City guide
Remarkable stairwells hidden in Budapest’s apartments
Photo : Nagy Anita
Remarkable stairwells hidden in Budapest's apartments

Budapest offers plenty of beautiful, old stairwells. Often, the seemingly most average buildings can hide the most exciting interior. Thanks to Check My Budapest, we took a short trip around the city and explored some of the most fascinating stairwells.

Ferenciek Square – Royal Palace Academy of Music Astoria Pesti Vigadó

Ferenciek Square – Royal Palace

Photo: Anita Nagy
Our first stop is Ferenciek Square, where we look around in the former Royal Palace, located next to Klotild Palace. The well-known palace is not royal only because its name – its stairwell is among the most beautiful ones, as well. Tourists usually step inside in awe, since the building (which was intended for the administration of the Habsburg family) now operates – among other things – as a hostel. The designers of the building were architects Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl.  After the handover ceremony in 1901, even Franz Joseph I. admired the palace. It is worth walking up to the top floor; the wrought iron handrails and beautiful lights offer a unique look at each turn. When we reach the top, the sun shining through the glass roof and the many green plants give the place a glass house atmosphere.
Ferenciek Square

Academy of Music

Photo: Anita Nagy
Our next location is the astoundingly unique Liszt Ference Academy of Music, the ornate rooms of which we can reach by walking up its similarly beautiful stairwells. The large, purplish blue spheres on top of the handrails are rather interesting; they are coated with eosin glaze, which gives them a special, rainbow-like gleam. To complete the effect, the spheres are also adorned with golden pearls.  
Photo: Anita Nagy
Photo: Anita Nagy

After this golden glamor, let’s take a look at something different: the Pest bauhaus. Have you ever seen a stairwell as blue as the sky? These geometric forms are most commonly hiding in simple-looking apartment buildings in District XIII. This more modern style avoids excessive decorations, and replaces them with clean curves and fascinating shapes.
Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music

Astoria

We stumbled upon the most dizzying stairwell in the centrally located Astoria. The circular, target-like design is only broken by a few potted plants – these remind us that, actually, we are still just in an apartment building.
Photo: Anita Nagy
Photo: Anita Nagy

Pesti Vigadó

Photo: Anita Nagy
With our next location, we return to glamor and luxury; we stop in front of the main stairs of the renovated and reopened Pesti Vigadó. It is not easy to take our eyes off this beautiful sight, so we stay in awe for long minutes.
Photo: Anita Nagy
Finally, we recommend you peek into some apartment buildings as often as you can, because in Budapest you can never know what beauty you’ll find in some unexpected places. We thank Anita Nagy, the author of Check My Budapest for the beautiful pictures!
Pesti Vigadó