Who doesn’t love a good city break? The idea of jumping on a plane and a few short hours later arriving somewhere completely different is always going to fascinate me. As I visit more places, I keep looking to visit more of these unknown to me cities whilst not breaking the bank. Through a little bit of research, it appears that the Hungarian Capital city of Budapest is one of the most affordable places to visit in Europe especially in winter.
A few fun facts about Budapest:
- Budapest has more thermal springs than any other capital city in the world. The city boasts over 70million litres of thermal water rising to the surface daily.
- Budapest is bisected by the River Danube, and the 19th-century Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with flat Pest. Hence Buda-Pest.
- There are more than 40 theatres and over 100 museums and galleries in the city. There are too many festivals to even begin naming, but with several each month, you’re sure to catch one when you visit.
- Over 20% of Hungary’s population live in Budapest.
- Budapest has a deep love of Honey, with Hungary boast over 10% of Europe’s honey production and roughly 15,000 bee-keepers. Who would have known?
- Manchester to Budapest: Tue 26th January – FR8358
Departing: 19:10 Arriving: 22:50
- Budapest to Manchester: Sat 30th January – FR8357
Departing: 20:40 Arriving: 22:35
Remember, with RyanAir plan for hand-luggage only. Do you really need to pack shampoo / conditioner? The hotel will have some available, or you could even decant your big bottle into a smaller container. Don’t get tricked into paying three-times as much for the “travel size” version.
If you really want to take the minitures, go pick up your purchases at Poundworld or similiar. The major supermarkets, Wilkinson, and the likes of Boots will stock the same branded products for much more.
My oh my. You could take your pick of hotels and never be disappointed. I’ve chosen a select from budget-budget to budget-luxury. As a minimum, all hotels are less than £50pppn, central location, free wifi, breakfast included and a guest rating of at least 3.5/5 or 70%.
Budavar Pension B&B (3*) – £26.50pn, £106 total
This little B&B offers an economy double room including wifi and breakfast for just £106 for two people over four nights. Airport transfers are even available for approximately £20 (9000HUF) which may be preferred given the flight arrival time. The reception is open between 8am and 1pm, so you would have arrange for late check-in at least 24 hours in advance of arrival. Within walking distance of key attractions such as Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Szechenyi Chain Bridge. The hotel has a guest rating of 4.5/5 – which means it could be a little gem.
Butterfly Home (3*) – £32.25pn, £129 total
This little five room B&B is perfectly situated in the inner-city in close proximity most main attractions. As with most small hotels, the front desk is only manned between 8am and 9pm, so advance warning must be given for late check-in. No mention of Airport pick-up available for guests other than arranging a taxi. Guest rating of 4.7 out 5.
Bo18 Hotel Superior (3.5*) – £37.75pn, £151 total
This 50 room hotel is situated in the Jozsefvaros district, a little outside of the inner-city area. Built in 2011, it is a very modern hotel with all the necessary amenities, including a hot tub, gym and spa. Airport pick-up is available for approximately £6 per person and must be booked at least 24hours in advance. Location perks include Corvin Plaza which is roughly a 3 minute walk from the hotel and good transportation links into the main centre.
Unlike the other hotels mentioned so far on this list, the Bo18 Hotel Superior qualifies for the Budapest Winter Hot Pack. This “Hot Pack” deal means you can gain free admission to one of the three-historic city thermal spas, and can claim between 20-50% discount on a number of selected attractions and tours. You can not buy this card separately, you must stay at a participating hotel for a minimum of 3nights.
Boutique Hotel Budapest (4*) – £39pn, £156 total
This inner-city 74 room hotel is perfectly positioned in walking distance of bars, restaurants, river cruise points and local attractions. It has multi-lingual staff and a 24hour front desk. The hotel even has a laundry service available! Your £156 entitles you to a standard 172-sq-foot “City Double Room”. Airport shuttle is available but the charge isn’t stated online, the average can be assumed at approximately £20each way. Guest rating of 4.2 out of 5.
Boutique Hotel Budapest also qualifies for the Budapest Winter Hot Pack.
Residence Baron Hotel (4*) – £41pn, £164 total
This inner-city 21 room hotel is perfectly positioned for walking to bars, restaurants and local attractions. It has a 24 hour front desk, and multi-lingual staff to give advice on recommendations. Your £164 includes a 15% early-bird discount, and entitles you to a 172-sq-foot Superior Double or Twin room with city views. There is also a heated pool, hot-tub and sauna. There is one off charge of approximately £3.50 (1600HUG) per person for the duration of the stay to access these facilities. Airport shuttle is available for just under £20 (8500HUF). Guest rating of 4.4 out of 5.
Corvin Lux Aparthotel (3.5*) – £50pn, £200 total
I love aparthotels when I am travelling. With a fully functioning kitchen, stove, utensils, you only need to pop to a local supermarket, or even better, local food market to cook up some lunches for much cheaper than you’d find in the tourist filled areas. What you pay extra at the hotel, you save during the day. This is a little further from the city centre though, and is best for longer-stays. Guest rating of 4.8/5
What to Do
If you are stuck about what to do while your there; you should take some time to visit one of the city thermal spas such as the Szechenyi Baths. If you changed the dates and went in February / March, you could even look to attend one of the official “Pool Parties“.
Throughout January, a huge outdoor ice rink set up the city park (see more here). Tickets cost a chirpy £2.75 during the week and £3.20 at a weekend, with skate hire costing £1.60per hour.
Finally, take some time to visit one of Budapest’s “ruin bars“.
- Remember, like most large cities in Europe now, a local city tax shall apply. Expect to pay roughly 4% of the hotel cost again when you check out.
- TopCashBack savings! You can still qualify for 8.4% for all hotel books through hotels.com, assuming the cheapest option, that is still a £8.90 saving. That is your iceskating for the day! Join TopCashback and earn an extra £5 amazon voucher by using this link.