Budapest’s streets have portrayed Moscow, Buenos Aires and Berlin in various movies but music videos are cooler in the sense that they do not necessarily need to mask the location’s true identity. The focus is mainly on visuals and the real atmosphere of the city. It’s clear that international stars like to come to Budapest when shooting these clips – they get to walk over the Chain Bridge and dance in the Buda Castle. Here we take a look at some of the clips shot in Budapest without dwelling too much on the various genres and the varying quality of the clips.
We’ve already written a compilation about music videos shot in the capital, but those were of different genres and while each featured Budapest, they did not include stars like those we are about to mention. We don’t want to rank the videos themselves – our goal is more to let people know that these videos were filmed right here in Budapest and perhaps inspire people to visit the locations of the recordings. So sit back and relax, and take a look at our collection of video clips.
Jamie Woon: Lady luck
The British singer’s songs are not about partying hard – they are pleasant and catchy, and go well with relaxed walks in the city. Jamie Woon’s clip titledLady Luck was shot in the back seats of cars, old trams and metros. Jamie leisurely travels through the city, yet the images slip by quickly: we can see a bridge here, Astoria there. There is no big explanation: she just travels and sings, surrounded by our city.
Selena Gomez & The Scene: Round & round
The teen idol’s 2010 video clip has nearly 89 million views. It shows Budapest in surprising detail with the Parliament, the Castle, the Chain Bridge, the Astoria Hotel and Dob Street’s arcades all starring. Interestingly, when shooting this video they hit two birds with one stone. Originally, The Scene came to the city for another film, and shot the clip for Round & Roundwith Selena Gomez as a kind of bonus. Puckered lips play an incomprehensibly important role in the production, but we hope that many Disney Channel fans yearned to visit Budapest after seeing the clip, as well.
The Chemical Brothers: The Boxer
The duo that is The Chemical Brothers have been active for almost 25 years now. Their videos are spectacular, and often present underground city life as well as street dancing in their clips. In The Boxer, a little guy walks through an underground car park, when the basketball in his bag comes to life. The ball bounces through the 80s-esque city, travels in a Lada, and causes troubles in an office. Its owner manages to catch it for a second, but it breaks loose again, gets hit by a truck, and finally bursts in an old phone booth near Baross Street.
Aldar: Budapestiin Namar
The funniest piece of our selection is the dramatic clip of Aldar, the Mongolian king of pop. The kitsch sunset and cloud porn fuses perfectly with the knit-hat singer, the sad melody and the unfathomable story. There is some romance going on around the Castle District, and the loss of the scarf happens near . The finale is the most inexplicable part: they dance in folk costumes, and after shouting “go Hungary!’ the music switches to Brahms.
Sarah Connor: From Sarah with love
Sarah Connor‘s video clip starts with an ambiguous sigh but it’s become one of the favourite songs of talent shows. The 2001 clip takes place at Keleti Railway Station in the fall, when the platforms are covered by autumnal leaves. The story takes place in the present and the past as well (featuring Marcell Nagy), and we can even see a deck of Hungarian cards in this sad, atmospheric clip.
Arash feat. Helena: Pure Love
Arash, who we might know for his hit song Boro Boro, gives us a love drama in his 2008 clip. He spends a holiday with his partner in the capital, but he accidentally loses the beautiful woman. Although the main location of the clip is the Hungarian city of Szeged, part of the story takes place in front of the .
Katy Perry: Firework
The American singer’s clip is shot in the Buda Castle and at Astoria. This video had huge press coverage because the crowd was recruited publicly. In this video, Katy Perry set aside her usual sugarcoated decorations; the focus is on the story and the message of the song. The story ends with a huge, “liberating” party in the Castle, accompanied by fireworks. The clip has nearly 500 million views and one-third of the comments ask where the recording was shot.
Gun: Don't say it's over
The Scottish rock band’s clip was shot in Budapest in the early ‘90s. The locations include the capital’s streets, houses with inner gardens and charming stairways. We can see the Buda Castle with its panoramic view for a few moments as well. The scene with Adam and Eve was shot at locations in Buda. Very nineties.
Groove Coverage: Moonlight Shadow
There was not a single teen disco (!) in the city where we could not hear the Groove Coverage version of Mike Oldfield and Maggie Reilly’s Moonlight Shadow at about 10pm. The disco anthem played even at the opening of the 2006 Winter Olympics. The story of the clip begins at Heroes’ Square, spiced up with a bit of , Grand Boulevard and Oktogon. A little girl watches Budapest through the window of a car, while the beat keeps pumping.
Liberty X: Holding On For You
Liberty X is a British-Irish pop group, who became famous on a talent show. For one of their video clips, they also chose Budapest’s streets and public transport services. The metro line M3 and the seemingly essential telephone booths make an appearance. It’s worth noting that instead of the classic reds, Liberty X ponders the telephone booths of Budapest’s underpasses. Luckily, they decided to shoot the video at Nyugati underpass at midnight – otherwise, the singers might have received some odd reactions because of their unusual outfits.