Buda Castle

The historical residence of Hungarian royalty, this impressive palace complex has seen a series of transformations since the mid-13th century.

TravelCurious Tip

There’s lots to see in Buda Castle, so wear some comfy shoes and take your sore feet to the thermal baths afterwards

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of Hungarian kings in Budapest. It was first built in the 13th century by King Béla IV to defend against the invading Mongol hordes, but the foundations of today’s castle were set in the 14th century with a Romanesque design built by King Lajos the Great. It has shape-shifted ever since - from Gothic to Renaissance, from Baroque to neo-Baroque - partly because it kept being battered: over the years, the castle has been besieged no less than thirty one times. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Culture concentrate

Buda Castle is home to the Budapest History Museum and the National Széchényi Library, named after one of Count István Széchenyi, one of Hungary’s great polymaths from the 19th century. The National Gallery is found there too, displaying a comprehensive selection of Hungarian art, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day, including a fine collection of Mihály Munkácsy’s works, who stands among Hungary’s most important painters.

Fountain of love

Matthias Fountain, just west of the main dome, is probably Budapest’s most famous fountain. It shows a scene from the legend of King Matthias and the peasant Ilonka. It’s theatricality is reminiscent of the Trevi Fountain in Rome: a hunting party, led by Matthias, stand on boulders with water running down through the cracks. Matthias holds a crossbow, and a huge dead stag lie at his feet. To his left stands Ilonka; as the story goes, they fell in love with he was hunting incognito. When she found out who he was and assumed their love was impossible, she died of a broken heart.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Budapest
Budapest Castle Hill
A focal point of the city's history, Castle Hill hosts the most iconic monuments of Budapest.
Matthias Church
The site of several historic coronations and weddings, Matthias Church has also seen its fair share of architectural controversy.
Fisherman's Bastion
Known as the Halászbástya, this stunning fin-de-siècle terrace is dedicated to the guild of fishermen who defended the city walls in the middle ages.
Gellért Hill
Named after a saint who was rolled to his death from here in a barrel, this hill offers magnificent views of the Budapest skyline.
Chain Bridge
The Chain Bridge, also know as Széchenyi Bridge connects East and West Budapest through the River Danube
Castle Hill Funicular Station
The Castle Hill Funicular or Budavári Sikló in Budapest inaugurated in 1870 connects Adam Clark Square, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and the Buda Castle

Related Tours

Buda Castle District: Private Tour including Gellért Hill
On your private walking tour, your expert local guide will take you to some of the important historical and cultural sites of Buda. Once the capital of Hungary, the Buda area of the town contains monuments that define the city’s legacy. 

On your private tour, you will:

  • Commence your tour on Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramas of the city;
  • Visit the stunning Matthias Church with tickets included;
  • Enjoy a short stop at the Fisherman's Bastion (with tickets included), and admire the panoramic views;
  • Explore the gardens of Buda Castle and learn about the Hungarian monarchy;
  • Discover Gellért Hill, a 235mt high hill overlooking the Danube;
  • Visit Gellért thermal baths, since 1918 have become the city's most famous Art Nouveau baths;
  • Your tour ends with tickets included to enjoy the thermal baths at your leisure, be sure to bring your swimsuit.

Budapest is widely considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, home to an incredible array of World Heritage Sites and stunning architecture that draws millions of tourists each year. The Danube river splits the Buda side of the city from the Pest which, having both been independent cities originally, were unified to become Budapest in 1873.  The multitude of hot springs has made the city famous for its public baths which come in a variety of architectural styles from the Turkish era to Art Nouveau

Your private guide will begin your tour on Castle Hill, which stands more than 100 m above the Danube and offers outstanding panoramas of the city. Here you will find the stunning Matthias Church, dating back five centuries. The Fisherman’s Bastion is also worth your attention, a terrace with stunning views dedicated to the fisherman that defended the city walls in the Middle Ages. Buda Castle is the historical residence of the Kings and Queens of Hungary, an imposing building that has undergone a series of transformations since the mid-13th century, and on this tour, you will explore the gardens with your guide.

As you wander to Gellért Hill, enjoy yet another stunning vantage point to admire the city in all its glory. The hill was named after Saint Gerald, who was thrown to his death here. Built with impressive Art Nouveau architecture dating back to the 20th century, the Gellért thermal baths are the quintessential place to spend the rest of your day. Your guide will depart with you here, so you can visit the bathhouse and enjoy the Gellért spa at your leisure. 

Please note that children below 15 years are not allowed to enter the Thermal Pools.


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