(First published on We Love Budapest, 1 May 2015)
This is one of the coolest design hostels in Budapest and it's taken creativity to the next level. LOL Hostel is new and it's more like a hostel/hotel hybrid. It has fun themed rooms like the Coca Cola room, the 69 room, the graffiti garage and the jail cell room, but they've also thought of the little details such as having make-up mirrors for the ladies. There are a variety of rooms such as private twin and double rooms, and bunk rooms (sleeping 8 - 12) for lone travellers or bigger groups. In terms of common areas there is a shared kitchen, plus a huge basement area filled with lounges and beanbags, where there'll be live sports broadcasts on the huge TV. There are plans for pingpong tables, parties and concerts too. The building itself is a freshly renovated, classic style building that sits around a big open courtyard. There's a stylish bar below the hostel too, so you don't have to go far to start your night out. The private rooms have an ensuite, while the bunk rooms have shared bathrooms that are modern and clean. The beds have a lockable locker each and there are even plans to have a TV in every room. The wifi is strong throughout the entire hostel. Reception can help with ideas for what to do in Budapest, plus things like laundry. LOL is located centrally between the St. Stephen's Basilica and the Hungarian State Opera and is just minutes from two metro stations.
Address: Budapest 1067, Ó Street 14.
Phone: +36 1 400 6623
Casa de la Musica
Casa de la Musica has got to be one of the most colourful hostels in Budapest - if not the world! It's a huge hostel around a giant courtyard that houses a canopy-covered bar and grill terrace called Bikini Beach (open in the warmer months). The hostel got its name from a dance school that had been in the building previously, and some of the rooms are still used for dance classes - so you're just as likely to bump into someone doing a salsa class as a Swedish backpacker! There are private rooms with ensuites and terraces, as well as dorm rooms (4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 bed) with either private or shared bathrooms. The rooms have themes like Africa or Hungarian-style, and the concept was inspired by the owner's many decades on the road as an intrepid traveler himself. One of the reasons this hostel is so popular is that the staff are super friendly and helpful. They often work reception, breakfast and the bar so you can get to know some locals who can give you insider tips on the best spots to go. Finally, we have to mention that Bikini Beach really comes to life and it's a great spot to meet other travellers over a beer and a hamburger. In summer they also have a bathing pool set up for guests. Casa de la Musica is centrally located in the Palace District of Budapest and is just minutes from the iconic ruin pub-filled party strip of Kazinczy Street.
Helen and Frank
While Helen and Frank is more a guesthouse than a hostel, it can fit up to 11 people so we decided to include it for those larger groups or families wanting to stay in a most beautifully designed apartment. It has retained the style of Frank and Helen, the pair who lived in Hollywood for decades and sumptuously decorated their Budapest pad. It's this apartment that we can now stay in and it's interior design has remained as it was for the colourful pair. The place's current owners are relatives of Frank and Helen and have kept the style in their memory. The huge apartment (150 square metres) has four big rooms, a 50 square metre salon and two bathrooms.The space is sun-drenched when the sun shines through the giant windows, and there's everything you'll need to make your stay comfortable and homely - you can even cook in the giant kitchen as there's no shortage of utensils and supplies. Helen and Frank is well located with the 4 and 6 trams running right below, this means the whole city is easily accessible for you as this tram line runs along the Grand Boulevard. If you're coming to Budapest as a family or with a bigger group we recommend you book here.
Address: Budapest 1134, Szent István Boulevard 16.
Phone: +37 70 773 3397
"So you want more than just a bed?! You’ve found the place!" Hipster Hostel is well located in the heart of Budapest's beautiful Palace District with two metro lines and the trams of the Small Boulevard just minutes away. There's the Polka Dots Room, the Candy Room and the Magenta Fever Room, plus a private Honeymoon Suite. This is a laid-back hostel with a really homely vibe - the kitchen is practically what you'd have at home with a big table for shared meals. One of the highlights is that the bathroom even has a bath, something that's a rarity in hostels, so if you've been on the road for a long time, a long soak in this bath could be just what you need. Hipster Hostel is stylish and youthful - just what a low-budget traveller needs. We can't fault it, and we recommend it!
Aventura Boutique Hostel and Apartments, offers both themed dorm rooms and themed private apartments. The hostel section is very homely with four stylishly designed rooms (India, Japan, Space, Africa), there's also a small common area, kitchen and shared bathroom facilities. The friendly service and attention to detail means this hostel has been going strong for many years. The focus on the guests and on constantly making little improvements is noticeable. The one and two bedroom apartments are at different locations and also have different themes. For example, there's the Art Apartment, the Retro Apartment, the Rouge Apartment, and the Family Apartment. One of the things we really like about Aventura is that their website offers floorplans of each apartment and images of each room so you can see exactly what you're getting in advance. The Aventura Boutique Hostel is located very close to the Nyugati Railway Station and metro station, as well as the 4/6 tram line that connects the entire city via the Grand Boulevard.