Where to Stay in Budapest: Introducing The 7th District (Erzsébetváros)
Budapest’s 7th District is the heart of hip and bohemian Budapest. Gritty and more raw feeling than the clean and manicured 5th district, the 7th is full of the young and young at heart. Crumbling buildings stand next to freshly renovated architecture from every era, and kosher delis serve as neighbors to hipster speakeasies and food truck pods.
Located in central Pest, the 7th is an ultra convenient area to stay in Budapest. While the district itself is quite large, your best bet is to stay within the inner part of the district, between Károly krt (Charles Boulevard) in the west, and Erzsébet krt. (Elizabeth Boulevard) in the east, and between Király u. (in the north) and Rákóczi út (in the south). While the 7th runs beyond Erzsébet krt. all the way to Dózsa György út, it gets into rather sleepy residential territory beyond Erzsébet krt., as well as being a bit grungier.
Public Transportation in Budapest 7
In addition to being super central, staying in the 7th means you’ll have easy access to plenty of public transport options. Trams #4 and #6 run along north-south along Erzsébet krt., and go all night. Trams #47, #48, and #49 also allow easy access to the 7th.
Metro stops Blaha Lujza tér (M2 – Red), Oktogon (M1), Astoria (M2), and Deák Ferenc tér (M1, M2, & M3) are also within walking distance from anywhere in the 7th district.
Who Should Stay in Budapest 7?
The best part about the 7th is its lively vibe, wide selection of restaurants and bars, and ultra-convenient location. Depending on the type of trip you’re after, this liveliness and party vibe could also turn out to be the worst part of the neighborhood.
Budapest 7 is a favorite of bachelor and bachelorette parties (stag-dos and hen parties), as well as Hungarians and tourists ready to enjoy a night out. If you come to Budapest 7 looking for a fun, lively and central location, you’ll probably enjoy your stay. If you stay in this area looking for a tranquil and calm oasis in the city, you’ll probably be disappointed.
One thing worth noting is, despite the prevalence of crowds and people having a good (sometimes drunken) time, the 7th is very safe. While property crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching isn’t unheard of, we feel quite safe walking around this part of Budapest at night.
Favorite Places in Budapest 7
Full of cafés, shops, bars and restaurants, it’s difficult to pick our favorites in Budapest 7. This is by no means a comprehensive list: rather, it’s a round-up of the places we find ourselves going back to again and again, and the places we take visitors when we have out-of-town guests. This list is updated as we find new places, and as we become aware of changes to existing places.
My Little Melbourne
Address: Madách Imre út 3
Hours: Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 19:00; Saturday & Sunday, 08:30 to 19:00
My Little Melbourne consistently makes it onto best cafes in Budapest lists, and once you visit, you’ll see why. Together with its next door neighbour and sister cafe, My Little Brew Bar, which is designed for filter coffee lovers, My Little Melbourne is consistently packed with locals and tourists looking for a great cup. The place itself is tiny, with limited seating upstairs, a few seats at a bar, and – in nice weather – outdoor seating. But they make it work, and people don’t seem to mind once they taste the coffee. Not a great spot to take your laptop, as seating is very limited, but a great spot to enjoy a coffee on your own or with a friend, or to grab a ‘to go.’
London Coffee Society
Address: Dohány u. 27
Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 18:00; Saturday, 09:00 to 18:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 17:00
Great for coffee, they also serve beer and wine and have great breakfast/brunches. Another fairly tiny space, the ground floor, loft, and a few sidewalk tables provide seating, but it’s worth checking there’s room for you before you place your order. For laptop workers, there is fairly good wifi, and a few electrical outlets if you get the right table. Staff are super friendly and inviting, an added bonus for great coffee.
Address: Dohány u. 13
Hours: Monday, 15:00 to 22:00; Tuesday to Saturday, 08:00 to 22:00; Sunday, 08:00 to 15:00
A coffee house with a full bar, this cafe is attached to a bookshop, where they hold regular events. Full of people on laptops, this is a great spot to while away a rainy afternoon with a book or tablet, enjoying a coffee, bite to eat, or glass of beer or wine.
Address: Múzeum krt. 5
Hours: Monday to Friday, 07:30 to 19:00; Saturday 08:00 to 19:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 18:00
Technically in the 8th, we’ve included Fekete here as well, because it’s just across Rákóczi út from the 7th, and is less than 5 minutes’ walk from the 7th. In nice weather, the courtyard is a great place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, and in poor weather there is indoor seating to enjoy as well.
New York Cafe
Address: Erzsébet krt. 9-11
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 08:00 to 24:00
Considered one of the most beautiful cafes in the world, New York Café isn’t a great spot to go if you’re looking for a slice of local life, as you’re pretty much guaranteed to be sitting next to other tourists. It is, however, beautiful, and gives you a hint of what Budapest was like back at the turn of the last century: La Belle Époque.
It’s easy to imagine poets, artists, and intellectuals writing and debating in the cafe, and the staff are very used to visitors wandering through the cafe, cameras in hand (so don’t be shy). If you’re on a budget, note that you really are paying for the beautiful setting and ambience. Don’t be shy about popping your head in to take a look, and then grabbing your coffee elsewhere!
Address: Király utca 1/d.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10:00 to 22:00; Friday & Saturday, 10:00 to 24:00; Sunday, 10:00 to 20:00
Our favorite place to grab a quick and cheap Hungarian lunch in the centre. It’s always busy with both locals and visitors, and the food is great. It’s basically a butcher where you can choose your choice of grilled chicken, pork, beef, etc., plus a multitude of salads, pickled veggies, and starchy sides.
Simply choose your meat from the case, and they’ll grill it on the spot for you. Then you can choose your sides, which range from fresh salads to french fries to pickled veggies. Staff speak English, so don’t be intimidated!
Address: Kazinczy u. 3b
Hours: 12:00 to 23:00 daily
A new favourite of our recently discovered. It’s a rotisserie chicken joint with probably the best potatoes! You can order breast, half or whole chicken with a selection of house made sauces. Dine in or take out, usually fills up later in the evening around 7-8pm, so if you plan to eat late, pop in and make a reservation. Staff speak English and Spanish, and Hungarian of course!
Address: Located in an alley between Király u. (in and around #20) and Dob u. (around #17)
Hours: Varies by business
Gozsdu Alley is an entertainment area in the 7th filled (mostly) with restaurants and bars. On weekends, it holds a market (Saturdays and Sundays) with antiques and artist-made crafts, jewellery and accessories, and home decorations. Note, this area is pretty touristy, and prices reflect this.
The main part of the alley runs from Király u. to Dob u., but if you think of it like an upside down capital ’T,’ you’ll also find places worth discovering on the road running up to Holló u., and even further to Kazinczy u.. Going in the other direction (towards the river), you reach My Little Melbourne cafe.
Address: Síp u. 24
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 10:00 to 24:00; Thursday to Saturday, 10:00 to 02:00; Closed Sunday
A barber shop AND cocktail bar with a speakeasy feel, this place is fairly new and easy to miss: it’s in the basement of the building, and easy enough to walk right past. Inside, it’s got a retro feel and great cocktails, and the bartenders are always happy to help you find something you like.
Karavan Street Food
Address: Kazinczy u. 18
Hours: 11:30 to midnight or 2am
Sitting right next to Szimpla, Karavan is a food truck pod in an outdoor parking lot. Not exactly offering the healthiest of choices (but there is one quite popular vegan truck), most of the stalls serve up burgers, pizza and pasta, Hungarian lángos, and sausages. There are plenty of picnic tables to eat, and drinks on offer as well. Good for a quick lunch or dinner, or for hanging out for an entire evening over beers in nice weather.
Address: Kazinczy u. 14
Hours: Monday to Saturday, Noon to 04:00am; Sunday, 09:00 to 05:00am
Szimpla is Budapest’s most famous Ruin Pub, a uniquely Budapest trend to create bars out of (or in between) ruined buildings. Back when ruin pubs started, Budapest (and the 7th district, in particular) had a lot of derelict old buildings that weren’t being used for anything. So some creative entrepreneurs grabbed any old furniture and decor they could find, got the city to check the buildings for safety, and started transforming these abandoned buildings into pubs and nightclubs. The ruin pubs survive to this day, and are popular with locals and visitors alike. If you want to experience a ruin pub without a nightclub vibe, go early in the day or on a Sunday morning, when Szimpla hosts a farmers’ market from 09:00 to 14:00. This is a fun option for a DIY lunch, cobbled together from all the different foods for sale!
Address: Kazinczy u. 41
Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 24:00; Saturday & Sunday, 09:00 to 24:00
Attached to a restaurant of the same name (Kert means garden in Hungarian, and refers to a garden/terrace restaurant or bar) Kőleves Kert is a nice option for a beer, a rosé fröccs (wine spritzer- the drink of summer in Budapest), or a lemonade. A gravel parking lot turned into an outdoor bar, the place is filled with brightly colored furniture and a few hammocks, for those who want some next-level relaxation. Closed in winter – although the restaurant of the same name remains open!
Address: Dob utca 31
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 09:00 to 01:00; Sunday, 09:00 to 23:45
Not to be confused with Fekete cafe (fekete means black in Hungarian), Fekete Kutya is a cozy pub in the 7th. With only a few seats and tables inside, customers inevitably spill from the indoors when the weather is nice, taking over the outdoor covered passageway just outside its front doors. They have Czech beers and craft beers on tap.
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EXPLORE MORE OF THE BEST DISTRICTS TO STAY IN BUDAPEST:
• Budapest I – Castle District • Budapest V – Belváros • Budapest VI – Terézváros • Budapest VIII – Józsefváros • Budapest IX – Ferencváros • Budapest XIII – Újlipótváros and Angyalföld • Budapest Map – Our Favorite Places in Budapest