The Invitation Filming Locations: English Castle in Budapest

Article by Jane
March 7th, 2023
The Invitation Filming Locations: English Castle in Budapest

The Invitation (2022) was filmed at the Nádasdy Mansion, Parisi Udvar Hotel Budapest and Veli Bej Spa in Hungary. A New Yorker Evie (Nathalie Emmanuel) takes a DNA test and follows her newly discovered, distant cousin to an English castle. But despite the charming Walter de Ville (Thomas Doherty) and Oliver (Hugh Skinner), something seems off...

And there’s a spooky secret behind the Dracula-inspired movie too. One of The Invitation’s filming locations boasts a creepy Transylvanian connection.

Where Was The Invitation Filmed?

The Invitation was filmed in Hungary at the neo-Gothic Nádasdladány, Hyatt’s Parisi Udvar Hotel, and the historic Veli Bej Spa in Budapest. Disney Plus series Moon Knight and Netflix’s Shadow and Bone recently featured Hungarian filming locations as London and the fictional Ravka. So you’ve probably seen Budapest onscreen before. This time round, Budapest’s architecture is used for New York and remote English settings.

“We filmed this movie in Hungary, and we got a beautiful tour of all the beautiful Hungarian castles. I stumbled across this one, and it's in that Tudor English style, so as soon as a I walked up to it, I was like, "Oh, this is the one." When I walked inside and saw all the beautiful architecture, it was just made in heaven — or hell.”
Jessica M. Thompson, Director

But the English-style architecture wasn’t the only feature that caught Thompson’s attention. Once she learned about Nádasdy Mansion’s history, there was no other option in the running.

The Invitation Filming Locations List

New York Restaurant

The Invitation’s New York restaurant location is the Párisi Passage Café at the Párisi Udvar Hotel in the heart of Budapest. In the movie, Evie meets Oliver (Hugh Skinner) at the restaurant after he approaches her following the DNA test.

Párisi Passage Café and Brasserie are part of the Hyatt’s hotel, and the food is inspired by French cuisine. The Invitation restaurant location in Budapest looks just the same in real life, complete with the ornate décor seen onscreen.

The Spa

We think The Invitation’s spa location is the Veli Bej Spa in Budapest. In the film, Lucy (Alana Boden) and Viktoria (Stephanie Corneliussen) invite Evie to a spa day after the engagement party. During a beauty treatment, Evie cuts her finger and Viktoria’s strange reaction takes her by surprise.

Back in the real world, Veli Bej is one of the four oldest Turkish baths in Budapest. The bath house has been dated to 1574-75 – a fact we know because the construction date was hidden in poems decorating the building.

You can book at trip to The Invitation’s spa filming location. It’s open to bathers as part of the Hotel Császár Budapest.

Walter de Ville’s Castle

Nádasdy kastély Nádasdy kastély. Lajos Gál, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Walt’s castle in The Invitation is the Nádasdy Mansion in Hungary, despite the English setting – but it was selected for its many English-inspired featuress. The filming location was built in a neo-Gothic style, drawing inspiration from English Tudor architecture and interiors. The conservatory and the dining room with its distinctive fireplace are real features of the mansion.

It’s set in English-style landscaped gardens as well – and surrounded by acres of parkland. We see some of the mansion’s grounds in The Invitation’s engagement party scene and shots of Evie outside.

Now for the spooky connection. The mansion was built by the family of Elizabeth Báthory, a Transylvanian countess who was linked to hundreds of gory deaths in the 16th Century.

But Nádasdladány itself is linked to a rather different tale. It was built by Ferenc Nádasdy for his wife, Ilona Zichy. Ilona died shortly after the castle was completed, at the age of just twenty-four. Her widower never remarried. The first inhabitants are still very much part of the building’s story, with their portraits hanging throughout the mansion.

The Invitation isn’t the first movie to tap into the castle’s Gothic aesthetic. Nádasdladány was Underworld’s mansion filming location and can be seen in exterior shots of the vampires’ base.