Visit to the Buda Castle in Budapest: timetables, prices and tips

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Known as the Royal Palace, Buda Castle is one of the most beautiful attractions in Budapest. Formerly the residence of the kings of Hungary, it currently includes buildings such as the Széchenyi Library, the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.
Located on the Várhegy hill in the Buda district, it dominates the entire city from above and, together with the famous Chain Bridge, forms a fascinating complex that gives a splendid image of Budapest, especially in the evening when the thousand lights shine on the Danube.
Below is all the information you need to plan the visit to the Buda Castle in Budapest.



Index

  1. Hours and prices
  2. Online tickets and guided tours
  3. What to see and how to visit the Buda Castle
  4. Where is it and how to get there
  5. Useful tips for visiting the attraction
  6. Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
  7. User questions and comments

Hours and prices

The courtyard is always open, while the palace follows the opening hours of the Gallery and the Museum. The ticket office closes at 17pm. For the exhibitions and events in the gallery, you need to buy a separate ticket.

  • gardens and courtyards open 24 hours on 24. National Gallery and Museum from Tuesday to Sunday 10: 00-18: 00. In autumn and winter they close at 16pm. Closed Mondays.
  • Best time to avoid queues: early in the morning, at sunset or in the evening (only for the gardens and courtyards as other attractions are closed).
  • free gardens and courtyards. Gallery 3.200 HUF (€ 9,20), history museum 2.000 HUF (€ 5,80)
  • Reductions: under 26 and over 62 1.600 HUF (€ 4,60) for the gallery and 1.000 HUF (€ 2,90) for the museum. Budapest Card holders 50% discount.
  • Free: under 6 years old, European citizens over 70 and disabled

Online tickets and guided tours

  • Buda Castle: Official Hop-On Hop-Off Electric Bus: from € 8,00 - buy online
  • Buda Castle Walking Tour: from € 49,00 - buy online
  • City tour and castle walk: from € 26,00 - buy online

What to see and how to visit the Buda Castle

The Buda Castle, with its façade about 300 meters long, is divided into six wings (from A to F) distributed around the Lion's Courtyard, where the National Gallery, the National Library and the Budapest History Museum are located .

Near an ancient ornamental door you will come across the gigantic one Turul bronze bird of prey, symbol of the Kingdom of Hungary. You can see the equestrian statue of Eugenio di Savoia and the monumental fountain depicting King Matthias in hunting gear.

Once you have crossed the Porta dei Leoni, you will enter the internal courtyard from which you can see the severed tower, a survivor of the medieval fortification. Don't miss the dramatic changing of the guard which takes place at noon, complete with a band and parades, and the Buda Castle Labyrinth. Visited after 18:00, with the lights off, it makes the moment even more exciting: you pass through underground areas where you can observe cave paintings, fountains and statues in a horror atmosphere. In addition to the classic route, the ticket allows access to the "individual labyrinth" in which you enter individually and that of "love", which is accessed as a couple (costs about € 7,00 and is open from 10:00 to 19:00 : every day).
To see inside the Buda Castle:



  • National Library, containing over 15.000 books and manuscripts, as well as a copy of every book published in Hungary.
  • Hungarian National Gallery, on four floors, it houses medieval and Renaissance sculptures and paintings, works of art from the Gothic period, such as the altarpieces of the Great Throne Room, sections dedicated to the Hungarian painter Mihaly Munkacsy and the father of Hungarian impressionism Szinyei Merse. On the ground floor is the "Lapidarium", with a collection of stone artifacts unearthed during the reconstruction of the building, including Lady in Violet by Pál Szinyei Merse, Self-Portrait with Red Beret by József Rippl-Rónai, Woman Carrying Fagot by Mihály Munkácsy, and many others.
  • Budapest History Museum, on four floors, three on the surface and one underground. In the latter there are corridors, rooms and spaces rebuilt after the Second World War. The collection presents Hungarian everyday objects and retraces the fundamental stages of the city's history. Among the most important rooms there is the Gothic Room, the Renaissance Room and the Tower Chapel. Especially to visit the underground part with the archaeological remains.

Where is it and how to get there

  • On foot: go up the staircase that runs alongside the Chain Bridge and continue the ascent to the left of the funicular (the journey takes about 10-15 minutes) - Get directions
  • By bus: lines 16, 16A and 116
  • In funicular: from Piazza Adam Clark you can take the Castle funicular, operating from 7:30 to 22:00 for a cost of 1.200 HUF / € 3,72 each way
  • In the elevator: from Palota Ut you can reach the castle with a free lift

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the castle early in the morning.
  2. Buy the city card: if you want to visit other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy the Budapest Card (about € 22,00) to get free access to public transport and some places of interest (such as Buda Castle), or discounts on tickets entrance to the main attractions of Budapest.
  3. Minimum time: consider a minimum of 4 hours for the visit. The ideal would be to be able to dedicate at least half a day to the whole complex, including the Castle Labyrinth, the Matthias Church and the Fishermen's Bastion, from which you can admire a breathtaking view of the Parliament and the city.
  4. Walk on foot: to get to the castle, walk the staircase, even if it is a bit tiring. You will be rewarded with magnificent views!
  5. Watch out for restrictions: At the entrance you will be asked to put your bags or backpacks in the locker.

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief

Buda Castle in Budapest was the residence of the Hungarian kings for many years. The first rudimentary fortification dates back to the 1950th century and then there were various destructions and reconstructions, due to the wars over the years. The long restoration, in a classical style, began in with the architect István Janáki e today the Budapest Castle is a Unesco heritage site.

To reach it, if you don't want to walk too much, go up with the funicular and then go down on foot, it will be a pleasant and less tiring walk, which will allow you to see beautiful views.

The main entrance from which most visitors enter is Piazza di San Giorgio, to the north, where the funicular connects the hill with the Chain Bridge and the Pest district. If you don't want to visit the inside, it is worth going to the top of the hill to see the outside and take great photos (especially in the evening) of the Danube and the whole city.




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