Budapest, Europe, Hungary

Lock In Your Love in … Budapest.

November 17, 2011
Love Locks In Budapest

Padlocks are hardly beautiful objects and an unlikely candidate as a symbol of love and romance. These rather utilitarian objects are used for practical applications like securing text books and smelly gym clothes in your high school locker or safeguarding your checked-in luggage from would-be thieves at the airport.

Yet padlocks have actually become an international symbol for love and romance and accordingly you’ll find sites the world over in places like a pedestrian bridge in Paris, along a hiking trail in Cinque Terre and even a tower in Seoul. Appropriately dubbed “love locks“, you’ll find them on all sorts of public fixtures such as bridges, fences and gates. The locks are placed by couples who’ll write their names on them in order to publicly promise each other an everlasting, until death-do-us part crazy kind of love.

Call me a sucker for romance, but whenever I travel I seek these public monuments out on purpose. It’s heart warming to know that each and every lock represents two people’s love for one another.

I stumbled across this pile of love locks at a park while walking about Budapest. At first glance, it didn’t seem pretty.

Locks in a Park

Locks in a Park

Locks in a Park

Looking closer, you start to notice that some locks really are pretty such as this giant heart shaped one. Others have decorated their locks with hearts.

Locks in a Park

Locks in a Park

Locks in a Park

Others like this one may be more plain but not less meaningful.

Locks in a Park

Locks in a Park

Locks in a Park

While I could have easily walked past this little public “work-of-art“, I happily spent 15 minutes photographing it and pondering the stories of all the couples behind the locks.

Just who are Emi and Laci? How did they meet? How long have they been together?

Locks in a Park

Not everyone adores love locks. Some cities like Paris and Cologne attempted to dismantle the sites but ended up leaving them in place due to public backlash. During a time full of so much gloom and doom, it’s refreshing to see public support for these little displays as we could all use a little more “love sweet love” in our lives.

Getting There

You’ll find this grand statement of love in Erzsébet Square on the Pest side of the city.

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24 Comments

  • Reply Sabrina November 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’m so with you! While not inherently pretty, I think this tradition is so romantic. One day, I’d like to leave my own padlock at the bridge in Rome that started it all, Ponte Milvio.

  • Reply fotoeins November 17, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Cheryl, this is great! Perhaps we should start a photo(blog) compilation of places with love-locks! 🙂

    Did you see the same on the Hohenzollernbrücke in Köln? I took some shots of the Liebeschlösser there in September.

    Thanks again for your post!

  • Reply Andrea November 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Love these! There’s a whole fountain dedicated to them in Montevideo – must be so many stories…

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      @Sabrina – It’s very romantic. I wouldn’t mind placing my own padlock somewhere someday. 😉

      @fotoeins – No, didn’t see the one in Cologne. There’s prob already a Tumblr blog about that … lol.

      @Andrea – Cool about the fountain in Montevideo. I’d love to see that!

  • Reply LoveLocks UK November 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Great photos! You have captured some really interesting Locks there! 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica November 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Surprising to me that those cities would try to take down these displays. I think they are great. I have never come across one but hope to some day.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      @LoveLocks UK – Thanks!

      @Stephanie – Me too. I think they’re awesome and are a great testament to the power of love. Cliched I know … but it’s true.

  • Reply Sherry November 18, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Wow! I only knew of the one in Uruguay. I suppose there’s probably a lot more out there that I don’t know about. This is so darling and very cute. Its nice to know that there are still romantics in the world.

  • Reply wanderlusting November 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    While not beautiful it is the sentiment that matters. Thanks for the advice. We will definitely look this up while we are in Budapest soon.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      @Sherry – they’re all around the world and I love it! 🙂

      @Wanderlusting – they seemed ugly to me at first but I now see it differently. And you’ll love Budapest!

  • Reply Sam November 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Wow, so many padlocks. I believe I saw something like this in Verona too.

  • Reply Cole @ FourJandals November 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I just get confused as to why there are different bridges in Paris that all have the padlocks on them! Where is the real place to leave them haha.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

      @Sam – they’re everywhere! 🙂

      @Cole – leave one lock on each bridge to be sure your love is really “locked in”.

  • Reply Christy @ Technosyncratic November 24, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I think these kinds of sites are lovely, but strangely enough we didn’t see any of the ones in Budapest while we were there!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 24, 2011 at 10:24 am

      @Christy – this site doesn’t really stand out so it’s very easy to miss. The locks were affixed to a fence surrounding a tiny tree in a park that I walked pass when on my way to towards the Buda side of town. I was fortunate to come across this little bit or loveliness! 🙂

  • Reply Laurel November 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    So romantic and I would love to know the stories behind each one.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      @Laurel – me too! <3

  • Reply Caz Makepeace November 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Wow! too cute, I would love to see these and imaging the stories would be so cool.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      @Caz – isn’t it just lovely? I just love the romance behind the whole thing!

  • Reply A Weekend Guide to Budapest - Volume 1. | cherylhoward.com July 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    […] 6 to find a special metal frame set-up around a tree which is decorated in love locks. I came upon these love locks last September and was only too happy to showcase this public display of love to my friends. […]

  • Reply kirstie February 20, 2015 at 4:35 am

    hi I am travelling to Budapest next month my boyfriend he got us a love lock for valentines we where hoping to place it in Budapest but where exactly should we leave it? thank you

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 20, 2015 at 5:30 am

      Hi Kirstie –

      First of all, cool you’re going to Budapest. I’m actually going to be there next weekend. 🙂

      And it’s so sweet that you plan to put a love lock there. I updated the post above with the location of the park. You’ll find the lovelocks attached to a fence surrounding a tree.

      Have a great time and all the best!

      Cheryl

  • Reply John paul gent November 1, 2016 at 1:56 am

    My love locks story. My beautiful girlfriend of 4 years was in Budapest this April on a university course she saw the tree with the love locks and loved it, she said we must come together to see it, her birthday was in June I was set to ask her to marry me on her birthday but family problems made it a bad time so I delayed it but now we have recently split up so as the hopless romantic I am I travelled alone to this spot and placed our love locks on the fence with our engagement ring attached to it, then I sent her the key, she has no idea what the key is for and she probably never will but I will and I’ll always love her x

    • Reply Cheryl Howard November 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Thanks for sharing your story! No matter what happens, at least you enjoyed your time together.

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