Spending a day in Castle Hill gives you an ultimate Budapest experience. Historical sites, castle, museums, funicular rides, cafes, quaint little houses, underground tunnels and stunning panoramic views are all conveniently accessible with the buses (16 & 16 a) that circulate around the hill. All you need to do is hop and hop off at your desired location. The places of interest include :
1. Chain Bridge
Crossing the Szechenyi Chain Bridge leads you to the foot of Castle Hill. The bridge was the first bridge over the Danube River that links Buda and Pest.
2. Buda Castle
The Buda Castle houses three museums under its wings – the National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Library – so it’ll be a good hang out place for the art buffs and history buffs. The castle is a modern one being rebuilt after damages caused in WWII while the old castle ruins in the same vicinity that date back to the 13th century also entails a history of Budapest’s turbulent past. The chain bridge and St Stephen’s Basilica are best viewed from Buda Castle.
Buda Castle Website
Entrance Fee : No. Entrance fees apply for the museums.
3. Fishermen’s Bastion
The fairy-tale-like Fishermen’s Bastion in white is a viewing platform built in 1905. On a cloudless sunny day, the blue-white contrast is outstanding. The Parliament Building is best viewed from here.
Fishermen’s Bastion Website
Entrance Fee : No – for lower part of the viewing platform.
HUF 700 if you are going higher up to the towers.
4. Holy Trinity Column & Matthias Church
The Holy Trinity Column and the Matthias Church are adjacent to the Fishermen’s Bastion. The monument was erected in the 1700’s in the hope that it would stop the plague epidemics back then.
The Matthias Church was built in the 14th century and witnessed many historical events of Budapest, including a period when it became a mosque during Turkish occupation. Many coronations were held here, and two weddings of King Matthias that the church was named after were held here as well. The architectural style of the church is eclectic as there was a mix of the new and old when the church was refurbished after WWII – an eye catching merge of gothic style and modern orange roof-tiles.
Matthias Church Official Website
Entrance Fee : 1000 HUF per adult (for the church)
5. Mary Magdalene’s Tower
Mary Magdalene Church was built in the 13th century. It was the only church that was allowed to remain Christian during the first half of Turkish occupation. However, it eventually was converted to a mosque like all the other churches. It was badly destroyed during WWII and has not been restored since then.
Entrance Fee : No
6. Buda Castle Labyrinth
The labyrinth under the Buda Castle is an adventurous wonder that runs about 10 km at length. The underground caves and tunnels are natural formations and once served as shelter during the war periods. It is now a cultural place with exhibitions and even wine tours.
Labyrinth Official Website
Entrance Fee : 2000 HUF per adult.
7. Hospital in the Rock
The Hungarians seemed to have found many good uses for the underground caves and tunnels system – another one of them being a hospital built right within them and hence the name. The hospital was fully functional from 1939 to 2007. It went through a series of transformations an in the period of 1962 – 2007, it served as a nuclear bunker and civil defense store as part of contingency plan.
Hospital in the Rock Official Website
Entrance Fee : 3600 HUF per adult.