Budapest’s District VII is a top destination for European hipsters. Renovated buildings have been converted into hostels, old courtyards are cafes, and ‘ruin’ pubs are the coolest places in town. Find out why urban travellers are heading to central Europe’s design capital and where you can sleep on a budget.
Budapest’s new District VII
Most people going to Budapest will stroll along the pretty cobblestone streets and grand town squares opposite Buda Castle. But, more adventurous travellers, will check out the hipster renovations in the old Jewish Quarter. Here you’ll find the edgiest clubs, cheap eateries and vintage coffee shops.
Anyone who visited Budapest’s grungy Jewish quarter ten years ago wouldn’t recognise it now. With its designer mix of ruinous bars, boutique shops and bike shops, District VII is the place to be in Budapest.
Located in the Jewish quarter, Mazel Tov is the perfect example of a renovated ‘ruin pub’. Here an old courtyard has been covered over with a glass skylight and tastefully restored with a bar, industrial lighting and it has a beer garden serving cheap Middle Eastern food.
Likewise, Printa is a stylish gallery, workshop and café that sells clothing, art and accessories with a local touch. Along with T-shirts and cushions featuring local street maps of District VII, Printa also exhibits re-makes of pre-war advertising posters.
Hungarian café culture
Budapest is a city renowned for its art nouveau cafes. Locals and visitors alike regularly attend Angelika’s Café, which offers stunning views of the Parliament building and gorgeous slices of Hungarian sponge cake.
Another glamour favourite is the New York Café (see above), which claims to be most ‘beautiful café in the world’ and there plenty of reasons to believe it! Lavishly decorated with baroque decor and aristocratic furnishing, it’s a throwback to the 1920s.
Hungarians love hanging out in mineral-rich thermal spas. Its like a cafe to locals and if you want to chill, chat and splash away in Budapest, then Szechenyi Thermal Baths is a huge favourite. With its hot spring waters in 18 pools, you can relax in ten saunas, and indulge in massage therapies and facial treatments too.
Likewise, the Gellert Spa (see above) is one of the most famous thermal spa baths in Hungary, and has been improving everyone’s skin art nouveau style since 1918.
Wombats City Hostel Budapest is a design obsessed hostel 300 metres from St. Stephen’s Basilica Square and offers travellers a stylish travel experience. Rooms are available from €16.00.
Full Moon Design Hostel Budapest is a new and contemporary hostel situated in the heart of Budapest. Independently run with an urban designer chic, it’s a brilliant way to meet like-minded travellers. Rooms are available from €19.00
LOL Boutique Hostel City Center has its own ‘ruin’ pub and captures the design obsession of Budapest in style. Close to all the main attractions, it’s a cheap and stylish way to explore the city. Rooms are available from €20.00.
*Header image by Paolo Margari (Flickr/Creative Commons)