If you're planning a trip to Budapest and feeling overwhelmed with choosing a hostel, I'm here to help!
I stayed at eight different hostels in Budapest, including Zen Hostel.
This article presents my review of Zen Hostel Budapest, which I ranked as the seventh-best hostel on my best hostels list based on my personal experience.
Summary — Zen Hostel Budapest Review
Who is this hostel for?
- If you are seeking a small hostel that gives off a homely vibe, Zen Hostel is the perfect place for you.
- It is cozy and warm, making you feel right at home.
- Imagine having conversations on the couch with a hot cup of tea while being wrapped in a comfortable blanket.
What was the best part(s) of staying here?
- I enjoyed spending time with other guests, and appreciated the excellent hospitality provided by Julien, the only staff member at the hostel. The location was also fantastic.
What was the worst part(s) of staying here?
- It's all about personal preference, but I found myself missing the convenience, amenities, and overall quality of life that bigger hostel chains tend to provide.
- While I did enjoy meeting new people during my stay, I couldn't help but feel like I paid more than I should have for what was ultimately a lesser experience.
Did I enjoy my stay here? Would I return?
- I had a good time here, but I don't think I'll come back.
- I like Maverick Urban Lodge more because it's affordable and offers a better quality of life.
- If I'm looking for a lively hostel with a party atmosphere, I prefer Hostel One.
How much does it cost? Is it good value for money?
- The starting price for bunk beds is 13€/night, while private rooms begin at 32€/night.
- Although this hostel may not offer the best value for money, it is the perfect choice if you prefer a cozy, intimate atmosphere and a convenient location.
Summary & Overall Impression
Zen Hostel is a delightful retreat for those seeking a small, cozy place that feels more like a home than a hostel.
In terms of pricing, Zen Hostel is slightly above average. Bunk beds start at 13€/night, while private rooms begin at 32€/night. While not the best value-for-money, those who cherish a homey vibe and prime location will find Zen Hostel to be a worthwhile choice.
- This hostel is located in the peaceful 9th district of the city center.
- Although it may not be in the heart of the nightlife area like some other hostels, it is easily accessible by public transportation or a pleasant walk.
- A few minutes walk will lead you to attractions like the Central Market Hall and the 100E airport shuttle bus stop.
- Noise from traffic is practically non-existent, though this could vary as some rooms face a busy avenue where trams pass by.
- Julien (the sole staff member) manages the place alone and she is the most welcoming person in the world.
- However, check-in took me around 10 minutes with two people ahead of me. Check-in is only available between 2 to 9 pm, which could be inconvenient if you arrive late.
Vibe & People
- For those seeking a quiet, homely retreat, Zen Hostel could be a cozy hideaway in the city's heart.
- This hostel is ideal for those who value meaningful conversations with fellow guests, all while sipping a hot cup of tea on the comfy couch.
- However, Zen Hostel isn't without its shortcomings. The hostel lacks the amenities, efficiency, and quality of life that larger hostel chains offer.
- The building also lacks an elevator and with the hostel on the first floor, accessibility could pose a problem for some. The hostel's entrance is also tricky to spot, as evidenced by guests I saw struggling to find the door inside the building courtyard.
- Zen Hostel's rooms are spacious, accommodating up to 8-10 people with ample open space and a handy table.
- The beds are clean and comfy, albeit they lack privacy curtains and are squeaky. They are quipped with a night lamp, socket, and item tray available.
- Secure storage is not available, just a non-lockable wooden closet.
- The hostel had four bathrooms, two large and two small, each with unique features. However, the overall cleanliness and showers were only average.
- The kitchen area was small and unremarkable but had all the necessary items, including a fridge, pots and pans, cutlery, a stove, and an oven.
🧑 Perfect for:
- Budget-conscious solo travelers or digital nomads (male or female)
- Families, couples, or small groups
- Perfect if you want to feel like you're at home
🛏️ Rooms offered:
- 10-bed mixed or female-only dormitory rooms
- 1-6 bed private rooms
- From 13€/night (shared room)
- From 32€/night (private room)
🧖 Most important amenities:
- Check-in is available between 2-9 pm.
- Private bathrooms
- Shared kitchen