When traveling to a new city, many skip booking a hotel in search of a more local and unique experience. This is one of the many reasons why Airbnb has exploded over the past few years, since it offers travellers the chance to stay in someone’s home for a few days or simply the opportunity to opt for something a little more unusual. While Airbnb rentals come in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s a spare room in someone’s flat to an industrial warehouse apartment, it’s the diversity of rooms and properties available that appeals to more and more travellers.
We’ve seen igloos, castles, and even a hamster cage themed rental pop up on Airbnb, however, what does the Budapest market have on offer? While we were unable to find an air hangar or a mobile capsule to rent, we did find a few interesting places you can stay in on your next visit to Budapest.
1. Saltbrick Apartment
Budapest is a city of spas, and salt caves are becoming the new “it” thing to find in one. While you shouldn’t skip a day out in the Szechényi or Rudas Baths, this apartment comes with its own walls of illuminated Himalayan salt bricks. This unusual feature also has supposed health benefits, the main one being that salt is said to clear and ionize the air and touted as being beneficial for the lungs. A good fit for those paying a visit to Budapest for a wellness weekend.
2. The Artist’s Studio
Budapest is thriving with artistic life, so what better way to get to know the city than by living in a functioning art studio? One of the appeals of Airbnb over regular hotels is the personal mark of the host, and in Péter Nádor’s flat, guests will find all his paintings stationed around the apartment since the rental actually serves as his painter’s studio as well as an exhibition area.
3. Socialist Street Art
Take a walk in downtown Budapest and you can’t escape the eclectic street art that brightens up the once-empty firewalls and doors. To reflect the urban chic city streets, interior designers Gábor Szegő and András Hitka created a space that’s more akin to an installation than a homely apartment, where street art finds shelter indoors. They invited Hungarian street artists to decorate the flat with a retro and socialist theme, and not only that, the hosting designers also assembled the retro furniture scattering the apartment with accents recalling the 1970s and 80s with creative fittings. There is even a pinball machine from the 1970s!
4. The Top Model Apartment
Live the fashion highlife in this Top Model apartment; more than just a chic luxury rental that comes with designer furniture and a high-end sauna, it’s also a location for photo shoots and model castings. If you want to live the lifestyle the apartment fits, the host can even arrange special passes to VIP events and chic restaurants.
5. The Chapel
Stay in a slice of Budapest’s history in this old, converted chapel. This downtown historical monument retains many of its original features, such as the 200-year-old wooden door and original stained-glass windows. While some of the original accents still testify to the building’s former clerical usage, it has been renovated into a shabby chic style that will still appeal to those looking for something less monastic and more luxury.
6. The Musician’s Soundproofed Panic Room
Suited to the travelling musician in search of a creative space, the Airbnb listing dubbed the “Panic Room” is not only soundproofed – so you can make as much noise as you would like – but it also comes with a fully tuned piano. This creative space rental is the former home of the Budapest Anarchist Theatre and located opposite the Music Academy.
7. The Budapest Local Experience
If you want to join Budapest Local on your next visit you can always stay at Budapest Local’s own Zsófi and Jason’s designer apartment. In their other life they also work as designers and enhanced their rental to combine a modern touch with the aesthetics of their historic building. Being a private room in their home, this means you really get the local experience as their houseguest, since they can both offer insider knowledge to visitors coming to Budapest.
Photo: Budapest Local
About the author: Jennifer Walker is an Anglo-Hungarian former nuclear physicist turned writer based in Budapest, Hungary. She’s passionate about discovering Budapest’s hidden places, architecture and art.