Condé Nast Traveler recently published an article titled Why Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Lawrence and more are spending time in Budapest, looking for an answer to why our capital city is so popular among movie makers these days. They do this by going through hotels, sights, bars and restaurants featured in Hollywood productions.

Even if you haven’t been to Budapest, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen Evita, Inferno or other movie productions that were filmed in our capital. Budapest has already been presented as the wartime Paris, Berlin and the Buenos Aires of the 50s.

The attractive Hungarian tax rebate scheme, combined with diverse architecture make Budapest a quite popular destination for directors. The Hungarian movie industry has been flourishing, and it has recently welcomed stars like Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence (who is still here).

Filmmakers have very creative ways to turn Budapest into completely new cities. If you visit our capital you might be able to recognise the Bálna (The Whale) aka the NASA headquarters in The Martian, or the Keleti railway station from Inferno. However, most shootings take place in the Korda Studios in Etyek.

The Whale

When planning a sightseeing tour, it’s easy to touch upon sights like the Castle of Buda or the Chain bridge featured in Spy with Jude Law or the similarly titled I Spy with Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. Moreover, the Hungarian State Opera House and its neighbourhood is featured in Adrien Brody’s upcoming Houdini miniseries. And when in the historic Gellért Bath, remember that Ryan Gosling was photographed here not long ago.

hungarian state opera

The Opera House

The glorious Gresham Palace has also been a shooting location, it inspired the director of Bridesmaids to shoot Spy here. It’s a curiosity that the hotel’s manager and staff also make a short appearance in the movie. Rumour has it that Wes Anderson was inspired by Corinthia Hotel Budapest to shoot Grand Budapest Hotel.

gresham palace

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

But there’s nothing more exclusive than a luxury mansion rented for the sole purpose of shooting. Writer’s Villa is the perfect location for film crews, as it towers on the hills, has its own pool, winter garden, and uniquely elegant rooms. It offers privacy for even the most reclusive movie stars.


The Writer’s Villa

The patinated New York Café is considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful coffeehouses, so it’s no surprise that it’s a beloved shooting location. Among others, it has been visited by Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman for Bel Ami. But the Gerlóczy Café has also been turned into a Parisian scene in Steven Spielberg’s München.

new york café interior

New York Café

Finally, the article mentions restaurants like Pierrot and Arany Kaviár that are much favoured by Hollywood stars. The former has had A-list guests like Anthony Hopkins and Sir Roger Moore, while the latest hosted the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Meanwhile, Ötkert is the place for movie stars like Jude Law or Matt Damon who’d like to party a little.

“So what were Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, and Jennifer Lawrence doing in the city recently? Well, the relationship between Hungary and Hollywood shows no sign of fading. In 2017, keep an eye out for Budapest attractions playing a starring role in upcoming movies like Blade Runner 2049 (Ford and Gosling) and Red Sparrow (Lawrence).”

Photos:,’sVilla, BálnaBudapest, FourSeasonsHotelGreshamPalaceBudapest, Operaház

Copy editor: bm


1 comment
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.