Buda Castle, the Breathtaking and Majestic World Heritage Site in Budapest
1. Buda Castle, the Hereditary Palace of the Hungarian Kings of Old Times
Situated on the southern tip of the Castle Hill in Budapest just next to the Danube River, the Buda Castle has been occupied by the Hungarian royals since the 13th century. The Baroque-styled massive palatial complex was added on a later date around 1749 to 1769. Today, it is the major tourist attraction in Budapest and houses the Hungarian National Gallery and Budapest History Museum inside the vast complex. The classical architecture and natural beauty that surrounds this area will make every visitor feels as if they are visiting a kingdom of some fairy tale.
2. Hungarian National Gallery
The Hungarian National Gallery sits in the main wing of Buda castle, facing the Danube River. This gallery displays sculptures and paintings made by Hungarian artists from Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, as well as 19th and 20th century's works of art of all genres.
3. Budapest History Museum
Resided in the south wing of Buda Castle, The History Museum of Buda Castle consists of four floors of artefacts and exhibits related to the Hungarian history from the past. Explore and relive the past through the relics being displayed here.
4. National Szechenyi Library
The immense National Szechenyi Library occupies the southwest wing of Buda Castle. Aside from books, this library has also kept serial publications, written and audio music documents, manuscripts, maps, microfilms, pictures, and engravings. The library has about 8 million books in their possession. Among their collections, there is the first book to ever be printed in Hungary, the Chronica Hungarorum (the Hungarian Chronicles).
5. Matthias Fountain
Located in the western forecourt, the Matthias Fountain was named after the one of the figures that was sculpted in the fountain, King Matthias Corvinus. This spectacular structure is arguably the most photographed object in the whole castle.
6. Matthias Church
Another landmark near the castle that was dedicated to King Matthias Corvinus, this church is arguably the most popular place to get married in Budapest. Previously named The Church of Our Lady or The Church of Mary, the church was later named The Matthias Church by the king himself. During his reign, the side chapels were added, aside from an oratory for the royal family and new south tower for his army. Interestingly, this Roman Catholic Church served as a mosque during Turkish reign.
7. Faust Wine Cellar
This underground wine cellar in Buda Castle District offers you a tasting session of wide selection of best Hungarian wines. Descend trough the stairs at the huge labyrinth system ending at the cellar underneath the Castle Hill. There, you will be hosted by the owner of the cellar, who is an accomplished sommelier. The ambience of this place makes it a perfect place to have a sip of some wine, not to mention it is a perfect place to keep some wine as well.
How to Get Tickets?
The courtyards and other outlying areas around Buda Castle are free of charge, unless there's a festival that's taking place in the castle area, which will require a festival ticket. However, you need to purchase tickets to gain entry to the National Gallery and History Museum, which were located at the Buda Castle Palace.
How To Get Around?
All areas in Buda Castle are accessible by foot. There are some elevators as well for those with a walking impairment. You can get to the Royal Palace from the base of the hill using a cable car service called the Funicular. A Segway-based tour is also available so you can explore the castle using the portable Segway, which looks more fun than the normal tour.
What Should I Wear?
There are no strict rules regarding what apparels you should wear when you visited Buda Castle. However, you should still dress accordingly to the season and wear comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking involved during your visit there.
Best Time to Visit
The peak visiting period of Buda Castle is between July and August, where it can get very crowded. If you want a less crowded experience but still want to have a good weather, the months of May, June and September is suitable for you. Otherwise, the winter is probably the best time as there will be far fewer tourists and not to mention, lots of discounts and promos around the city. Buda Castle Hill is also used for several festival and events, such as the Festival of Folk Arts, International Wine and Champagne Festival, etc. so you might want to avoid those days unless you don't mind the crowd or you actually want to see the festival itself.
Hungary Forint (HUF)
Will I Need a Guide?
If you prefer using Segway to get around, you might want to consider the Segway-based guided tours. Exploring the area around Buda Castle does not necessarily requires a tour guide, but if you want a more in-depth explanation when visiting the National Gallery or History Museum, there's plenty of guided tours available for you.
How To Get There?
The best way to get to Buda Castle is using the cable can service, Funicular, which links the Adam Clark square near the Szechenyi Chain Bridge to the Buda Castle above. You can catch beautiful scenery along the journey that way. Buda Castle is also accessible using bus number 16 from the Deak Ferenc square, or bus number 16 and 116 from Szell Kalman square. Trams number 41 and 105 also stops near Buda Castle area. Alternatively, you can take a taxi for a more convenient ride.