Let’s Go To The Movies – Budapest Art Cinema Guide

There's a buzzing art cinema scene in Budapest. It's high time that you're introduced to it - if you haven't been already. Sit back, grab some popcorn, this will be fun.

Expat Press Budapest Art Cinema Guide

Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)

If I had to point to a place that perfectly captures the vibe of Budapest it would be the art cinema scene. It’s not just about watching a movie on a Friday evening. It’s the coffee and cake that you’ll have before the movie and it’s about the interior of the theater itself. It’s the local art that you’ll find hanging on the walls and the cinematic rarities that definitely beat watching the latest blockbuster.

If you’re still not convinced that it’s for you, I have another piece of good news: showing films with subtitles is a big thing at these cinemas. It’s pretty sure that the movie you want to watch will be screened with subtitles (English or Hungarian). If you want to catch a movie that’s not in English or Hungarian, it’s likely to be screened with English subtitles, so be on the lookout and get your tickets. I know that you can already smell the popcorn, so without further ado, here’s a – not all-inclusive – list of Budapest art cinemas and the reasons why they’re worth visiting.

Toldi mozi

Why is this place so awesome?
Opened in 1932, Toldi mozi is a modern arthouse cinema in the heart of Budapest. It’s much more than a cinema though, as it’s often the venue of film festivals, concerts, and other events. It’s cozy, hip, laid-back and spacious at the same time. Yeah, it’s totally hipster – cinematic newspapers and independent filmmakers’ films can be found here. I recommend it even if you don’t actually want to watch a movie; just hang out and have a drink.

Where can I find it?
Toldi is next to the Arany János utca metro station. Here’s a map.

Pro tip:
If you’re into decorating your walls with movie posters, be on the lookout: there’s a big box next to the entrance or by the door with a bunch of them that you can take free of charge.

Művész mozi

Why is this venue so awesome?
Művész mozi – which means art cinema in Hungarian by the way – is a dandy and eclectic little space that supports and often exhibits local artists’ works. It’s a café and a cinema that showcases avant-garde films in their original languages.

Where can I find it?
It’s pretty close to Oktogon, on Teréz körút. Here’s a map.

Pro tip:
If you’re looking for a cool gift for a friend with super artsy taste, check out the gift shop. Also, believe it or not, you can actually rent DVDs here. You know, for the times Netflix fails you.

Cirko Gejzír

Why is this hidden gem so awesome?
What’s most interesting about this place is that it’s super small. Actually, they say it’s the smallest cinema in Europe. Whether or not it’s true doesn’t matter: if you want to watch winners of prestigious international film festivals, this is the place for you.

Where can I find it?
It’s within walking distance from Jászai Mari tér. Here’s a map.

Pro tip:
Despite its size, the venue often hosts exhibitions and concerts, so be on the lookout for those as well.

Bem Mozi

Why is this theater so awesome?
Well, it’s 111 years old for starters. It mostly functions as a local watering hole for hipsters and artists these days, but they do showcase films as well. You won’t find the latest blockbusters here, but you can feel the nostalgia watching old cult classics. They also do double features and marathons, independent movies and documentaries.

Where can I find it?
It’s quite close to Margit híd budai hídfő. Here’s a map.

Pro tip:
If you want to grab a beer, their selection is pretty good. Also, there’s a wonderful ice-cream place right next to it that offers sugar-free ice cream as well.