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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
St Stephen's Basilica
A neoclassical cathedral dedicated to the first Christian king of Hungary; his (alleged) right hand is housed in its reliquary.
Hungarian Parliament Building
On the bank of the Danube, this impressive building displays an eclectic mixture of architectural styles and is home to the Crown of St Stephen.
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.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of the Buda Castle District
In this four hour walking tour, your expert local guide will take  you to some of the important historical and cultural sites of the Buda. As it was once the capital of Hungary, the Buda area of the town contains monuments that define the city’s legacy. 

  • Commence your tour on Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramas of the city 
  • Visit the stunning Matthias Church 
  • Enjoy a short stop at the Fisherman's Bastion, offering stunning panoramic views
  • Explore the gardens of Buda Castle and learn about the Hungarian monarchy
  • Proceed to Gellért Hill, which again offers admirable views of the city 
  • End your tour at Gellért thermal baths, and snap photos of the intricate architecture 
Origins of Budapest

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 have made the city famous for its public baths which come in a variety of architectural styles from the Turkish era to Art Nouveau. 

Panoramic Views over the City

Your private guide will begin your tour on Castle Hill, which stands more than 100m 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. Build 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 pop into the bath-house and enjoy Gellért at your leisure. 


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