Belonging to the royalties of Hungary, Buda Castle is an iconic palace complex situated in Budapest. It showcases a marvelous Baroque architectural design, and it has been standing on the ground since the 13th century. Although most of the original structure was long gone, what we see today are renovations and developments that the castle has undergone since the 18th century. Also, locals fondly call the Buda Castle as the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle. For people who want to catch a glimpse of the castle from a nearer point, you can stroll the surrounding grounds for free. If you wish to tour the castle and see its interiors up close and personal, the Buda Castle is available for tours and visits. Climb at the top of the castle and see the enchanting views of the city from the vast Roman Hall. Here is a comprehensive guide to Buda Castle.
1. Things to do / highlights
Once you enter the vast grounds of Buda Castle, you will be overwhelmed by the fascinating baroque aesthetics of this historic landmark that seems preserved in time. Get to know the history of Budapest that has become vital in shaping the captivating city that it is today. Be ready for a tour of the 12th-century architectural masterpiece.
The Hungarian National Gallery
If you have a deep appreciation for culture and the arts, do not miss out on an opportunity to explore the Hungarian National Gallery. It is one of the many attractions you’ll find within Buda Castle. Since the 19th century, the Hungarian National Gallery houses exhibits that are created by renowned Hungarian artists. It showcases different art forms, from paintings to sculpture to photography, and more. Some of these works were even done abroad.
Budapest History Museum
Boasting of sophisticated palatial rooms, the Budapest History Museum is where you’ll find artifacts and valuable items that are relevant in telling the history of the country. Its historical reach stretches as far back to the Roman times up to the present Hungarian culture.
Széchenyi National Library
One of two national libraries in Hungary, University of Debrecen Library and Széchenyi National Library, the latter was established in the 18th century and is found within the Buda Castle complex. On its establishment, it was gifted with 2000 manuscripts and a total of 15000 books of different genres and historical relevance. If you are a self-proclaimed book worm, do not forget to swing by the Széchenyi National Library.
2. What to eat
Surely, exploring the vast Buda Castle can get really tiring, although mostly satisfying. To be able to explore the whole landmark on your tour, make sure to pause every once in a while for a quick energy boost. The Buda Castle has several restaurants in it that serve delicious hearty meals that will make your tour more unforgettable. Check out these superb restaurants within the castle district.
Perfect for dates, birthdays and other special occasions, the Alabardos Restaurant features a stunning interior design with a quintessential charm. It has a romantic fine dining set-up with a well-spaced, tastefully decorated table setting, and it exudes a cozy ambiance. The food they serve at Alabardos Restaurant is traditional Hungarian fares with contemporary touches. Plus, it has an open terrace where you can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the hustle and bustle of the area.
Var a Speiz Restaurant
A more modern restaurant, bursting with bright colors and accentuated with sleek decors, Var a Speiz Restaurant offers palatable Hungarian cuisine, French specialties, and other intercontinental dishes. Open every day from 12pm to 11 pm, this exceptional restaurant is perfect for lunch dates and late-night carb loading.
Riso Ristorante & Terrace
Laidback and charming are two descriptive words that best refer to Riso Ristorante & Terrace. It features lovely outdoor seating in a beautiful green space that adds relaxing vibes to the dining experience. Aside from mouthwatering traditional Hungarian eats, Riso Ristorante & Terrace offers flavorful Italian specialties and a multitude of premium wine choices.
3. Things to buy
The castle district has several souvenir shops where you can buy items that you can bring home for your loved ones or for yourself. Be sure to check them out and score some superb finds.
One of the many traditions and art forms that are part of the Hungarian culture is porcelain-making. Most shops in the castle district sell these crafts, from kitchenware to home decor, and other decorative pieces that have intrinsic designs.
Another decorative piece that you should buy at the castle district is a painted egg or several painted eggs. These eggs are charming, lovely, and are aesthetically pleasing to add in your home decorations, as well as garden pieces. You can choose from a plethora of designs, sizes, and colors.
Hungarian traditional dolls
Whether you are a kid or an adult, be sure to purchase some stunning traditional Hungarian dolls. It is a very good piece to add to your doll collection. These dolls sport the traditional clothes of the Hungarian people and very much represent their culture.
4. Travelers tips
Bring an English-Hungarian (vice-versa) dictionary
Surely, when you visit foreign cities, always be ready with a dictionary. Yes, most of these people in the tour and travel industry speak English, but some locals do not. If you want to interact with locals in the castle district, be ready to converse with them and be prepared to know some basic Hungarian words. Plus, there are some phrases and greetings that you should at least have an idea of before going on a tour without a guide.
5. How to get there
From Adam Square
The bustling public area of Clark Adam Square is conveniently located within a short distance from Buda Castle. You can get there by foot.
Hail a Cab
Taxis are available in Budapest, just like other progressive countries. If you want a point to point transport, hail a cab and pay a metered fare.
Book a Bolt
Budapest does not have the ride-hailing app Uber, but they have Bolt. It is almost the same. You just need to download the app and book a ride. From the app, you can see your estimated time of arrival, the location, and the fixed fare.
Budapest has an excellent public transportation system, and many locals and tourists like taking the bus as they snake through almost every street in the city. The buses that are en route to Buda Castle are located in Népliget Station. From there, the ride takes 26 minutes at least.
Buda Castle Information
Address: Budapest, Szent György tér 2, 1014 Hungary
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Cost: From 3 USD
Official website: Buda Castle
Department of tourism: Visit Budapest
Get Trip101 in your inbox