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Visegrád

A small castle town just north of Budapest on the Danube bend, famed for its 13th century citadel.

TravelCurious Tip

If you like hiking, the hills surrounding Visegrád offer a great opportunity to get your boots out!

Visegrád is a small town north of Budapest, famous for its citadel and Royal Palace. It shot to fame in the 14th century when King Charles I hosted a two month conference there as he brokered an alliance between Hungary and the Bohemian and Polish kings. The name Visegrád is derived from the Slavic words for ‘high castle’, and it’s quite fitting: the 13th century citadel of Visegrád towers over the Danube bend, offering stunning views from its rocky eyrie.


Beyond the Pale

Visegrád’s magnificent Royal Palace once boasted 350 rooms. Even if these days it is far from those decadent heights, it remains impressive. It was the first Renaissance palace to be built outside of Italy, and around a dozen rooms centred on the Court of Honour and the Hercules Fountain are open to visitors. Learn about the history of the palace through the archeological exhibition, and catch a glimpse of elite medieval Hungarian life in the reconstructed bedchambers, kitchen and chapel.


Safebox

Sitting atop a 350 metre hill and surrounded by a moat hewn from solid rock, the citadel is an imposing sight. Make the trek to the top and you will earn a marvellous view of the Börzsöny Hills and the Danube from its ramparts. Famously, the citadel was once the repository for the Hungarian crown jewels — at least until 1440, when Elizabeth of Luxembourg and her lady-in-waiting stole them to have her infant son László crowned king. You can imagine there were probably a few red faces.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Budapest
Esztergom
A short drive from Budapest, this ancient town's majestic basilica is the largest building in Hungary.
Szentendre
The popular riverside town of Szentendre is a cultural hotspot, with an array of different art museums, galleries and churches.
Danube Bend
Europe's second longest river.
Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial
The Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark (memory park) is located in the rear courtyard of the Dohány Street Synagogue, named for a Swedish diplomat.
Dobogókő
Visegrád's Hills highest point, with amazing views
Basilica of Esztergom
Ecclesiastic Basilica in the highest point of Esztergom, Hungary

Related Tours

Danube Bend Private Full Day Excursion with transport & tickets
Escape the hustle and bustle of Budapest on this private full-day trip to the towns and cities that have made the U-shaped stretch along the river known as the Danube Bend so famous. On your private tour you will:

  • Enjoy the personal attention of your private guide, with the convenience of a luxury chauffeur driven vehicle. 
  • Enjoy a scenic drive out of Budapest towards the city of Esztergom.
  • Visit the majestic Esztergom Basilica, the oldest church in Hungary.
  • Admire the Danube Bend from a multitude of angles, for stunning photographs. 
  • Explore the beautiful castle town of the famously picturesque Visegrad. Entrance to the castle included. 
  • Discover the atmospheric town of Szentendre, full of art museums, galleries, and churches.
  • Enjoy a relaxing and scenic drive back to your hotel in Budapest
The Danube Bend or Dunakanyar in Hungarian is a large U-shaped curve in the wide River Danube. It is famous for its panoramic views of the Transdanubian Mountains on the right bank, and the North Hungarian mountain range to the left, as well as the many picturesque towns situated on its banks such as Visegrad, Esztergom, and Szentendre, all of which you will visit on your private tour. 

As the second-longest river in Europe, the Danube flows south-easterly 1,770 miles from Germany’s Black Forest mountains to pass through ten countries - more than any other river on Earth - before it empties into the Black Sea. With a watershed area of more than 315,000 miles, the Danube boasts around 30 tributaries of which most are dammed - at the last count the total dam tally was 700. More than 83-million people live in the river basin, with around 20-million people relying on the Danube for drinking water. 

For centuries, people have depended on this vital artery for trade and transport, for drinking water and fertile soils, for energy and food. Approximately one-third of the Danube River passes through Hungary’s borders and in Budapest the sympathetic repurposing of wharf buildings, warehouses and old boatyards is a sign that the city has loosened the chokehold of industry on this resplendent river. Designated a UNESCO Heritage site in 1991, the listed treasures along the banks are many and include the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the Liberty Bridge, Buda Castle Hill, Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and Margaret Island.

A vast array of wildlife is supported by the Danube with 42 species of mammals, including otters, minks and European polecats, and 85 types of fish, including five species of sturgeon, a part of the River’s rich biodiversity. As you drive, be sure to ask your guide about the ways the river was immortalized in the classic Strauss waltz, which has made an appearance in dozens of movies and appropriated into film scores and songs. 

Your trip begins when you are picked up from your hotel or a prearranged meeting point in Budapest. During the tour you will visit Esztergom, a town located 46km north of Budapest, which is home to the majestic Esztergom Basilica; the oldest church in Hungary, and the centre of the Roman Catholic faith in the country for centuries. 

You will also pay a visit to Visegrad a famous castle town containing a romantic 13th-century citadel with palace ruins originally built in the Renaissance style. Your entrance tickets to the castle are included. Lastly, you’ll stop off in the lovely town of Szentendre. It’s known for its baroque architecture, fabulous churches, colourful array of houses and quaint, narrow, cobbled streets. The main square, Fő Tér, and the alleyways around it are lined with art galleries, museums, cafes and boutique shops. Just off the square, be sure to visit the 18th-century Greek Orthodox Blagovestenska Church with its elaborate decor and ornate partition screen. Then it is time to enjoy a scenic drive back to Budapest! 
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