(First published on We Love Budapest, 15 April 2015)
American musician Alice Cooper spoke to Star Traveler about his love of Budapest. At one point he says "Budapest, my wife says, is more romantic than Paris." He recommends visiting in spring or summer, taking a dinner cruise on the Danube, and exploring the cobblestoned streets. He adds: "There are other great cities in Europe but Budapest is the one that people kind of overlook, but that's the one you want to go to." Check out the full video below:
American actor, Tony Curtis, does more than sing the praises of Budapest, he stars in an advertising campaign for the whole country! Check out the full advert below:
Rock band Queen was one of the few western bands to come to Budapest when there was still socialism in Hungary. But Freddie Mercury's band did much more than hold your average concert! They even filmed the concert film "Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest" here in 1986. During a Danube boat cruise Freddie Mercury famously joked about the Hungarian parliament, quipping "the House of Parliament, is it for sale?" before adding: "How many bedrooms? Do they have enough servants quarters? Not a good thing to say in this country now." There's also footage of him trying a Hungarian drink to which he said "ouch, and it's delicious!" Most poignantly he sung the folk song Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt ("The Spring Wind Blows the Waters" in English) to a stadium full of screaming and adoring fans. See more in this video:
In a series on Budapest for The New York Times Style Magazine Jeremy Irons features, explaining the parts of the city he likes the most. He has been in Budapest numerous times for the filming of movies like The Borgias and Being Julia.
Aside choosing "Budapest" as the name of his most well-known song, it seems that once George Ezra actually visited he really does love Budapest, the city, also. In an interview with Lángoló Gitárok blog he says: "I've been to many cities over the years, and I've wanted to get to Budapest for a long time, but I hadn't had the chance. This song is practically a love song from me in which a beautiful place appears, that I had liked to dream about." Before you do anything else, you must watch this video:
The Sex and the City star has visited Budapest for the filming of World Without End, andCynthia Nixon also revealed to The New York Times Style Magazine her favourite venues in the city. Her favourite spots include Villa Bagatelle and Két Szerecsen.
Movie star Keanu Reeves came to Budapest for the filming of 47 Ronin in 2011. He told local press: "I'm simply amazed, it's a beautiful city! After the filming's finished, if I have time, I would love to get to know the city better."
Husband and wife, and Hollywood power couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have both spent time in Budapest on acting and directing jobs. There was even a rumour they bought a home on Lake Balaton, although we could not confirm these reports. It seems Angelina Jolie particularly loves Budapest because she chose to make her directorial debut here with her first film In the Land of Blood and Honey. Even the Daily Mail in the UK reported on her soft spot for Hungary. Watch this sweet video for what the beautiful Angelina Jolie has to say about the city:
It seems Kate Perry just LOVES Budapest, in part because she chose to film her famous clip for the song Firework! here (see it below). She also Tweeted about Budapest, which kind of speaks for itself:
French actor Gérard Depardieu has been to Hungary numerous times for filming and even taken part in the Szeged open-air festival in regional Hungary. There were even reported plans that he was going to open a wine bar or restaurant in the country. In an interview with Blikk he said "I really love the Hungarian people. The women are beautiful, but anyway I don't speak Hungarian... Of course sometimes you don't really need to talk..." What a man!
Actor Anthony Hopkins spent some time in Budapest for the filming of The Rite (in which he actually speaks some Hungarian, see below). In an interview, he told Népszabadság Online what he thinks about the city: "It's an awesome city. I remember I arrived on May 22 at night, I was staying at the Four Seasons. It was raining, but I couldn't help but go for a walk across the Chain Bridge to the Buda side. Early the next morning I visited the St. Stephen's Basilica. I like walking and discovering places alone, but the Basilica was so impressive that I told my wife we had to see it together. Going for walks in Budapest became my hobby, I spent eight weeks in Budapest, there wasn't a single day when I didn't walk over to Buda to the Castle. There was a bookstore there that I visited often. My wife, with her two friends, preferred the baths. Many times it formulated within me that Budapest is the most beautiful place that I've ever been in my life. I don't know what captured me so much. Maybe the atmosphere, the lights, the smells... I had a feeling that I'd been there before. When you go home say hello to the city in my name."
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Another actor who has loved on Budapest is Jonathan Rhys Meyers who visited the city for the filming of the Dracula series. He told Hungarian Cosmopolitan what he loves about Hungary: "As soon as filming is over, I immerse myself in the city, since it's unbelievably beautiful. Actually I live in a quiet, wooded, sunny place near City Park, that I chose because although hotels are comfortable, I'd feel like I'd just come and gone. I really wanted a home, a nest where I can read and rest. I have Hungarian neighbours that I run into on the stairs, and sometimes when I'm in the mood I cook at home. I couldn't do that in a hotel."
He goes on to say that he thinks Hungarians are friendly and straight up, "they wear their heart on their sleeve and I really like that. I always ask the chauffeur to take me home on different routes, so I can explore the city as much as I can... and I always discover something amazing. Paris is beautiful, Venice and Rome as well, but Budapest has secrets! I often think about what an empire this country would have been, how rich the history and culture are."
The Irish actor added: "I can easily say that I am in love with Budapest. I wouldn't mind at all if the Dracula series went on for years and I could stay in this amazing place."