It’s 11am and we’re in a taxi heading along Budapest’s Route 4, on our way from the airport to The Hive Party Hostel.
I’m hanging out of the passenger window, passing cold beers to a friend through the window of another taxi that’s driving parallel. At 60mph.
The beers have come from the fridge at the back of our vehicle, and exchanging them between taxis at speed is more fun than it probably should be. But then it doesn’t take much to entertain a 20-strong group of excitable men just starting a stag do.
15 minutes later and everyone’s in need of a top up. So like a synchronised Red Arrows display, our two taxis weave in and out of the surrounding traffic to draw themselves parallel once more. Another cross-lane exchange of beer duly takes place.
You can’t imagine doing this on the M56 from Manchester Airport, that’s for sure.
As airport transfers go, it’s one of the more entertaining I’ve taken. “If Carlsberg did taxi journeys…” and all that. (Or in this case, local Budapest brew, Dreher.)
That’s how our Hive Party Hostel experience started, getting our Budapest city break off to a flyer. And what followed at the hostel itself didn’t disappoint.
The HiVE Location
Opening its doors in May 2015, The Hive is a brand new hostel on the Pest side of the city (Budapest being made up of two ‘cities’, Buda and Pest, dissected by the Danube). It’s in the old Jewish area, District VII, which also happens to be the ’party district’. And by that they mean it’s where you’ll find most of the main bars.
So it really is in a great location for enjoying Budapest’s nightlife.
More importantly, it’s in this area you’ll find the city’s famous ruin bars – the coolest places to drink in Budapest right now.
Ruin bars have popped up all over the district in old abandoned buildings, turning disused and decaying properties into hip bars and clubs. And The Hive is right amongst them all, only a two minute walk from possibly the best ruin bar of the lot, Szimpla Kert.
Housed in an impressive historical building, The Hive buzzes (excuse the pun) around a huge central outdoor courtyard. Within the cool-looking courtyard is a large square bar, a deliberately mis-matched collection of wooden tables, chairs and stools, a stage for live music and a food kiosk/restaurant. There’s even a few large trees still standing too, offering greenery and much-needed shade to the outdoor terrace.
When the sun’s out (as it constantly was when we were there – 36 degrees, phew!), this makes for a fine bar to stumble across in its own right, never mind to have in your very own hostel.
And being in the middle of a grand old building, it fits right in with the style of the city’s ruin bars that are found nearby.
In fact, once we’d settled into a couple of drinks in the courtyard each day, we found it very hard to leave.
The Hive is the kind of place where you spend more time outside than in, meaning the common area on the first floor, by the reception, is relatively small.
But that’s fine because socialising is done mainly in and around the courtyard – it’s the place where everyone hangs out and mingles. The whole vibe is really friendly, from the staff to the fellow guests.
Transfers, activities and tours (including the infamous spa-ties) can all be booked through the guys on reception and there’s always the hostel’s friendly and trustworthy taxi driver waiting outside the main entrance, ready to whisk you off to wherever you wish to go around the city – cold beer at the ready.
The Hive Rooms and facilities
The rooms in Hive all spread over the second and third floors, with access via the balconies that run around and look down onto the central courtyard.
They’re a decent size, starkly modern – almost futuristic in style – and super clean with linen included. Every room has air conditioning, large sturdy lockers and en suite bathrooms with great showers (and I love a good shower!). All-important free and fast Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel too.
Private double rooms are on offer, alongside dorms going up to 18 beds in size.
In my four bed dorm, it hardly felt like I was staying in a hostel at all. A comfy bed and a smart bathroom saw to that.
The Hive might describe itself as a ‘party hostel’, and yes we might have been there on a stag do, but if you’re thinking that’s not your thing, please don’t be put off.
It was lively but never lairy, overly loud or tacky and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a budget stay in Budapest, not just backpackers or stag/hen dos.
It depends who your fellow guests are at the time of course, but it simply had a great atmosphere all around.
An ideal base for a city break, you can be sure when I come back to Budapest either on my own, with my girlfriend or in a small group of friends, The Hive Party Hostel is the first place I’ll look to book – airport transfer included!
As for the transfer back to the airport at the end of our trip… well let’s just say a few of us were hanging out of the window for different reasons.
The Hive Booking Details
Book your stay at The Hive Party Hostel here
A single bed in a mixed dorm can be booked from as little as £8 (10 Euros) per night.
A private double room from £39 (50 Euros) per room per night.
Which, quite frankly, is fantastic value for a place like this.