Budapest as top-choice location for Digital Nomads and Workation-enthusiasts
9 min read
9 min read
by Aleksandra Stamatović
Covid19 has been with us for more than 2 years straight now and we are finally seeing glimmers of hope that it might not turn into a yet another wave of infections and lockdowns, which in a traveler’s mind means it’s safe to start planning the next destination to satiate the wanderlust.
Since the world of work has seen major shifts, we have decided to focus on those who love to travel while working, the Digital Nomads seeking their next home for a certain period of time, and those who are passing through cities with a laptop, ready to work from almost anywhere. The location that will suit both of these traveler types, and anyone who isn’t planning a workation but is still looking for the next spot to visit, is Budapest, Hungary.
Rich culture, mystical underground caves, the mighty Danube River, relaxing Spa’s, world-famous ruin bars, mind-boggling tastes, gorgeous architecture and so much more make this city an indispensable location for everyone who likes to travel.
If you are looking for a short, yet on-point description of this city, we would go with cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and culturally enticing. Stick around and we will give you a lengthy, tried, and true list of reasons why you need to head to Budapest a.s.a.p.
Read on to find out what you will find in the capital of Hungary.
We live in times where Instagram feeds are carefully curated to represent the best possible, visually-appealing, version of ourselves. Sometimes, that can be a time-consuming and mind-boggling task. But, Budapest grants you an almost effortless venture to a perfect feed. In fact, if you happen to find yourself strolling around the streets of Budapest, you will soon realize that the city is filled with eye-candy spots.
Blessed with the presence of the majestic Danube, running through the city’s very core, architectural masterpieces, such as the Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion, and rich greenery, as seen in Buda’s Citadel – the city has marvelous sites to offer to its locals and visitors. On the other side of the river, you’ll find a typical downtown area, with narrow streets, walking districts, restaurants galore, a line of pastry shops, and majestic shopping spots. No matter which side of the river you find yourself on, we’re certain that you will find fascinating sights that you will inevitably want to share with the world.
If you appreciate art, you will certainly enjoy visiting The Koller Gallery, which was Hungary’s first private gallery in the elegant castle district on the Buda side of Budapest. The gallery is located in the house of Amerigo Tot – the world-famous Hungarian-Italian artist, and it is home to etchings, sculptures, and paintings. The gallery boasts an intimate feeling, which you will certainly enjoy while exploring Hungarian and international contemporary and modern art pieces that extend from Antiques to Photography.
Art connoisseurs, art collectors, and national and international customers will most certainly find something they like at the Koller Gallery. Another interesting feature of the gallery is the option to participate in Online Auctions, which kicked off in 2021, and the option to buy pieces through online sales, integrated into their website.
Long gone are the times when you actually had to use vacation days in order to travel the world. In the era of digital nomadism, you can combine the two. The pleasure doesn’t have to stop when the work starts and vice versa. Business and pleasure can be completely intertwined and it is important that you know all the best coworking spots or work-friendly cafes that you can visit when you need to get some work done in between sun-kissed strolls. Who says you can’t go through your emails or have a morning huddle with the team while enjoying fresh pastries at Budapests’ most famous cafe-confectionery, Gerbaud, a tradition that has lived since 1858 and is located at the very heart of the city center. A crispy croissant or a stack of pancakes might as well get you energized and ready to tackle not only your business tasks but also a day filled with sightseeing.
Especially thanks to the shifts made by the coronavirus pandemic but not only, digital nomads and freelancers seem to be a hot topic that is here to stay. This is why coworking spaces keep getting more attention in recent years. Freelancers are by definition free to an extent, unattached to the place of work and even to a particular team. Still, coworking spaces give them the feeling of belonging to a community while sparing their autonomy and individuality at the same time.
Budapest is not immune to the coworking space frenzy and here are some of our recommendations for the busy individuals visiting the city, curated by a local freelancer specifically for our article and our readers:
Impact Hub Budapest is conveniently situated in the heart of Budapest, making it easily reachable, which is always a plus. Your creative juice will start flowing as soon as you enter the hub, triggered by its breezy and light ambiance. If you are a high-end ergonomic chair fan, you’re in for a treat! And, for anyone who needs a bit more privacy to handle conference calls or focus better, they offer the option to rent out a private meeting room as part of the hub.
This coworking space is part of a global network of CoWorking spaces with over 100 hubs all over the globe. If you decide to join Impact Hub Budapest, you will get immediate access to all their CoWorking spaces, globally.
The only downside of this hub is the closing time. Night owls won’t get a chance to work from this space since the hub is closing at 6 pm local time.
Kubik is one of Budapest’s largest coworking offices with 24/7 access. Renting out private meeting rooms is also a possibility here. In case you are planning to apply for the newly released Digital Nomad visa and spend more time in Budapest, this place is a great choice for work since it offers phenomenal discounts for anyone who opts for a 6-month or 12-month package.
Its location is simply great since it is positioned parallel to Margaret island, which makes transportation and after-work drinking questions almost effortless.
In the city center, near the famous St. Stephen’s Basilica and across the lovely Cat Cafe. Due to its impressive location and extremely friendly staff, this place is buzzing with both international visitors and locals. If you’re a fan of networking and meeting like-minded people, then Kaptar is a great choice for you since they have regular events, such as Digital Nomad mixers and creative workshops.
Coming to Budapest cannot go without some local specialty tasting. Available in almost any restaurant in Budapest, you will want to try goulash, a stew of meat and vegetables, generously seasoned with paprika and other spices. When it comes to street food, we recommend trying Lángos, a deep-fried flatbread topped with savory delights that you can find all over Budapest. The one we tried can be found at the Heroe’s Square, easily reachable by Metro, in the immediate vicinity to the Hősök tere station. Right here is actually the best place for a family visit, since you will find the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden, where exotic animals can be seen, along with snake petting & conservation programs that the kiddos will go crazy about for sure.
There’s no scarcity on the international dishes side either. Budapest has numerous restaurants covering all the world cuisines that you can think of. If you’re up for a fancy sushi night, you can go to a restaurant where Robert de Niro, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt dined, a Michelin star restaurant – Nobu. And if you are looking for something more intimate, and low-key, we truly recommend visiting Pavillon de Paris, a French restaurant with a magical, tucked-in, location and a lush garden that will make your experience utterly unforgettable.
Something truly unique about contemporary Budapest is ruin bars. Just try to imagine the coolest drinking joints located inside what appear to be abandoned and neglected pre-war buildings, jam-packed with international travelers, exchange students, and party lovers. If this sounds like something you might enjoy, then you absolutely must visit Szimpla Kert, Budapest’s most iconic ruin bar. Even if this is the first time you’re hearing about ruin bars and feel a bit hesitant, we encourage you to visit one and get a taste of dilapidated buildings exuding this almost inexplicably cool atmosphere.
Another great news for party-goers is the unskippable Sziget festival that takes place in the summer days and can certainly make your stay in Budapest utterly unforgettable. The Sziget Festival was first organized back in 1993 as a small and intimate gathering but has since evolved into one of Europe’s largest and most renowned music festivals. If you’re intrigued by this festival but can’t really picture the atmosphere, think of Belgium’s Tomorrowland or UK’s Glastonbury to get a taste. Sziget is a mammoth music festival set in the very heart of Budapest, which transforms Obuda Island into a haven of multi-genre music with over 500,000 festival-goers.
To make your life easier and your trip time-efficient, we have compiled a list of addresses that will take you to all the mentioned locations in our article and spots specifically chosen and recommended by the locals.
Enjoy your stay in Budapest and make sure to share your impressions with us!