The Castle Hill area of Budapest – which is on the Buda side of the city – is one of the most wonderful treasure troves of history you will find in Europe. A World heritage site, the area encompasses both historically significant buildings, festivals, museums, galleries, bars and restaurants.
If you are visiting Hungary it a must visit sightseeing attraction – from up close! Despite the fact you may feel you have ‘seen Castle Hill’ even if you never venture from the Pest side due to the prominent position it enjoys upon the city’s skyline.
A visit to Castle Hill also affords an opportunity to enjoy the old-fashioned hillside railway that ascends the up to the castle at a discounted rate using your Budapest Card.
Some say you could spend an entire day enjoying the seminal architecture, spectacular views and the historically important galleries and museums within the castle complex but the truth is you could spend a lifetime doing that.
Recommended Tourist Attractions within the Castle Hill Complex of Budapest
In addition to a huge variety of Budapest events that Castle Hill hosts throughout the year (including the Budavári Sörfesztivál) it is also is home to some of the most important and popular tourist attractions in Budapest.
Below you will find a few of our favourites…
The Royal Palace / Buda Castle (Királyi Palota)
The Royal Palace, also known as Buda Castle, is perhaps the most popular of all the attractions on Castle Hill. Contrary to its official name, it has never actually been occupied by a Royal Family arguably hence the confusion over the castle/palace’s name.
Either way the Royal Palace has been built and rebuilt a number of times over the past 300 years as a result of the various ruling classes and occupations the city has experienced. This is evident by the various different architectures visible within the complex most famously expanded by the design work of Miklós Ybl.
The Royal Palace is presently home to the Hungarian National Gallery, which is the bastion of the most significant collection of Hungarian fine art in the world. This beautiful building also hosts the National Szechenyi Library.
The Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom)
The towering spire of this elegant church is one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Budapest and to fans of Disney films as it was reportedly the inspiration behind the fairytale castles in many of their childhood favourite cartoons. The church was named after the Hungarian King Matyas who held both of his weddings within the stunning building. It dates back to the 13th century and is a fascinating mix of architectural styles and a must have photo opportunity.
Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya)
As you walk around Castle Hill you will spot a large white tower with a lookout terrace that is hanging over the side of the hill. This is the Fisherman’s Bastion and it was completed in 1904. It was actually never a real bastion, just a decorative touch at a time when the complex was being renewed. Of course, this does not make it any less of a great place to enjoy some of the most impressive views of the Danube, Parliament and the Pest area of the city.
Make sure you enjoy walking around Castle Hill and experiencing the historical charm of Budapest the next time you visit Hungary.
For more information, ideas and guidance about the best things to do and see in Budapest see our regularly updated Budapest Guide.