The cities of Görlitz and Dresden in Germany, along with some other spots in Saxony, are the main filming locations where The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place. Also, the film director Wes Anderson, took inspiration from a cocktail between Vienna, Prague and Budapest to create the city of Lutz, in the invented Republic of Zubrowka. The plot occurs in a background with clear references to the history of Central Europe, during the interwar period of the 20th century.
The production team did a magnificent job recreating a fictional universe, that is at the same time familiar to the public. Also the shooting locations are not very difficult to recognize for those who have been there. Many films try to mask or hide the real film locations. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, on many occasions the camera was pointing at the same perspective as postcards do:
Not a single frame has been shoot in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), but many elements of the movie are highly influenced by the style and the look of this spa town, like the Grandhotel Pupp. Pictured, the facade of the Bristol Palace Hotel and the poster of the film. Image by Richard Schubert
Görlitz Warenhaus was a forgotten art nouveau building from an old store, build in 1912. It became the perfect set for the interior scenes of the hotel. Image by Wolfgang Pichler
Also in Görlitz, the Stadthalle was an old concert hall that was used as the hotel’s restaurant. The romantic alpine scene in the background looks suspiciously like the emblematic statue Deer Leap (Jelení skok) of Karlovy Vary. Image by CzechTourism
Mendl’s confectionery shop was set in Pfunds Molkerei, a historical creamery in Dresden over 100 years old, decorated in neo-Renaissance style. Image by Dresdner Molkerei Gebrüder Pfund
The rococo Zwinger palace, also in Dresden, was chosen for the brilliant scene of the museum of art of Lutz, where Deputy Kovacs try to escape from a stalker. Image by Michael
The pavilions of the Zwinger were rebuilt after WW2 and now hosts a picture gallery and a rather boring porcelain collection. Image by Michael
This night scene shows one of the most noted streets in Dresde, with the decorated wall Fürstenzug at the left.
This image and all the screenshots courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.
The Fürstenzug is a huge porcelain mural representing the rulers of Saxony, that wasn't damaged during the bombing of Dresden in 1945. Image by Harald Selke
We are back to Görlitz, a small beautiful city that did survive the destruction of the war. Other recent productions like The Book Thief or Inglourious Basterds were also filmed here. In the background of the photogram, the facade of the Silesian Museum. Image by Schlesisches Museum zu Görlitz
Kriebstein Castle was used as outdoors for the prison Checkpoint 19, and the indoor scenes were located in the castle of Osterstein, in Zwickau. Image by Burg Kriebstein
The station of the cable car in the mountains is inspired in the Sphinx observatory, located in Jungfraujoch (Switzerland), at an altitude of 3,571 meters (11,716 ft). Image by Julius Silver
The mock-up for the funicular that takes to the hotel, is inspired in an old one near Gimmelwald, also in Switzerland.
A viewing platform is the set for the wedding scene, in one of the most well-known landscapes of Sächsische Schweiz (or the Saxon Switzerland). Image by Fswerk
This handcrafted film is full of small jokes and many curious details, like the name of the country where the action takes place: Zubrowka is a popular brand of Polish vodka!