Buda Castle Hill

Off to Buda Castle Hill in Budapest? See our insider advice for a queue-free visit as well as opening times and phone numbers!

Estimated Attendance at the Castle Museum

Very high Estimated wait until 16:00
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10:00 12:00
12:00 16:00
16:00 18:00
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Our tips

Best time to visit the Castle Hill

High season starts in late spring and lasts until the beginning of September, with biggest crowds in July and August.

To avoid the main tourist period but still visit the city with great weather - prefer the months of May, June and September.

If the cold doesn’t scare you - prefer coming in early spring or late autumn to beat the crowds.

Winter is the low season, from November till March you’ll find cheaper hotel rates and discounts for attractions. As Budapest is known as the city of baths and spas, you won’t find them closed in cold months: steaming hot water feels even better in one of the outdoor pools under the snow.

Although it makes good sense to avoid crowds of tourists - you may prefer not to avoid the events that locals enjoy every year. Buda Castle Hill is home to several large-scale festivals and events throughout the year. You may want to consider therefore scheduling your visit around one of these dates to merge with some Hungarian culture and local traditions: Festival of Folk Arts (a 3-day festival around the 20th of August), International Wine and Champagne Festival (first half of September) and Pálinka & Sausage Festival (in October) on the Savoy Terrace of the Royal Palace.

Peak hours at Buda Castle Hill

Monday is usually the least crowded day to visit the area, as the National Gallery and the Castle museum are closed on Mondays. Give preference to Wednesday or Thursday mornings in order to avoid the museum crowds.

The Castle Museum is very seldom overcrowded, you won’t need to worry about crowds (unless you visit during July and August).

Plan to spend at least half a day on the Buda Castle Hill if you want to visit major sites.

The Royal Palace courtyard, as well as the Buda Castle district are open all day and night. It makes a lovely, romantic Budapest attraction for late night or early dawn walks, with the highest concentration of tourists at Fisherman’s Bastion at sunset.

Weekdays are calmer than weekends. Give preference to an early arrival if you don’t have a choice but to come on a weekend. It is more crowded in the afternoon.

Buda Castle Hill Photo credits to teofilo via Flickr

Things to see

The Castle hill in Budapest hosts some of the most popular sites in Budapest, which inevitably attracts tourists all year round:

  • The Royal Palace (Királyi palota) - the most popular tourist attraction in Budapest, historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings, dating back to the 13th century;
  • Mary Magdalene Tower - the only remaining part of a 13th-century church with a rich history;
  • Matthias Church (used to be the seventh largest church of the medieval Hungarian Kingdom, it has seen several coronations, including that of Charles IV in 1916, the last Habsburg king);
  • Fisherman’s Bastion (a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style);
  • The sculpture of a Turul bird (a mythic bird of the Magyars folklore, the symbol of power, strength, and nobility);
  • The National Gallery (it hosts the largest and the most important collection of the Hungarian art in the world).

Opening hours and admission fees of main sites on Buda Hill

The National Gallery:

  • Closed on Mondays.
  • Tuesday-Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m (ticket offices close at 5 p.m).
  • Permanent Exhibition full ticket: HUF 1400
  • Current Temporary Exhibition: HUF 1400-1600.
  • Audioguide: HUF 800 (in English, French, German and Italian)
  • Visit of the Dome: 1400 HUF
  • Free entrance to the Permanent Exhibitions with Budapest Card and 10% concession for the Temporary Exhibitions.

The Castle Museum:

  • Closed on Mondays.
  • Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00 - 16.00 (from November to the end of February)
  • Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00 - 18.00 (from March to the end of October)
  • Full ticket: HUF 2000
  • Children, Students & Seniors: HUF 2000
  • Children under 6: Free Entry
  • Audioguide: HUF 1200
  • Free entrance with Budapest Card

The Fisherman’s Bastion:

Most of the Fisherman’s Bastion terraces and lookout towers are free to visit and open every day. The upper towers are accessible with a ticket, that you can buy on any day:

  • from 9 am to 7 pm (from mid-march to the end of April)
  • from 9 am to 8 pm (from May till October)
  • Full ticket: HUF 700
  • Children, Students & Seniors: HUF 350
  • Children under 6: Free Entry

Buda Castle Area Photo credits to Ian via Flickr

Contact number

National Gallery - visitor center +36 20 4397 325
International call rate
Buda Castle Museum - visitor center +36 1 487 8800
International call rate
Budavar Municipality +36 1 458 3000
International call rate
Did this phone number work? YES NO

Photo credits to alex.ch via Flickr


Buda Castle
📍 Szent György tér 2 - Royal Palace

By funicular: take the funicular (Sikló) from Clark Ádám tér at the Buda end of the Chain Bridge. The track is almost 100m long. The cable car runs constantly during peak times, and at max 10 minute intervals during less busy periods.

By bus: take the Várbusz (Castle bus: no. 16 and 16A), it departs every few minutes from Széll Kálmán tér (formerly called Moszkva tér) (M2, red metro line, or tram 4,6).

By foot: get to the Castle by taking the steps leading up the hill from Clark Adam Square.

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