Getting a Private Room in Hungary

For prospective job seekers, taking a room in a private residence may be the best option.

When you arrive at the train or bus station, you will probably notice people who are jockeying for position in an attempt to corner the next foreigner off the train. More than likely they are just offering rooms for rent. Though some of these small-scale entrepreneurs may be more interested in your money than in offering you reasonable accommodations, most of them are just trying to supplement their incomes by renting out extra rooms in their homes.

You usually can find comfortable, convenient, and inexpensive rooms with minimum hassle if you exercise a little common sense. Size up the person who is offering you accommodation by asking a few questions. Find out where they live, and get them to show you on a map. Agree on a rate in advance. Most importantly, ask to see the room before you agree to anything. If they seem receptive to your inquiries, you just might have found yourself a good place to stay.

One more thing: if you like what you see and plan to stay a week or more, make an offer that is 10 to 20 percent less than the normal daily rate. The less time your host has to spend recruiting newcomers at the train station, the more likely she will be to compromise on the cost of your room.

“We stayed with a woman in downtown Budapest who charged us around 10 dollars per night for a double room, and we ended up staying for almost two weeks. Much to our chagrin, we later found out that she was charging about six dollars a night to some other travelers who had bargained for a better rate because they knew in advance that they would be staying for five or six nights. Obviously, it was to her advantage to keep things quiet.”

It’s also possible to arrange accommodation in a private room through one of the various public or private tourist agencies. See the listings for accommodation agencies and tourist information offices.

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