Best photo spots in Prague / Budapest / Krakow / Vienna
September 29, 2019 9:43 PM   Subscribe

So I'm off on 4-week trip all of October to Prague - Krakow - Budapest - Vienna, spending a week in each place. I'm a photographer so I need your recommendations for the best photographic subjects in these cities. And good vantage points for them. Or even picturesque day trips from them. Bonus points for non-touristy stuff to do.
posted by madman to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
In each case getting across the river is a good vantage. So Manggha Center in Krakow and the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 11:41 PM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

So jealous, that's going to be an amazing trip.

The most memorable photo subjects I found in Krakow and Vienna were indoors. In Vienna, the interior of the Natural History museum is astonishing and opulent. In Krakow, St. Mary's Basilica is encrusted with centuries of Catholic offering. It's amazing, this lapsed Lutheran from small-town Canada had never seen anything like it.

Outside in Vienna, you'll find great views of the city atop the Flakturm (which is an interesting subject itself!) and the ferris wheel in the Prater. And Mrs. Sauce took us on a U-Bahn trip out to see the Gasometers.

Whenever Mrs. Sauce and I want to escape the tourist bubble in a city, we go see live music. Tourists from abroad don't go to local club shows. We had a great time seeing a bunch of power metal bands at Arena Wien.
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:27 AM on September 30, 2019

The Municipal House in Prague is very photogenic, both inside and out.
posted by Chairboy at 1:34 AM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

In Vienna the Central Cemetery and Cemetery of the Nameless are quite dramatic.
posted by waving at 1:58 AM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Much of the center of Krakow is blissfully open-spaced which allows for good photo locations all around, using standard-lens to small-tele-lens equipment, as opposed to crammed architecture that forces you to use wide-angle lenses and silly perspectives.
Then, I had an opportunity to be on the top floor of the Music Academy (they have their guest rooms there) and took some nice shots of the center (mostly featuring the main church) from there. You could try and see what a hotel top floor or anything similar has to offer in terms of a higher vantage point.
I enjoyed strolling around and taking pictures of the center at night; they use some white touristy horse coaches that look far less cheesy when it's dark, and the arcades are quite picturesque when backlit. At daytime there's a lot of subtle colors going on; pastel hues on many old buildings and brownish brick with white details on the churches.
posted by Namlit at 4:15 AM on September 30, 2019

Vyšehrad in Prague gives a good vantage point for pictures (as well as having some cool stuff to photograph as well). The Zizkov tower is another place where you can get up high and take good pictures, the nearby park Riegrovy Sady also has a hill and decent views (though probably even better after the leaves have fallen as foliage obscures some of the view). None of the three above are touristy- but I'm guessing that you will want to go to the palace as well despite the tourists there- best to get the funicular to the palace and walk down through the vineyard and park called Petrin (or walk up if feeling energetic).
posted by Gratishades at 5:20 AM on September 30, 2019

It's touristy, but Prague Castle [Google Maps link] has a lot of good photo opportunities. If the weather's good, make your way down the hill to the Charles Bridge [map link] during twilight, it's magical as the city is lighting up.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:31 AM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Depends what you like taking photos of - streetscapes or historic/modern architecture or interiors or industrial sites or transport infrastructure or abstract patterns or whatever... But all those places are abundantly supplied with great photos opportunities of all kinds, you're going to have a fabulous trip. I know Prague best, so I'll confine my suggestions to there. I'd make a beeline for cemeteries - this article covers the three most famous and photogenic. (And if there's any chance at all you can be in Prague on All Saints' Day, get to Olsany cemetery at dusk.) I love the 70s-futurisic design of many of the metro station platforms - ride the green line for a good taster. Lots of Cubist architecture dotted around the place. Some gorgeous Art Nouveau facades on Wenceslas Square and Narodni trida. The 20th-century church at Jiriho z Podebrad is very striking, and nearby is the also 70s-futuristic Zizkov TV tower. There are lots of great lookouts over the city: from the castle, from Zizkov hill, from Letna park... It's not as easy as it once was to get away from the crowds in atmospheric Old Town backstreets, but I often find the few cobbled lanes behind the castle surprisingly quiet, and there are handsome areas just outside the centre like Vinohrady. The old-style red-and-cream trams are, in my opinion, gorgeous, and I could spend a day taking pictures of them against beautiful streetscene backdrops; Malostranske Namesti and surrounds is a good spot for this though it is also touristy there. Seek out David Cerny sculptures if that's your sort of thing (though note the babies don't seem to be on the TV tower anymore, as of last September). As a bonus recommendation, even as someone who knows tourist Prague pretty well, I found the book "111 Places in Prague That You Shouldn't Miss" to be absolutely brilliant, and it will take you to places that are both fascinating and fun photo subjects, like this! Finally, everyone knows Charles Bridge but that doesn't mean it's not a knockout place for photos. Just be prepared to get there very early in the morning or late at night if you don't want your pictures to be of lots of tourists and souvenir sellers.
posted by FavourableChicken at 5:37 AM on September 30, 2019

I recommend an overnight in Cesky Krumlov while you're in Prague. It doesn't fit the bill for "not touristy" but I think it's really worthwhile. Beautifully preserved 14th- to 17th-century architecture. I took some of my favorite photos of our Prague trip there. (It's a simple trip from Prague--just a single bus--but it's a little over 3 hours each way so not totally doable in a single day--also it's wonderful to be there at sunset!)

In Prague, walking along the river on either side is easy and yields numerous opportunities for photos.

In Budapest (one of my favorite cities), I really loved the parks, especially Margaret Island and City Park. For indoor photography, the Municipal Market is a wonderful place to seek out.

posted by CiaoMela at 6:47 AM on September 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

Confining myself to Budapest -

It may be considered "touristy", but I bet you'll have fun at one of the ruin pubs. These started out as pop-up underground bars in abandoned buildings, and have now become a whole thing - the one I went to has a farmers' market on the weekends, a farm-to-table all-day breakfast buffet on Sundays, live bands, and on my second visit there (in as many days) I was treated to a spontaneous Romanian folk dance class.

There's also a little museum devoted to medieval-era pharmaceuticals; there is some way cool stuff in there, but I didn't get a picture because all Budapest museums have a policy about photos: if you want to take photos inside, you have to pay a small fee up front for a license to do so. I don't remember it being very expensive at all, but I was on a tight budget.

(Incidentally - it's also frowned upon to take photos in many of the bath houses, of course, even though they are gorgeous and you will really want to.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on September 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

In Budapest, climb up to Gul Baba's tomb to get a really interesting vantage point.
posted by bardophile at 7:30 PM on October 6, 2019

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