Budapest is one of the most beautiful and diverse cities in all of our travels. We could not get enough in our first so went back and already planning on going again soon! Budapest is vibrant, full of history, relaxing thermal baths, fun nightlife, cool ruin bars and of course endless beautiful architecture. No matter where you point your camera, Budapest will leave you breathless and that is why we created a guide with the 17 most Instagrammable spots in Budapest.
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That is why we wanted to create a photography guide to the best photo spots in Budapest for your next trip. Budapest actually used to be three neighboring cities: Buda, Obuda and Pest divided by the hill and the Danube River.
For many years, it has been under the radar but it is finally picking up. The main attractions in Budapest are the Fisherman’s Bastion, Chain Bridge, Buda Castle, the Citadel and the Parliament Building.
When is the best time s to take photos in Budapest?
Budapest is one of those cities where you can shoot all day long and always get a great photo. Yet, if you are trying to get the perfect Instagram shots we recommend to wake up early and head out while it is still dark so you can be at the location right before sunrise at the blue hour. It will give you better lighting and the whole place will be just for you! The blue hour is that time of the day in the morning or in the evening before the sun rises or after the sun has set.
Another great time to take photos in Budapest is at night as the city comes alive with the lights of the bridges and surrounding buildings.
The most instagrammable spots in Budapest Map:
Budapest is so easy to explore by foot or by public transportation. In this map we have saved the best places to take photos in Budapest and it will help you find the right bus, tram or metro. You can buy single tickets, 24 or 48-hour tickets from the vending machines.
The best photo locations in Budapest travel guide:
1. The Fisherman’s Bastion or Buda Complex
This is by far our favorite place in Budapest due to its beauty and without a doubt one of the most Instagrammable spots in Budapest! The Fisherman’s Bastion takes you back to a fairytale castle from your childhood books.
In the Buda Complex on the top of Castle Hill you will find the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, the Hospital on the rock and the Fisherman’s Bastion. From here you will get an amazing view of the Pest side of town including the Parliament building as it happens to be right across from it. Make sure to stop for a second and contemplate the roof at the Matthias Church, it is beyond beautiful with its multi-colored tile roof.
➳ Tip: Go to the Statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy in the Buda Castle for some iconic shots of Budapest.
➳ Tip: Even though the complex officially opens at 9AM you can still visit the Fisherman’s Bastion at sunrise. It is the best time as the sky has a special color, it is not crowded at all and you can take perfectly framed photos of the parliament by using the natural frames of the terrace.
The best photos Spots from the Fisherman’s Bastion:
- Go to the upper right turret: I went before the turret was open (sunrise) and saw a photographer and he told me it was the best spot to take photos of Budapest and he was definitely right. There is a HUF 100 fee to visit the upper-turret unless you go early in the morning. From here you will get fantastic views of the complex, Mathias Church, the city and the turrets.
- Be and feel like a princess from a balcony: There are many balconies but the best one is where you can still see the parliament in the background. To take this photo, I had to trust a couple of tourists that stayed at the left archway and then I took a similar photo and they were standing on one of the side stairs.
- Frame the side stairs and the turrets: I remember the first time I saw a photo on this place and my I went speechless. It is one of the most beautiful photos you can get from the Fisherman’s Bastion. There are two side staircases at the front of Fisherman’s Bastion and the views from either side works perfectly fine. For this photo you definitely need to go early as everyone is always walking up and down the stairs during the day. The colors from the early morning make this viewpoint fantastic.
- The main staircase: Make sure to go down the stairs and take a fantastic photo of the Fisherman’s Bastion.
- Framing the Hungarian Parliament: One of the most popular instagram photos from the Fisherman’s Bastion are from the center of the complex looking towards the Hungarian Parliament and the Danube River. Be patient as there is always a line unless you go really early in the morning. If you are going alone I will recommend taking a tripod as I tried having people take a photo of me and it was always crooked.
2. The Chain Bridge
The Chain Bridge was named after István Széchenyi and it was built in 1849, when it was one of the largest bridges in the world. Unfortunately, during World War II the bridge was bombed and rebuilt in 1949.
No matter if you go at night, early morning or at dawn, the Chain Bridge will take your breath away. In my opinion the Chain Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in Europe. It is the city’s most iconic landmark connecting Buda and Pest and one the most Instagrammable spots in Budapest.
At the entrance of the bridge from both sides you can see two lions. Legend has it that the person who built the bridge was so proud of his work that if someone founded an imperfection he would jump to the river, and of course someone did, the lions do not have a tongue so he had to jump to the Danube River. He was able to swim so he was fine.
There are many spots around the Chain Bridge, where you can get the perfect shot. Try from both sides of the Bridge to get different perspective of it. The shot below was from the river as we took a boat cruise along the Danube.
➳ Tip: The best place to take photos of the bridge alone is from the little island on the Pest side, from here you can take a symmetric photo of the bridge. We recommend to photograph the bridge night so you get the lights of the bridge and the streaks of the car lights passing by. If you want to be in the photo go to the bank of the river from either the Pest side or Buda and you will get amazing shots!
The best photos Spots from of the Chain Bridge:
- From a boat: The photo above was from a boat tour. It is a fantastic way to get a unique perspective of one of Budapest’s famous landmark.
- From across on the Buda side: Walk along the river on the buda side, right after crossing the Chain Bridge and you will get a fantastic drop photo with the bridge.
- From the Pest side: Walk along the walk board on the Pest side and you will get fantastic viewpoints of the chain bridge.
3. St. Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of the most beautiful churches in the heart of Budapest, just a few minutes away from the Chain Bridge. Entrance to the church is donation based, with a request for a minimum of one euro. It will amaze you as soon as you step through the doors. If you love panoramic views, then you must visit the dome for an extra fee. From there you will get amazing photos opportunities and a great view of the city.
While St Stephen’s Basilica takes your breath away when viewed from below, it is with no doubt the view from up high which that earns the spot on this list. Make sure to visit the dome’s observation deck for sweeping 360 degree views over Budapest.
There is an elevator to the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica, but you will still have to walk up some stairs.
The best photos spots from of the St Stephen’s Basilica:
- Outside the church: Look for the several circles outside facing the church and stand on them. It will be a great photo. Tried to walk away from the church and have some of the streets frame the church.
- Inside the church: The St Stephen’s church is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have visited. Make sure to visit, the donation is well worth the price.
- The bell tower: From the bell tower you will get a fantastic panoramic view of Budapest. To go to the tower you will have to pay a small fee but it is worth it. Make sure to get a photo from one looking at one of the towers”.
4. Hungarian Parliament Building
We stayed at the Art’Otel with an amazing room facing the Parliament building! Parliament is the tallest, largest and impressive building in Budapest. You will have so much fun taking photo of this building, as it is just gorgeous. The inside of the parliament is just as beautiful as the outside but you need to take a reserved tour to visit.
The best photos spots of the Hungarian Parliament:
- Across from the Danube on the Buda side: If you want a photo of the whole building the best way is to go to the other side of the river near Batthyány tér (Budapest Metro) in Buda and take the photo from there.
- From the back of the Hungarian Parliament: If you want to be more creative you can also go to the back of the building for a more unique perspective.
- From a boat: The best way to get a unique perspective is by taking a boat tour in the Danube and take several photos in front of the Hungarian Parliament.
5. Shoes on the Danube
Even though it is such a sad memorial, the Shoes on the Danube is one of the most powerful monuments in the city. This is memorial to remember those Jews who lost their life during the Second World War. They were lined up in along the Danube River and shot in the back, to fall into the river.
The reason for the shoes is because the victims were obligated to remove their shoes so it would be easier for their bodies to be swept away in the water. The memorial is to remember those who lost their lives and also provide a glimmer of hope for those who were thrown to the river to come back and pick up their shoes.
6. Dohomy Synagogue
The Dohomy Synagogue is one of a kind synagogue with its ornate beauty. The best way to describe it is with a moorish look from the outside and similar to a catholic church design on the inside. The entrance fee includes a one hour tour where you learn more about Judaism as well as see one of the most beautiful and biggest synagogues left standing in the world. in the world.
Another way to visit the Dohomy Synagogue and learn more about the Jewish Quarter in Budapest is buy taking a guided tour. The tour last between 2 to 4 hours and cost $33 USD.
7. Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
Ruin bars are one of the unique gems of Budapest and one of the most Instagrammable spots in Budapest. These are formerly abandoned buildings where now you can enjoy unique and fun art and get some drinks. You can find so many different themes and quirky decor that make for an exciting photographing experience. Meaning each picture is totally unique.
➳ Tip: If you want to enjoy the atmosphere of the Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar go at night but if you want to take photos go during the afternoon so it is not crowded and there is more light. Check this place out during the day and at night – it’s a completely different scene and experience.
8. Liberty Statue
Located on the Buda side of the city the Liberty Statue commemorates those who dies for the independence and freedom of Hungary in WWII. The views from here are stunning and you can easily spend several hours just taking photos and walking down the Gellért Hill. The best way to visit the Liberty Statue get a taxi up the hill and then walk your way down, otherwise you will be tired!
At the top of the Gellért Hill is the Citadella which offers views down both directions of the Danube. From Gellért Hill you will be able to see the Danube, the Liberty bridge, the Chain Bridge, the Basilica, the Parliament and the Budapest eye.
The Citadella is the highest point in Budapest, which allows for some of the best views in the entire city.
9. New York Cafe
The New York Cafe is considered the most beautiful cafe in the world. It is a breathtaking building built in an eclectic Italian Renaissance-style but the food is unfortunately subpar and expensive. We recommend is to just go for the experience and be prepared to buy an €8 coffee. The lines are always long, so make sure to make a reservation ahead of time. It is located inside the Boscolo Hotel.
10. Heroes Square
Heroes Square is one of the biggest squares all of Hungary and a World Heritage Site. This beautiful and so photogenic square is great to take photos as it displays several statues of noteworthy Hungarian leaders. We also recommend going to the Vajdahunyad castle which is just behind the Heroes Square as it is absolutely stunning!
➳ Tip: The best photo of the Vajdahunyad castle is from the river bank so you get the palace and the bridge all in one image.
11. Szechenyi Thermal Baths
While you are in the area, make sure to stop at the Szechecnyi Thermal Baths, it is one of the 80 thermal baths in the city. It is one of the largest and most photographed bath complexes in Europe. It has 21 pools and a colorful and interesting architecture that makes any photographer speechless.
The baths themselves are the perfect relaxing break for all your hard work taking awesome photos. To see the baths even if you do not want to use the pools you still have to pay the entrance fee. If you want to go strictly for a relaxing time, I would recommend to visit any of the smaller baths. If you are on the hunt for the best Instagram spot in Budapest, then you must visit Széchenyi. Skip the line and buy your tickets to the Széchenyi Spa here.
➳ Tip: Make sure to go upstairs to get more of a bird’s-eye-view and try to go as early as possible to avoid the massive crowds.
12. Central Market
We were only able to see the Central Market from the outside because it is closed on Sundays, but its exterior is still beautiful, especially the colorful tiled roof. It is an indoor market with great food and sweet photo ops.
13. Take a Boat Tour at Night
One of the best ways to see Budapest lit up at night is from the river on a boat toor. We took amazing photos of the parliament from the boat as well of the other five main bridges of the city.
14. The Liberty Bridge
Our favorite bridge in Budapest is the Liberty Bridge, built for the Millennium World Exhibition in 1896 on the southern end of the city right beneath Gellért Hill. As the shortest bridge in the city center its green color and unique designs definitely caught our attention. The best photo opp is when the yellow tram pass through the bridge offering a fantastic shot.
Even though the most famous and photograph bridge is the Chain Bridge there are 8 bridges that connect Buda to pest. In my opinion one of the most Instagrammable bridges in Budapest should be the Liberty Bridge. Its green tone exudes wealth, while the gold eagles and Hungarian crown give off serious royalty vibes.
➳ Note: Please do not climb into the bridge, it is not allow and even though there is no one to check it is just nice to follow the rules.
15. Little Princess Statue
The small Little Princess Statue was inspired by the artist’s daughter as she dressed up to play. From where the Little Princess is located you can walk downstairs and cross the street for amazing photos of the Buda side of the city.
16. McDonalds at the Nyugati Train Station
The McDonalds at the Nyugati Train Station is one of the most beautiful and fanciest junk food restaurants we have seen. You do not need to get any food to check it out!
17. Memento Park
Memento Park is outside of the city center. It is an open air museum with some of the monuments and statues from the Communist period that have been relocated here from all over Budapest to help remember its past.
⇟ More articles from Budapest that might interest you:
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➳ Read More: Guide of Jewish sites in Budapest
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