Things To Do in Budapest
Traveling to Budapest, you are looking for landmarks: Parliament, Heroes’ Square, Fisherman’s Bastion, and St. Stephen’s Basilica. All of them are gorgeous and breathtaking with their majesty. We have visited Budapest during St. Stephen’s day and that was the best day to visit this city. We took part in a celebration in Kossuth Square and next we visited the street of Hungarian Flavours. Everything was impressive and made us sure that we would return to Budapest many times. But we cannot imagine visiting any place in the world without seeing abandoned places.
Urban Exploration in Budapest
Ok, so what the capital city of Hungary can offer for urban explorers? On each of our trips, the most popular phrase in our search engine is “abandoned places near me”.
Research exceeded our expectations. There are a lot of abandoned places in Budapest on our urbex map. During our short holiday, we could choose only two of them: Kelenföld Power Plant and Red Star Train Graveyard. Which one should we visit first? Nevermind, let’s be spontaneous! 🙂
One hot day we were lying on Gellert Hill next to Citadella. We were admiring Budapest panorama, and we saw the destination of our next urbex trip – a powerstation. Marvelous art deco power plant.
Actually, we were searching also “nuclear power plants near me” 🙂 . Kelenföld Power Plant was unfortunately not nuclear, but it’s astonishing anyway.
Abandoned Power Plant
Ok, but what is the story of this abandoned place? The power plant, in its glory days, delivered over 60% energy in Budapest. It was 4% of total energy production in Hungary. Built in 1914, many times developed and rebuilt. Finally closed in 2007.
Everyone wants to see an amazing art deco control room. It was designed by two architects – Kálmán Reichl and Virgil Borbíró. Their roof is creating a unique mood of this place. It is worth to visit the control room at noon and watch the sun’s rays pass through the glass. The control room is protected by Hungarian law, which forbids to do any renovations and demolition as well. Despite the lack of renovation, the power plant is well-preserved. Please respect this place while visiting and take only pictures, leave only footprints.
This beautiful control room, built-in 1927, may have faced a lot of dangers. For example, Word War 2 was a threat to it. The large, oval roof may have been an easy bombing target. Have you ever wondered what this small, funny house with thick walls is? It was a shelter for employees in case of bombardment. Fortunately, the power plant and the control room survived the war and we can still admire this brilliant, industrial architecture.
Even though the control room doesn’t fulfill its function, it’s sometimes being used as scenography for various movies. Spy, Dracula, and the Chernobyl Diaries were recorded there.
How To Get To Kelenföld Power Station?
We were looking for a lot of information about how to get to Kelenfold. We checked it out in many urbex forums. What should we do? Jump over a fence and get inside through a broken window? It was so hard to find reliable information, but we went there full of hope.
Ok, did we mention something about using Kelenfold, for example for movie recording? Yeah. We arrived there and we saw a lot of people around the power plant. Oh, come on, it cannot be put off! Who knows when we will be in Budapest again. It is worth to talk, right? This man looks trustworthy, let’s talk with him!
Us: Hi, can we visit this power plant?
Man: No way! Some works are being done here.
Us: But we arrived here, especially to see this place.
Man: No. I’m not allowed to let people in here.
Us: Really? Don’t you sell any tickets? 😉
Man: Come on! Why is it so important to you?
Us: It’s our passion. We like to visit abandoned, industrial places. We arrived here from Poland…
Man: From Poland?
Us: Yes, from Poland..
Man: Ok, I’ll do my best to help you in the name of Polish-Hungarian friendship, just wait a minute.
And he told the truth. In a few minutes, he returned with keys and opened the door to this building. So our visit was legal. Maybe it was a kind of guided tour, but nevermind. It was worth it. We went through beautiful, spiral stairs, and a glass floor. We saw a lot of devices typical for power plant. Finally, he showed us the control room. We admired the roof in the art deco style. It was breathtaking! We took a lot of pictures and you can see them below. We will never forget this place and this nice man. We will be forever grateful to him.
Greetings for our friends from Hungary!