Everything you need to know about the Budapest Castle 2018.

If you plan to visit the Hungarian capital, the Buda Castle should be on top of your reasons why to visit Budapest.

See In this post:

  1. When was Buda Castle Built?
  2. Where is Buda Castle?
  3. Why is Buda Castle called Buda Castle?
  4. Inside Buda Castle and how to visit
  5. Guards Change at Buda Castle
  6. Opening Hours of Buda Castle
  7. Buda Castle Funicular
Buda CastleBudapest Castle’s Courtyard

Technically, Buda Castle is not just a single landmark.

It houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum. And more.

Buda Castle facts

  • Buda Castle has a 26-kilometre long network of underground cave system formed by thermal springs
  • During the Ottoman Era, the extensive cave system was utilized by the hunters to store tigers and Hungarian mountain bears.
  • Medieval Palace was completely destroyed in the Great Siege of 1686, a war between Holy and Ottoman Empire
  • Beginning by 1777, Palace was used as a University of Nagyszombat
  • During the WW II., Buda Castle was destroyed into ruins again
  • A series of rooms in Buda Castle is 200m long
  • In 1723, the Palace was accidentally burned down.
Buda CastleBuda Castle in 1945, at the end of WW II. Credits: Pinterest.com

When was Buda Castle built?

Buda Castle, (the Royal Residence) was first built in 1265 by the King Béla IV of Hungary, but the Baroque Palace we can see today was built between 1749 and 1769.

About 3 times completely rebuilt by style of the period, the Buda Castle as we can see it today dates to 1962, yet its interior spaces were finished in 1980s.

Where is Buda Castle?

Location

Buda Castle is found in the Castle District (Várnegyed), on the south of Castle Hill of Buda Side of the City.

How you get to Buda Castle?

The access to Buda Castle complex is easy. There are several bus stops nearby (Dísz Tér, Clárk Ádám Tér), and also a Castle Hill Funicular which goes up from Clárk Ádam Tér. The visitors use mostly bus No. 16 (stop called Dísz Tér) – option 1. Then they leave the Castle using multiple old stairways to Clárk Ádám Tér – option 4.

Option 1
(the fastest)

This is the best way to get to Buda Castle from Pest. (or centre) Take a bus No. 16 to Dísz Tér, turn right, have a 5 minute walk and you will reach the 1st courtyard of Buda Castle.

Option 2
(Buda Castle Funicular)

The Buda Castle Funicular is a fun way how to get up the Buda Castle.

To get to starting point of the lift, use a bus No. 16 to Clárk Ádám Tér. The bus stop is right next to the departure of the Buda Castle Funicular, which lifts you up to the Sándor Palace, part of Buda Castle, where Guard Change takes place every hour, yet it tend to get crowded and queues often take place.

Option 3
(demanding way with a view of Historical Downtown – Pest)

From Clárk Ádám Tér by Chain Bridge – if you are facing Buda Castle Funicular and Chain Bridge is by your back, walk straight, then you will see a cobblestone way up.

It will take you about 15 minutes to walk up the Buda Castle Courtyard, going through multiple gates while you can enjoy a spectacular view of Pest and lesser town on your right.

Option 4
(Walking up the Castle )

You can enjoy a nice walk up the Franklin Utca staircase. Walking up these stairs offers soaring views of the Parliament as you ascend towards the Castle District.

This path is many stairs, and leads you into a small green space against the Castle Walls – where you can see various layers of the wall before heading up the final stairscase and coming out next to the Hilton Hotel – next to Fisherman’s Bastion. This walk can be a bit steep at the very top, so you might consider it on your way back down, as the views of Parliament and lesser town get even better.

Buda CastleBudapest Castle Hill Funicular Credits: Pinterest.com

Why is Buda Castle called Buda Castle?

  • After Hungarian arrival in territory of today’s Budapest in 9th century, Buda and Óbuda (Old Buda) became their settlement, while Pest on the opposite side was former Slavic and German settlement.
  • The Buda Castle was named according to Hungarian settlement’s territory.
  • Before November, 1873, Budapest consisted of 2 former cities – Buda and Pest, that’s why Buda Castle, which was built in 1265 is not named by city of Budapest but only Buda.
Buda CastleBuda (left) and Pest (right) make what’s Budapest today. Credits: Cordia.

Inside Buda Castle and how to visit

Buda Castle is one of Budapest’s top attractions, part of UNESCO, and one of the your reasons why to visit Budapest.

Inside Buda Castle It is a complex of Royal Buildings – Courtyard with Matthias Fountain, Lion Statues, Soaring Views, and the complex itself is home of several museum and other institutions as National Gallery or National Hungarian Library.

Buda CastleInside Buda Castle – Courtyard

Entrance fee? It is for free to visit the Buda Castle inside, its courtyard, stunning statues at any time. Yet, there is a entrance fee to museums, galleries and other historical institutions, inside the Buda Castle.

Changing of Guards at Buda Castle

Choreographed to perfection, saluting with rifles in perfection, that’s why Guards Change on Buda Castle is one of the top attractions of Castle Hill Complex.

Where?
Hungarian President Palace is the location where the Change of Guards takes place.

It is located by the Buda Castle Hill Funicular, north of the Buda Castle Complex.

Buda CastleSandor Palace, the Presidential Palace since 2003 and The Castle Guards

Buda Castle guards are chosen by very specific criteria.

All Buda Castle Guards must be members of special division of Hungarian Military. They have to be in excellent physical conditions, have a certain weight and should be of similar height and appearance.

The Castle Guards Change tradition dates back to 2003, as the Sándor Palace was set as official residence of the President of Hungary.

Members of Guards at Buda Castle guard the Hungarian Presidential Palace, which is the official residence of President of Hungary, from where they are exchanged every hour in special trained choreography worth seeing.

Yet, they can also be seen walking around the Castle Complex, looking after security of visitors and watching over events in Buda Castle.

Buda CastleGuard change on Buda Castle. Picture: honvedelem

Opening Hours of Buda Castle

There are no opening hours for Buda Castle, Castle District, neither any of its outside areas.

Feel free to enjoy amazing, romantic views of Budapest at 3am in the morning if you are into that.

Although Opening Hours of Buda Castle’s cultural institutions as Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery and more vary depending on which one do you plan to visit.

However, it is sadly not possible to visit the Buda Castle inside, meant its rooms and interiors.

Instead, take a tour of its Hungarian National Gallery or Budapest History Museum

Check out Palace Chapel in Buda Castle, part of exhibition of the Budapest History Museum

Buda CastlePalace Chapel in Buda Castle, part of the exhibition in Budapest History Museum

Or just wonder the Buda Castle complex outside. There are many interesting monuments and landmarks to see in the Castle District.

Or take our Segway Castle District Segway Tour.

Your private guide will introduce you to the Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church and more all in pace of one tour.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle Funicular

Opening Hours of Buda Castle Funicular 2018

Funicular is open Monday to Sunday 7:30 am to 10:00 pm

Yet, Funicular is closed for maintenance on Monday – every odd week Monday of given month.

For a better experience we recommend you using the Buda Castle Funicular later in the afternoon to avoid the busiest visiting times, as the queue get as long as 30-minutes of waiting time.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle Funicular Tickets and Cost

Adult: HUF 1,200 one way, HUF 1,800 return
Child (under 14) : HUF 700 one way, HUF 1,100 return
Child (under 3) : free of charge

Only HUF is accepted at the cashier.

Its 95 metre long route and 2 cable trams will take you from lower station on Clárk Ádám Tér to the one uphill, Buda Castle its Sándor Palace station, next to the Royal Palace.

Enjoy view of Historical Downtown, lesser town of Pest offered on this 2-3 minute Funicular ride up or down, while inside of of its cable trams.

Buda Castle Funicural is worth seeing as it was rebuilt after being destroyed during WWII, now offers a vintage style renovated cable-trams.

Surprisingly, it is listed as part of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1987.