Since its renovation last year, the tiny but memorable Buda-side street called Gül Baba has gotten it share of press. Perhaps a PR agent lives along its cobblestoned walkway, or maybe the tourism board has taken a liking to its quaint medieval feel, which resembles Prague’s famous Golden Lane on a smaller scale, but it has been suddenly and definitively been dubbed ‘Budapest’s Prettiest Street’ in both local and international press. That’s a tall order for such a short and steep stretch of road, but not undeserved.
The street, which is technically a lane, leads from riverside Buda up to the tomb of the Turkish holy man, Dervish poet and visionary it was named after: Gül Baba. Baba’s tomb is one of the rare remaining artifacts of the Ottoman rule that has been maintained and embraced (perhaps this is because it is still considered a property of Turkey), having achieved landmark status. Baba was a favored member of the court of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who undertook the invasion of the Hungarian land. Baba is known as the ‘Father of Roses’ because as legend has it, he introduced the flower to Hungary, though scholars contest this. Though local press describe the street and tomb as an ‘Islamic pilgrimage point’, you are far more likely to be competing with backpackers and tour groups for walking space on the narrow lane.
The street and tomb are not unknown as a film location either, being utilized in the Anthony Hopkins’ 2011 supernatural horror feature The Rite. With both Gül Baba’s tomb, and the cobble-stone lane leading up to it renovated (but in the case of the street, not modernized) it is becoming a must-do part of the itinerary of tourists who favor seeing sites on foot (good luck getting a bike up there, much less a Segway). Though the Ottomans are long gone, in terms of beautiful streets, they still exert influence.
Other very pretty streets in Budapest may include: Benzcúr street, which runs parallel to the more majestic and grand Andrássy Avenue; Pozsony street, loaded with its art deco buildings and, until recently, trees; and Kazinczy street -- if you can get there in the off hours before it is over-run with tourists, it is a curious mix of un-renovated buildings and newer structures, along with a beautiful but hidden synagogue.
Got any favorite hidden Budapest streets? Let us know in the comments section.
Flatpack Films is based in Budapest, Hungary. We are a film company that offers an inspiring and professional work atmosphere for our local and international clients. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast, and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we facilitate, we do to highest standard possible.