Touring Budapest at night

St. Stephen's Basilica Touring Budapest at night

Touring Budapest at night

During the day time Budapest is a wonderful city to walk around and visit attractive landmarks, scenic vista points and fun neighborhoods to explore around the city. When the sun finally starts to set early in the evening over Buda Castle, you need to head out to the Danube river promenade on the Pest side so you can enjoy sunset and the lit up attractions of Buda and the surrounding landscape. Later on at night, the entire city is magically transformed and lit up to highlight all the city’s beautiful attractions, skyline views,  it’s promenades and fashionable squares and attractive architecture. As a starting point, it’s fun to  slowly walk along the Danube promenade to check out the riverfront area and attractions, and then proceed to some of the lively squares and busy promenades around the city. It seems like a favorite pastime at night is to go out in the evenings to some of the busy squares and other public venues while checking out restaurant menu’s or dropping by a local bar for a quick drink and order Eloetelek (Hungarian appetizers). For late owls, the night club scene or ruin bars are another fun alternative to check out on the Pest side of the city.



Sunset views of Buda Hill Castle from the Danube promenade in Budapest

When the last golden rays of sunset has finally left Buda castle hill and the city lights start to glisten, check out some of these popular attractions, squares, promenades and areas of Budapest that are worth visiting at night time.

Sunset by the Danube river promenade touring Budapest at night


Visit the river promenade along the Danube

Walking along the Danube at night is a fantastic area to explore the river promenade with many of the city’s popular landmarks and monuments lit up at night. You can capture some wonderful photographs along the river at night with the gorgeous Széchenyi chain bridge, Buda castle, Matthias church and the Fisherman’s Bastion which are all lit into the late evening.


Night views of Buda Hill Castle from the Danube touring Budapest at night

Széchenyi Chain bridge and Buda castle lit up at night


St. Matthias and the Fisherman's Bastion lit up at night time


St. Stephan's basilica interior - Budapest at night

St. Stephan’s basilica interior altar

Explore St. Stephen’s Square and Basilica

St. Stephen’s square is a popular area to hang out at night with the main promenades filled with busy restaurants, bars and galleries open to attract visitors and locals to enjoy a night out in and around the square and perimeter of the basilica. Evenings are a perfect time to visit the main cathedral and view the ornate interior hall and separate chapels. Typically there are regular nightly concerts offered for a nominal price with popular classical concerts or local choral groups performing for the public. You can check the schedules, if you visit the cathedral earlier in the day to find out what the performance for the night will be in the cathedral.

Tip – you cannot bring your tripod to set up inside the basilica, so you definitely have to have a steady hand or find an easy prop like the chair pew backs to keep the camera still.


St. Stephan's basilica - Budapest at night


There are many historic monuments and stunning architecture lit up at night in the old city center of Buda and Pest. The streets are well lit and it’s easy to walk along any of the promenades or the Danube river front where many of these beautiful buildings lit up for the evening. You can easily set up a tripod outdoors, but having done this for a long time, I’ve learned a few techniques to take hand held photographs with decent results and prefer to work spontaneously when I tour at night.  You’ll find so many gorgeous portals like the entry below, I love catching these accidental discoveries and come back with some wonderful memories of my night visits.

Tip – if you have no tripod with you, look for buildings that are well lit and make exposure adjustments to your camera so that you can capture most of the details of that particular subject.



The Four Seasons Hotel along the Danube promenade


Ornate exterior/interior of the Four Seasons Hotel by the Danube



Gresham palace Four Seasons Hotel, Budapest

Magnificent architecture

The historic district in Pest is filled with stunning architecture offering a broad range of many classical periods including: Art Nouveau, Gothic and Neo Gothic, Renaissance, Ottoman, Baroque and Neo Baroque, Classicism to Neo Classicism styles and Romanticism style.  You find gorgeous portals, stained glass and beautiful architectural details every when you walk through the central district. The gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel above used to be the Gresham palace, an Art Nouveau office building along the Danube, it has been beautifully renovated into this luxury hotel brand. If you have some free time, it’s fun to explore inside and enjoy a lovely drink at at the Kocsma (bar lounge) or dinner at the signature restaurant called Kollazs Brasserie.


Beautiful portal details lit up in Budapest's old city center




Budapest Opera house at night time

Budapest Opera House

In another area of Pest along the grand boulevard of Andrassy street is the Budapest Opera house. The stunning and gorgeous Neo-classic style interior is worth the price of an opera ticket alone to visit the inside and enjoy an exceptional Opera performance. The interior is dripping with golden balconies and carvings, crystal chandeliers and colorful frescoes on the ceiling and walls and statuary everywhere. Again you can’t bring in a tripod or use a flash, but keep a steady hand and take pictures before the program and you’ll get a decent shot of the interior which is really stunning to experience any opera in grand style.

Tip – photographs are not allowed inside during the performance but prior to and intermission, everyone is taking pictures inside.


Budapest Opera house at night time



Nyugati Railway Terminal lit up at night



Nyugati Railway Terminal - Budapest at night



The Széchenyi Chain Bridge at night by the Danube



Spring annuals fronting the Chain bridge at night





Ornate Pest basilica along the Danube river


Budapest Pest basilica at night time by the Danube promenade





Elisabeth bridge at night in Budapest

Bridges along the Danube in Budapest

Many of Budapest’s bridges along the Danube river are lit up at night time and command some stunning views of the historical district. Most of them have walking passageways which allow for wonderful views of both sides of the river to Buda and Pest with monuments and significant buildings lit up beautifully at night time. It’s definitely the place to be to enjoy the night along the Danube river while enjoy views from both the Pest and Buda side of the city. You’ll see a full range of bridges covering classical styles to more contemporary styles like the Elisabeth bridge (above), named for Elisabeth of Bavaria, a popular queen and empress of Austria-Hungary.



Buda castle and National museum at night time Budapest




Buda castle and National museum at night by the Danube promenade



Streets on the Pest side of Budapest


Check out some of my other favorite night tours of cities around the world below


Touring Krakow at night

Bologna at night

A night walking tour in Vienna

Las Vegas night scenes

Neon light tour in Las Vegas

Discovering London at night

Visiting Lyon at night


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Touring Budapest at night

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What do you think, are these tips helpful for you to visit Budapest at night time and visit some of these popular attractions to photograph them. If you have visited and can share other wonderful spots to visit at night, please share them in the comments section below. Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Touring Budapest at night. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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21 Responses to Touring Budapest at night

  1. Andrea Gerak March 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    Yet another brilliant photo post of Budapest!!!
    It looks like I was there a long time ago, for I can’t recognize your last picture, although I have some idea of which building it might be. One thing about Budapest is that it’s been improving all the time, one can hardly keep up with the changes.

    (And just a quiet remark: that imposing building of Buda Castle is the National Gallery; the National Museum is downtown, on the Pest side.)

  2. alison abbott March 7, 2016 at 4:35 am #

    I hope sometime we end up in the same spot so I can tag along and pick up some tips for evening photography from you! All of these shots are brilliant Noel. I especially like the Nougat Railway Terminal. The inside shimmers gold like a Fabergé egg.

  3. Rhonda Albom March 7, 2016 at 1:09 am #

    Wow Noel. these night photos are really spectacular. Budapest is really lovely. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. Rossana March 6, 2016 at 8:54 am #

    Your photographs are stunning, they capture the beauty of the architecture perfectly! That chandelier ( in the lobby of hotel?) is exquisite!

    • Noel March 6, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      Yes, it is in the Lobby. Such a gorgeous hotel, I would have loved to stay a night.

  5. Susan Moore March 5, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    I haven’t been to Budapest but I have a feeling I would love it – the architecture is gorgeous and I would love walking around exploring Budapest by day or night

  6. Kathryn Burrington March 5, 2016 at 3:53 am #

    I’ve been longing to visit Budapest for a long time now and your photos show its even more beautiful than I realised. I think it looks even more stunning at night than it does in daylight. I do hope I get there one day.

  7. anna parker March 4, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

    This is a timely post as I think I have going to Budapest with work in the spring… and the only time I will have to explore is the evening! The castle is stunning – I love when there is a key building that stands above a city – very grand. Such interesting architecture here throughout

  8. Paula McInerney March 4, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    I am envious of your night shots of this beautiful city. Mine always turn out dreadfully, though luckily Gordon’s are a lot better. I try breathing in and holding my breath but it doesn’t work, and my photos are always shaky.

  9. Paul (@luxury__travel) March 4, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    Interesting what you say about tripods – surely these weren’t all handheld, or were they? Love the first one especially – such a beautiful contrast with the vivid, blue sky…

    • Noel March 4, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      Yes these are all hand held shots, not easy but after doing these for some time, you learn a few tricks to make them work

  10. Rebecca March 4, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    This is truly magical Noel, especially the interior of St. Stephen’s Cathedral Yes, my iPhone doesn’t cut it by comparison to your wonderful gems.

  11. Kay Dougherty March 4, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    Beautiful photos of a city I love! This should inspire me in my baby steps learning to actually use my camera properly so I can get night shots that are maybe half this good!

  12. Anita March 2, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Gorgeous photographs, Noel! It’s been ages since I visited Budapest, and your images make me want to book a return trip post-haste. Love the city at night, and you’ve captured it beautifully. Great that you’ve included tips for getting the best out of each stop.

  13. jenny@atasteoftravel March 2, 2016 at 3:39 am #

    Once again fabulous photos to entice us to visit Budapest. The city really does seem to come alive at night. The interior of the Opera House is as beautiful as any I’ve seen.

  14. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go March 1, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    Your night photos are inspiring (your artist’s eye!) and make me want to become serious about learning more of the basics of photography. I especially liked your picture of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge with the brightly lit foreground of flowers – so creative. We’re hoping to visit Hungary this fall and you’ve given me some great ideas of places I’d love to see!

  15. Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru March 1, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

    My absolute favorite city in Europe, all dressed for a magical evening through your lens. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a nicer photo of Sisi’s bridge. Pairing your exterior building shots with the warm golden light you do so well in their interiors is a great way to get a sense of all the loveliness. You’ve made me homesick for Budapest.

  16. Hung Thai March 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Man your night photography is amazing. I still don’t know how to shoot at night – everything comes out a little too blurry. I think I might need to invest in a really nice tripod…

  17. Janice Chung March 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Noel, once again your photos are stunning. I was going to mention one and then another and then realized you had SO MANY great photos! Everyone keeps saying Budapest is great place to visit….now I can see why.

  18. Wendy Brunner March 1, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    Beautiful city. Beautiful photos of it. I will get there on day!

  19. Suzanne Fluhr March 1, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    Noel, I should pay you to visit all the places we visit on our travels, so that I can see photos that do justice to what we’ve seen. (That, or we should just follow you around). My Galaxy S4 phone camera just doesn’t cut it. As usual, your photos are beautiful, artful and inspiring.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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