From Prague and Budapest, With Love

Experience two of Europe's most romantic cities through the artful lens of an architecture-loving photographer.

by Natalie Bogan Morgan
"I can definitely see why visitors from all over fall in love with Prague. It's like stepping into a movie set or fairy tale, but it's organic, it works and it feels real."
The Hungarian Parliament Building, one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings, lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It's within walking distance of Four Seasons Budapest.

Dan Calle has amassed a loyal Instagram following that can’t seem to get enough of the Toronto-based talent’s travel and art snapshots. When he’s not dabbling in industrial design or graphic design projects, Calle enjoys jet-setting the globe with his camera in tow.

“Travel photography is my passion. The more I travel, the more I’m influenced creatively,” he says. “It inspires me to photograph the beauty and diversity of the world.”

Recently, Calle – one of three winners in the Focus on Four Seasons Instagram contest – and his girlfriend, Mrinali, spent six days enjoying the red-carpet treatment at the historic Four Seasons Hotel Prague and Budapest’s Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace. Now he is back to share his romantic and history-infused vacation images.

“It was my first time in Budapest and Prague,” he says. “I’d always heard great things, so it was what I expected and more. I truly got to see the best parts of the cities in the best way possible.”

Exploring Prague

The Petrín Lookout Tower, one of Prague’s most prominent landmarks, as seen from the castle gates. “It was an interesting view, since various examples of 18th-century work are seen in the image: decorative 18th-century statues, the gate’s forged metal details, and the Petrín Lookout Tower, inspired by the famous Eiffel Tower.” Photography by Dan Calle
“I’m a sucker for symmetry and detail in architecture, and this awesome corner building, where Bakeshop Praha is located in Old Town Prague, is a lovely Art Nouveau creation that offers both.” Photography by Dan Calle
“Prague’s architecture, the history, the landscapes and the people, everything comes together, and I feel like it creates this notion of romance in the city.” Photography by Dan Calle
The astronomical clock at Old Town Square is one of Prague’s most famous attractions. It indicates the sun’s movement; phases of the moon; the equinoxes, seasons and zodiac; and the day. Photography by Dan Calle
See the sights of Prague from below, along the Vltava River. Four Seasons Prague offers 50-min excursions abroad the Hotel’s 12-person boat. Each trip includes Prosecco and promises picture-perfect views. Photography by Dan Calle
“The most memorable experience in Prague would have to be the private tours,” says Calle. “Both the walking tour and the vintage car tour were amazing, rich with culture and architecture. I couldn’t stop looking up at the buildings and snapping photos of all the details.” Photography by Dan Calle
CottoCrudo, the modern Italian restaurant inside Four Seasons Prague, is known for its chic urban setting and authentic dishes. “A beautiful view of the Vltava River, eating jamón ibérico Joselito and drinking local brews — this became my afternoon routine during my stay in Prague. It was perfect to enjoy lunch while watching people stroll through the city.” Photography by Dan Calle
“The mix of architectural styles found in Prague is definitely a clear asset of the city – the Gothic castles mixed with old fairy-tale European charm and modern standouts. At times I felt overwhelmed, because I didn’t know what to focus on and I wanted to capture every single detail in every corner of the city.” Photography by Dan Calle
Completed in 1735, St Nicholas Church at Prague’s Old Town Square is a Baroque edifice inspired by the chapel of St Louis-des-invalides in Paris. Peter Adam executed the frescos, which Calle captured during a walking tour. Photography by Dan Calle
In addition to serving as a place of worship, St Vitus Cathedral is also a prominent museum, a mausoleum of Bohemian kings and a popular point of interest for Prague visitors. Photography by Dan Calle
“The suite at Four Seasons Prague could not have had a better view – the Charles Bridge was in full display and the sunsets were surreal,” remembers Calle. “I was in awe throughout my entire experience.” Photography by Dan Calle

Four Seasons Hotel Prague

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The best of Budapest

“I loved walking and exploring narrow alleyways, cobblestone streets, and admiring the architecture as a whole. There’s something about visiting cities with so much history that I find truly inspiring.” Photography by Dan Calle
“Budapest offered a mix of architectural styles, with the buildings having a more rugged appeal yet full of character and history. The way these structures light up at night adds another layer to the already grand and majestic buildings — it feels like the city is putting on its best for a night out, and looks awesome doing it.” Photography by Dan Calle
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest is centrally located, at the end of the renowned Chain Bridge, which means great perspectives on the Danube and the hills of Buda. Photography by Dan Calle
“The Széchenyi Thermal Baths were the perfect way to end the day after a busy day of sight-seeing around Budapest.” Photography by Dan Calle
“Just before the baths closed was a good time to take a photo of the usually crowded and busy outdoor pools. The moonlight peeking through the clouds was an ideal backdrop for the beautifully lit baths. It was a chilly night, which made the thermal baths even more enjoyable.” Photography by Dan Calle
St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent istván Bazilika) is the largest church in Budapest. Visitors can go up the cupola and take in sweeping views of Budapest from above. The lookout tower is open to visitors from spring through autumn. Photography by Dan Calle
Calle was not the first photographer to be drawn to the grand Art Nouveau ceiling and chandelier at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. Photography by Dan Calle
“I was inspired by the history and European charm the city had by day and how it transformed at night.” Photography by Dan Calle
Built in 1894, Budapest’s eight-story House of Photography (Mai Manó Ház) is a historic landmark that hosts world-class exhibitions by Hungarian and international artists. Located in the city’s theatre district, the building also features a bookshop, library and cafe. Photography by Dan Calle
A view of Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. Photography by Dan Calle
The Hungarian Parliament Building, one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings, lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It’s within walking distance of Four Seasons Budapest. Photography by Dan Calle

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

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Follow the other winners of the Focus on Four Seasons Instagram contest to Hawaii and California.