The beauty of Budapest is that you not only get to gawk at its exquisite architecture, you get to stay in it, too. Many of its hotels are in classic buildings or are at least inspired by its rich Hungarian history.
Consider staying in these Budapest hotels – from luxury to budget – when you travel here:
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace
This Four Seasons is consistently lauded in international travel magazines, and for good reason. It not only offers five-star luxury in a perfect location (facing the Danube at the foot of the Chain Bridge), but the building itself is an art nouveau stunner.
Built in 1906, the building was beautifully restored, down to the last Zsolnay tile. More than a quarter of the hotel’s 179 rooms face the Danube.
The attic-level spa has an infinity lap pool and offers treatments using products created with mineral-rich thermal water from Omorovicza, a local company. The lobby bar makes excellent cocktails, and the attached Gresham Café has a menu combining modern Hungarian with Italian.
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Szechenyi Istvan ter 5 - 6, Budapest 1051 Hungary; +36 (1) 268 6000
When the Corinthia first opened on busy Erzsébet Boulevard in 1896, it was the city’s most luxurious hotel, favored by celebrities and royalty. It has been beautifully restored, and its over 400 rooms (with marble bathrooms) are a welcome refuge after a day of exploring.
The attached Royal spa – which has a 15-meter (49-foot) pool and several saunas and steam rooms – dates to 1886.
The breakfast buffet is fabulous, and be sure to book in advance if you plan to dine at the attached Bock Bisztró.
Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Erzsebet krt 43 - 49, Budapest H-1073 Hungary; +36 (1) 479 4000
Aria Hotel Budapest
Music lovers should take special note of this hotel. The design of this luxury boutique hotel was inspired by music. You’ll find four wings here – classical, jazz, opera and contemporary – with music from that genre wafting through the air.
Various rooms and suites salute a figure from the musical world, including Maria Callas, Count Basie, James Brown – and Franz Liszt of Hungary, of course.
The Aria also has a spa so you can harmonize your body as well, with a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and more.
Aria Hotel Budapest, Hercegprímás utca 5, Budapest H-1051, Hungary; +36 1 445 4055
The small 11-room Baltazar, located in the Castle District, makes a big impression.
Rooms are all individual, colorful and decorated with vintage furniture and fun touches (such as the Keith Haring theme in one and the playful take on “Girl With a Pearl Earring” in another). Bathrooms have rain showers and feature handcrafted local limestone.
Though you may have trouble leaving your room, the restaurant and wine bar on the ground floor, thankfully, are just a few steps away.
The family that owns this hotel and restaurant also operates several other popular Budapest restaurants. Ask for the room with the balcony, from which you can enjoy the quiet Castle street view.
Baltazar Budapest, Orszaghaz utca 31., Budapest 1014 Hungary; +36 (1) 300 7051
Brody House is more than just a supercool boutique hotel in the up-and-coming Palace District. It’s also a hub of creativity, focused on showcasing and supporting local artists, designers, writers, musicians and other creative types.
The 11 rooms are unique, each decorated by a different artist and featuring Brody’s signature rough-luxe style, with most furnishings and décor created from up-cycled material.
Be sure to check out the roster of events happening at Brody House and its newer venue, Brody Studios.
Brody House, 10 Brody Sandor Street, Budapest 1088 Hungary; +36 (1) 266 1211
Hotel Palazzo Zichy
A former 19th century palace for Hungarian noble Count Nándor Zichy, the Palazzo Zichy was transformed into a hotel in 2009.
The hotel mixes elements from the regal past with contemporary design in the rooms. The buffet breakfast is an elaborate spread and includes hot dishes, salmon, cold cuts and even sparkling wine.
It’s walking distance to tourist attractions, including the Hungarian National Museum.
Hotel Palazzo Zichy, Budapest, Lőrinc pap tér 2, 1088 Hungary; +36 1 235 4000
Located in the Jewish Quarter, in its previous life the Zara was an elegant bathhouse.
The 272-room hotel has art deco touches throughout, and offers great amenities for business travelers (including a business center and conference rooms) as well as for tourists.
The rooftop garden and pool (closed November-March) is a highlight, and the surrounding streets are full of quirky bars, shops and small cafés.
Continental Hotel Zara Budapest, Dohany u. 42 - 44, Budapest 1074 Hungary; +36 (1) 815 1000
Some of these hotels put in you close distance to Budapest’s top attractions, including Parliament, Margaret Island and fashionable Andrássy út.
CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed to this report.