Budapest Castle Hill

A focal point of the city's history, Castle Hill hosts the most iconic monuments of Budapest.

TravelCurious Tip

Buda Castle hosts various festivals throughout the year, including an international wine festival, a beer festival and a folk art festival — time your visit accordingly!

Hungarians citizens moved to Castle Hill in the 13th century, seeking protection from the Mongolian invasion; the first royal castle was built around this time by Béla IV. Castle Hill really flourished in the 15th century, after the marriage of King Matthias Corvinus and Beatrix of Naples led to an influx of Italian artists and craftsmen and Buda became an influential European city. Its fortunes have been up and down since: the Turkish occupation and World War II both led to huge damage. Today it has been restored to its former glory, and is now recognised as a World Heritage Site.

The hill itself is a kilometre-long limestone plateau that towers over the Danube, offering a breathtaking panorama of the river and the Pest side of the city on the opposite bank. Below it there is a 28 kilometre-long web of caves formed by man-made passageways and thermal springs like those that fuel the city’s famous baths. Castle Hill has two main parts: the Old Town and the Royal Palace. Spread about it are many over Budapest’s most important medieval monuments and museums, including Trinity Square, Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion.

The most picturesque ways to reach it are either by walking across Széchenyi Chain Bridge and taking the Sikló, a railway built in 1870 that ascends steeply from Clark Ádám tér to Szent György tér near the Royal Palace, or by walking up the Royal Steps leading northwest off Clark Ádám tér. Although people still live here, cars are banned from the area: taxis, buses and those who work or live there have permission to go up.

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.
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.
Buda Castle
The historical residence of Hungarian royalty, this impressive palace complex has seen a series of transformations since the mid-13th century.
Soviet War Memorial
Situated in a landscaped park, this white obelisk commemorates Russian military who served during the Second World War.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of the Buda Castle District with Tickets Included
On your private 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. On your 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), 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 (with tickets included), and snap photos of the intricate architecture. 
  • Be sure to bring your swimsuit, so you can swim at the thermal baths.
  • Please note: You must provide proof of vaccination in order to visit the thermal baths. 

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. 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 visit the bathhouse and enjoy the Gellért spa at your leisure. 

Full-Day Private Tour of Budapest, with tickets included
On this seven-hour tour, your expert local guide will direct you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites of Budapest. On your private tour, you will:

  • Commence your tour on Castle Hill, which offers phenomenal panoramas of the city 
  • Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church with tickets included
  • Revel in the quietude of Buda and its characterful, storied streets.
  • Enjoy the buzz of Pest, a vibrant cultural hub on the eastern banks of the Danube
  • Discover the significance of the monument at the heart of Heroes' Square 
  • Find out what drove Buda and Pest to unify as one large capital city
  • Discover Budapest’s stunning array of architectural styles, from the Turkish era to Art Nouveau
  • Admire the scale and finery of the Hungarian Parliament Building 
  • Visit two of Europe’s most important synagogues at Dohány Street Synagogue and Rumbach Street Synagogue
  • Admire the elegance of St Stephen's Basilica, a neoclassical cathedral (tickets included)
  • End your tour at  Széchenyi Spa, a colour-rich bathing complex in Art Nouveau style (tickets not included – please pre-book for the spa, if you wish). 
Budapest is blessed with some truly superb, grand buildings in Gothic, Art Nouveau, Romantic, Neo-Gothic and Turkish era style: a pleasing mix of genres that draws millions of culture buffs to the city each year.  The capital of Hungary is the administrative, cultural, economic, educational, financial and trade hub of the nation. The mighty Danube River, broad and sweeping, neatly dissects the city, with the old city of Buda extending into the hills on the west bank and Pest sitting in the lowlands to the east. As Hungary’s largest metropolitan hub, Budapest boasts more diversity in its ethnicity still, combined with the historical legacies of Asiatic conquer, Mongol invasion, Ottoman siege, German control and Soviet rule. 

Immerse yourself in the unique character of Budapest with its beautiful buildings, fairytale towers, storied streets, Hungarian culture, quirky communist-era sites and gritty spirit. Stroll some of the streets to access treasures best viewed on foot and journey via luxury transport to the city’s far-flung corners. Your expert local guide will provide a narrative to your exploration of Budapest’s most compelling historical and cultural sites. Visit Castle Hill, an elevated focal point of Budapest’s history that is home to some of the city’s most iconic medieval monuments such as the fairytale towers at the Fisherman’s Bastion and handsome Matthias Church with its royal connections. 

The St Stephen’s Basilica, an elegant neoclassical cathedral named after the first king of Hungary, is the most sacred of all Catholic churches in the country and took 54 years to construct, finally opening in 1905. Similarly impressive is the Great Synagogue, one of the largest places of worship of the Jewish faith in the world. Your tour ends at Széchenyi Spa, an Art Nouveau bathing complex of grand decor filled with hot bubbling pools, outside baths and whirlpools. The largest spa bath in Europe, the Széchenyi Spa boasts iconic status in Hungary and is used by people of all ages, including families, for bathing rituals in its spring-fed curative bathhouse. You are free to enjoy the spa at your leisure at the end of the tour (price not included). 

Please note: if you wish to visit the spa, you must provide proof of vaccination. 
Private Walking Tour of Budapest with a Local
Travel isn’t just about travel, it’s people, faces, food and cultures, fresh perspectives, discoveries and different ways of life - it’s about uncovering the city’s soul. It’s about connection. On your private, guided tour of Budapest with a local: 

  • Enjoy meaningful insights from a Budapest local.
  • Hear how locals describe Budapest - the experiences that have shaped their world-view, the differences between ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’, and what it’s like to have spas at the centre of urban culture.
  • Spend a few hours walking around the city’s highlights with a private, local guide.
  • Pick up invaluable recommendations, advice, tips and reassurance as you explore highlights and off-the-beaten-track side streets.
  • Grab a beer or a coffee in your local guide’s favourite haunt.
  • Learn first-hand what locals love about Budapest from someone who knows the place inside-out.
Considered one of Europe’s most striking cities, Budapest contains an incredible array of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Split by a wide sweep of the River Danube, despite a 1873 merger of both independent settlements Buda and Pest, the city is rich in geothermal water resources with thousands of subterranean pools spouting mineral-rich waters dating back over 2,000 years. Using 20-million litres of water, Budapest’s grand, mosaic-clad bath-houses are open to the public, earning it the title of  ́World's Spa Capital’. 

Enjoying a private, guided tour with a local will help you discover the sights that tourists so often miss. Hear the intriguing backstories and learn the neighbourhood’s contextual backstories and rumours which bring Budapest to life, from the Ottoman period (16th century) to the present day. On your private walking tour with a local, you will see the Neo-gothic parliament building, trace Roman era history at Budapest History Museum and stroll bird-scattered Trinity Square to 13th-century Matthias Church. You will also see first-hand how a diversity of styles of urban art, architecture, and ideas have breathed energy and spirit into previously dilapidated areas of public space in a wide range of neighbourhoods. Experience the practical good-naturedness of a Budapest local over a local beer or coffee at one of Budapest’s famed coffee houses, and then jot down your guide’s version of  "must do Budapest".
Buda Castle Jewish Heritage Live Virtual Tour
Discover the Jewish History of the Buda Castle Hill on this Private Live Virtual Tour, where we will take you through the Northern part of the Buda Castle hill – one of the least visited parts of the hilltop neighbourhood. On your two-hour private virtual tour, you will:

  • Travel back to the country’s extensive and fascinating medieval history
  • Enjoy stories about the continuous Jewish community, dating back to the city’s founding
  • Hear about the first Jewish District, which was established soon as King IV Béla fortified Buda, and was only knocked down due to the construction of the Royal Palace in 1420.
  • Learn about the Righteous Among Nations title and those who have been bestowed the title.  
During this hour-long live Live Virtual Tour, you will be introduced to the story of two medieval synagogues while walking pass them with your local guide. 


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