunyad Castle
- Városliget City Park
- Museum of Fine Arts
- Kunsthalle Museum of Contemporary Art
- The Budapest Time wheel
- Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden
- Dürer Kert ruin bar
District 2 - Rózsadomb
District 2 lies North of District 1 and Rózsadomb is only a part of it.
This area is pretty massive and it also has a lot of green parts, as soon as you leave the actual city center. This area of Budapest is mountainous and expensive. Rich people reside here!
As a traveler, you probably will visit the Rózsadomb area, which is a beautiful part of the district and offer spectacular views over the city.
Except for the Children’s Railway, this quarter doesn’t have too many public transportation options.
Interesting landmarks in District 2
- Kiraly Thermal Baths
- Lukacs Thermal Baths
- Veli Bej Thermal Baths
- Children’s Railway (a train line operated by kids)
District 3 - Óbuda
This neighbourhood is very large and it’s the oldest part of town. It’s is located North of District 1 and 2, on the West side of the Danube.
If you have some extra time to spare, this quarter is a great place to go for a walk and discover a more traditional Hungary.
Óbuda used to be the border of the Roman empire at some point in history, and a lot of artefacts and structures have been found here.
District 3 has a lot of public transportation options, mainly consisting of bus lines and tram lines. The H5 commuter train has several stops here.
Interesting landmarks in District 3
- Obudai Sziget Island (home to the yearly Sziget Festival)
- Aquincum Museum (Roman museum)
- Cozy streets and squares in Obuda
District 4 - Újpest
Újpest isn’t very interesting for travelers. It mostly consists of residential areas and some industrial areas.
District 10 - Kőbánya
Kőbánya also isn’t of much interest for travelers. It does have the largest park in the city, called Nepliget Park, which is a nice place to relax.
Further, you can find residential areas and a lot of industry in this district. There are also a few breweries in District 10, like the Dreher brewery.
District 11 - Újbuda
Újbuda is more interesting for visitors!
This quarter brings us back to the West side of the Danube River and it has a few interesting landmarks.
In Újbuda, the Budapest Kelenfold Railway Station can be found. The green M4 metro lines also passes through here and runs all the way to the train way station.
Interesting landmarks in District 11
- Gellert Hill
- Gellert Thermal Baths
- Gellert Hill cave (church inside a cave)
- Buda botanic garden
District 12 - Buda Hills
The Buda Hills are a mountainous area away from the Inner city. There’s a lot of forested areas and parks. This neighbourhood is currently being built up to have residential areas and industry. But for now, it’s still the most green area of the city.
Check out the Zugliget Chairlift for spectacular views over the city.
District 13 - Újlipótváros and Angyalföld
District 13 is located North of D5. With the previously mentioned regions, we made a clockwise tour around district 5 or the Inner City. Now we’re starting our second tour with the most favourable neighbourhoods in the next circle around the city center.
District 13 is also quite large and its most famous landmark is Margaret Island. The Southern part is called Újlipótváros and it has the most interesting landmarks for tourists. The Northern part is called Angyalföld and it’s more of a residential area.
Interesting landmarks in District 13
- Margaret Island
- Margaret Island Musical Garden
- Margaret Island Mini Zoo
- Palatinus Thermal Baths
- Japanese Garden
- Duna Plaza shopping mall
Budapest districts - Conclusion
Even though Budapest counts 23 districts, not every one has the same interesting landmarks and touristy vibe. It’s a good idea to learn about the districts of Budapest and their points of interest before visiting the city. If you don’t feel like making your own itinerary, check out our 2 day Budapest itinerary.
It’s also a good idea to find out which area is the best one for spending the night, based on your travel style, interest, and budget. To get an answer to the accommodation question! We wrote a separate, in-depth guide about the pros and cons of each neighbourhood for each type of traveler. Before getting your accommodation, make sure to read this guide and find out which is the best place to spend the night in Budapest!