Budapest Castle Hill: The royal district of Budapest

History of Budapest Castle Hill

Budapest Castle Hill (Várnegyed) with its breathtaking views over the Pest and the marvelous architecture of Buda Castle (Budavári Palota) is a must. Keep in mind that Buda Castle is no longer a palace, but a complex of museums. Over the centuries the palace has been extended, destroyed and rebuilt many times.

The first royal residence on Budapest Castle Hill was built in the 13th century by King Béla IV.  In the beginning of 15th century the palace was significantly enlarged by King Sigismund. During the rule of King Matthias Corvinus and his wife Beatrice of Naples the palace was rebuilt in a Renaissance style. Nowadays only fragments from this Renaissance building can be seen. The medieval palace was completely destroyed during the Great siege of 1686 when Buda was freed from the Turks. The Habsburgs rebuilt the palace, returning its beauty. Unfortunately during the WWII the damage to the building was enormous. The palace was again reconstructed and nowadays it houses the Budapest History Museum (Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum), the Hungarian National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galéria) and the National Széchényi Library (Országos Széchényi Könyvtár). In the History Museum you can see a modest selection of restored rooms from the medieval palace, including the Royal Chapel and the Gothic Hall.

The Sándor Palace (Sándor-palota) is located next to the Buda Castle. It is the official residence of the President of the Republic of Hungary and if you arrive on time you can see the changing of the guard.

The Labyrinth of Buda Castle is another stop that shouldn’t be missed. It is not exactly a labyrinth and in the beginning there are lighted rooms with wax statues dressed up and classical music playing the background. Bit by bit the tunnel becomes darker and foggy till you get to the Dracula section. Vlad III, the Prince of Wallachia (known as Dracula) was kept imprisoned here. You can read his story on a plaque on the wall and see the cage, where Dracula was held and tortured. The section is very authentic and scary. After 06:00 PM the lights in the labyrinth are turned off and there is an oil lamp tour – you have to find your way through the tunnels caring an oil lamp.

See Buda Castle and other great landmarks as you explore Castle Hill and the entire Castle District of Budapest on walking tour. 

Tips for visiting Budapest Castle Hill

There are many festivals organized in the Castle District. During my visit a “Sweet Days Chocolate Festival” took place.

Useful information
Hungarian National Gallery
Address: 1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2
Opening hours:
Closed on Monday
From Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Admission: 1400 HUF (more info)
Web site: http://www.mng.hu/en/

Budapest History Museum
Address: 1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2
Access: more info
Opening hours:
Closed on Monday
From November to February:
Every day: 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
From March to October:
Every day: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Admission: 1800 HUF (more info)
Web site: http://www.btm.hu/eng/

Labyrinth of Buda Castle
Address: There are two entrances: 1014 Budapest Úri u.9. and 1014 Budapest Lovas út. 4/a.
Access: more info
Opening hours:
Every day: 10:00 AM – 07:00 PM
The oil lamp tour starts after 06:00 PM.
Admission: 2000 HUF
Web site: http://www.labirintusbudapest.hu/english.php

Budapest Castle Hill

View of Buda Castle from Pest side

Budapest Castle Hill

View of the castle from Pest side

Buda Castle

Buda Castle

the castle

Budapest Castle Hill

Budapest Castle Hill

Budapest Castle Hill

Budapest Castle Hill

festival

View from the castle

View from the castle

Budapest Castle Hill

Budapest Castle Hill

Matthias Fountain

Matthias Fountain

Matthias Fountain

Matthias Fountain

Monument of Prince Eugene of Savoy

Monument of Prince Eugene of Savoy

Turul bird (Turulmadár)

Turul bird (Turulmadár)

lamp

Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Changing of the guard

Labyrinth of Buda Castle

Labyrinth of Buda Castle

Budapest Castle Hill at night

Budapest Castle Hill at night

The castle and Chain Bridge at night

The castle and Chain Bridge at night

Have you visited Budapest Castle Hill? Please leave your comment below.

Find out which is the easiest way to reach Buda Castle here.

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