Bollywood in Hungary, Where You See Europe at its Most Exotic

Bollywood in Hungary
Recollect the climax scene in the song ‘Hum dil de chuke sanam’? No, it wasn’t the London bridge, nor was it shot in Italy. It was shot on the Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest. In fact, the epic love story was shot in Budapest (Hungarian capital), and passed off as some Italian city.

That is the beauty of Hungary; you can shoot there and convincingly pass it off as any international city such as Paris, Rome, London or even New York, and the production costs will be much less.

Hungary offers several advantages, such as low labour costs and tax incentives to foreign filmmakers.

Bollywood Movies Shot in Hungary

Bollywood movies shot in Hungary, include ‘Aks’ & ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’.

Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary
Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary


‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ was the first major Bollywood film that was shot extensively in Hungary. The film was shot at the Danube River, and in various locations around Budapest. The movie was also premiered in Budapest at the Puskin (Pushkin) Theater, with several dignitaries, including the then-President ‘Árpád Göncz’ attending the screening.

Although the movie was shot in Budapest, I hope you guys remember that in the movie, Sanjay Leela Bhansali passed it off as an Italian city. That’s the beauty of Hungary; it offers a range of architecture that can easily be passed off as any international city – Paris, Rome, London or even New York.

“Aks” (2001), directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra & starring Big B and Manoj Bajpai, was shot partially at the Royal Castle in Budapest.

Besides these Bollywood films, several ad films have also been in Budapest.

Advantages of Shooting in Hungary

Hungary is a popular destination for shooting films for movie and ad filmmakers around the world. Here are the advantages it offers:

  • Affordable to stay/travel, move around within the country (good expressway infrastructure)
  • Availability of Hollywood-standard sound stages / studios, crew experienced in Hollywood productions (no unions)
  • 25% tax incentive (except tv commercials)
  • Cheap and easy-to-get location permits
  • Short flight times to most other European cities / countries

Rajkumar Hirani to Shoot Here?

Some times back, buzz was that Rajkumar Hirani would be shooting his next film ‘Peekay’ (starring Aamir Khan & Anushka Sharma) in Hungary.

However, it seems that the Hungary schedule has now been cancelled, and the makers will now shoot in Belgium (in the city of Bruges).

But then, Aamir Khan & Rajkumar Hirani are known to be quite guarded about their projects, so they could keep us guessing on this matter (of location).

Hungary Tourism

Hungary has an estimated 1,300 thermal springs, which is used for cleansing, relaxation and easing aches and pains. The Romans were the first to use Hungary’s thermal waters; its thermal waters and spa culture are currently used to promote tourism.

Most of it European tourists arrive by car and stay here for a short period of time, with Budapest being the country’s most popular tourist destination.

Capital: Budapest
Dialing code: 36
Currency: Hungarian forint
Official language: Hungarian language

Checkout this video of Destination Hungary.