Buda Castle (Budapest - Hungary)

As I said in the last post, it was a very weird day when I miserably missed the Funicular Ride to go atop the Buda Castle. However, with the Budapest Card, the shuttle bus that goes from Clark Ádám tér to all the spots in Buda Castle Hill, is covered. So that's what I took! Though the name says Castle, its more of a Palace and not a citadel styled building that I had expected! Today the Castle houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum

The first stop of the shuttle bus was near the Alexander Palace which is currently the residence of the Hungarian President. This was originally built in 1803. However like everything else this too was destroyed in World War and was renovated in 2002. While a Change of Guard ceremony happens in Buckingham Palace, London famously, it happens here too, every hour! We were indeed lucky to just land there as it was happening. 

From there we just started to walk around a bit and spotted the UNESCO plaque and I wanted a pic with it. Here's a small flashback: When I was about 2 or so, my parents took me to Vandalur Zoo in Chennai, India. I was crazy about Peanut candy then and I had one in my hand when my dad pointed me to Sarus crane. I was so busy eating peanut candy that I saw the board which had the image of Sarus crane and said, 'yeah yeah, I saw it'! Here's my dearest daughter, Atyudarini, in the first pic, not giving a damn about Buda Castle just as I did about Sarus Crane, so engrossed in Rice Waffle, just as I was with Peanut Candy! 


Back to Budapest - just opposite to Alexander Palace is the staircase to reach the Royal Palace (National Gallery). Here's also the fountain depicting King Matthias under whom the country had its golden period. Returning back to the drop-off point, our next direction was towards the Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion. Fisherman's Bastion looks straight out of Disney movies. This was built in 1895. The 7 towers represent the 7 tribes who settled in the banks of Danube which forms today's Hungary and there's also the statue of the first kind, St.Stephen. Just opposite to this is the Matthias Church. 

Church of Mary was in this site since 1015 where St.Stephen was coronated. However it was after 1242, the current Matthias Church was built after the original church was destroyed during Mongol invasion. However it was converted to a Mosque under Ottomon Empire. Today's church is the restoration done in 1873. Its a stunner. Its filled with paintings in every inch of it. Its treasury is also a must-see. The painted wooden sculpture of 1470 is a masterpiece indeed!


The oldest thing in the church is a pillar capital of 1260. It most definitely depicted me of Pisa Cathedral's pillar capitals. This is the oldest stone carving of Budapest, still in its original location! There is another floral capital next to it has been in existence since 1470. Next to it is a arched doorway with an arched ceiling atop it! Look closely and you can figure out that the 2 arches aren't symmetrical! The painting of the angels on either sides tries its best to almost camouflage it.
From there our next direction was towards the old town to the Medieval Jewish Prayer house! Prayer was going on there and I listened to it along with Atyudarini for sometime. Somehow I felt a similarity to their style of prayer to that of Sikhs! The place also has tombstones of Ottoman era Jewish cemeteries.
The next stop was the pride of old town - Buda Tower also called the Mary Magdalena Tower. The view from atop is great, but do remember, its not an open-air platform. The view is through windows like in Eiffel Tower! This was built in 13th C CE and had suffered damages through the wars and revolutions of Hungary, however stood there resiliently, as a symbol of hope!!! It was renovated in 2017 and now open to public. It has 170 stairs but segregated in 5 floors making the climb easy.
This whole region - the hill top of Buda Castle that encompasses all these sites has been brought under the wings of UNESCO along with Banks of River Danube and Andrassy Avenue for the way it represents the history of Hungary like no other!

To Stay:
Hotels and B&Bs at all price points are available in Budapest City Centre.
Here’s my review of Hotel Danubius Astoria where I stayed.

To Get There:
Local Transport within Budapest is possible with metro, tram, buses and boats which are free with Budapest Card
All these sites are on the Buda Castle Hill and are walkable though not very close to each other. The Shuttle Bus has 4 stops on the hill and is the best mode of transport which is included in the Budapest Card. 
On Google Maps: Clark Ádám térBuda Castle (National Gallery), History Museum, Alexander Palace, Fisherman's Bastion, Matthias Church, Medieval Jewish Prayer House, Buda Tower

Entry Ticket & Timings:
National Gallery: HUF 1800 (Free with Budapest Card); Tue-Sun: 10:00AM - 6:00PM 
History Museum: HUF 2400 (Free with Budapest Card); Tue-Sun: 10:00AM - 6:00PM 
Alexander Palace: Not open to public, Change of Guards happens every hour from 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Fisherman's Bastion: HUF 1000 (10% off Free with Budapest Card); All days: 9:00AM - 7:00PM 
Matthias Church: HUF 1500 each for entry and tower climb; All days: 1:00PM - 5:00PM for tourists.Open to devotees at other times.
Medieval Jewish Prayer House: Wed-Sun: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
Buda Tower: HUF 1500 (Free with Budapest Card); All days: 10:00AM - 6:00PM 

P.S: I was invited by Budapest Tourism to experience the city for review purposes, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

11 comments:

  1. Great that you have provided the details like entrance fee and timings, also how to actually get there. This is really useful information. Plus, the castle is humongous and looks incredible. It is definitely in my list if I am visiting Budapest.

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  2. Ohhh I havent read your posts for awhile and now I can see how big your little angel has become! So cute! I hope she was having fun at the Buda castle in Hungary! It really looks beautiful! I will add it to my list to visit when I am passing by Hungary!

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  3. It is great that you made you way to Buda Castle though you missed funnicular. It is good that with Budapest card, we can use the shuttle bus also. I loved the view from top though it is not open and can be seen through window but it is amazing and worth capturing. Thanks for sharing all information about stay and opening timings with ticket price.

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  4. An interesting and informative post. It was great you got to see the changing of the guard ceremony during your visit. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Budapest recently so it’s now on my radar!

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  5. What a comprehensive guide about Buda Castle. It's awesome that you got the chance to see the changing of the guard ceremony! I've been to Budapest but didn't make it to the castle yet and I'm so glad I came across this article.

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  6. Your little one is getting so, so big! I love the little story you've included about your growing up and how she is mimicking those same personality traits. How cute! It's great that you're interesting her to travel at a very young age. She'll definitely thank you for that later! As we've chatted about before, I was also in Budapest this past summer. I love that we were both able to experience different parts of the city. The Buda Castle looks divine and I love all the intricate architectural elements. There looks like there are some amazing views from this castle as well!

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  7. The Buda Castle looks really incredible. Witnessing the Change of Guard ceremony must have been great.I am glad to know about the Budapest card which makes transport so convenient within the city. Loved your pictures too!

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  8. I am not much into castles, but this looks interesting. The change of guard ceremony kind of reminded me of our own Wagah border ceremony

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  9. It is fascinating how diverse the interiors and exteriors of this castle is. I have tried witnessing change of guard ceremony in India in the past but had no luck, would like to know more about Budapest and other countries. Beautiful pictures. Athyu seems to be gaining a lot of knowledge during her trip :D

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  10. Have been to Budapest so cant actually picture the entire scene as you describe it. Lovely post and very informative even for us who've been there.

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  11. Have been to Budapest so can actually picture the entire scene as you have described it. Budapest is one of our favorite cities and this lovely post captures it perfectly for us. Thanks for sharing this, its very informative, even for us who've been there.

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