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buda castle funicular most instagrammable places in budapest

The 30 Best Places to See in Budapest (Sorted by Area)

There countless charming locations and lovely places to see in Budapest. Art nouveau buildings, parks, castles, and bridges just to name a few. In this practical guide I’ll give you the most famous and unmissable locations to visit divided by geographical area: Buda, the hills on the western part of the Danube, Pest on the other side, the area around Park Varosliget, and the 7th District the Jewish quarter. Along with a few must mention areas that are outside the above mentioned.

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

In This Article

Buda Hill

Chain Bridge

Also known as Széchenyi Chain Bridge, to honor count Istvan Széchenyi, one of the main supporters to the construction, Chain Bridge was opened in 1849. During WWII it was destroyed by the German forces like all the other bridges in Budapest. It was rebuilt in 1949.

Chain Bridge is considered one of Budapest landmarks. The beautiful iron decorations and the majestic lions protecting it, make it one of the best photo locations in Budapest.

chain bridge and the parliament

Funicular

Once you have crossed the Chain Bridge you will find yourself in a large square which crosses Buda’s hill. That’s where you will find the old funicular to reach Buda Castle.

Pro tip : During the touristy periods it’s very crowded and you may end up squeezed inside a wagon without enjoying the view. If you notice the crowd lining for the funicular take the stairs instead. The view is great and there are even two bridges passing on the railroad where you can benefit of a nice view on the funicular.

Opening hours : Every day, from 7.30 AM to 10 PM.

funicular and chain bridge budapest

Buda Castle

Step out the funicular and attend te changing of the guard, every hour outside Sandor Palace (except for the last Saturday of the month, when it takes place only at noon).

The castle has beautiful gardens you can freely explore. While if you want to enter inside you will have to book the tickets for the National Gallery, and in that case I strongly advise you to pay to go on top of the dome that has an amazing view on the city. History lovers will also appreciate Budapest History Museum or Széchényi Library.

Opening hours : TUE to SUN from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Matthias Church

Dating back to the 13th and 15th century the most important catholic church in Budapest is without a doubt Matthias Church. During its eventful storyline the church was also converted into a mosquee for 150 years.

By the end of the 17th century it became a catholic church and was the location of several coronations. What we can admire nowadays is a splendid Neogothic architecture following the renovations in the second half of 1800.

Opening hours : Every day 9 AM, Sunday 1 PM.

matthias church and fisherman's bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion

Budapest’s most famous landmark (together with the Parliament of course!), is the fairy tale looking Fisherman’s Bastion. And it’s easy to see why. Built between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century Fisherman’s Bastion has 7 conic towers that symbolise Hungary’s founder tribes.

When exploring I had princess vibes feeling especially if you are going early in the morning and you have the place by yourself. Another reason to set the clock early? The entry to the upper balconies it’s free during fall and winter months and from 7 or 8 PM to 9 AM during spring summer. Check out the complete schedule on the official website.

Opening hours : It’s always open.

fisherman's bastion

The Labyrinth

Lying underneath Buda Castle, the Labyrinth is a series of caves and tunnels that dates back to the Middle Age when it was used a shelter. Following the events the maze became an harem under the Turkish control and an hospital during WWII. Nowadays the Labyrinth is a suggestive location welcoming sculptures, fountains, and frescoes.

Fearless adventurers will love the nocturnal experience! After 6 PM you can visit the Labyrinth only guided by your flashlight, they say the place is infested with ghosts (just kidding).

Check out prices for the guided tour, or for the Buda Castle night tour.

Opening hours : Every day 11 AM to 2 PM, and from 3 to 7 PM.

The Hospital in the Rock

Also situated under the hill of Buda Castle, the hospital was very important both during WWII and the revolution of 1956. During the Cold War it was converted in a nuclear bunker. Since 2008 the bunker has become a museum where every piece has been brought back to life.

Thanks also to the presence of mannequins posing as real patients or doctors the place is really immersive and I highly recommend visiting it to have a better comprehension of how difficult life was under the bombardments. The ticket to the hospital comes with a guided tour and no photos are allowed inside.

Pro tip : Bring Hungarian Forints for the ticket the conversion is better than in Euros. 😉

Opening hours : Every day 10 AM to 7 PM.

the hospital in the rock budapest
Photo by Hospital in the Rock Marketing. No photos are allowed inside. License.

The Citadel and Liberty Statue

The Citadel and consequently also the Liberty Statue are currently closed due to undergoing renovations.

Even so, you can still enjoy a pleasant walk on the hill that has some of the best views on the city. There are two different ways to get on top of the hill:

  • From Buda Castle the walk is longer but the uphill is easier. You can also take the bus to the stop Philosophers Garden, where there are many statues of some of the greatest thinkers of our history.
  • From Gellert Bath there is a short staircase that connects the iconic thermal complex to the Citadel but I’ve found it harder especially after a long day of walking around.

Gellert Thermal Bath

Among all the thermal complex we visited in Budapest Gellert’s were my personal favorites. The beauty of the Art Nouveau interiors is undeniable and will capture your attention when visiting. Moreover they are less crowded than the famous Szechenyi Bath, which makes them also more enjoyable.

Besides two outdoor pools you will find 4 thermal pools, 2 immersion pools, saunas and Turkish baths. The complex is open from 6.30 AM to 7 PM. Saturday until 1 PM and Sunday it’s closed. With the entry ticket you can stay inside for 3 hours.

For more informations and booking your tickets check out the official website.

gellert thermal bath in budapest travel guide

Eastern Side of the Danube

The Parliament

The only way to visit the Parliament is via a guided tour that you can book via the official website, (I highly recommend purchasing the tickets as soon as possible as the spots get fully booked quickly!). The tour is very interesting allowing to learn more about Hungarian history. You can also book the tour with audioguides which I personally recommend. The visit lasts overall two hours.

Important to know : You must print the tickets as you will need them to get past the controls.

Built between 1884 and 1902 the Parliament has 691 pieces and is 268 meters long and 118 meters high. You can take photos freely inside the building except for the room of the crown jewels.

parliament interiors budapest

Shoes on the Danube bank

Situated amid the Parliament and the Chain Bridge, the Holocaust Memorial is one of the most touching and evocative memorial that I ever had the chance to visit. Between December 1944 and January 1945, about 20.000 Jews were executed on the Danube banks and imported by the river leaving the only valuable thing they had, their shoes.

The monument is a serie of shoes facing the river’s waters as they were left from their owners.

Inaugurated in 2005 the installation attracts regularly locals and tourists alike bringing candles or flowers to commemorate the victims.

Saint Stephen’s Basilica

The end of 1800 and the beginning of 1900 was probably one of the most important architectural revolutions in Budapest. St. Stephen Basilica is one of the many examples.

The Basilica, which is the largest building of the country, was completed in 1905 and is dedicated to the first Hungarian King, Stephen (975 – 1038). Inside you will find an important relic, Stephen’s right hand.

Pro tip : I highly recommend to pay the small fee to climb to the top of the right tower and enjoy a beautiful view of the city.

Opening Hours : MON 9 AM to 4.30 PM, TUE to SAT 9 AM to 5.45 PM, SUN 1 to 5.45 PM.
Official Website : Szent István Bazilika

saint stephen's basilica

Váci Promenade

Paris has Champs Elysées, Barcelona Las Ramblas, and Budapest has Váci Promenade. Shops, bar, and restaurants, Váci is one of the places to be in Budapest. During day as well as during night.

What you shouldn’t miss? Gerbaud Pastry! One of the oldest in the city it sells deserts that are made with the original recipes from the 19th century. Although careful to the bill, the prices are quite high!

Food lovers should also try the famous chimney cakes Kürtőskalács, which can be tasted in one of the many bakeries in the area.

The Central Market

The story of the Central Market is quite interesting: inaugurated in 1897 it was severely damaged during WWII. Completely abandoned and forgotten after the war, in 1991 it was declared in ruin. But three years later renovation works brought it back to its previous splendors making it one of the most iconic buildings in the city.

The elegant iron structure is very interesting for taking photos. Inside you will find several shops selling many different products but mainly food.

Opening Hours : MON 6 AM to 5 PM, TUE to FRI from 6 AM to 6 PM, SAT 6 AM to 3 PM, it’s closed on Sunday.

budapest central market

Liberty Bridge

Situated between the Central Market and Gellert Thermal Bath, the Liberty Bridge is probably the most elegant and photogenic in Budapest because of its iconic green paint. The one you will see is a reconstruction of the oldest one, demolished by the German soldiers in 1945.

Why do I love this bridge so much? Besides the undeniable aesthetic beauty the Liberty Bridge has a well hidden (but well known) statue of King Franz Joseph made by Ukrainian artist Kolodko. To find it you will need to look on the Parliament side. The tiny sculpture is only about 20 cm long! If you like hidden statues or simply are looking for the most iconic in Budapest, check out our dedicated blog post.

liberty bridge budapest

Andrassy Ut and Varosliget Park

Andrassy Promenade (Andrassy Ut)

Andrássy út connects the city center to Varosliget Park and it’s considered one of the most beautiful streets in Budapest. In 2002 it has been declared Unesco World Heritage Site.

It will take you about 30 minutes to cross it all.

Opera House

The Opera House is halfway through Andrássy út and is one of the most important Neo-renaissance buildings in Hungary. The building’s facades are decorated with sculptures of famous musicians and composers.

I highly recommend booking the guided tour (in English of course) that lasts an hour every day at 1.30, 3, and 4.30 PM. Make sure you reserve the spot at least one week before. Tickets are available on the official website.

budapest opera house

House of Terror

The House of Terror is a museum about communist dictatorships featuring underground prisons, documents and many objects.

Opening hours : Every day 10 AM to 6 PM, closed on MON.

Heroes Square

Is one of the most important squares in Budapest. The square is decorated with statues of the seven leaders of the Hungarian tribes. On one side of the square you will find the Art Museum featuring a large collection of Egyptian, Italian, Spanish, as well as other nationalities artifacts. While on the other side you will find the Expo Palace.

Varosliget Park

Varosliget is a green oasis inside Budapest and one of the most beloved locations by locals. Anciently it was a hunting terrain for the nobility in the area.

Inside the parkyou will find a beautiful castle, a statue to Anonymus and the House of the Music, a modern building inaugurated in 2022.

varosliget park

Vajdahunyad Castle

Initially built in wood for the 1896 Expo, it was then completely rebuilt in stone. The design is very interesting as it mix and match many other styles. Inside you may visit the agriculture museum and a church in romanesque style.

Balloonfly

Would you like to fly in the middle of the Hungarian capital in a hot air balloon? Then Ballonfly may be the perfect experience for you! The experience is quite expensive comparing to other but it’s still worth it to see Budapest from new heights.

The flight lasts about 5 minutes and the balloon goes up to 150 meters. You will have a nice view of the park and Szechenyi Baths.

Official Website (in Hungarian) : BalloonFly

budapest ballonfly

Szechenyi Baths

Visit the largest baths in Europe! Szechenyi Baths were built in 1900 and it has in and outdoor pools with different temperatures.

The complex is a must see for sure, but even though we loved the outdoor pools there are other baths in the city that were cleaner and overall more enjoyable to enjoy thermal baths, notably Gellert’s.

If you want to visit the baths remember to bring flip-flops, swim cap, swimsuit, and towel. Check out the official website for opening hours and buying the tickets.

District 7

New York Cafè

New York Café is one of the most beautiful bars in the world! The Art Nouveau interiors are some of the finest in Budapest. You can enjoy a coffee with pastries but careful to the bill. Also don’t be surprised to wait in line before being able to sit. But the wait is worth it!

new york cafè

Grand Synagogue

Budapest has the largest Synagogue in Europe and the forth in the world. The Grand Synagogue can welcome up to 3000 people. The tickets gives access to the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum. On getyourguide you can buy a skip the line ticket.

Remember, when visiting religious places to dress properly. Men will be given the traditional kippah to wear, a head covering that every men must wear inside Synagogues as a sign of respect.

Opening hours : Check out the opening hours on the official website.

Ruin Bar

Among all the places to see in Budapest, ruin bars are certainly one of the most fascinating. There are several of them in the District 7, but the one you must see is Szimpla Kert. Urban explorers will love to explore the rooms with written walls, and old objects.

The area is ideal also to enjoy many different types of street food. Bars are open until very late in the night.

szimpla kert

Street art

Street art lovers Akacfa ut is for you! Graffiti and modern art have invaded the area which is also where you can find the Instant another famous ruin bar.

Other places to see in Budapest

Margaret Island

Margaret Island is one of the greenest areas inside the Hungarian capital. Situated in the middle of the Danube it is 2,5 km long and 500 meters large. A musical fountain, a Japanese garden, and an aquatic center are only a few of the highlights on the island.

Pro tip : we loved exploring the island with rental bikes! Otherwise there is also a small tourist train. How to reach Margaret Island? Via the bus line 26.

margaret island budapest

Memento Park

Is a cemetery for the statues from the communist period that once decorated the most famous squares. For historian and art lovers it’s a must visit!

How to get there? With the bus lines 101B, 101E and 150 from Kelenfold metro M4, or with the shuttle from Deak Ter square.

Opening hours : Every day May to October 10 AM to 6PM, November to April 10 AM to 4 PM.
Website : Mementopark

Children Railway

The children railway is an unusual service connecting the most beautiful locations among Buda hills. Established since the Soviet period the railway is managed by students, for ticket control. In case you are wondering the train is driven by adults. 😉

Website : Children’s Railway

Which attraction have you liked the most?

My personal favorites were visiting Buda Castle at night and enjoying Budapest’s nightlife in Szimpla Kert, in addition of course to tasting all the hearty and delicious Hungarian dishes! If you are looking for more travel inspiration and travel tips from Budapest check out our Hungary page. Otherwise you can find more destinations on our Destinations Page.

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shoes on danube bank statues in budapest

The most Important and Unusual Statues in Budapest

Budapest is the city of statues! Hungarians love to celebrate their heroes or even fictional characters. It could be a monument to the victims of fascism, or to some of the greatest national artists, without forgetting the small statues created by Mihaly Kolodko that are hidden all over the city. Without further ado let’s dive in the guide to find the most unusual statues in Budapest!

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

In This Article

Monuments and memorials in Budapest

Shoes on the Danube Bank

The shoes on the Danube bank are one of the most evocative memorials about the Holocaust ever built. A few meters away from the Parliament about 70 pairs of shoes stands lined on the Danube bank, remembering the thousands of Jews who were executed on the water side of the Danube.

The fascist militia obliged the prisoners to take off the only belongings they had which had value before shooting them. The shoes are often filled with flowers or candles by the locals who come to pay their tribute.

Szent István

Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most enchanting locations in Budapest. Its romantic terraces and towers, but also its statues. And among those how not to mention the beautiful equestrian statue of Stephen I of Hungary?

The first king of Hungary is also one of the most honored Saints in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The statue inside Fisherman Bastion celebrates both the hero and the saint and is a very important monument.

szent istvan statues in budapest

Anonymus

One of the most fascinating statues in Budapest is nearby the amazing Vajdahunyad Castle, which is also one of the most photogenic locations in the capital. There can be several interpretations of the faceless men that seats on a squared stone throne, but the statue is nothing less than a tribute to the mysterious figure of the chronicler of king Bela III.

Author of the Gesta Hungarorum, thanks to him we have a precious testimony of the early history of the Hungarian kingdom. According to superstition touching the point of its pen brings luck to writers.

anonymus statues in budapest

Imre Nagy

Situated nearby Margaret Island, the statue to Imre Nagy is one of the most important in the city as a tribute to the ancient prime minister and national hero. The statue shows the politician standing halfway on a bridge, symbolizing his fight to free Hungary from the Stalinist regime.

Imre Nagy was prime minister under the communist regime from 1953 to 1955. Very popular among the intellectuals and people, he was the leader of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, before being arrested and executed by the soviet government.

Did you know? Recently the statue has been at the center of a controversy as it was moved from its original location by Victor Orban government.

imre nagy statues in budapest

Attila József

One of the most famous Hungarian poets, Attila József, sits nearby the Parliament in a melancholic pose. The statue reflects the tragic life of the poet who died at only 32 years old probably by suicide.

Under the statue you can read a transcription of one of his poems:

“As it would flown from my heart,

confusing, wise and big was the Danube.”

attila jozsef statues in budapest

Ignác Roskovics

Famous Hungarian painter of the 19th century, Ignác Roskovics (1854/1915) statue perfectly celebrates the artist painting a view of the neighboring Chain Bridge.

The statue was made by Ukrainian artist Mykhailo Kolodko in two copies: the second can be found in the Ukrainian city where the painter was born Uzhhorod.

ignac roskovics statues in budapest

Gyula Krúdy

Famous writer Gyula Krúdy statue sits at one of his favorite places in Budapest: the ancient location of Downtown Café now Matild Café. Many of Gyula’s novels saw the light inside the café, and there is even a legend saying that he used red wine as ink for one of his short stories.

Sindbad’s author patiently awaits inspiration while saving a seat for you to pose with him. Don’t hesitate, you will also see many other people taking pictures.

gyula krudy statues in budapest

Unique and Unusual statues in Budapest

The Fat Policeman

Nicknamed “Uncle Karl”, the Fat Policeman statue guards St. Stephen’s Basilica since 1987. You will notice that many people, including locals, rub his belly while passing by, according to a popular legend, this will prevent you from becoming fat.

Legend or not Uncle Karl’s fame has spread wide and sometimes you will even find lines to get shot with Budapest’s most famous policeman.

The Prince of Buda and the Princess of Pest

The romantic sculpture of the prince of Buda and the princess of Pest is worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy. It represents two lovers who are divided by the Danube river.

The real history is much less tragic and after several centuries of expansion the two cities of Buda and Pest united in 1873. The small statue, situated in the Philosopher’s Garden on Gellert Hill is also a tribute to the union of the two cities.

prince of buda princess of pest statues in budapest

The tiniest statue of King Franz Joseph

While walking on the elegant Liberty Bridge, on the side from where you can see the Parliament and the city center you will notice a very small statue about 20 centimeters of the Ukrainian artist Kolodko. The statue represents King Franz Joseph peacefully lying in an hammock with beatitude.

This is only one of the many small statues that Mykhailo Kolodko has disseminated around the city as Easter eggs. The majority are quite difficult to find as they often aren’t larger than a hand.

king franz joseph kolodko statues in budapest

The tiny Ferenc Liszt at Budapest Airport

Also oeuvre of Kolodko, the tiny Ferenc Liszt, outside terminal 2A close to the bus stop, was placed there to honor the musician’s 200 birthday. Positioned on a granite column, you will need to approach in order to admire the tiny statue.

A small suitcase where Liszt is seating and a paper plane at his feet complete the composition reminding the location of the statue.

liszt kolodko statues in budapest

The Paul Street Boys

One of the most famous Hungarian novels is celebrated with a statue a few meters away from the famous Pal Street, in via Prater.

The novel by Ferenc Molnar marked the spirits of many generations and is considered a classic book for children in many different countries. There are also several movie adaptations that were produced over the years.

pal street boys statues in budapest
Photo by Adria Paez. License.

Skála Kópé

Outside the Skála Metró nearby Nyugati station you will find a small boy smiling, he’s Skála Kópé, the mascot of Skála General Store.

Skála Store was a very popular shopping center in Budapest. And around the 80s it had its TV advertisement featuring Skála Kópé, a cheeky boy with a big heart, symbolizing the fact that the store was very popular.

Note: the boy’s heart used to be red but the paint didn’t stand the test of time and it’s now the same bronze color as the rest of the statuette.

skala kope kolodko statues in budapest

Herendi Fountain

Herendi Fountain is a good marketing exemple. It was built using Herend original pieces, one of the most famous porcelain’s manufacturer. The fountain represents the tree of life.

In the same square you will find another porcelain fountain, it’s Zsolnay Fountain also built from an illustrious porcelain manufacturer Zsolnay. Both fountains were commissioned by the city of Budapest to decorate József Nádor Square.

herendi fountain statues in budapest

The Little Princess

One of the most beloved statues in Budapest is the Little Princess by László Marton. The statue represents the artist’s daughter who used to wear princess-like clothes and a crown made of journal paper, which is the bizarre headdress she’s wearing.

The statue is situated on the Danube bank and has a very nice view on Buda Castle. Through the years it has become the unofficial symbol of Budapest and one of its most important statues.

the little princess statues in budapest

It’s a wrap of the must see statues in Budapest

There are several more beautiful statues you will find while walking around, but I feel these are really the ones you shouldn’t miss! Are you preparing a trip to Budapest? Check out our travel guide for more tips and ideas on visiting.

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chain bridge at night most instagrammable places in budapest best photo spots

The 17 Most Instagrammable Places in Budapest

Budapest is one of the most intriguing European capitals. Gothic and Neo Classic buildings mix with a lively and modern lifestyle, making it a great destination both for having fun and immerse yourself in culture and history. But in a city that has so much to offer, which are the best photo spots to catch its highlights? In this guide I’ll lead you through the most Instagrammable places in Budapest.

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

In This Article

1. Fisherman’s Bastion

The fairy tale looking Fisherman’s Bastion is probably the best of all the photo spots in Budapest. It’s so dreamy! The Neo-Classical building was built between the end of 1800 and the first years of 1900, on the ancient fondations of a military fortress, as a monument to celebrate the beauty and grandiosity of the city.

Nowadays Fisherman’s Bastion has become one of the most photographed spots. And that’s not only because of the undeniable beauty of the Bastion’s towers and terraces, but also because of the panoramic view that unfolds before the visitors eyes.

Cost: Free or small fee depending on the area you want to access and time of the day. Learn more on the official website.

Best time of the day to get there: Early in the morning. As a VERY touristy site, the best time to have the Bastion all by yourself is until 8-9 AM. After that time you will see many people showing up to enjoy the location.

fisherman bastion most instagrammable places in budapest

2. Matthias Church

Similarly to Fisherman’s Bastion, Mathias Church was renovated after a turbulent past, that left only ruins of it, by the end of the 19th century. The new Church is in Neo-Gothic style.

The Church is one of the most interesting sites in Buda as many historical events, such as coronations, weddings, etc…, took place inside its walls.

Cost: You can freely access to the exteriors. If you want to visit the interiors you can buy the tickets here.

Best time of the day to get there: To visit the Church interiors you must wait 9 AM (opening time) or 1 PM on Sunday.

matthias church most instagrammable places in budapest

3. Buda Castle

Very close to the above mentioned locations, the imposing Buda Castle stands as one of Hungary’s most famous landmarks. Ancient residence of kings, nowadays Buda Castle hosts the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.

Cost: The castle is free but if you want to visit the two museums, and I highly recommend them, there is an extra fee. If you buy the Budapest Pass (which includes transports as well!) both museums are included.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime, but the museums open only at 10 AM.

buda castle most instagrammable places in budapest

4. Castle Hill Funicular

Connecting the lower part to the hill of Buda Castle the funicular is a very interesting subject to photograph. You can take the funicular to the top, but honestly I don’t recommend it if there are too many tourists. You’ll end up squeezed inside a wagon and you won’t enjoy the ride much.

On the contrary, if you take the stairs there is a better and unobstructed view of the photogenic funicular from one of the small pedestrian bridges that pass on it.

Cost: Free if you walk your way on the stairs, for entering inside the cabins check the prices on bkk.hu.

Best time of the day to get there: During Summer the funicular is crowded almost at every time of the day. That’s why I recommend evaluating the stairs instead.

buda castle funicular most instagrammable places in budapest

5. Chain Bridge

Every capital has an iconic bridge. In Budapest that’s Chain Bridge. Chain Bridge was the first built on the Danube between the then Buda and Pest areas.

Fun fact about the bridge: there are two massive lions on each side of the bridge. When they were first positioned on the bridge around 1830 not many people had the chance to see lions for real. For this reason word had spread that the artist who sculpted the lions forgot to sculpt their tongues. As he later explained lions have their tongues, they are just not visible as they are inside the lions’ mouths.

Cost: Free.

Best time of the day to get there: The bridge is both for pedestrians and vehicles, so even if you can get there anytime you want you should avoid the high traffic hours (during the week is when the offices open or close).

chain bridge most instagrammable places in budapest

6. Hungarian Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hungary. Visible from many panoramic points in the city, you can photograph it from many different angles.

The best spot for your photos? On the riverside of the Danube facing it. There are no better places to capture the grandiosity of the whole monument. An extra tip? Take a walk at night and admire it enlightened by thousand lights, magical!

Cost: To visit the magnificently decorated interiors of the Parliament you can book a tour on site. Check schedules and prices on the Parliament website.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime. For a soft sky opt the early morning or sunset hour, while for a strong contrast privilege the evening.

hungarian parliament most instagrammable places in budapest

7. Heroes’ Square

Did you know? There are 4 different Heroes’ Square in Budapest! The one I’m talking about is close to the Parliament and next to the city park.

Heroes’ Square is a monument to Hungarian millennial history with statues of the Magyar chieftains and other political leaders. At the center the Archangel Gabriel stands on tall column holding the symbols of Christianity and power.

Cost: Free.

Best time of the day to get there: For an uncrowded sight of the iconic square go early in the morning.

8. Ferris Wheel of Budapest

Budapest Ferris Wheel or Eye is the third highest wheel in Europe and has one the best views on the city. It’s also an ideal backdrop from the ground, and you have a nice small park around the wheel where you will find the beautiful Danubius Fountain.

Cost: Check the tickets prices here.

Best time of the day to get there: Go with the golden colors of the sunset, although there will also be more tourists, but the views are the best.

budapest ferris wheel travel guide

9. View from Gellért Hill

Gellert Hill stands a solid 235 meters above Budapest and is one of the best viewpoints of Budapest. To reach the top you will have to traverse a lush park. What awaits you on top? An enchanting view of Budapest, the Citadel, and Liberty Statue, an inspiring monument to all those who fought for Hungary’s freedom trough the centuries.

Cost: Free.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime.

The photo below is not from the top of the hill, but from an intermediary point.

gellert hill citadel viewpoint most instagrammable places in budapest

10. Gellért Thermal Spa Baths

On a short itinerary you could skip Gellert Hill, but it would be a pity as it’s the location of Gellert Thermal Spa Bath. The delightful art nouveau establishment is one of the most beautiful Thermal Baths establishments in Budapest. You can relax in an idyllic picture while enjoying the benefits of the thermal treatments.

Cost: Varies following the formula you are taking, see all the prices here.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime.

gellert thermal bath in budapest travel guide

11. Vajdahunyad Castle

Budapest has several enchanting locations, but one of the most romantic is without a doubt Vajdahunyad Castle. This majestic building is the mixed replica of several castles in the area which come from different architectural styles: Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic.

The icing on the cake? Vajdahunyad Castle is located inside a vast park. The Castle hosts also the largest agriculture museum in Europe.

Cost: You can freely enter inside the park and castle. If you want to visit the agriculture museum there is an entry ticket.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime.

vajdahunyad castle most instagrammable places in budapest

12. Margaret Island

Margaret Island is a tranquil getaway in the middle of the Danube. The island is famous for its park, the water tower and Palatinus Strand, a thermal bath complex that has several outdoor pools.

There are several spots which can provide for a great shot, and if you are lucky you may even get wildlife pictures of the adorable squirrels that live on the islands.

Cost: Free.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime.

margaret island most instagrammable places in budapest

13. Shoes on the Danube Bank

There are several memorials all around Europe, but this is definitely one of the most evocative and touching. The monument consist in several pairs of shoes aligned on the Danube bank, which pay tribute to the massacres operated by the fascist Hungarian militia, who executed the Jews just in front of the water edge so that their bodies were carried away.

The shoes were the only precious belonging they left behind as the soldiers would resell them. You will often find people leaving flowers to honor the victims.

Cost: Free.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime.

14. Széchenyi Spa Baths

Széchenyi Spa Baths are the largest and most famous in Budapest. They are famous because of the chess pools where you can play chess while enjoying a bath.

These baths are an amazing backdrop especially in colder days when the hot pool water creates a mist effect which look so good on pictures, see down below an example.

Cost: Varies following the formula you are taking, see all the prices here.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime, but to take surreal pictures with the mist coming up from the pools, you should privilege colder days, or evenings.

15. The Great Market Hall

Built in the end of the 19th century, the Great Market Hall is the largest in Budapest. The location has a fascinating architecture which mix industrial features to Art Nouveau.

Even if you are not looking to buy something in particular, and there are shops for all tastes, the place is still a must visit, and also an ideal stop to have breakfast or lunch.

Cost: Free.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime. Note that it’s closed on Sundays.

great market hall most instagrammable places in budapest

16. Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar

The concept is quite modern, in 2002 a new bar saw the light inside an abandoned urban area. Szimpla Kert (translates as Simple Garden) was born. Since then many other ruin bar were built in the area. Although Szimpla Kert remains the most unique and also one of the largest.

The bar gradually expanded and it even has an open air cinema and a vast relaxing area. With its unique urban decay style, Szimpla Kert is ideal for some different shots of Budapest city life.

Cost: You can visit the Ruin Bars alley for free.

Best time of the day to get there: Anytime. Note that it’s closed on Sundays.

szimpla kert ruin bar most instagrammable places in budapest

17. New York Cafe

New York Café is rightfully considered the most beautiful coffee bar in the world! This elegant Renaissance style café has it all for being one of Budapest most iconic locations.

Of course, just like many hyped places it comes with a high price tag. As you would expect from a place like, this everything is quite pricey and you mostly pay for the decor. That said New York Café remains still one of the must photograph places in Budapest.

Cost: This is the menu.

Best time of the day to get there: New York Café is often overcrowded and you could wait a long time in line before being served. To avoid the waiting time you should book a reservation. Opening hours: 8 AM to 12 AM.

new york cafe most instagrammable places in budapest

One Last Word about the Most Instagrammable Places in Budapest

Budapest is a city where you can find a good photo spot around every corner, so don’t limit yourself. Keep your camera ready and charged and enjoy this amazing city that has so much to offer. And don’t forget to check our Budapest travel guide to prepare a perfect trip!

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Budapest Travel Guide: Everything you need to know

You may call it Twin City, City of Bridges, or Waters, no matter the name you will choose Budapest is an extraordinary city for many different reasons. It’s ancient and modern at the same time. You will find many art nouveau buildings, but also a very active night life. Without forgetting its heritage, with buildings like the Parliament and Fisherman’s Bastion. Unlike other European cities, like Paris and Rome, prices are more affordable for eating and sleeping but without compromising the quality. Although less famous internationally, Hungarian food is absolutely delicious!

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

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When is the Best Time to Visit

The best months to enjoy Budapest are April/May and September/March. At this time of the year temperatures are more mitigate and there are less tourists around.

Music lovers will privilege Summer as it’s the time of the great music festivals, like Sziget or Kolorado, to mention two. And during Winter, the city becomes the stage of Christmas markets, that celebrates Hungarian craftsmanship and food.

best things to do in budapest travel guide

How to get to Budapest from the Airport

Besides taxies, which aren’t recommended as they are very expensive for tourists, you have two options:

  • the airport shuttle 100E, which connects the airport to the city center. This solution is more expensive but will let you go “strict to the point”. I especially recommend this solution if you are staying 1 or 2 days. Time to the city center: about 40 minutes.
  • the second transfer is made via airport shuttle 200E, that will drop you to the metro station on the blue line, from there you can easily get to the city center. This shuttle is included in the Budapest Card (only in the 72h formula), a pass which includes public transport and several attractions. Time to the city center: 1 hour.

How to Move Around

The public transport’s web in Budapest is pretty wide! Buses, metro, and trams you name them without forgetting the ferries on the blue Danube. The best way to move around? Getting the already above mentioned Budapest Card. After you buy it on getyourguide, you can claim it at one of the airport terminal (2A or 2B) after your arrival.

If you are staying for 2 days or less, consider the Travelcard instead as it’s cheaper (it doesn’t include the museum entrances) and the Budapest Card deals under the 72h card are less worth it.

how to move around in budapest travel guide

Hungarian Currency and how much should you carry?

Even though Hungary is part of the European Union, the local currency is the Hungarian Forint.

It’s highly recommended not to change your value at the airport, instead you can change once you are in the city center. Changers can have very different conversion rates between them, for this reason don’t forget to ask also the commission they take before changing your money.

Another good alternative is to withdraw the amount of money you want directly from an ATM. Of course in this case make sure you check the commission rates from your bank before to avoid salty bills!

If you already payed for your hotel, and the majority of your activities and tours you may also consider just paying with your credit card. Most restaurants accept it. Although I would still withdraw a small amount for the extra expenses which may not accept it.

What to see and do in Budapest (Top 6)

Cruise along the Danube

Going to Budapest without cruising on the blue Danube would be a pity, after all they call it the city of waters! And if you are up for it I recommend dinner cruises, the beauty of the Parliament and other buildings illuminated at night takes a magical allure when admired by the river.

The cruises start at a very reasonable price with several options included (like drinks and live music). Want a hint on which cruises is ideal for you? As I already mentioned, a cruise at night is magical. Wether you choose to have dinner or simply sip a cocktail it will be a lovely experience!

cruise on the danube budapest travel guide

Explore Buda Castle

Buda Castle is situated on a hill dominating the Danube and the city. When visiting you can attend the change of the guard, which is every hour, except for the last saturday of the month that takes place only at noon.

The castle is also home to two interesting museum, the first is the National Gallery for art lovers. While Budapest History Museum will walk you through the history of the city and its people.

buda castle budapest travel guide

Visit the Parliament

One of the most famous Hungarian landmarks is Budapest Parliament. The iconic building is a must see when visiting Budapest. You can book a visit to its interiors to learn more about the fascinating building and its history.

At night the building gets under the spotlight of a thousand lights and is a sight not to be missed during a walk in the area. The above mentioned river cruises also pass by it as an highlight of the tour.

budapest travel guide parliament at night

Get Budapest at your feet on the Ferris Wheel

Located in a lovely park not far away from the Parliament, Budapest Ferris Wheel will let you see Budapest from new heights.

For a reasonable price you will get 4 tours on the wheel, with the last one stopping for a short time to let you get a 360° view of the city. You can check the wheel schedule and book the tickets on the official website.

Pro tip: Best time for this experience? Undoubtedly at sunset, when you can admire the city’s lights starting to appear and the sky changing colors.

budapest ferris wheel travel guide

Admire Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most photographed spots in Budapest. That’s for two main reasons: the beauty of the city views from there, and also the beauty of the location itself, and that’s because the bastion was completed in the early 20th century as a viewing terrace with lookout towers.

If you want to take some undisturbed shots the advice is to go very early in the morning as Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most popular locations in the city (if not the most popular).

Do you wanna to know more about the schedule, events and tours? Check out the official website.

fisherman bastion budapest travel guide

Relax at the Thermal Baths

With over 100 springs, Budapest is very well known for its Thermal Baths. There are several of many different sizes all around the city. So which one should you visit?

Szechenyi Thermal Bath is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Hosted in a magnificent Neo-Baroque complex, the spa has 15 indoor pools and 3 large outdoor basins where you will notice people playing chess. There are several different formulas you can check on Széchenyi Thermal Bath official website.

Smaller in size (but not less interesting!) Gellert Thermal Bath has some deliciously art nouveau designs that contribute to create a luxurious experience. You can buy tickets on Gellért Thermal Bath website.

gellert thermal bath in budapest travel guide
The interiors of Gellert Thermal Bath.

Where to Stay in Budapest

As any capital, Budapest has a large choice of hotels and accommodations.

Best Mid-Range Hotel (our pick!)

We personally went with a mid-range accommodation, the T62 Hotel. The hotel is hosted inside an ancient building that was completely renovated. The interiors are modern and very clean with a touch of modern.

One of the best things about T62 Hotel is its position close to Margaret Island and in front of Nyugati Train and Metro Station which makes it an ideal base to explore the city.

Best Luxury Hotel

One of the best rated hotels on booking, it also has a private spa, is Kozmo Hotel. 5 minutes away from the closest tram stop and 10 minutes from the closest metro station, Kozmo Hotel is in an ancient building.

As the guests who stayed there say, Kozmo Hotel guarantees an excellent stay in Budapest. The continental breakfast buffet is very abundant and delicious as well as the restaurant.

where to stay in budapest travel guide t62 hotel
The restaurant in T62 Hotel.

What to eat in Budapest, local delicacies

In Budapest food is delicious and not really expensive. There are several restaurants in the city center and you won’t have any difficulty finding a good one near you.

Hungarian cuisine is a mix of European, and Eastern cuisine. Most dishes includes meat and seasonal vegetables. Among the most delicious you should absolutely try:

  • Goulash, a hearty stew with beef, potatoes, onions and paprika. Goulash is also Hungary’s national dish.
  • Chicken Paprikash. Hungarians love paprika and use it a lot in all of their dishes. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most beloved dishes is chicken served with tomatoes, onions, and garlic, and abundantly covered with paprika which gives it a reddish color.
  • Fisherman soup. It may sound weird for a country that has no access to the sea that one of its main dishes is based on fish. Carp, catfish, or perch are commonly used to make this delicious red (of course there is paprika in it) soup.
  • Deep-Fried Flat Bread, for a vegetarian meal choose this delicious fried bread! Served with sour cream or with sprinkled cheese on its top, it can be a delicious street food to try on the go.
  • Chimney Cake, you will find this delicious pastry around the city under the name of kurtoskalacs. The pastry is one of the most ancient deserts in Hungary. Even though you can eat them empty as they have sugar on their surface, some street foods sell it with ice cream or nutella inside.
chimney cake shop in budapest travel guide

How many days should you spend in Budapest?

Ideally 3 nights 4 days. There are many things to see and do, and 3-4 days are the perfect amount to explore the major highlights of the city.

Is Budapest expensive?

Compared to other European capitals, Budapest prices are very competitive. Hotels and food are excellent and not really expensive. And with good deals like Budapest Card or Budapest Travel Pass it won’t be an expensive trip.

One last word about visiting Budapest

Visiting Budapest is an exciting experience and Hungarian food is a must try. So book your tickets and take the leap! If you need more travel inspiration from Europe check out our guides. And stay tuned, more content about Budapest is coming soon 😉

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The 17 Best Photo Spots in Lofoten: the Most Instagrammable Places

Lofoten are by far one of the most mesmerizing places on our planet. The beauty of the sharp and irregular peaks surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Norwegian Sea, and the little red houses (by the way, did you know you can sleep inside one?) dotting the irregular surface of the islands, make it a bucket list location for many photographers. But with so many places to visit it’s easy to get lost. With this helpful guide, complete with a map, I’ll help you choose the best photo spots in Lofoten to visit all year long!

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

In this article

Where to find the Best Photo Spots in Lofoten?

Lofoten are easy to explore. There is one main road, the E10, and a few narrow roads that will lead you to the most remote places. Even so a practical guide can help you to save time, and that’s why you made be interested in this road trip itinerary tailored on a 5-days journey.

Otherwise the map down below will help you locate all the points on our list. I choose to order them by geographical area starting from the North-East and saving the best part, Moskenesøya island, for the end.

1. Trollfjord (Svolvær)

How to get there: by boat on a cruise or on a sea eagle safari tour.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Situated between Vesteralen and Lofoten, Trollfjord became famous after a battle between fishermen in the late 19th century. Following the events, a painting illustrating the naval fight captured the attention because of the landscape.

Since then Trollfjord is an iconic location that can be reached only by boat, or during Summer after a long an difficult trek in the surrounding mountains.

Want two birds with a stone (or should I say eagles?!) ? RIB sea eagles safari will bring you there after showing you the majestic bird of prey in their natural habitat. Want to learn more about this experience? Check out our detailed guide.

trollfjord best photo spots in lofoten

2. Svolværgeita (Svolvær)

How to get there: Northern Alpine Guides.
Best time to get there: Summer.

Climbing the Svolværgeita, literally Svolvaer’s Goat (because of the two spires that look like horns), is one of the best activities to do in Lofoten. And the view from up there is insane! The hike isn’t as difficult as it may look and with Northern Alpine Guides you will get on top in no time.

If you are not feeling confident enough to go up to the horns, Fløya trail head is an easy/moderate that will gift with some incredible views as well.

On top of Svolværgeita Photo credits to Tarjei Mo. License.

3. Henningsvaer Stadium

How to get there: Road 816 to Henningsvaer.
Best time to get there: Summer, when the field is clearly visible.

Henningsvaer Stadium is one of the most iconic soccer fields in the world! Since the use of drones became so accessible, Henningsvaer saw its popularity increase because of the particular location of its stadium.

The stadium is a few meters away from the small city center, to have the most non-aerial view of it climb to the rocks opposite to the entrance. You can also take on the right when arriving to the cod drying stacks for a panoramic view of the surrounding islets.

best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places in lofoten henninsgvaer
Photo from Pexels.com. Credits to op23.

4. The cemetery in front of Vik

How to get there: on Voieveien direction Hauklandstranda.
Best time to get there: Winter.

Cemeteries in Lofoten are the place where I can really imagine people “resting in peace”. There is something poetic about them, and when snow lays its veil on the island they become surreal.

When going to Hauklandstranda and Uttakleiv strand, Vik cemetery stands on the right backed by one of Lofoten typical mountains you can stop there and respectfully admire the view.

best photo spots in lofoten vik cemetery

5. Buskenes Kirche

How to get there: on the road 818 direction to Ballstad.
Best time to get there: all year long.

If you come to Lofoten with the idea of seing viking-like buildings and boats, you may be disappointed. Although we did see a drakkar staying at Solsiden Brygge.

On the building side, you can visit Lofotr Viking Museum, which is hosted inside the largest viking longhouse that survived the test of time. And of course you can admire the beautiful Buskenes Kirche.

Situated nearby Ballstad, Buskenes Church is built in dragestil, an architectural style very popular in the 19th and 20th century in Scandivia, that takes elements from the ancient viking constructions.

buskenes kirke best photo spots

6. Uttakleiv strand

How to get there: on Voieveien direction Hauklandstranda.
Best time to get there: all year long.

There are many incredible beaches in Lofoten and Uttakleiv stands proudly among the top to visit. During Summer you can enjoy the hike to the top of Mannen Mountain. While in Winter you can walk from Hauklanstranda to Uttakleiv along the coast.

The parking fee is cheaper in Hauklanstranda, but if you are not willing to walk skip directly to Uttakleiv. The area is also open to camping and there are toilets nearby that are often closed during Winter.

best photo spots in lofoten uttakleiv strand in winter

7. Flakstad Kirche

How to get there: along the E10.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Flakstad Kirche is nearby the beautiful beach of Skagsanden. Popular during summer as a camping site and a good spot to enjoy the freezing arctic waters, in Winter it’s a very popular surfing spot.

The church is interesting because of its typical architecture. If you are staying nearby, camping in Flakstad or staying in Ramber consider coming there in the freezing winter nights to admire the Northern Lights.

flakstad kirke best photo spots in lofoten

8. Nusfjord

How to get there: take the Fv807 before Flakstad to Nusfjord.
Best time to get there: all year long.

The most well preserved fishing village in Lofoten is also an open air museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site that is absolutely worth visiting! Nusfjord preserved many historical buildings and original rorbuer (where you can spend an unforgettable stay!).

The open buildings features everyday objects and fishing tools. I highly recommend visiting the ancient general store, which is now a café but kept many of the original objects on display.

Learn more about Nusfjord in our travel guide.

nusfjord best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places

9. Ramberg Rorbu

How to get there: along the E10.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Ramberg Rorbu became famous thanks to socials and is probably after Eliassen Rorbuer, the most photographed rorbu in Lofoten. Easily accessible, it’s very close to a parking, photographers favorite spot to photograph it is from the bike path next to the road.

There is no best time to photograph Ramberg Rorbu, but let’s be honest when the red house is surrounded by snow the white/red/blue contrast is just perfect!

ramberg rorbu best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places in lofoten

10. Yttersand

How to get there: leave the E10 direction Fredvang, surpass the village, you will find the beach on your right.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Yttersand beach is a tranquil beach framed by large rocks with the incredible backdrop of Volandstind, the mountain you can admire coming back from the beach while crossing the curvy Fredvang bridges, and Ramberg mountains.

Just like many other beaches in Lofoten, Yttersand is very popular during Winter among the arctic surfers.

best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places yttersand

11. Kvalvika Beach

How to get there: leave the E10 direction Fredvang, surpass the village, the parking to the hike is on your left.
Best time to get there: Summer.

One of the most beautiful locations in Lofoten is Kvalvika Beach, although to get there you will have to complete a moderate 1 hour and a half hike. The beach is a famous camping site, and it’s easy to see why!

If you are looking for the most beautiful spot to photograph Kvalvika, consider the trail to Ryten (the view below is from the trail). It’s a moderate hike that will take you 2 more hours to complete, once you’ll be up there you won’t regret it!

most instagrammable places in lofoten best photo spots in lofoten kvalvika
Photo from Pexels.com. Credits to Stein Egil Liland.

12. Hamnøy Bridge

How to get there: on E10.
Best time to get there: all year long.

The view from Hamnøy Bridge is probably the most famous view of Norway, and I’m sure as you are preparing your trip you’ve already come across it at least once.

This view is very representative of Lofoten: Festhelltinden peak towering over the red rorbuer on the waterfront. It describes the islands so perfectly!

To get the perfect photo park your car after the bridge and go back, there is a small sidewalk. Good to know: the bridge has alternating traffic, if you want to cross it entirely from the parking just wait that the last vehicle has passed before the green light goes on for the other side.

Did you know? You can sleep in one of the mythical rorbu you see from the bridge!

best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places hamnoy bridge

13. Sakrisøya Yellow Rorbu

How to get there: on E10.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Accidentally Wes Anderson Book made this location world famous by changing the yellow rorbu into a dog (wearing a yellow raincoat).

But of course even if you don’t have a Jack Russell with you you can still match the view of Olstind peak with the yellow rorbu in front of it.

In case you end up on Sakrisøya for lunch or dinner, you can stop at one of Lofoten’s most famous restaurants: Anita’s Seafood. Their menu is simply delicious, and the view is unmatched!

sakrisoy rorbuer most instagrammable places in lofoten best photo spots in lofoten

14. Reine

How to get there: on E10.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Reine is one of the most famous villages in Lofoten, and for a good reason: its bay which includes also Sakrisøy and Hamnøy is one of the most spectacular in the world.

There are several points to admire the beauty of this small village but one of the most famous and the one from this you can have the view you see below is from the bridge that connects E10 to the center.

If you are traveling during Winter it’s also an excellent point to get the Northern Lights.

reine best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places

15. Reine lighthouse

How to get there: from the Reine center there is parking nearby where you can also camp.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Reine has a typical small Lofoten lighthouse, unlike Andenes 40 meters giant, nothing particularly photogenic. But the views you can admire along the lighthouse pier are amazing!

The bay of Reine is surrounded by dramatic peaks, below you can see Olstind, and wherever you will turn the view is magical. The spot is very good especially for photographing the Northern lights. In that case I strongly advise you to stay in Reine Rorbuer by Classic Hotels Norway. These rorbuer are very close to the pier and they itself are a beautiful subject to photograph.

reine lighthouse best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places

16. Reinebringen

How to get there: from Reine there is a trail that brings you to the top.
Best time to get there: Summer.

The hike to Reinebringen is a must if you are traveling in the area during Summer, and sometimes even during Winter, although it’s way less safer.

Reinebringen is a moderate/expert level hike of 3 hours (round trip). On the top it will feel like you have the world to your feet with Reine bay just below. The view below is taken along the trail, there is a panoramic view on top that will let you see all the bay including Hamnøy.

Photo from Pexels.com. Credits to Ertabbt.

17. Å

How to get there: reach the end of E10.
Best time to get there: all year long.

Å is the last village in Lofoten that you can reach on the road. Even if through the years the fishing village has evolved and has a modern look, there are some areas that have maintained an old times charm, such as the open air museum and the Southern part which is where the rorbuer are.

For taking some memorable pictures you can visit the above mentioned Å Open Air Museum, or the Stockfish Museum, displaying objects and explaining techniques from centuries of fishing history.

best photo spots in lofoten most instagrammable places a

When is the best time to visit the Lofoten islands?

Take it from my father, an award winning photographer, who has visited the Lofoten islands multiple times: nothing can beat the beauty of exploring the Lofoten islands during the Winter. Especially if you are a photographer!

There are two main reasons for that: the Northern Lights and snow. To be sure to have both plan you trip in February or March. December and January are the darkest months and you have almost no daylight, while in November you will see the Northern Lights but sometimes it doesn’t snow until the last days of the month.

In case you are planning to enjoy the hikes and outdoor activities Summer is of course the best period, with June and July being the most touristy months.

reine rorbuer by classic hotel norway best photo spots in lofoten

It’s a wrap of the best photo spots in Lofoten

I have seen so many incredible places around the world, but I must admit that Lofoten are one of the most beautiful I have visited and I’m already considering to go back! So even though they are pricy, they are absolutely worth visiting. And you won’t regret any cent you invested. Before leaving check out our Norway page for more inspiration and guides to this incredible country.

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The 8 Best Rorbuer in Lofoten for an Authentic Experience

When I started planning my road trip to Lofoten I didn’t know much about the archipelago besides the outstanding natural landscapes and the lovely little red houses that you can see all along the road. As I learned later the little red houses aren’t only there for pure aesthetic (even if it highly contributes to the beauty and magic of the islands), but they are fishermen cabins also known as rorbuer. The best part you can sleep inside them! But of course you already knew all this since you are here. So which are the best rorbuer in Lofoten? Without further ado let’s see!

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

In this Article

Don’t have time to read the whole post? Here are our pick!

Unlike other accommodation posts I’ve written I can’t really sort a budget-friendly option as the starting prices are very similar. So I’ll go with two favorites that are personally the most worth to invest into:

Nusfjord Arctic Resort is the rorbu par excellence. The cabins are inside the UNESCO village and they have been perfectly preserved as they were in ancient times, of course without forgetting the modern touch which has been added to make them more comfortable.

Eliassen Rorbuer are probably the rorbuer that have the best location in our list (with Sakrisøy Rorbuer being a very close second). But the minimalist and bright wood interiors make them another must when planning your trip.

nusfjord arctic resort living room
Nusfjord Arctic Resort cabin.

The Best Rorbuer in Lofoten

This comparative table is sorted by location. Starting from the North East to the most Southern point (It’s inspired from our road trip) you can reach by following the E10, Lofoten National Road.

Rorbuer NameBooking scoreLocationSauna*Price range
Svinøya Rorbuer8,9Svolvær✔️(💸)150-600€
Henningsvær Rorbuer8,1Henningsvær✔️(💸)150-600€
Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer8,5Ballstad✔️150-500€
Nusfjord Arctic Resort9,3Nusfjord✔️200-600€
Eliassen Rorbuer8,6Hamnøy150-500€
Sakrisøy Rorbuer9,1Sakrisøy150-500€
Reine Rorbuer by Classic Hotels Norway8,6Reine150-400€
Å Rorbuer by Classic Norway Hotels8,5Å200-600€
*Price range highly vary depending on the season.

Svinøya Rorbuer (Svolvær)

Situated in Svolvær, Svinøya Rorbuer offers many different accommodations options for its guests. Including modern appartements that are ideal if you are traveling with a larger group.

But the real deal are of course the rorbuer in the bay. The cabins maintained their rustic charm, the wooden walls and dark interiors will give you an idea of how living in those cabins in the past centuries was like. Of course unlike the past, Svinøya Rorbuer are equipped with all the amenities: a kitchen, a bath and comfortable beds.

Note: when booking at Svinøya Rorbuer during the high season (February to March and June to August) you won’t be able to book a one night stay only. In case you want to spend one night only in Svolvær you can either look into Lofoten Rorbuer, or consider visiting Svolvaer during the day and going to sleep into neighboring Henningsvær.

Check out prices/book your stay at Svinøya Rorbuer.

best rorbuer in lofoten svinoya rorbuer

Henningsvær Rorbuer (Henningsvær)

Henningsvær Rorbuer is situated, as you can guess by its name, in the iconic city of Henningsvær, Norway’s miniature Venice. The rorbuer are simpler compared to other rorbuer but that contribute to an authentic feeling.

The rorbuer are situated at the end of the main road that cross Henningsvær and even though on a map it may look very close to the iconic stadium, it will take you a 10 minutes walk to get there.

When booking I highly recommend paying a little more to take a rorbu with the view on the ocean. Waking up to the view makes a difference, especially if you have a view on the canal on the other side.

Check out prices/book your stay at Henningsvær Rorbuer.

best rorbuer in lofoten henningsvaer rorbuer

Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer (Ballstad)

Translated from Norwegian the Sunny Pier, Solsiden Brygge has some lovely and recently renewed rooms that are situated in one of the typical red fishing buildings.

Note: the accommodations in Solsiden Brygge aren’t the small cabins we have seen until now. The wooden buildings are more like giant size rorbuer with a beautiful view on the surrounding mountains. Another interesting solution are also the suites in the newly built wooden house in front of the reception.

The icing on the cake? The free sauna very close to the cabins!

Check out prices/book your stay at Solsiden Brygge Rorbuer.

best rorbuer in lofoten solsiden brygge

Nusfjord Arctic Resort (Nusfjord)

If I could book only one rorbu of this list, Nusfjord Arctic Resort would probably be my go to. Lofoten have in my opinion some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. And even if Nusfjord natural landscapes can’t compete with some other locations like Hamnøy and Reine (to mention two), the historical beauty of Nusfjord fishing village is undeniable and one of my personal highlights in Lofoten.

So why Nusfjord Arctic Resort? Because you become a villager yourself as the luxurious cabins of the resort are inside the ancient part. This is quite unique by the way, I don’t know many other resorts that are inside UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

Back to our cabins: the interiors are well equipped, full kitchen, living room, etc… The suite isn’t inside a red rorbu, but it’s a larger wooden home, the interiors are still beautiful but if you want a traditional fisherman rorbu, book the cabins instead.

Check out prices/book your stay at Nusfjord Arctic Resort.

best rorbuer in lofoten nusfjord arctic resort

Eliassen Rorbuer (Hamnøy)

Eliassen Rorbuer are probably among the most photographed “hotel rooms” in the world! In fact you’ve probably already seen them while preparing your Lofoten trip in one of the advertising photos.

These rorbuer are situated on the rocks in front of the Hamnøy bridge that connects the village to the small Sakrisøy island and Reine. The view is probably one of the most famous in Norway, photographers particularly loves it as you have an aerial view without the use of a drone.

Besides the breathtaking view that certainly contributes to the fame of Eliassen Rorbuer, the cabins are very cozy inside and super comfortable. The decor is minimalist but the light and clean wooden walls give a very nice and modern vibe.

The room views from the rorbuer are probably the best in Lofoten!

Check out prices/book your stay at Eliassen Rorbuer.

best rorbuer in lofoten eliassen rorbuer hamnoy

Sakrisøy Rorbuer (Sakrisøy)

Rorbuer in Lofoten are mostly red. Except in Sakrisøy. You will instantly recognize the small islet, that is home to one of the most famous restaurant’s in Lofoten, Anita’s seafood, for it’s yellow rorbuer and houses.

Apart from being yellow, Sakrisøy Rorbuer are pretty much like the other robuer. Cozy, woody, and comfortable, the rorbuer are situated in a strategic position close to both Hamnøy and Reine. Besides Anita’s seafood you will find also a grocery store close nearby.

When staying in Sakrisøy Rorbuer or even if you are simply passing by, don’t forget to have a stop at the iconic yellow house that has inspired one of the locations of the Accidentally Wes Anderson book.

Check out prices/book your stay at Sakrisøy Rorbuer.

best rorbuer in lofoten sakrisoy rorbuer

Reine Rorbuer by Classic Hotels Norway (Reine)

Reine is fairly considered one of the most beautiful villages in Norway. And if you are staying in one of Reine Rorbuer you will easily see why. Even though the fishing village has evolved with time, the modern houses have preserved their charm, and of course the natural scenery surrounding it is one of the most beautiful in the archipelago.

Reine Rorbuer are situated in a strategic position where you can benefit both of views over Festhelltinden (Hamnøy’s mountain), Reinebringen, and Olstind (the iconic peak in front of Sakrisøy). One of the loveliest things about Reine Rorbuer is the fact that you will feel like you are in a small village made of rorbuer only.

The interiors are comfortable and very welcoming, with a living space which is of a nice size, especially in 4 guests cabins.

The rorbuer are very close to Reine lighthouse, a must-see because of the amazing views of the bay and its peaks. It’s also an amazing spot to photograph the Northern Lights if you are visiting during Winter.

Check out prices/book your stay at Reine Rorbuer by Classic Hotels Norway.

best rorbuer in lofoten reine rorbuer by classic norway hotels

Å Rorbuer by Classic Norway Hotels (Å)

Similarly to Nusfjord, Å is a fishing village that preserved many of its ancient houses and structures. The single room cabins are quite small but still comfortable.

I’d recommend Å Rorbuer especially if you are traveling with a larger group, their deluxe cabins is very spacious. The complex has an on site restaurant but if you are traveling in winter check their schedule as it may be closed.

When visiting Å don’t miss the opportunity to stroll among the buildings of the open air museum, which features typical objects and buildings.

Check out prices/book your stay at Å Rorbuer by Classic Norway Hotels.

best rorbuer in lofoten a rorbuer by norway classic rorbuer

Pro and cons of staying in a Rorbuer, What’s it like?

Pros

Authenticity. If with one word I had to describe the small red houses that would be it. Of course ancient rorbuer weren’t equipped with all the amenities we have today. Several people lived inside the cabins without electricity and tap water. But staying inside the cabins that sometimes have narrow spaces will give you an idea of how the life of these fishermen looked like.

This isn’t true all the time, but usually rorbuer are equipped with a kitchen. And when traveling to the very expensive Lofoten, that’s a great money saving solution as you can comfortably cook from your cabin instead of going to a restaurant for every meal.

best rorbuer in lofoten interior of reine rorbuer by classic norway hotels
Living room inside Reine Rorbuer by Classic Hotels Norway.

Cons

If you are traveling during the Summer to enjoy the Midnight Sun, you may have some troubles finding your sleep because of the illumination. Despite being dark during Winter days, some rorbuer don’t have proper barriers against the external light during the Summer. An easy fix? Bring a sleep mask, you won’t be bothered by the light.

During Summer one of the thing which may surprise visitors is the smell of stock fish drying nearby the rorbuer. As they anciently served as cabins for fishermen, rorbuer are obviously built nearby harbors. And that’s also where the wooden racks to dry stockfish are.

This is common also to other types of accommodations in Lofoten: depending on the time of your check in you might have little to no reception. This can be uncomfortable especially if you would like to have more infos about activities to do and locations to visit. When booking or when you confirm your check in hour you should also be informed if the reception will be close at the time of your arrival. In that case contact them earlier for any special requests or information you will need.

Overall sleeping in a rorbuer is an amazing experience that you should try at least once!

best rorbuer in lofoten cottages cabins interior
One of the narrowest cabins we stayed in.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Rorbu?

The etymology of rorbu is ror (row, fishing) and bu (small house).

A rorbu, the plural is rorbuer, is a fishermen cabin that was used by fishermen who went North to fish cod. In the 12th century King Øyvind had built several rorbuer in Lofoten for fishermen who went there fishing during the Winter (cod is a cold water fish).

Besides rorbuer being used as seasonal homes along all Northern Norway, nowadays they are mainly associated to Lofoten, also due to their wide presence on Instagram and other social platforms.

Which is the Best Village/Town to Stay in a Rorbu?

I’m repeating myself, but if you have the budget go for Nusfjord Arctic Resort or Lofoten Cottages if you are looking for a more budget-friendly solution. Otherwise I’d highly recommend also Hamnøy or Sakrisøy and Reine. Southern Lofoten are undoubtedly the most beautiful part to explore.

nusfjord arctic resort rorbuer
Rorbuer of Nusfjord Arctic Resort.

Are Rorbuer Expensive?

Yes, rorbuer are expensive, but spoiler alert, Lofoten are expensive. Don’t deprive yourself of an amazing experience, if you decide to invest in a Lofoten trip, it should also include at least a one night stay in a rorbu.

One last word about the best rorbuer in Lofoten

By now I guess you will have an idea on which are the rorbuer you will be staying at! But in case you lack of inspiration don’t forget to check out our Lofoten itinerary adaptable for Summer and Winter, and our Norway page for more ideas and inspirations.

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Nusfjord Travel Guide: Lofoten’s Hidden Gem

Nestled in one of the most remote locations in the Lofoten, Nusfjord is a small fishing village that until the ’60s was accessible only by boat. Crowded by tourists during the Summer “hot” months, Nusfjord has become an unofficial open air museum, as one of the most well preserved traditional fishing villages in Norway. When visiting Lofoten the detour is a MUST! But what should you expect exactly from this charming village? Let’s see in our detailed travel guide.

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

Note: to regulate over-tourism and help the village economy, Nusfjord has an entry ticket. You can pay it after you have parked your car before entering the ancient part of the village.

In This Article

When is the Best Time to Visit Nusfjord?

There are no doubts that Nusfjord is beautiful all year long, so when choosing the time to visit it will depend on the type of traveler you are. Trekkers and outdoor lovers may prefer Summer months as the temperatures are warmer, there is no snow and you will be able to enjoy the many trekkings in the area.

On the other hand, nothing beats the beauty of the Lofoten archipelago during Winter. Snow covers everything in a white candor, and even though you days are very cold and there isn’t much light the landscapes become even more magical. And of course there are the Northern Lights!

Nusfjord Arctic Resort reception.

How to get there?

Nusfjord was one of the most remote places in Lofoten until the road was built in the 60s. Today getting there is easy when you are on the E10 National Lofoten Road. If you are following our 5 days Lofoten Road Trip itinerary and coming from Svolvaer the detour is before Flakstad.

Don’t have a rental car yet? Check out availability on Discovercars.com.

Where to stay in Nusfjord?

Since it has become an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1975, Nusfjord is classified as one of the most well preserved fishing villages in the Nordics. For this reason the only accommodations you will find are the lovely ancient fishermen cabins locally known as rorbuer (if you like to know more about rorbuer in Lofoten, check out our blog post). There are two types rorbuer:

The living room of one of the Nusfjord Arctic Resort rorbuer.

Nusfjord Arctic Fjord

Make it ancient but luxurious: Nusfjord Arctic Fjord rorbuer are cozy cabins that have been reconverted to luxurious small homes. Equiped with a kitchen and all kind of comfort and amenities, these cabins are absolutely ideal if you are willing to treat yourself.

Check out prices/make a reservation.

Lofoten Cottages

Lofoten Cottages are private rorbuer that are rent by the same managers of Nusfjord Arctic Fjord. Less fancy than their neighbors but still cozy and including a kitchen and all the comfort, Lofoten Cottages are an excellent compromise if you don’t want to break the bank.

Check out prices/make a reservation.

nusfjord lofoten cottages living room

Where to eat in Nusfjord?

Nusfjord is a very small village but it has all you need when it comes to food.

  • Considered as one of the best restaurants in Lofoten (and also priciest!) Karoline Restaurant is the place to go for having an excellent meal. Traditional cuisine made with local ingredients at its best. I’d recommend having a look at their menu to avoid bad bill surprises.
  • Are you looking to enjoy a good pizza? Oriana Kro (Oriana Tavern) has one of the best Italian pizza in Lofoten archipelago. Fresh and good quality ingredients and some very caring staff makes it a great place for having lunch.
  • Landhandleriet Café is one of the loveliest and coziest cafés I’ve ever been to! Anciently a general store, the interiors kept many of the ancient objects like the imposing cash register. It also has a small shop where you can buy traditional products. Their specialties are focaccia (similar to sandwiches) with salmon.
  • Hansines Bakeri Veronica Olaisen is a traditional bakery that serves some of the most famous cinnamon buns in Lofoten. Just like the surrounding buildings the bakery is inside an ancient wooden house so typical of Norway.
landhandleriet café old general store focaccia with salmon

What to do in Nusfjord?

Despite its rather small size Nusfjord there are several activities to do, you could easily occupy a full day especially in Summer when the trail to Nesland is easily accessible. During Winter I highly recommend spending the night there to observe the Northern Lights.

Learn more about Nusfjord Story and Traditions

As I already mentioned Nusfjord is a UNESCO site and one of the most well preserved fishing villages in Norway. The village is also a Museum and includes many traditional buildings that you can visit showcasing traditional objects. In this map from Nusfjord Arctic Resort, you can see the buildings of interest including those who are open to the public.

If you have time I recommend visiting them all and stopping at the cod liver refinery where a short movie with archive footage is presented. The village is very picturesque and simply walking among the rorbuers is lovely.

nusfjord travel guide ancient cod liver refinery

Reach the Scenic Lighthouse

If you continue your walk from the village to the entry of the fjord you will end up at Nusfjord small lighthouse. The modern and small lighthouse is at the entry of the fjord and benefits from a stunning view on the surrounding mountains and Nusfjord.

The lighthouse is accessible all year long. Although during Winter the path is more difficult since the snow covers everything.

nusfjord travel guide lighthouse in front of nesheia peak
The view from Nusfjord lighthouse on Nesheia peak.

Indulge at the Ancient General Store with a cup of Hot Chocolate or Tea

I already mentioned Landhandleriet Café as one of the places to eat in Nusfjord but it can be a lovely location also to relax and admire the amazing external landscape while eating a waffle and sipping a hot chocolate.

Especially if you are visiting during Winter Landhandleriet Café can be the ideal refuge before your nocturnal Northern Lights hunts. The interiors are the coziest!

nusfjord travel guide landhandleriet café old general store

The trail to Nesland is a moderate 4 kilometers trail (about 3 and a half hours) that will bring you to Nesland. Just like any other trail in Lofoten, Nusfjord to Nesland is a scenic hike with some breathtaking landscapes.

The passage between the two ancient fishing villages has been used for a very long time by the villagers even before becoming a famous tourist hike. For more informations about this trail check out Outdooractive dedicated guide.

nusfjord to nesland trail
Photo by Berni245. License.

From October to early April: go on a hunt for the Northern Lights

Are you too traveling to Norway to see the Northern Lights? December and January are the most active months. But December is also the month where the days are the shortest and you won’t enjoy much daylight. The ideal months are November, February, and March. In February the high season for Winter tourism begins so the prices are the highest.

Nusfjord is an ideal location to photograph the Northern Lights as it’s framed by the mountains. Of course framing the rorbuer in your long exposures will be more difficult than in Hamnoy, where you can simply go on top of the Hamnoy bridge. But Nusfjord still offers plenty of interesting observation points.

In case you are interested Nusfjord Arctic Resort also has guided excursions. You can check the availability on their site or simply ask at the reception when arriving for the check-in.

nusfjord travel guide seeing the northern lights

Help Keep Nusfjord Safe from Over-tourism

As a small community of less than 50 inhabitants, Nusfjord is “taken by assault” during the months of June and July. The village was victim of its success and many buses of tourists come there every day. To be respectful of the locals lifestyle consider spending the night in one of the rorbuer cabins or at least eating at one of the village’s restaurants.

You will support the local economy and be an ethical traveler!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nusfjord Expensive?

Nusfjord is VERY expensive. Karoline Restaurant is one of the most expensive and every extra activity you will do with Nusfjord Arctic Resort will be probably more expensive than in other places.

Also remember that Nusfjord is far from the larger cities and as a very small community the prices go up easily.

Interior of Landhandleriet Café.

Is Nusfjord Worth Visiting?

Nusfjord is without any doubt one of the most charming villages in Lofoten, and I’d dare say the most beautiful. Going to Lofoten without visiting it would be a REAL pity! If you don’t have much time and you are visiting only the village/museum, half a day will be enough.

Ideally I’d recommend coming in the afternoon, doing the trail during the Summer, or coming in the late afternoon to observe the Northern Lights in Winter, and saving the morning after to explore the village and go to the lighthouse.

One last word about our Nusfjord Travel Guide

If you are looking for dramatic landscapes, historical places, and outdoor activities Nusfjord is your go to but if you need more ideas of locations to visit in the Lofoten (including the best photo spots in Lofoten) check out also our 5 days itinerary. And keep an eye on our Norway page for more Lofoten and Vesteralen excursions!

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The 12 best things to do in Stockholm

Nicknamed the Venice of the north, Stockholm extends itself on fourteen islands that are connected by 57 bridges. The town extend from the central islands of Gamla Stan (the Old Town) and Djurgarden (King’s Garden) to Lovön where the Royals live, creating a web of incredible locations and iconic places. But which are the best things to do in Stockholm? In this travel guide all the answers you need to plan the perfect trip to Stockholm.

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

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Discover the longest art gallery in the world

Swedish creativity in arts (like architecture and design) is well known. For this reason it doesn’t come as a surprise if some of the best things to do in Stockholm involves art in all its forms.

But for sure the location of one of Stockholm’s most famous art installations, surprise the unaware tourists. Stockholm Metro Stations are a surprising and always changing art gallery that cost only the price of a metro ticket.

On the 100 stations 90 contain an art display or mural. It would be very difficult to see all of them if you are staying less than 2 weeks, but in this guide I’ve selected the best 16 that you should absolutely visit. And in my Stockholm in 3 days itinerary I’ve also included them in the itinerary so that it’s perfectly optimized (it’s the same we used to explore the city by the way!)

Wander in Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan means Old Town and its one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Stockholm. The most ancient buildings in Stockholm are there and they dates back to the Middle Ages.

Gamla Stan is without a doubt the most iconic neighborhood in Stockholm. If you are planning to visit it, you should absolutely check out my self guided tour in Gamla Stan (it has a map). It includes hidden gems and must-see landmarks.

Otherwise, don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about some of the most brilliant minds of the last century at the Nobel Prize Museum, stroll in the iconic Stortorget (and look for the hidden cannonballs), and visit the beautiful Royal Palace.

Go back in time at the Hallwyl Museum

The Hallwyl Museum offers a glimpse into the life of the aristocracy at the beginning of the 20th century. The location is a marvelous palace which was built in the 1898 for Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl.

After the couple’s death the building and everything inside it (including the collections of pottery and paintings) was donated to the Swedish state.

Since then the building haven’t been modified providing an unique time capsule from that period. Without a doubt this is one of the most interesting museums in Stockholm absolutely worth the detour!

Climb on the largest hemispherical structure in the world: the Avicii Arena

Also known as Ericsson Globe, the Avicii Arena is the largest hemispherical structure in the world. Dedicated to late Avicii, the building regularly hosts concerts and events.

Unless you’ve planned to attend one of those events, the Avicii Arena can be interesting to visit as you can climb on top of it with Skyview. The view from up there is unique and on clear days you can see quite far away. To book your visit/check out prices go to SkyView – Stockholm Live.

Photo by Kallerna. License.

Embark on a sensory experience at Fotografiska

Fotografiska is a museum which displays, as you can guess by its name, temporary exhibitions of the greatest photographers.

What makes this museum really worth visiting, is the way it plays with spaces, the exposed art, and sounds. It’s a sensory experience that will feel like a dream the time of your visit. Of course you must be willing to open to this kind of experience.

Fotografiska has also an excellent restaurant that has a beautiful view over Stockholm. For more info about their exhibitions, to reserve a table at their restaurant, or simply check out their schedule, check out their website Welcome to Fotografiska Stockholm.

Funnily enough Fotografiska is also one of the most Instagrammable places in Stockholm, of course that highly depends on the exhibitions it is hosting, but the aesthetic of the exhibitions and the way they are presented is a guarantee of a great backdrop for your photos.

Marvel at the grandeur of Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a rich history dating back to the 17th century. It has served as the private residence of the Swedish royal family for generations.

The Palace and its gardens are a delightful sight reminding the grandiosity of other European Baroque palaces (how not to think of Versailles). The interiors were created by one of Sweden’s most famous sculptors: Nikodemus Tessin the Elder.

Visiting the Palace is one of the best things to do in Stockholm, but mind the schedules! The palace is regularly closed for official events or celebrations. To avoid bad surprises check out Drottningholm Palace official website.

Admire the only fully conserved 17th century warship at the Vasa Museum

Being a travel and history lover, I’ve seen a thing or two in my life that truly impressed me. The Vasa was of course one of them! Nothing can prepare you to the magical feeling of finding yourself in front of this majestic giant.

Like the flying vessel of some sci-fiction movie, the Vasa floats in a semi-obscure room which highly contributes in giving the warship a ghostly appeal.

The museum is dedicated to the construction of the warship and the events that lead to its shipwreck on its inaugural journey. And last but not least, the titanic task of bringing it back from the abyss.

If I could do only one activity from my post this would be it!

Learn about Swedish folk history and traditions in Skansen

Skansen is a full immersion in the last centuries of Swedish folk history and traditions. Tracing the lifestyle of Sweden’s people, the open air museum (which is also the oldest in the world) will let you discover the evolution of buildings during time.

The museum is peopled by actors wearing period dresses who will interact with you to explain how they lived back at their time.

Skansen has also an aquarium and some enclosures where Nordic animals are kept. The surface is very large and you could easily spend a full day there, especially during Summer when all the stands in the alleys are open.

Check out schedules on Skansen official website.

Visit the imposing Stockholm City Hall

Stockholm City Hall is one of the most important landmarks in Stockholm. Inaugurated in 1923, even after a century the building hasn’t lost an ounce of its grandiosity.

Something which contributes to its myth are the celebrations for the attributions of the Nobel Prizes that take place every year in December. You can visit Stockholm City Hall only via a guided tour. To check schedules book your tour check out Stadshuset official website.

Note: the City Hall metro stop Stadshuset is also one of the most beautiful metro stations in Stockholm.

Sail onboard for an Archipelago Tour

Stockholm archipelago includes more than 30000 islands and rocks! Exploring them on a boat or kayak excursion is one of the best things to do in Stockholm.

Depending on the type of activity you are willing to do and of course your budget, there are several possibilities for every type of traveler.

If you bought the Stockholm City Pass, and I highly recommend doing so if you are staying three days or more, there are several boat tours hat will let you explore some of the islands that are closer to the city center.

Remember to check the schedules, especially if you are traveling during Winter there are far less excursions and you may disappointed.

Visit the futuristic Artipelag

There are many beautiful modern/visual art museums in Stockholm, but what makes Artipelag unique is it’s location on a remote island in the middle of nature.

The museum itself fully blend in the surroundings with many beautiful views of the exteriors. When visiting it don’t miss the walk in the forest onboard of the Baltic Sea.

Your visit inside Artipelag will last about 2 hours, but the museum is situated quite far from the city center (about 20 kilometers). Globally the complete visit with the boat tour to get there will take you half a day. That’s why I strongly advise you to prepare your itinerary before going, to avoid skipping other attractions you may be interested in.

artipelag best things to do in stockholm
Photo credits to Bengt Oberger. License.

Snösätra Wall of Fame

Snösätra Wall of Fame is an hidden gem in Stockholm industrial neighborhood and one of Europe’s largest mural exhibitions. Street artists comes from all around the world to leave their mark on Snösätra walls.

As the space is limited some murals get covered by new ones, so each visit is an unique discovery. Snosatra is about 30-40 minutes away from Gamla Stan. I love this kind of places but just like for Artipelag thoroughly consider your itinerary before getting there.

On the bright side you can combine Snösätra with a visit to the metro stations of the green line.

One last word about the best things to do in Stockholm

Honestly, I left my heart in Stockholm. It’s one of Europe’s gems and probably one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. So ancient and modern at the same time, bustling but not chaotic, truly surprising and difficult to bring into words. So I’ll give you just one advice: by your tickets and go, you won’t regret it! And if you need further inspiration for your Stockholm itinerary check out our guides and travel tips for Sweden’s capital.

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the best colosseum photo spots in rome

Are You Looking for the Best Colosseum Photo Spot? I’ll give you 9!

The Eternal City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! And capturing its beauty is one of the funniest things to do (that’s why I wrote this practical guide about the best photo spots in Rome). But are you looking for the best Colosseum photo spot? There are so many, all ideal to take the perfect photo! Let’s see them.

Disclosure: anitabeyondthesea.com is reader-supported. When you make a reservation through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no extra cost for you. That will help me keep the blog up and running. Thank you!

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Where are the best Colosseum spots?

To help you find easily the best Colosseum spots I’ve created a map that will help you locate them. The North-West area surrounding the Colosseum is currently under renovation works for the new metro station that will be opened in 2025. But do not despair: the views from Largo Gaetana Agnesi and Via Nicola Salvi aren’t impacted!

Largo Gaetana Agnesi

Largo Gaetana Agnesi is the most popular point to take pictures of the Colosseum. The square has a nice terrace on the Colosseum which is contained by very large walls where you can easily climb to take some memorable shots (of course be careful!)

The place is very well known and there are always many people taking photos there, but don’t worry there is enough place for everyone. The best hour to take this picture is early in the morning when the sun lights up the Eastern facade and you will have a nice golden/pink sky.

best colosseum tours and why you should book them

Via Nicola Salvi

Just a few meters from Largo Gaetana Agnesi you can descend to the Colosseum level from via Nicola Salvi. The view can be more hidden by the overgrown trees but the view is still beautiful and absolutely worth it.

From via Nicola Salvi you arrive behind the entrance of the Colosseum which will be on your right. If you go down on the left you will get to the stairs on the East side, which are indeed another great spot to photograph the Colosseum!

best colosseum photo spot via nicola salvi
Photo from Pexels.com. Credits to Gonzalo Mendiola.

Stairs on the East side

The stairs on the East side of the Colosseum are above the public toilets, that’s how I’ve marked them on the map by the way. The view from there is unobstructed and ideal for your pictures in the morning when the sun hit the facade.

Note: the area is often crowded by unlicensed street vendors, mind your belongings when admiring the landscape and taking pictures.

best colosseum photo spot the east side

Terrazza Belvedere del Palatino

As its name says the Nice view Terrace (literally translated from Terrazza Belvedere) on the Palatine Hill has one of the best panoramic views in Rome.

On one side you have the Roman Forum, while on the other side you will see the sacred alley with the Colosseum on the background. In your photos it will look like you went back in time!

Always on the Palatine Hill you can get closer to the Colosseum, on the other side of the hill. But honestly I think the best view is on the point I marked on the map as you have the other ancient buildings framing the Colosseum.

palatine hill roman forum best photo spots in rome

Piazza di Santa Francesca Romana

Inside the Palatine Hill and Colosseum Archaeological Park there is my personal favorite view: the terrace in front of the Temple of Venus which was once an ancient square called Santa Francesca Romana.

To get the access you will have to book a ticket to the Roman Forums, I recommend you these tickets that include the access to the Colosseum as well.

Once you are inside (from the Eastern access) you will have to go up to the Temple of Venus. There you will find the 2000 old structure waiting for you. If you have the choice the late afternoon light is perfect as the sun will be behind you.

piazza di santa francesca romana best colosseum photo spot

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine is situated South West the Colosseum. If you get up early enough in the morning you can have a nice all alone picture of the arch with the Colosseum behind.

But as you can imagine the area gets crowded in no time and it will be more difficult to get a nice portrait of you with the two monuments.

arch of constantine best colosseum photo spots
Photo from Unsplash.com. Credits to Zul Ahadi.

Via Celio Vibenna

Via Celio Vibenna is a large road that contours the South area of the Colosseum. If you climb the stairs to get on it you will find a very nice view of the Colosseum.

To have the best light you should go in the morning. Don’t worry too much about the crowds as they are mainly on the pedestrian area.

via celio vibenna best colosseum photo spot

West Side of the Colosseum (close to the ticket control)

If you are visiting the Colosseum in the afternoon this is one of the best photo spots for you! The sun hits the facade and even if there are crowds around you should manage to get an all alone nice shot of the Colosseum.

What’s interesting about this view is that you will see the authentic facade without any restoration work. The only no-no is the fence which is more visible as you are close, but still this is a great postcard view of the Colosseum.

After getting your Insta-perfect photo you can directly go to the ticket control for the last memorable spot: the interiors of the Colosseum!

Inside the Colosseum

It won’t be a visit to Rome if you have visited the inside of the Colosseum! Learn more about the history of ancient Rome by visiting the interiors of Italy’s most famous landmark.

To enter the Colosseum you can choose a regular ticket (which includes the access to the Roman Forum) or check out more guided tour options. In this guide I help you choose which is the best for you comparing all the different guided tours.

Depending on the ticket you buy you can access different levels. The most expensive tickets include the arena and the underground. Even though these areas are very interesting to visit and the guide will give you many informations when visiting the underground, the best place inside the Colosseum to take the most beautiful photos are the elevated parts, like the first and second tier.

So which is your favorite Colosseum photo spot?

By now you know every single photo spot to take the perfect Colosseum picture! But if you are planning a trip to Rome you may find useful also these posts about: How to see Rome in a day the ultimate guide, A local’s guide: 13 unusual & non touristy things to do in Rome and last but not least if you love photography Rome’s Aquatic Treasures: The Most Beautiful Fountains to see in the Eternal City.

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bernina railway ospizio bernina white lake black lake

Bernina Railway from Tirano to St Moritz: Everything you need to know

Are you ready to embark on an adventure to discover one of the most beautiful railways in Europe? Situated on the borders between Switzerland and Italy, the Bernina Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. Covering a distance of 60 kilometers, when visiting you will blown away by the beauty of the landscapes and the prowess of the engineering infrastructure. But do you know everything you need to prepare the perfect trip to the area? Let’s see!

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Table of Content

How to get to the Bernina Railway from Milan

There aren’t many solutions for getting to Saint Moritz or Tirano from Milan: the road is the fastest and most economic solution. In about 3 hours you will cross the 150+ panoramic kilometers that separates Milan from your chosen destination. Note: Tirano is the closest station from Milan, about 2 and a half hours.

Looking to rent a car? Check out on Discovercars for the best prices and offers. They have a large choice for all types of travelers.

The different trains crossing the Bernina Railway

Before booking any activity or ticket remember this: there are two different types of trains passing by the Bernina Railway.

bernina railway ospizio bernina cambrena glacier

The Bernina Red Train (regional trains)

For the regular (regional trains) you can book your ticket online. Or buy the ticket directly at the station when arriving. The ticket office normally closes at 7 PM at Tirano. You can choose between a daily ticket or a 2 days ticket if you are planning to come back the day after. During the summer some open wagons are added to let the passengers enjoy even more the landscapes.

There are two main vantages to book the regional trains: you can get off the train at the intermediate stops (although some stops are only “on call” and you will need to press the stop button). And secondly, unlike the Berlina Express you can open the windows and take better photos without the glass reflection (I know this may be relatively important, but photographers will appreciate the info).

There is a regional train every hour so you can stop whenever you want and take the next train. You can find the schedule for the Bernina Red Train in the same website where you can buy the tickets.

Another pro: the regional trains have special train cars dedicated to the transport of bicycles.

bernina red train regional train

The Bernina Express

The Bernina Express connects Tirano to St Moritz without any intermediate stop. The train cars are more elegant, with panoramic windows and roof. On the official website you will find the schedules and you’ll be able to book your tickets online.

You can check out the schedule here.

Don’t know which one to choose? Try both! You can always book a full day ticket on the Bernina regional train and come back on the same day or the day after on the Bernina Express.

bernina express in alp grum

The Stations on the Bernina Railway

There are two main stations Tirano and St Moritz with many intermediate stops on the way. Remember to get down from the train book the Regional Train, on the Bernina Express you would lose your reservation.

Tirano – Starting station

Tirano is a the starting point of the Bernina railway and a small town with many restaurants and hotels where you can spend the night. The first Bernina Red Train start at 7.41 AM, for the early birds that’s a great solution to catch the first train.

When visiting Tirano don’t miss the opportunity of visiting the Catholic shrine of the Madonna of Tirano. Its construction was connected to the appearance of the Madonna at the same time when a pestilence ended. Nowadays the place still has a n important religious significance and is pilgrimage destination.

bernina railway from tirano to st moritz

Brusio (stop on request)

Between Tirano and Brusio there is Campocologno where the border between Italy and Switzerland is situated.

In Brusio the railway, to overcome the high elevation gain, has an extremely suggestive helical viaduct. You can stop to take pictures of the trains passing by, from under the viaduct.

Miralago (stop on request)

Miralago is the first stop at the beginning of Lake Poschiavo. This lake is famous for its reflections and the color of its waters.

If you are up for a walk I highly recommend to take the lakeside walk, next to the railway, it will lead you to the station of Le Prese. The walk lasts about an hour and there aren’t ascents, it’s really easy even if you aren’t trained.

bernina railway miralago

Le Prese

As mentioned above Le Prese is the stop at the other side of the beautiful lake Poschiavo.

Poschiavo

Poschiavo is a characteristic alpine village. Its historic center is interesting for the elegant typical houses. Every Wednesday during summer, from July to August, the village hosts a market where you can buy traditional products of the area.

In Poschiavo there is also one of the most excellent restaurant on the railway, Hostaria del Borgo, a must for those who want a taste of the excellent local food.

bernina railway poschiavo

Cavaglia

Cavaglia is one of the most popular stops of the railway. That’s because less than a kilometer from the station there is the famous Garden of glaciers, a suggestive path among rocks shaped by the waters. Along the walk you may also admire the suggestive Marmitte dei Giganti, large potholes in the ground that were created by water erosion.

From Cavaglia there is also an easy trek to walk down to Poschiavo.

Alp Grum

Alp Grum has one of the best views in the Alps: the terrace overlooking the glacier and Piz Palù. Both the regional train and the Bernina Express stop there (remember if you get down from the Bernina Express you will need a new reservation to get onboard again).

The village has a an hotel restaurant just in front of the station called Albergo Ristorant Alp Grum. Many trekkers choose Alp Grum as a base to enjoy the different trails that start from there.

If you love trekking and are thinking of staying in Alp Grum too, I’ll tempt you with this cozy cabin, ideal to fully immerse in the Alpine spirit.

bernina railway alp grum

Ospizio Bernina

Bernina Hospice is the highest stop on the railway line (2253 meters). We are in the magical valley of the White Lake and the Black Lake, in front of the Cambrena glacier.

The Bernina Hospice is a hotel that is a 10-minute walk from the station. There are many treks that start from there and you can also make the tour of the lake, it takes about three hours.

Or during the Summer you can descent to Alp Grum or Diavolezza. My personal favorite? Walking south (direction to Alp Grum), and relax on the rocks. If you are brave enough, you can also test the ice cold waters of the lake.

bernina railway ospizio bernina

Bernina Lagalb (stop on request)

Bernina Lagalb take the name from the Lagalb Mountain. You can take the cable car that leads up to the peak at 2959 meters.

Bernina Diavolezza (stop on request)

Diavolezza is the stop to the cable car that brings you closest to Bernina’s peak, the highest mountain in the Eastern Alps. You can check the schedules on the local website.

Morteratsch (stop on request)

The busiest station during Summer is Morteratsch. The reason behind that is the homonymous Morteratsch glacier. You can reach it in less than a hour thanks to a large and easy dirt path. Remember to wear comfortable shoes.

Along the way, you will see panels that shows the regression of the ice from the 19th century to today, an unfortunate and unstoppable regression that never cease to impress visitors.

bernina railway morteratsch trail

Surovas (stop on request)

Situated in the idyllic Val Roseg, you can stop at Surovas and descent to Pontresina.

Pontresina

Pontresina is one of the larger villages and one of the most hyped locations on the railway. There are many resorts and luxurious hotels you can choose from to spend the night there.

Pontresina is ideal to make excursions in the beautiful Val Roseg. One of the best activities to do is a carriage ride, available both during Summer and Winter. There are different providers which offer similar services: Engadin Kutschen, Horse-drawn carriage rides into the Val Roseg, Horse Carriages, and more if your search on google. If you are interested in this activity just remember to reserve in advance as the carriages get fully booked fast.

St. Moritz

St. Moritz is a luxury Alpine resort on the shores of the lake of the same name. Between luxurious hotels and shops (Gucci, Hermes, and Luis Vuitton, to name a few) St. Moritz is definitely a great destination to treat yourself.

Art lovers will find their joy in one of the art galleries in town, or at the museum dedicated to the painter Giovanni Segantini.

bernina railway st moritz to tirano

Useful tips

Remember your ID

You will cross the border between Italy and Switzerland. Remember to bring an ID document with you, your passport ideally.

Most of the railway runs along the road that cross the Alps. When getting off the train you can also take the bus from one stop to the other.

How should you dress?

Dress in layers! If you are lucky during Summer the temperatures are ideal, but a few clouds can drop the temperature of a few degrees in the blink of an eye. Remember a sweater or hoodie.

And don’t forget a raincoat as it rains frequently in the mountains!

bernina railway cavaglia
A Marmitta dei Giganti in Cavaglia.

Parking your car in Tirano

There are many free parkings in Tirano. I especially recommend you the one close to the bus station, which is connected by an underpass to the FS train station, a few meters from the Rhaetian railway station.

Guided Tours from Milan to the Bernina Railway

I already mentioned coming with your own car but there are many guided tours for those who wants to enjoy the Bernina Railway landscapes without worrying about renting a car.

This can also be an economical solution if you are traveling solo or with a small group. Although of course you won’t have the same autonomy as if you were traveling with your car. There are many different solutions on getyourguide but I especially recommend these two:

  • With this guided tour (about 12 hours) you will start from Milan and get to Tirano by bus. Once there, after a short guided tour of Tirano you will embark onboard of the Bernina Red Train (not the Bernina Express!) and enjoy a non-stop ride to St. Moritz. In St Moritz you will have two hours to explore the town. Since the schedule is pretty strict, I highly recommend bringing sandwiches that you can eat on the go, so that you can enjoy your free time exploring St. Moritz.
  • This tour includes a short boat cruise onboard of Lake Como before getting to St. Moritz. You will have a short free time before getting onboard of the Bernina Red Train (again not the Bernina Express!).
bernina railway bernina red train regional

One last word about Exploring the Bernina Railway and Region

The Bernina region is one of those places on Earth that showcases a stunning of natural scenery. If you love Mountain landscapes and idyllic places this is for you! Just remember you passport when preparing your bag for the Italian-Swiss border. Are you looking for more amazing locations to visit in Europe? Check out our guides and travel tips.

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