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The 6 Best Photo Locations in Budapest

by | May 9, 2020 | Budapest, Photography | 0 comments

Budapest simply is a dream coming true for photographers. With a lot of stunning sights, breathtaking architecture and the Danube splitting the town, this city has a lot to offer. Let’s say, it even makes it kind of impossible not to take good pictures. While we visited Budapest, we discovered the city by doing a lot of phototours. In this article we have gathered the 6 best photo locations in Budapest for you as well as some useful tips for some of the hotspots. 

1. The Fisherman’s Bastion

Best time to visit: early early morning – till 8 / 9 am

Good for: Sunrise, Parliament Shots, Basilica Shots, Portraits

It is the most instagramable spot in the city: the Fishermans Bastion. Located on the Buda side, the whole building slightly reminded us of the Walt Disney logo. And there is the major problem in photographing on that location: this place is not a secret to the world. 

At first we wanted to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion on a Wednesday, somewhere around noon. Optimistic and motivated we took the stairs to the top. Searching for breath (we are not that sporty) we arrived on the main platform. Almost in that minute we looked at each other and we knew: Taking pictures here, right now – not going to happen! Surrounded by thousands of people we decided to leave immediately and come back the next day as early as we can.

And that was the best decision we could make! Our alarms rang at 4 a.m. Taking a cab at the Chain Bridge helped us to make it up there in time. The place was touched by warm and natural sunlight and the best part: we only had to “share” it with a few other photographers. We spend 2 hours only taking pictures and really trying to discover every possible angle. 

You can find a Starbucks on the other side of the place which opens at 8 a.m. Since we had no breakfast, we were starving for coffee and food. Our break lastet 1 hour, then we bought us two tickets to go up on the wall of the Fisherman’s Bastion (that part opens at 9 a.m.). While we were up there and still didn’t had that much company, the lower platform of the Bastion got more crowed with every minute passing by.

2. The Buda Castle

Best time to visit: early early morning – till 8 / 9 am

Good for: Sunrise, Chain Bridge Shots, Basilica Shots, Portraits

The Buda Castle is also one of our best photo locations in Budapest. This location is, as well as the Fisherman’s Bastion, pretty crowded during the day. The architecture and the beautiful view is definitely worth a visit and taking pictures.

When I visited Budapest in April 2019 the weather was absolutely stunning and I could also focus on details and playing with the sun a bit. When Marc and I went to the Buda Castle in September 2019 together the weather was not really good. But we got lucky with another incredible “sight” that you can not find there every day. While we walked around thinking about where to go next, we walked into a red carped setting. And apparently Will Smith was about to make an appearance to premiere the movie Gemini Man. 

3. The Gellért Hill

Best time to visit: early early morning – till 8 / 9 am or late evening

Good for: Sunrise, Sunset, Landscape, Night Photography

Tipp: Bring a beer for some relaxing minutes during long term exposure shoots 😉

It’s one of the highest peaks in the city: the Gellért Hill. From the top you have an amazing view over Budapest framing some of the most important sights: the Parliament, the Chain Bridge, the St. Stephens Basilica, the Danube and the sourrounding landscape. 

There are two ways how to get to the top: you can walk, drive or use public transportation. Together we decided to walk up there to capture the sunset. We already noticed that the place could be a little crowded as we met some other people along the way. For us the best spot to capture the stunning cityscape was just beneath the Liberty Statue. We fixed up our tripods to the fences on the edge and remained there till the sun was gone behind the hills. Then we moved to the other side of the platform enjoyed the sunset and then moved back to our previous spot to take some night shots.

4. The Chain Bridge

Best time to visit: early early morning or at night

Good for: Sunrise, Night Photography, Portrait

The Chain Bridge was the first bridge that connected the two former cities Buda and Pest. Now it is a stunning object and one of the best photo locations in Budapest. 

We took many pictures of the Chain Bridge at night as well as from other spots like the Gellért Hill. But it was more fun to do some night shoots from the middle of the street. If you do that, please be careful as there is still a lot of traffic passing the bridge. We spotted that little islands that the streets split. After 1 minute we got some company – by 2 other photographers. These traffic islands can be found on both sides of the bridge.

5. The Hungarian Parliament

Best time to visit: always

Good for: Sunrise, Night Photography

We when we still look at our captures from the Hungerten Parliament, we always say something like: “This place is so magical!” And it truly is.

But photographing it can be more than tricky. The building is so huge, that you have to go to other side of the Danube to get it framed fully. When you are there, you will see the next thing keeping you from a good image: boats boats boats *Arrrrggh*. 

A few minutes later we met another photographer who told us that it is possible to go up on of the roof of one of the boats. As we were pretty happy with our images, we didn’t go back. So we cannot guarantee you that this really works. If you try it, please let us know. And also, in case you are a symmetry hunter: Take your time and try to find the right angle for the perfect symmetrie. We didn’t do it and regret it a little.

6. The St. Stephen’s Basilica

Best time to visit: early early mornings

Good for: Sunrise, Night Photography

Tip: Go up on the rooftop bar of the Aria Hotel Budapest for some detailed shoots and to enjoy the stunning few. If you have some time, also try the burger – it’s delicious!

The St. Stephens’s Basilica is one of the best photo locations in Budapest. There is a really long alley, that leads the way to the Basilica. Unfortunately the place in front of the Basilica  as well as the alley are really crowded during the day. 

If you want to get some “lonely” shoots you have to get up pretty early. When you are there around 4 or 5 am (especially during the weekend) you probably will be surrounded by some people who are just heading home. But back then I didn’t feel unsafe. They just asked me what I was doing (they probably couldn’t see the camera anymore…). After the 10th group of people asking me that, it got a little bit annoying.

When Marc and I spent some days together in Budapest we also tried to find a lovely rooftop bar. According to the internet the rooftop bar of the Aria Hotel Budapest was one of the best. Located right next to the Basilica, it is free to enter – even if you are not staying at the hotel. 

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About the Author

Caro is working as a freelancer for content creation and online marketing. She doesn’t like offices and prefers to work somewhere in peace. If she’s not in front of the screen, she’s probably eating nachos, cleaning up or talking on the phone with her friend forever. Photography has only recently entered her life and has quickly become an important part of it. Fortunately, she has Marc, who is very helpful with many technical questions. In 2018 she gave herself a jerk and traveled through Croatia alone – hostel, bus and toast hello. Since then she wants to see all the beautiful places in the world and also wants to visit many travel destinations of her grandpa, who unfortunately recently passed away.