Instagramming … An Alternative Side of Budapest.

Let me introduce you to an alternative, non-touristy side of Budapest. You won’t find any photos of the typical spots like Heroes Square, Buda Castle or the Parliament Building in this post. Instead you’ll find photos of the rough and gritty Budapest filled with street art, graffiti, cafes and hipster shops.

I headed to the Hungarian capital last November where the bittersweet days of autumn still lingered. After a misty and foggy walk along the Chain Bridge my first night there, I set out with nothing more than my iPhone to Instagram my way through the city …

Instead of saving the best for last, I’m going to start with one of my all time favorite photos of Budapest. Looking at it, it feels as if I’ve stepped back in time. I love how the old blue car contrasts against the purple leaves of the bush and the late afternoon sun spilling over the roof of the historic building.

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One of the best ways to discover the hidden beauty of the city is divert yourself away from the tourist attractions and head to lesser known residential areas. This photo of fall foliage was taken along a small side street when I headed to the Buda side of the city to hang out in Millenáris Park.

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Sunburst shots taken in the same neighbourhood.

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While the street art and graffiti may not be as epic as that of Berlin or Szczecin, it somehow fits in perfectly with the bohemian vibe of the city along Király Utca otherwise known as the Design Street of Budapest.

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This is a close-up of the graffiti covered phone booth window.

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This isn’t such a nice picture, but I love the colourful spider web that someone left there, almost like crochet bombing a tree!

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I’m a bit of a street art fanatic and known to go a bit crazy when I spy Star Wars themed street art, but travel themed street art?! Swoon.

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The rather pretty mural on the side of this building flanks a children’s playground.

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How adorable is the sign for this little cafe?

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Respect for indie coffee shop owners that refuse to serve Starbucks or Nescafe!

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I stumbled across this beautiful fashion boutique Retrock selling vintage clothing and  lines by local designers. The hipster in me did a happy dance! I was there for almost an hour and left with a cute overpriced t-shirt.

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Another cool shop featuring cool eyewear along Király Utca.

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While I’m certainly not a snob who looks down at people who want to visit the touristy side of a destination, it’s also fun to uncover alternative sides to a city. Getting to know the alternative side of Budapest made me fall in love with city even more.

If you want to get to know the weird side of Budapest, consider visiting Area 51 where you can take part in an interactive science fiction themed theatre performance or the Invisible Exhibition where you can learn what life is like for the blind.

If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram (@cdngrrleh) to see updates from my life in Toronto and of course, on the road.

Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. Great instagram post, the pics provide some cool insights into the city. Like too many places it’s such a long time since I visited, appreciate seeing some of the changes. Love that the coffee shop advertises it doesn’t sell starsucks bt real coffee!

  2. It’s not always we get to see the non-touristy photos so it’s refreshing. Seem you’ve captured quite a lot of street art. Love the colorful spider web and authentic coffee promotion 🙂

  3. You got some fantastic shots of gritty Budapest. I took some while walking through some very un-touristy areas — plenty of graffiti photo ops there. I was thinking of posting a few of them, but your collection is exceptional.

  4. This is such a beautiful way to look at a city. Lovely pics showing another side of one of the best cities in Europe – well done! Love the series.

  5. Love your take on the “alternative side of Budapest” 🙂
    It’s a beautiful city, but it too has its ruined buildings, street art, junk cars and other stuff… yet, there’s a beauty in the latter as well.

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