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Europe Hungary Tips&Tricks

Hollywood’s film on the shores of the Danube


Budapest has a certain magic to it that Europe’s other metropolises cannot offer.

The secret lies in Budapest’s diversity. In part this derives from the fact that the city unified from three very different towns in 1873.

For more information and tips about Budapest, please check out my post “Budapest: what to see in 2 days!

Hospitality, tourism and cultural objects harmonized with these stylistic advances. Therefore it is no wonder that Budapest frequently appears in films and television series, for medieval programmes are just as easy to produce as contemporary spy films

The first co-production was The Golden Head (1964), a family-oriented film in whitch the children of a British police offer holidaying in Hungary track down stolen treasure.

During the communist era, the Eastern Bloc provided western film-makers with exotic locations as well as cheap working conditions, while the influx of western currency made the arrangement desirable for the dictatorship.

It was for this reason that Bluebeard (1972) starring Richard Burton was filmed in Budapest.

In 1974 , Woody Allen’s Love and Death, used the Opera House and the streets of Buda’s Castle.

Another note of interest is two versions of The Phantom of the Opera that were produced in Budapest.

In 1996 The Hungarian State of Opera and the streets in the vicinity of Szabadsag Square were transformed into Buenos Aires for the musical Evita, starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.

In Spy game (2001) , Robert Redford taught Brad Pitt about Cold War tactics at a table overlooking Astoria, while in Steven Spielberg’s Munich (2005) the streets of Budapest doubled for London Paris and Rome as the film’s Mossad agents led by Eric Bana and Daniel Craig pursued the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorists.

The modification of the Film Law in 2004 gave the local film industry a further boost with a 20% tax rebate.

The increasing competition for film productions in Central Europe since 1990s has seen Prague as the main competitor, but Bucharest, Belgrade and Sofia have also joined the competition in the past decade, which resulted in this rebate being raised to 25%in 2014.

Several new film studios have been built in the Budapest region in addition to state-owned Mafilm.

In recent decades, more than 200 productions have been shot in Hungary, in part on sets built in the studios, and in part in outdoor locations.

Budapest will return on the silver screen in 2016 as Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones and Omar Sy star in adaptation of the Dan Brown novel Inferno.

Budapest’s history of being a location for world-famous celebrities is not confined to feature film. In 1985, for one of the decade’s most famous music video clips, Money for Nothing, Dire straits filmed a few scenes with Elso Emelet while on tour in Budapest.

In 2010 Katy Perry lit fireworks at Astoria and the Royal Palace for her song Fireworks.


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Europe Hungary

Budapest: what to see in 2 days


This year we decided to spend the New Year Eve in Budapest, the Hungarian capital.

Budapest looks its most beautiful at dawn. As the sun slowly rises over the eastern plains, bathing Pest in soft pastel hues, it radiates back from the building of Buda as if they were a gigant mirrow; the windows on Castle Hill positively glisten in golden jubilation.

But Budapest is also spectaculary appealing at night. The Chain Bridge is festooned with white lights, and the main public buildings like the Parliament, The Opera and the Royal Palace are imaginatively and sensitively floodlit.

It’s easy for Budapest to play with light in the manner of an elegant lady traing on her jewels, for everything looks good.

This is a charming city, it throbs with life morning, noon and night; visitors arriving from other countries get the feeling that something interesting is happening round every corner.

There are a lot of other cities built on the banks of a river, and in many cases the river runs through the historic centre, but such a wide and majestic river, as is the Danube at Budapest, is more of a rarety.

Among the several places in Hungary that have been afforded the classification of UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first were the Danube panorama (on the Pest side from the Parliament back down to Petofì Bridge and on the Buda side from the Gellèrt Hotel all along Castle Hill to Margaret Bridge)

It’s no exaggeration to say that Budapest is one of the finest capital cities in Europe and also one of the best situated.

 Below is a list of Budapest’s treasures not to be missed.

  1. Royal Palace of Buda


In Buda the Royal Castle really is at the topo of a hill, as it is in all the best old stories.

Not just one but three castles have been built on this site.

The Palace can be reached from Danube embankment by the Castle District’s own special funicular railway, the Siklò

  1. The Chain Bridge


The Lànchìd, the symbol of Budapest was the first permanent crossing over the Danube on Hungarian territory, ond only the second along its entire length.

It was officially opened on 20th November, 1849.

  1. All Budapest’s Bridges


According to the superstition, if you make a wish while going under a bridge in a boat, that wish will come true.

In Budapest you can have nine wishes.

The Majority were rebuilt to the original plans, but the Elisabeth Bridge was deemed to be in such bad state that a completely new bridge had to be built in its place.

The Liberty Bridge, restored after the War to its original condiction, was first opened in 1896 to mark the millennium of the Magyar Conquest.

  1. The Budapest Parliament


There are not enough words to describe this magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture.

Drawing inspiration from London’s Houses of Parliament is situated at Pest’s riverbank.

  1. On the trail of World Heritage – by number two tram

The number two tram can be boarded in Kossuth Square in front of the Parliament building: it’s an excellent means of sightseeing.

  1. The Capital with the world’s largest number of thermal Springs

Budapest first gained the epithet City od Spas in 1934, and with it recognition that there isn’t another capital city anywhere in the world that has more hydrothermal and mineral springs.

It is also a unique fact that the 118 natural or specially drilled springs, with a temperature ranging from 21 to 78 °C (70-172 °F), deliver 70 million litres (15.4 million gallons) per day.

The particular mineral content of the water here marks them out as being efficaciuous in the treatment of locomotor, circulatory and gynaecological disorders.

  1. The city’s Longest Pedestrian street

The city centre’s most popular pedestrianized street, Vàci utca, begins opposite the Market Hall. This was a favourite place for well-to-do to promedade as early as the eighteenth century, and had always attracted better quality shops, now as much as then.

Vàci utca finishes in Vorosmarty Square, dominated on the side by Gerbeaud, one of Pest’s most refined coffee houses.

  1. One of Europe’s oldest Zoos

Budapest Zoo is a plesant day out for all the family. It’s first opened in 1866 and has in the last decade undergone significant modernization. Five hundred types of hanimals and 4,000 different plants live within its 250 acres.

The animal petting ares is expecially popular with children – Jacopo had a lot of fun there – they can come into close contact with and feed and goats, small cows and sheeps.


  1. The Goulash soup

If you you are going to visit Budapest, don’t miss to eat the goulash soup.

Goulash is a soup of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and other spices, other spices, originating from the medieval Hungary, goulash is a popular meal predominantly eaten in Central  Europe but also in other parts of Europe.

This traditional dish is a prime example of how a few simple ingredients, cooked properly, can yield an incredible flavor.  

For sure something not to be missed !

Budapest is a vibrant and enchanting city and for sure one of the most culturally important metropoli of the Eastern Europe!

Furthermore, the Hungarian Capital continues to solidify its prominent position in both the Hollywood and European fim industries.

Budapest is considered the second most important filming location in Europe after London; for more information I suggest you to read my post “Hollywood’s film on the shores of the Danube