Hostels, especially so-called youth hostels, have always epitomized the cheapest
and safest place to unroll your sleeping bag when touring the world on a shoestring
budget. Budapest hostels are no exception.
But hostels in Budapest as well as hostels around the world have come some distance
from the past. These days, they are rarely the drab dormitories with unreasonable
curfews in unsavory parts of town that they once were. A good Budapest pension
is more likely to be what travelers think of when the word hostel comes up.
There are still scores of Budapest hostels available, including those catering to young people. They often have shared kitchens and a communal lounge with television. Some will have a washbasin or even toilet in the room, and some will have shared toilet and shower facilities. Many are located right in the city center near the best attractions. Even if they’re not centrally located, the city’s excellent public metro or bus transportation gives easy access to all the things to do and see. They come with name like Budapest Bubble, Riverside Hostel, and Bike Base Hostel. They are often located in unique, historic buildings. One of the best Budapest hostels is the City Hostel Pest close to city center near the best dining and entertainment.
As in most of the former Soviet bloc countries of Eastern Europe, goods and services in general are more inexpensive in Hungary, and this includes the capital city. This is true of a good, safe pension in Budapest that can fit the same needs as a hostel--with more of the amenities. Some inexpensive vacation packages geared towards families and young people include this kind of Budapest pension in their itineraries. In some cases, the property is small enough that small groups and families can book the entire property for truly private vacations that come with many of the comforts and conveniences of home. Some of them are actually properties with exceptional historic or scenic features.
If you want a Budapest pension or hostel that is truly unique, try one of the properties that are actually boats moored in the Danube River. The mid-range Fortuna Boat Hotel is moored on the Pest side just opposite Margaret Island, which contains one of the most popular thermal spas in Budapest and a lovely public park. The pension section of the boat offers rooms with private bath and shower en suite. The hostel portion gives you a clean and comfortable room equipped with a washbasin, and shared shower and toilet facilities. The Fortuna is both one of the many Budapest hostels and a pension in Budapest at the same time.
A pension in Budapest is more apt to be a small family run guesthouse. It
may serve included breakfast for rooms without kitchen facilities, and also
have Budapest apartments with kitchenettes. It may be right in the Fishermans
Bastion and Matthias Church
area of Castle Hill--like the Budavár Pension. If it’s in the suburbs, like
the Richter Pension, excellent public transportation will be nearby.
You’ll find both Budapest hostels as well as pensions. Remember, whichever you settle on, they are almost always small properties. They can fill up quickly when there are special events and during holiday periods.