The Budapest Metro

The Budapest Metro

The Budapest Metro

Budapest has one of the oldest Metro’s in the world, though from small beginnings it is gradually growing. Metro Line M1 opened in 1896 and is still in use today. The latest addition, Metro Line M4, opened in 2014 and a fifth line is currently being planned.

The Budapest Metro

I was in Budapest for the weekend and the city’s public transportation system was going to be how I got around to the places I wanted to see. I would be using the metro system for those longer trips while relying on Budapest’s extensive tram network for those shorter ones.

The Budapest Metro

Metro Line M1

Metro Line M1 Is a unique experience. Immediately upon entering one of the stations you are surrounded by tiled walls and wood panelling. The trains are small and simple, perfect for serving the short platforms. Inside there is little seating, instead leather straps hanging from the hand rails, to maximise standing room.

The Budapest Metro

This line has been in constant use since 1896 and is known locally as a kisföldalatti, the small underground. Surprisingly M1 took less than 2 years to complete, which is incredible as the more recent M4 took 10 years. In the 1980s and 90s major reconstruction work was carried out though the original appearance was preserved. At this time three stations were added to the route. The Budapest Metro

Metro Line M3

M3 is the longest line in Budapest, with 20 stations and measuring 16.5km long. A number of times throughout its operation people have called for it to be updated but work has only recently begun. Due to construction work I was unable to travel using this line and instead had to regularly rely on a replacement bus service.

The Budapest Metro

Metro Line M4

Metro Line M4 is the newest addition to the Budapest system, though construction eventually began in 2004 the first 10 stations weren’t opened until 2014. It was first proposed that the line would open in 2003 but faced continuous delays, 17 in fact. Finally open the line had cost 1.5 billion Euros.

The Budapest Metro

The scale of the spaces is huge. The station platforms are large and cavernous, especially when you compare them to the cramped M1 line. Though I travelled at different times throughout the day there was never a time where they felt crowded. More often than not they were empty, which was perfect for taking photographs.

The Budapest Metro The Budapest Metro

During my time in Budapest this line was the one I used the most, largely because M3 was closed for construction work, but also because it was home to some of the more appealing stations. It was clear that during the planning process they had given some thought to the individual design of the stations, though many involved large amounts of concrete.

The Budapest Metro

There are two stations on the M4 line that stand out amongst the rest. Szent Gellért for its mosaic platform tunnel and Rákóczi tér which is decorated Red, white and green, the colours of the Hungarian flag.

The Budapest Metro

The Budapest Metro

The Budapest Metro The Budapest Metro

I have come to find that using the Metro of places I visit has changed over the years. The reason to travel by metro is not only to get from A to B but the metro itself has become the reason. They are often places of design and interest, their symmetry and spaces are pleasing especially when it comes to photography. The journey has become the destination.

The Budapest Metro

Further Reading:

My photos from Helsinki Metro with one of it’s stations featuring an exhibition space for featured artists.

My latest posts from Budapest The Unusual Road to Kerepesi Cemetery and a quick piece about All Saints Church.

Helsinki Feeling

Over the last year I have been exploring Helsinki from a different perspective, I never used to care about unique staircases, interesting doorways, or if a building had a hidden courtyard. But it is in these things, among others, that I have become fond of.

I have met others with similar interests, surprisingly there are a few of us, and we have begun to explore the city and help each other develop. It has opened my eyes to a new side of photography and I now approach everyday objects with a different eye.
Helsinki Feeling
A friend of mine also explores Helsinki looking for these details, with one of his projects focusing on the many different building facades that Helsinki has. He was recently featured by Guardian Cities and they wrote an article about his project, Helsinki Facades.
I hope I am able to continue and that there will be a few more great staircases, among others, gracing these pages.
I would like to hear what you all think about this type of photography, is it something you are interested in or do you photograph these types of details?

Between the Blocks

Between the Blocks

Sculpture of Helsinki #19

From top to bottom is a memorial to Finland’s second president, Lauri Kristian Relander (1883-1942), and is situated in the Töölö neighborhood. The sculptor was Matti Peltokangas and he was the winning entry in competition for a memorial. The four blocks are much bigger than they look, each side is just over 2 meters with the grooves cut in opposite directions on each side.

You can find almost 500 outdoor sculptures, pieces of environmental art and historical monuments in Helsinki and they are accessible to everyone. See more and search through the database at HAMhelsinki.fi.