Buda Castle (Budai vár)#8 in Best Things To Do in Budapest
As its name implies, Castle Hill's main attraction is its medieval castle. Built in the 14th century to accommodate various kings, the structure now features Baroque and neo-Baroque details added during various restorations. It's also home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Széchényi Library.
Like Gellért Hill and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Buda Castle boasts picturesque city panoramas, according to past visitors. However, previous travelers had mixed feelings about using the Buda Castle Funicular. Some enjoyed riding it to the top, while others bemoaned its pricey fees and suggested walking. If you are not keen on walking but want to avoid paying 1,200 forints (about $5) for a one-way fare or 1,800 forints ($7) for a round-trip ticket, consider using the No. 16 bus. Each ticket costs 350 forints (roughly $1.50) when purchased in advance; to get a ticket on board, expect to pay 450 forints (less than $2). For Budapest Card holders, rides on public transportation are covered.
The castle itself is free to visit any time of the day, but entrance fees and closures apply for its museums. The Hungarian National Gallery permits visitors Tuesday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.; tickets cost 1,800 forints ($7) per person. Meanwhile, the Budapest History Museum is open every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 or 6 p.m.; admissions will set you back 1,000 to 2,000 forints (approximately $4 to $8) depending on your age. Fees at both museums are waived if you have a Budapest Card. To visit the National Széchényi Library (which does not cost extra to go inside), time your visit between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Additional information about the castle can be found on Budapest Festival and Tourism Center's website.
More Best Things To Do in Budapest
#1 Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya)
Located in the historic district of Castle Hill, Fisherman's Bastion is a neo-Gothic terrace that looks like a structure taken straight out of a fairy tale. Designed and built in 1905 by Frigyes Schulek – the same architect who built the adjacent Matthias Church – Fisherman's Bastion is named after the medieval guild of fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.
Visitors say Fisherman's Bastion's gleaming white structure provides panoramic views of the city: From here, you can snap some breathtaking pictures of the Danube River, Margaret Island and Pest. Also save time for exploring the sight's seven ornate turrets, which symbolize the tents of the seven Magyar leaders who settled the Carpathian Basin, ultimately leading to the existence of modern-day Hungary.
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