16 best Instagram spots in Budapest

Budapest is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities as well as one of its coolest. The architecture and the views are stunning and it’s perfect for snapping lots of Instagrammable spots. I’m lucky enough to have visited on five different occasions, through three different seasons and each time I’ve discovered somewhere new to enjoy. Budapest is set along the Danube river and split into two halves by the river with the Pest side on the east and the Buda side on the west which is substantially hillier and both have plenty of charming locations to photograph. Check out this list and make sure to add all of these places to your itinerary 📷

1. Fisherman’s Bastion

Sunrise views over the Danube from Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is without doubt my favourite spot in Budapest to photograph. The structure has grown to become iconic Budapest and it’s also one of the best spots to watch the sunrise in the city. I’ve seen three sunrises from here and I have to say I’ve been fortunate that everyone has been a STUNNER 🔥 Even if you don’t make it for sunrise, this is still an awesome spot to capture in the city because there are so many little details around the Bastion as well as framing opportunities as well (make sure you capture the iconic view of the Parliament Building through the arches in Fisherman’s Bastion).

Fisherman’s Bastion was built to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian state hence why it looks so beautiful and decorative rather than defensive as you may have expected given its name! It’s free to visit the Lower Terraces but to visit the Upper Terraces after 9am (and before 7pm autumn, winter, spring; 9pm summer) you’ll need to pay a fee of 1200 HUF (correct for 2023).

Fisherman’s Bastion is the best spot in Budapest for sunrise

This is actually where blogging, early mornings and Instagramming really started for me as on a trip with work in January 2019 I decided to wake up for sunrise and had the joy of a quiet, pink skyline just about all to myself. Fast forward to 2023 and even an early sunrise in August had around fifty to sixty other people so whilst sunrise is still absolutely worth the alarm don’t expect to have the Bastion to yourself these days.

2. Matthias Church

Matthias Church is an unusual beauty that sits looking over the city

Right behind Fisherman’s Bastion is the magnificent (and rather unusual) Matthias Church. The Neo-Gothic design soars up above the Bastion to look over the city and the roof is adorned with fantastically bright, ornate tiles. It’s this juxtaposition of styles that makes Matthias Church so unique and a great Insta spot.

There are so many beautiful details to photograph, from the dramatic doorways to the mosaic tiling to the gothic gargoyle details. There are often classical music concerts inside the church (book with Get Your Guide here) and it is also possible to climb the church tower for excellent views across the city. Especially lovely in winter and there’s a dusting of snow on the rooftops.

3. Gellért Thermal Bath

Gellért Baths were built in a gorgeous Art Deco style

Budapest is full of thermal baths because the city sits on a large number of thermal springs, created by a geological fault line and over the last two thousand years these have been made the most of by the city’s inhabitants. Gellért Baths is situated over on the Buda side of the Liberty Bridge and it has the most gorgeous art deco architecture which makes it wonderfully Instagrammable. It’s the perfect place to cool off and relax on a hot day with a good book – book your tickets through Get Your Guide

Make sure to arrive as soon as the Baths open for your best chance to get a quiet photo of the fantastic details here. The classic photo is in the 36/40 C thermal pools room but make sure to photograph the main pool and the outdoor pool as well.

4. Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library

Sometimes, after a long day of exploring you need a moment of peace and quiet. The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library was built around an old mansion and you can combine a sit down (perhaps to start reading that book you swore you were going to start reading on the flight 😉) with a check on your Instagram list. Head upstairs to find the beautiful rooms that you’ve perhaps already seen on your Insta home feed!



5. New York Cafe

The New York Cafe in Budapest is said to be one of the most beautiful cafes in the world and it’s the perfect spot for breakfast or a coffee in a rather gorgeous setting. Their signature move is adding gold leaf to every hot drink so this may be the only time you can try a cappuccino with gold leaf instead of chocolate powder on top 😉 The glitzy interior means it’s become popular on social media of late so whilst it’s a great photo opp there are plenty of other people here for the shot. Try and come for opening time for the lowest chance of having to queue but you might get unlucky (like me!) and find that the best location to take a photo of New York cafe has been booked for a private breakfast 👀 

6. Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge at night

The impressive Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Chain Bridge) was the first permanent bridge to be built across the Danube, completed in 1849. During the Second World War, the bridge was destroyed (apart from its two towers) and was rebuilt in 1949. During 2021 the bridge was closed for renovations but you can walk across the Chain Bridge was once again as it has recently reopened. The bridge is guarded by two lions at either end and it is rumoured that they don’t have tongues! Not only is the Chain Bridge great to photograph during the day but it also makes a fab shot at night when it is lit up beautifully. Enjoy a drink at Leo Rooftop Bar and watch the city sparkle.

7. Parliament Building

Parliament Building from Fisherman’s Bastion

Along the east bank of the Danube there is one building that makes the biggest impression and that is the Hungarian Parliament. A shot of this exceptional building is an absolute must on your IG feed after a trip to Budapest so don’t miss it! It’s no coincidence that the Hungarian Parliament looks a lot like the UK parliament building at Westminster, the architectural design created by Imre Steindl was influenced by the Westminster parliament.

Details of the Hungarian Parliament Building

There are plenty of vantage points to get a great photo of the parliament building whether it’s right underneath to capture the fantastic details, from a tour of the inside, from the water on a river cruise or from the opposite side of the river to watch the sunrise.

8. The Yellow Trams

Not only are the yellow trams a super convenient way to get around the city, they’re also very cute for a photo and to add a bright splash of colour to your Instagram feed! If you can capture one rumbling past an iconic Budapest location then all the better 🚋

9. Buda Castle

Beautiful Buda Castle

Honestly, Budapest is chock full of gorgeous buildings and the next one you should make sure is on your list to capture is Buda Castle. The castle sits on the Buda (are you surprised given its name 😆) side of the river and with its distinctive copper green dome at the centre, sprawls out around 300m across the skyline. It’s beautiful to capture from a distance or combine a visit with Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church to find details as well.

10. Liberty Bridge

Liberty Bridge’s iconic green colour

There are eight major bridges in Budapest and the Liberty Bridge is the second of those to feature on this list because it’s also a bit of a stunner. The Liberty Bridge is the shortest of the major bridges to cross the Danube River and it was built in 1896. In the 1980s the bridge was restored and returned to its original green colour having been various shades of green, grey and blue since it was first built. You can capture the bridge from either side of the river or check out Number 12 on this list for another great spot 📷

11. St Stephen’s Basilica

View from the top of St Stephen’s Basilica

St Stephen’s Basilica is Budapest’s largest church and it’s a bit of a beauty. The basilica is a relatively recent addition to the city’s skyline having been completed in 1905 but what it lacks in age it makes up for in size as it is one of the tallest buildings in Budapest. Zrínyi Utca is a great place to take a photo of the front of the church but make sure to arrive early for a quiet view. In winter, the square in front of St Stephen’s becomes home to one of Budapest’s Christmas markets.

It’s not just the outside of St Stephen’s Basilica that makes a great Instagrammable photo but also the inside and the view from the panoramic terrace around the dome of the church. Make sure to visit for epic views across the city and to see the towers up close. If you’re looking for a magical evening experience then check to see if there are any classical music concerts happening inside the church during your visit.

12. Gellért Hill

Statue of St Stephen on the way up Gellért Hill

Gellért Hill rises to a point of 235m above Budapest and gives you some fabulous panoramic views of the city. The route starts just opposite Gellért Baths and within a couple of minutes you’ll arrive at the Cave Church and the Statue of St Stephen. The statue is a great little IG spot as the bright white of St Stephen and his horse contrasts nicely with the green of the Liberty Bridge and the blue of the sky (if you get a nice clear day) and a yellow tram passing over the bridge.

View across the Danube from the top of Gellért Hill

You’ll be rewarded with superb views if you can make it right to the top of Gellért Hill, sweeping from the Buda side of the city across the Danube to the Pest side of the city. The difficult part is choosing which section of the view to share!

13. Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle is considerably less well known than Budapest’s famous Buda Castle but it’s a good deal more romantic. Whilst Buda Castle shows off Hungary’s wealth and power over history, Vajdahunyad Castle was built to showcase various architectural styles across various time periods and incorporates design elements of famous buildings from around Hungary. In summer, the lake in front of the castle is used for boating whilst during the winter it turns into a skating rink which makes it a great spot to photograph in every season!

14. Heroes Square

Heroes Square

Directly to the West of Vajdahunyad Castle, lies Heroes’ Square. This massive space is home to a very large statue complex called the Millennium Memorial and was set out to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Hungary. I’ve only visited once, which as you can see was a little late in the day to capture the Square without anyone else around so it’s definitely one you need to visit early to get a clear shot.

15. Ruin Bars

Szimpla Kert

Have you even been to Budapest if you haven’t visited a ruin bar?! Don’t worry if you don’t want to visit one at night, there are plenty which open during the day to serve brunch (Mazel Tov) or to host Farmer’s Markets (Sundays at Szimpla Kert). If you visit earlier, you can enjoy seeing and photographing these interesting spaces without the crowds and rowdy backpackers but come later if you enjoy the party atmosphere.

In the early 2000s, the 7th District of Budapest was literally in ruins and full of abandoned spaces that were crumbling. In 2004, the first ruin bar opened (Szimpla) and others followed to bring the phenomenon that now exists today.

16. Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

As mentioned earlier, Budapest is built on a number of thermal springs which means there are plenty of thermal baths to visit in the city. The second thermal bath to make an appearance on this list is Széchenyi Thermal Bath. The yellow of the thermal baths is instantly recognisable on Instagram and help to create a bright and cheery shot. I visited in 2014 whilst inter-railing, in other words, pre taking Instagram worthy photos so apologies that my example is not great but today you can find thousands of beautiful shots of Széchenyi Baths 💛 The outside baths are the most Instagrammable part but make sure you don’t go in the central pool without a swimming cap on. It’s against the bath’s rules and there are guards watching out if you try it…

Book your tickets with Get Your Guide here.


Cat x

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