Not far from the picturesque Danube, Parliament building or Basilica, there is an alternative side to Budapest – an indie music scene with (shockingly good) local talent, ruin pubs that have sprung up from a grassroots level and now an emerging street art scene.
The street art scene in Budapest is not as apparent as it is in other places like Berlin. Here, the government hasn’t yet embraced street murals as an art form. In most cities, this doesn’t stop graffiti artists from trying to tag their work somewhere somehow when no one’s watching but in Budapest there’s a 3-year jail time if you get caught and a not-so-nice criminal charge for “permanent damage”. So the street art in Budapest is not your typical free-hand graffiti you might expect. It is legally commissioned and sometimes painted on a removable canvas but I think the street art in Budapest is just as impressive as “real” graffiti.
We found these vibrant walls throughout the city with Darius on a tour with Alternative Budapest.
A mural by a Romanian artist depicting the tranquil, calm Buda side of the city in contrast to the crazy, eclectic, and more commercial side in Pest, divided by the Danube River in the middle.
A rubik’s cube is plastered on the side of a building in the Jewish Quarter. It seems a bit random, why a puzzle cube? It was actually a Hungarian who invented the rubik’s cube. Darius goes to the same university as the inventor – and the rumour around campus is that he stole the idea from an art student there.
This park on Kazinczy utca in the 7th used to be full of homeless people and drug attics until 2012 or so when it was revamped by the community. The painting is a map of the neighbourhood. You know, in case you get lost.
A message on the sidewalk near the Corvinus University says, I would love to live in a world without hatred.
Alternative Budapest walking tour was designed to show travellers the alternative, unique side of Budapest. The tour also stops for pivo in a bar where you need a secret password to enter (which only locals know). It’s a great way to discover street art in the city which can be easily missed if you’re not sure where to look.