Buda Castle in Budapest is situated on a royal spot: on a hill next to the Danube. It’s an impressive building which rises above the city and stands out against the blue horizon. That’s why it’s not a big surprise that it has the status of World Heritage Site.
History Buda Castle
The Buda Castle is also know as the royal palac. This is because this palace served as home for some of the kings of Hungaria. One of them was king Matthias Corvinus (also known from the Matthias Church). He renovated the castle in Renaissance style and with this he introduced this style in Hungary. The castle you see know when you now on the top of the 70-meters high hill is, except from some of the walls which are still standig – not the original at all. In fact, the castle which was standing here has been destroyed and rebuild multiple times. The latest and most terrible destruction was during World War II, when the entire building lay in ruins. Only one hall was still standig. But the Hungarians managed to rebuild some other halls too out of of the remaining ruins. In 1970 the building was restored to its full glory.
Tunnels underneath the Royal Palace
There is also part off Buda Castle which you can’t see just by looking at it: the tunnels underneath. Since the castle was also used for defending the city an intricate tunnel system with hiding places was build underneath. It’s said to be of a lenght of 10.000 meters. Some historians claim though that the tunnels are not manmade, but were formed by nature. Anyway, they were usefull to all the inhabitants of the castle
Current use Buda Castle
Nowadays the castle functions as a cultural place. It houses the National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Széchényi Library. So if you want to visit the castle, you should visit either one these three places.
Hungarian National Gallery
This national gallery housed in the castle documents and presents the rise and development of the fine arts in Hungary. Amongst others you can find here around 10.000 Hungarian artworks dating from 1800 till 1945. The collection also consists off: Hungarian sculpture along with coins, medals and plaques by Hungarian masters, a collection of prints and drawings by Hungarian artists and a contemporary Collection with Hungarian artworks from 1945 to the present day. Apart from the permanent exhibitions the Hungarian National Gallery also presents very interesting temporary exhibitions. Check their website to see what exhibition is on now.
Opening hours Tuesday till Sunday, from 10 am – 6 pm (the exhibition halls start to close at 5.30).
Closed on Mondays.
Closed on the following days in 2019 April 23, June 11, December 24 & 25
Prices permanent exhibition Full price – 2800 HUF, youth & seniors – 1400 HUF (youth aged 6–26 & seniors aged 62 – 70 if they are from the European Economic Area), concession price 75% – 700 HUF
Free admission With the Budapest Card (permanent exhibition only), children younger than 6 years, seniors older than 70, disabled visitors with one attendant, teachers employed in elementary or secondary education, for everybody on the following days: 15 March, 20 August and 23 October.
Prices temporary exhibition Check the website of the Hungarian National Gallery
Price audioguide 800 HUF
Visit the dome
You are also able to visit the dome of Buda Castle. From here you have a perfect view of the city. You can do this if you visist the Hungarian National Gallery and buy an extra ticket of 1000 HUF. This includes the use of VR glasses. The dome is closed from november till april. And you can visit the tower from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 till am 5 pm. If the weather conditions are bad, the tower might be closed.
Budapest History Museum
The Budapest History Museum consists of 3 different musea and a gallery: the Aquincum Museum, the Castle Museum, the Kiscell Museum and the Budapest Gallery. But the only museum which is situated in Buda Castle is the Castle Museum. It shows the turbulent history of Budapest of the past 2000 years. Also you will find some of the reconstructed parts of the palace and a few sculptures here.
Opening hours between 1 March and 31 October Tuesday til sunday from 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on mondays
Opening hours between 1 November and 28/29 February Tuesday til friday from 10 am – 4 pm. Saturday & sunday from 10 am – 6 pm. Closed on mondays.
Prices permanent exhibition Adult ticket – 2000 HUF, youth 6–26 years – 1000 HUF, pensioners ticket (65 – 69) – 1000 HUF
Free of charge With the Budapest Card (permanent exhibition only), visitors over the age of 70
Every last Saturdays of every month for International Student Card holders, children under 18 years and their parent or guardian, visitors younger than 26 years.
Prices temporary exhibition Check the website of the Budapest History Museum
Price audioguide1200 HUF
National Széchényi Library
This library is situated in Buda Castle and aims to store and making traditional and modern library documents of the Hungarian cultural heritage available to the public. If you like to study or a find a quiet spot, this is the place for you. Other than that it’s not really something special. Check the opening hours and other information on their website.
How to get to Buda Castle
Address: Szent György tér 2
From Deak Ferenc Ter: Take bus 16, 16A or 116. Alight at Clark Adam Square at the end of the chainbridge. From here you can either walk up, or take the furnicular. They arrive almost every 5 minutes during day. or you can try the Castle Hill Funicular.
From Ferenciek tere: Take bus 5 or 178. Alight at Dózsa György tér and walk up the stairs until you reach the foot of the Castle wall.
On foot: Walk from the Pest-side of the city towards the castle hill. Once you reach at the foot you can take the stairs or pathway. Or you can take the funicular up.