Magyar Magyar

Discover Budapest’s hidden architecture

Budapest - Spice of europe
BudapestGreater Budapest

The architecture of the Hungarian capital is the stuff of legends and rightfully so, everyone knows the Chain Bridge or the Parliament. But the travel guides don't cover everything, it is sometimes worth going off the beaten path and discovering some of the lesser-known, but nonetheless magnificent parts of the city's built environment. The gems to discover include buildings that are important for their impact on Hungarian culture all the way to art noveau masterpieces.

Every once in a while the water supply storage chamber in Kőbánya is open to the public. The underground facility storing local water supply with its enormous chambers and columns gives the impression of a large church.


The Pannónia film studio has recently been refurbished. The studio is dear to many Hungarians, as this is where numerous old cartoons were created that defined childhoods. When occasionally open to the public, it becomes clear that major creative work is once more underway.


The Walkó building is one of the first to be constructed in a secession or art nouveau style in Budapest. It amazes with its decorative elements inspired by nature.


The State Treasury’s Building (Államkincstár) with ceramic roof tiles is a true art nouveau gem designed by architect Ödön Lechner. Marking the intersection of eastern and western culture, the treasury building is the result of master builders' fusion approach.

The House of Hungarian Art Nouveau (Magyar Szecesszió Háza) is unique in Hungary, in that it is a gallery or museum dedicated entirely to the Secession style. The house was rebuilt along with the interior decoration, but it also brings back the atmosphere of turn of the century Hungarian peacetime.


The Szedő House is built from top to bottom in a plant-themed, so-called floral-secession style. The house was home to large apartments as well as a photo studio on the top.


The Napoleon court houses the only statue of its namesake. Interestingly enough, it is based not on the famous emperor, but Napoleon III, who became ruler through a coup d'état.


The Thonet House in downtown Budapest is the result of an exploratory construction project by historic Hungarian architect, Ödön Lechner. It shows his impressions from studying design in London, the building is ornamented by world-famous Zsolnay porcelain.


Zsolnay porcelain is likewise the most spectacular ornament material on the Institute of Geology. The bluish hue of the decoration features various small marine creatures.


The building of the Museum of Applied Arts (Iparművészeti Múzeum) is one of the finest examples of Hungarian Art-Nouveau architecture. Its Zsolnay porcelain tiles are reminiscent of Islamic and Hindu architecture. Its interior on the other hand, is pure white, blending various architectural styles. The building will be expanded with a new, modern, crystal-like wing, and will will possibly reopen in 2022.


The Hungarian University of Fine Arts is home to the education of arts and music. The building raised from donations impresses visitors with its heavily-ornamented, marbled pillars and arcs.


The Ybl Villa needed dedicated care to be restored to its former glory after years of decay. It bears the name of legendary architect Miklós Ybl, and now in its restored splendor features Italian-inspired paintings, discreet gilding, as well as furniture brought from Paris.