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The Best Place to Stay in Budapest on a Budget

Wagner Wombat cuddly toy wombat on a hostel bed

Budapest is a beautiful city, yet still relatively off the beaten track for many people travelling around Europe.  However, the wonderful food, wine, architecture, history and buzzing nightlife in Budapest is more than enough to tempt visitors.  Deciding where to stay in Budapest might not be the easiest task, but I’m here to help!  If you are looking for the best place to stay in Budapest on a budget, then look no further than the wombat’s BUDAPEST.  As the #wombatsTraveller ambassador for wombat’s CITY HOSTELS, I came to Budapest to check out all the cool things to do in Budapest, based in the old Jewish Quarter at the wombat’s BUDAPEST.  Here’s my full review of one of the best hostels in Budapest for backpackers & budget travellers!

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Where to Stay in Budapest: Choosing a Location

Did you know that Budapest was originally two cities separated by the Danube River?  Buda and Pest belong together now, but the Pest side of the river is definitely the best area to stay in.  Buda has some of the main attractions in Budapest like the Buda Castle neighbourhood and most of the spas, but Pest is the heart and soul of the city. 

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My favourite place to stay in Budapest is in the old Jewish District.  Once a flourishing area for the Jewish inhabitants of the city, the second world war transformed this part of Budapest into a nightmarish ghetto where the Jews who weren’t rounded up and murdered or sent to concentration camps did their best to survive the war.  After the war ended, many of their old homes and businesses were left abandoned and empty.  A ghost town. 

Gradually people began to move back to the area, taking up residence in the dilapidated buildings.  In 2002, a group of locals decided to open a bar in one such building.  Filling the rooms with any junk they could find, the first ruin bar was born, and everyone loved it!  Other bars followed in Szimpla Kert’s footsteps, and since the ruin bars breathed new life into the old buildings, the whole area has seen huge redevelopment and investment.  If you want to be in the centre of the action, staying in the old Jewish Quarter is a must!

The Best Place to Stay in Budapest for Backpackers

As the #WombatsTraveller Ambassador for Wombat’s City Hostels, I am visiting every Wombat’s Hostel and exploring the respective cities where they are located.  My stay at wombat’s BUDAPEST was complimentary as part of my role as ambassador, but I maintain full editorial control of all related articles.

READ MORE: 10 Reasons To Go Backpacking in Budapest

Rooms at the wombat’s BUDAPEST

I stayed in a private double room in the hostel, which was the best of both worlds for me.  I had the privacy of my own room and bathroom, yet I could still socialise with everyone else when I wanted to.  My room was spacious, with bedside tables and a wardrobe, and a private bathroom with a toilet and shower.  The window opened out above the bar and social area so I could hear some noise, but nothing to stop me sleeping.

Dorm Rooms

I had a peek inside one of the dorm rooms at the hostel too, and they were very similar to other wombat’s hostel dorms that I’d seen in London and Vienna – spacious, with lockers and a bathroom.

The Corridors

I wouldn’t usually mention the décor in a hostel corridor, but the corridors at the wombat’s BUDAPEST were very educational.  All along the walls were stencils of famous Hungarians, including inventors, freedom fighters and other important figures.  Some were names I’d heard of but had no idea they were Hungarian (Mr Biro, the inventor of the ballpoint pen for example!) and others were new to me, like Erika Kornelia Szeles, the freedom fighter who died when she was just 15. 

Social Events at the wombat’s BUDAPEST

As with all Wombat’s Hostels, the womBar is a great place to start.  On check-in you’ll be given a voucher for a free beer, glass of wine or soft drink, so head down to the womBar and check out what’s going on.  You might find a movie night, quiz night or karaoke, or you can challenge a friend to a game of pool or table football. 

The breakfast and social area at the wombat's BUDAPEST
The breakfast and social area at the wombat’s BUDAPEST

There are drinks offers during happy hour and regular paid events which leave from the bar.  A nightly pub crawl kicks off at 10pm, and a party cruise along the Danube is another good option.  Alternatively, the hostel is a few minutes’ walk from the ruin bars and Budapest’s famous nightlife.

The bar area at wombat's
The bar area at wombat’s

In the lobby, you’ll find information boards and flyers for ideas on what to do in Budapest, and the hostel recommends a free walking tour which leaves a few minutes’ walk away from the hostel and organises a free weekly Budapest street art and cultural tour on Saturdays which I also joined.

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Security at the Wombat’s City Hostel Budapest

Like all of the previous Wombat’s Hostels I’ve stayed in so far (Vienna, Berlin and London), I felt completely safe at the Wombat’s City Hostel Budapest.  You need to use your key-card to access the floor where your room is, then the door to your room, and in the dorm rooms, that same key card will also open your locker.  At night, there was also a security guard by the front door to the hostel, to keep an eye on who comes in and out in the wee hours. 

Wagner Wombat getting comfy in Budapest
Wagner Wombat getting comfy in Budapest


Breakfast isn’t included in the room rate, but you can buy a breakfast ticket at reception for 1000 HUF (about 3€).  You exchange this in the morning for your plate, bowl and cup so you can then help yourself to the all-you-can-eat continental breakfast.  Bread, cold meats, cheese and chocolate spread were my usual breakfast items, there was also cereal, fruit, yoghurt and orange juice too. 

Half healthy breakfast at wombat's
Half healthy breakfast at wombat’s

The Kitchen & Catering

As with all wombat’s CITY HOSTELS, wombat’s BUDAPEST has a kitchen for guests to use, which is equipped with everything you might need to rustle up something tasty.  It’s kept clean and tidy, although it can get busy at meal times.

A couple of vending machines in the lobby were handy for late-night cravings, and of course, the womBar is open in the evenings for a drink or two if you fancy. 

Staff at the Wombat’s City Hostel Budapest

Every staff member I spoke to was friendly and helpful with any questions I had.  They gave me recommendations for where to eat, what to do and a fabulous tip about taking a public water bus instead of a more expensive river cruise to get some lovely night-time shots of the Parliament building.  It really helps to have people who know their stuff to share tips!   

How to Book the wombat’s BUDAPEST

The best place to book the hostel is directly through their own website here.

Overall I enjoyed my stay at wombat’s, and if you’re looking for a good value, clean hostel slap bang in the middle of the action you won’t be disappointed!

Have you stayed at wombat’s hostel in Budapest?  Would you?  I’d love to hear what you think is the best place to stay in Budapest for backpackers, please leave your comments below.

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Last updated: February 14, 2020

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