Art Nouveau attractions in Budapest
Art Nouveau was like a common language to many an artist and architects in Europe and North America, from Gaudí or Tiffany through Gustave Klimt to Alphonse Mucha. Do you know the Hungarian Art Nouveau artists and architects? Never heard of Odon Lechner, Vilmos Zsolnay or Miksa Roth? Poor marketing. Budapest has amazing Art Nouveau architectural beauties even though the iconic Chain Bridge, the Parliament and the Buda Castle overshadow how rich Budapest is in the subtle wonders of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. By the way, Art Nouveau is called Secession in Austria and Hungary (as a heritage of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire), that is Secession in Art (not in politics).
There are several Art Nouveau attractions, 19th – 20th century buildings with stunning decorative curves and beautiful colours in Budapest. Art Nouveau architecture was abundant in Budapest roughly between 1896 and 1920. The top three Art Nouveau buildings in Budapest is probably the following: Gellert Spa Baths, the Museum of Applied Arts and the Gresham Palace. Most of the Art Nouveau sights that are well worth a visit – even for a limited 3 day Budapest stay – are close to the city centre, and easily accessible via metro within 15 minutes or so (the metros in Budapest run every 5 minutes from 6 am to 10 pm).
Gellert Baths is one of the most famous spa baths and wellness complex in Budapest. The Art Nouveau Gellert Bath is on the Buda side of Budapest, by the Liberty Bridge, at the foot of the Gellert Hill. Your Art Nouveau Budapest tour can be easily combined with a nice relaxing spa bath, as many of the best designs are in fact in the various thermal baths and pools (fascinating Zsolnay tiles cover the walls). Should you happen to be on a budget tour, it is still worth a look at the building itself without paying for the spa services. Gellert Baths was built between 1912 and 1918 by Armin Hegedus.
Museum of Applied Arts: the museum – designed by the Art Nouveau master architect, Odon Lechner – is on the Pest side of Budapest (a 5 minute metro ride from the city centre, Deak square on the M3 blue line). Its Art Nouveau beauty can be probably best appreciated in broad daylight, especially the ornamental roof tiles (which are like the colourful roof tiles on Matthias Church, on the Castle Hill – also Zsolnay tiles).
Gresham Palace: the Art Nouveau palace is currently the home of Budapest Four Seasons luxury hotel. Gresham Palace is by the Chain Bridge, in a super central location, with beautiful views over the river Danube (this part of the city is a UNESCO world heritage site, the river, the Hungarian Parliament and the Buda Castle, so you can easily visit multiple attractions).
Further Art Nouveau attractions in Budapest
- Bedo Haz: the House of Hungarian Art Nouveau – close to the Hungarian Parliament, the Museum of Ethnography, the Szabadsag square (with the US Embassy and the only Soviet monument left in the city)
- Budapest Zoo by Karoly Koos
- Miksa Roth Memorial House
See the Art Nouveau attractions in Budapest (follow the link to view the Art Nouveau Budapest map in large size – interactive google map):
Related Art Nouveau:
Art Nouveau Tours in Budapest, Hungary