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Buda Castle - Budapest

Buda Castle in Budapest

Accueil » Europe » Eastern Europe » Hungary » Budapest » Buda Castle in Budapest

Nestled in the Castle Quarter (Várnegyed in Hungarian), Buda Castle (formerly known as the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle) is high on the list of the most iconic monuments of Budapest!

Follow the guide!

💡 The Captain’s tip 💡

🧐 Want to know more about the history of Budapest? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!

💤 Are you looking for a hotel in Budapest? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Budapest? Advice & recommendations

🏛 Planning your trip to Budapest? Take a look the Captain’s detailed article on the best things to do: A Guide to Budapest

👶 Planning a family adventure to Budapest? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Budapest with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities.

Brief history of Buda Castle in Budapest

Construction of Buda Castle began in the 13 th century, during the reign of King Béla IV of Hungary. In the following century, King Sigismund of Luxembourg enlarged the palace and consolidated its fortifications.

In the 15 th century, King Matthias I st ordered the construction of a Renaissance palace adjacent to the already existing castle.

In the 16 th and 17 th centuries, Buda Castle was damaged on several occasions and almost completely destroyed during the wars with the Ottoman Empire and later the House of Habsburg.

The palace was entirely rebuilt in the Baroque style in the 18 th century, during the reign of Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, and briefly converted into a university before becoming the residence of the Palatines (the highest dignitary in the kingdom after the king).

During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Buda Castle was destroyed in a fire. It was subsequently rebuilt (again), this time in the neoclassical style.

But during World War II, Buda Castle was destroyed yet again. It was rebuilt in the 1960s, but the reconstruction is now highly criticized by specialists. New renovations are on the agenda to correct the mistakes made in the 1960s and restore Buda Castle to its former glory!

Buda Castle - Budapest

Visiting Buda Castle

Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed inside the castle. That being said, the castle is still worth taking a look at!

Here are the must-sees in and around Buda Castle !

👉 The Turul: this huge bronze statue represents a bird perched on the portal of Buda Castle, facing the Danube. In Hungarian mythology, the Turul is a mythical bird similar to an eagle or a falcon. According to legend, the Turul led the Magyar people (the ancestors of the Hungarians) to the Carpathian basin where they settled.

Buda Castle - Budapest - Turul
Turul | Buda Castle

👉 The equestrian statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy : opposite the main entrance of Buda Castle, don’t miss the imposing statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy. He was one of the greatest generals of his time, famous for his remarkable feats in the war opposing the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian armies. Designed by Hungarian artist József Róna, the statue was originally commissioned by the city of Zenta, Serbia. As the town could not afford the price, the statue was bought by the city of Budapest.

Buda Castle - Budapest - Matthias Fountain
Matthias Fountain | Buda Castle

👉 Matthias Fountain : located in the western courtyard of Buda Castle, this monumental neo-baroque fountain is the work of famous Hungarian sculptor Alajos Stróbl. The fountain represents a hunting party led by King Matthias I st , represented bow in hand, a dead deer at his feet.

👉 The Lion Gate : at the entrance of the Lions Court, two pairs of lions guard the immense portal. On the outer side of the gate, the lions seem calm and dignified while on the inner side, they look undoubtedly threatening.

👉 Széchenyi National Library : Buda Castle is home to the Széchenyi National Library, created in 1802 by Count Ferenc Széchényi who offered the Hungarian nation his own collection of rare and precious books. The library contains books who initially belonged to King Matthias I st in the 15 th century.

👉 Budapest History Museum : nestled in Buda Castle, the History Museum documents the history of the capital. But if you’re interested in finding out more about the country’s history, Captain Ulysses recommends visiting the Hungarian National Museum instead.

👉 The Hungarian National Gallery : unlike the Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery (not to be confused with the Hungarian National Museum) is one of the most beautiful museums in the city. It is a must-see for art lovers!
Find out more in Captain Ulysses’ detailed article: the Hungarian National Gallery.


Getting to Buda Castle

Located on the Castle Hill, a few steps from the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Buda Castle is quite easily accessible. The closest public transports are:

  • the funicular
  • buses: Dísz tér stop (lines 16, 16A and 116)

Hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses also stop at Buda Castle. They’re very handy to navigate between the top sites and monuments in the capital.
👉 For more info, click here.

Buda Castle opening hours

The museums inside the palace are open every day of the week except on Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Budapest History Museum from November to February).


Guests can freely explore the exterior of the castle. If you wish, you can also join a free guided tour of the surroundings of Buda Castle to find out more about the rich history of the former royal palace.

👉 More info: Buda Castle Free Tour (choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide)

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

👉 Find the perfect place to stay in Budapest!


👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation:
Booking ($: Avenue Hostel | $$: Agape Apartments | $$$: Hotel Moments Budapest)

🎟️ Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets…:
GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Civitatis

🎫 Citypass:
The Budapest Card

🚐 Transfers:
Airport transfer

🚌Transport in Budapest:
Hop-on hop-off bus tour | a russian jeep | Trabant

✈️ Flights:


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