The Best Places to Take Pictures of Budapest

To say that Budapest is a beautiful city would be an understatement. Influences from Turkish occupation, stately buildings from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and fully restored Art-Deco facades truly make Budapest a photographer's dream city.

Whether you’re strolling through the streets of Gellért Hill around your vacation rental or across the river or are across the Danube standing in front of the impressive Parliament, it’s hard to find a bad angle of the Hungarian capital. Although, these are a few beautiful spots that we love the most.

Head to these locations to take postcard-perfect pictures of Budapest.

The Citadel

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If you've spent any amount of time in Budapest, chances are you've looked up to see the Statue of Liberty perched on Gellért Hill, watching over the city. Walking the trail up to the Citadel will reward you with a photo opportunity of the entire city.

But there's more to be found back down at the base of Gellért Hill: Next to the Art Nouveau masterpiece that is the Gellért Hotel and thermal baths (also a striking location for pictures), you'll find a small lookout. This is the perfect place to snap a pic with the verdant spires of Liberty Bridge--which happens to be one of the most Instagrammable bridges in Budapest.

Since it’s only about a 20-minute walk from your Budahome rental, we recommend you go at sunset for a truly picture-perfect moment.

Sightseeing Balloon in Városliget

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Add a little whimsy to your visit by hopping onto a hot air balloon! The new Balloon Fly lookout attraction is part of Budapest's initiative to renew Városliget (City Park). Take this 15-minute ride 150 meters up in the air and be rewarded with a 360° panoramic view. Maybe you'll even catch a ride at sunset!

While you're at City Park, you may as well get a picture of some of Budapest's most photogenic attractions:

  • Széchenyi Fürdő is perhaps the most famous thermal bath in the country, with its cheerful yellow arcade of pillars and connection to Budapest's Turkish past (tip: go in the winter for an epic photo of yourself with steam rising from the outdoor pools).
  • Vajdahunyad Castle is a jaw-dropping amalgamation of architectural styles throughout the centuries.
  • And of course, the striking colonnade of Heroes' Square is a can't-miss!

Batthyány Tér

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This is one of the best places to take pictures of the Budapest Parliament--which, of course--is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Budapest. The wide and uninterrupted view of Pest bank makes this an ideal photo spot for your picture with the national landmark. If you want a close-up of the governmental building afterward, all you have to do is hop on the Metro 2 for one stop and you'll be delivered to Parliament's Kossuth Lajos Square.

Budapest Eye

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When one thinks about sightseeing on Ferris wheels, the London Eye may come to mind at first. But did you know that Budapest has a Ferris wheel as well?

The Budapest Eye is located in Elizabeth Square, just next to bustling Fashion Street. Buy your ticket on a clear day and be hoisted into the clouds to see the city spread out beneath you. Learn more about pricing and opening times on their site!

St. Stephen's Basilica

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As the largest church of the city, St. Stephen's soaring rooftops are truly awe-inspiring. You have the choice of taking pictures in front of, within, or at the top of it--why not all three if you have the time?

The Basilica is named after Hungary's first king (and even holds the relic of Stephen's mummified hand) and was fully restored in 2003. For a stunning view of the entire city, you can climb the 364 stairs up to the dome lookout (but don't worry, there are elevators as well).

This is one of our favorite churches that you can visit on your self-guided walking tour of the most beautiful cathedrals in Budapest.

The Castle District

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The Castle District in Buda is packed with photo hotspots you won't want to miss. Spend any amount of time in Budapest and it's hard to miss the stately Buda Castle perched atop Castle Hill. Looking at it is lovely, but the view from the top is even better!

So how do you get there? Start at Clárk Ádám Tér where you'll have the lions of Széchenyi Bridge behind you and the majestic Buda Castle towering over you.

Fun-fact: Did you know you can find a statue marking the zero-kilometer stone here? This is the point from which all Budapest road distances are measured.

From here, it's a steep 10-minute walk to the castle quarter--and the panoramic view that comes with it! If you don't feel like walking all the way up Castle Hill, not to worry--you can take the historical Buda Castle Funicular and add a bit of time travel to your trip!

Once up here, make sure not to miss the fantastical spires of Fisherman's Bastion--it looks like something straight out of a fairytale. (This is one of the most popular spots in Budapest, so try to go early to avoid crowds. And hey, who doesn’t want a beautiful sunrise picture?)

Don't forget to look up and appreciate the colorful tiled roof of Matthias Church just next to the Bastion. If you want an even greater view, head to the top of the church tower for a birds-eye view of the city.

Aside from the confirmed "tourist hotspots" you'll find lots of charming photo-ops in the winding streets of the castle district. Wander around the beautiful buildings for an amazing shot!

Budapest Rooftop Bars

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Heading to a Budapest rooftop bar is the best way to admire Budapest's impressive architecture with a drink in hand. Whether you decide to check out the nightlife at these spots or go for an early happy hour, the views are sure to be good! Treat yourself to fantastic views at some of our favorites:

  • 360 Rooftop Bar: A popular spot just off of the main shopping street, Andrássy Út, 360 is famous for its DJ and chill sessions in the summer and its cozy igloos in the winter!
  • Leo Rooftop Bar: Located on the Buda Side just next to the Chain Bridge, Leo Rooftop is less frequented by tourists and still boasts a panoramic view of the entirety of Pest.
  • High Note Sky Bar: For a taste of luxury, head to the top of the Aria hotel and enjoy your drinks in the shadow of the Basilica.

Museum of Sweets and Selfies

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There's no such thing as a bad photo in a museum dedicated to the perfect shot. Although you won't find any Budapest landmarks in the Sweets and Selfies Museum, you'll be able to wander through whimsical and colorful installations (neon lights, unicorns, and sprinkle pools, oh my!).

The lighting and setting are perfect--all you have to do is bring your smile! It's an especially cheerful activity if you still want some awesome photos but it's a rainy day in Budapest.

Also this is certainly an atypical museum, it’s one of our favorite museums in Budapest for a quirky time.

Memento Park

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Perhaps this isn't at the top of every photographer's to-do list, but for truly unique photos, head to Memento Park. After the fall of Communism in 1989, all of the utilitarian statues were transferred to this park. Striking and somber, the park is effectively an open-air museum where you can capture pictures that provide a view into Hungary's turbulent past.

Classic Cafes/Confectionaries

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Budapest has a rich cafe culture stemming from the intellectual movement during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many of the top cafes in Budapest are nestled inside of or next to the palaces dotted around the city. To visit one of these cafes is to get a taste of old-world glamor.

What are some can’t-misses? The lavishly decorated Parisi Udvar and ornately wrought New York Cafe should be at the top of your list! Others to consider are Cafe Central, Ruszwurm, and Gerbaud.

Public Transportation

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We know what you're thinking--what's photogenic about getting from Point A to Point B? As it turns out, public transport in Budapest can provide some unique photo ops.

For example:

  • Tram #2 runs parallel to the River Danube on the Pest side of the river. A single tram ticket unlocks a ride past iconic Budapest city landmarks, such as the Hungarian Parliament building, the Chain Bridge, Buda Castle, and more!
  • And did you know that Budapest's Metro 1 line was the first subway system in continental Europe?

Take a ride in one of the heritage cars and admire the vintage tiling in this blast from the past.

Budapest Ruin Bars

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Ruin bars are almost synonymous with Budapest--and these eclectic spaces serve as a creative backdrop for your pictures. Ruin bars were first established in the 1990s, when they became popular among young people who wanted to drink beer instead of wine or spirits.

The term "ruin" is used because these places are located in old buildings that have been abandoned for decades.

No two ruin bars are the same, but definitely start with the largest and most famous of them all, Szimpla Kert! Settle into one of the bathtub chairs and snap a picture holding your pint of Soproni--and don't forget to say Egészségedre!

Bonus: Boat Party

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For sightseeing and an experience rolled into one, consider going on a Danube River cruise. Especially helpful if you don't want to walk around too much, a cruise will take you under all of Budapest's beautiful bridges as well as past the most famous sights. You can get a unique angle for all of your photos and enjoy your dinner, dance party, or open cocktail bar all at the same time!

Snap the Best Pictures of Budapest

It's difficult to find a bad view of the Hungarian capital and with this list of most photogenic places in Budapest, the task just got even easier! Head to any of these spots and you're guaranteed some amazing pictures of Budapest.