The pearl on the hill - Buda Castle
Walking tour in the Buda Castle
’There are three pearls of Europe: Venice on the water, Florence on the plain and Buda on the hill.’ – as the frequently-quoted saying by medieval travellers goes.
They did not exaggerate, the seat of the Hungarian Kingdom, Buda on the Castle Hill definitely counted among the most splendid and richest medieval royal courts in Europe, especially during the 15th century, the reign of our great King Matthias.
Not much remained unfortunately of the golden age, though.
What brought about the decline?
And how did we come to what the 21st century travellers can see on the Castle Hill now?
What are there at all for the visitor to see besides the well-known Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion and the Royal Palace building?
Do you know that before today’s iconic Parliament Building was built, the national assembly (the Diet of Hungary) had gathered in a palace nearby Matthias Church?
And that the very first medieval royal court in Buda was not established where we can see the Palace today, but exactly at the opposite end of the Castle Hill?
And what are the plans for the future? What will you probably see when you , much hopefully, return in a few years’ time?
If you are interested to get to know the answers and also see and know more about the Buda Castle, then I kindly invite you to come along with me!
During these three hours we will be discovering the Buda Castle ’from head to toe’ :-) (that is from the north end to the south), even the area of the civilian town north of Matthias Church, which is not so much known to visitors.
If you haven’t seen Matthias Church inside yet, then I will be beyond happy to show you around, if you wish.
We can naturally join the crowd taking a look at the panorama from Fisherman’s Bastion – and taking photos, of course!
Before moving on towards the south, to the Royal Palace, we can take a coffee and cake break in the oldest confectioner’s of Budapest. The Ruszwurm was founded back in 1827, so it saw quite many royal decades. The interior also evokes the era of the Monarchy, and those delights they offer!
After our well-deserved treat, we walk on to the Royal Palace quarter, on the way nearly there you can see the current seat of the Hungarian PM and also the seat of the President of Hungary, along with the upper station of the 152 year old Funicular (you can take a ride on it at the end of our tour, if you wish) and the mythological Turul bird guarding the city from there above for over 100 years.
Besides the Royal Palace, we will see the recently rebuilt Royal Riding Hall (with my favourite statue in front of it ) and the building of the Royal Garrison and the favourite photo spot, Matthias Fountain.
To finish our discoveries we can take a little walk in the Castle Gardens and walk down to the Castle Garden Bazaar next to the Danube or you can also take the Funicular down to Adam Clark square to the Chain Bridge – as you prefer.
This tour covers the whole Buda Castle District including the following (though not everything is mentioned):
the quarter north of Matthias church: the most interesting buildings and the palaces of the one-time aristocracy and their stories (including the very first royal court in Buda and also the medieval Jewish quarter)
Hess András square, with the oldest building of the whole city of Budapest
the Viennese Gate of the Buda Castle
Lutheran church of Buda
Mary Magdalene church remnants
the Palace of the Diet of Hungary (’the old Parliament Building’)
Holy Trinity square (with the Holy Trinity column, Matthias Church, Fisherman’s Bastion)
the former Carmelite Monastery (now the seat of the PM of Hungary)
Sándor Palace (the seat of the President of Hungary)
Buda Castle Funicular (upper station) and the Turul bird statue
Royal Palace and its courtyards including: Matthias Fountain, Royal Garrison, Royal Riding Hall
the Castle Gardens and the Castle Garden Bazaar
The above is a suggested itinerary according to my recommendation as a tour guide but of course it can be tailor-made to your preference/request.
transportation, entrance fees, meals and drinks, any personal expenses
ON REQUEST we can add:
1. a visit inside Matthias Church (normally open for visitors from 9-17.00 on weekdays, Sat 9-12.15, Sun 13-17.00, ticket office closes 30 minutes earlier; but the opening hours fo visitors may be modified due to events in the church and it’s closed on certain religious holidays)
2500 HUF / person (about 6 €)
2. entrance ticket to the upper terrace of Fisherman’s Bastion
1000 HUF/person (about 2,50 €)
3. a coffee and cake break in the Ruszwurm Confectioner’s
from 3000 HUF/ person (about 7,50 €)
4. Buda Castle Funicular (on certain days of the month not in use due to maintenance)
3000 HUF/person (about 7,50€ - return ticket, valid for both uphill and downhill)
I kindly ask you to let me know 2 days in advance if to add any of the extra options above (especially for the coffee break so that I can book a table, but also the church tickets can be purchased in advance to make it faster and more convenient).
GOOD TO KNOW:
• this is a walking tour with moderate amount of walk, cobblestones and may include stairs (stairs can be avoided, though)
• comfortable shoes and clothing are advisable, also appropriate to the weather and to the visit to Matthias Church, if requested (especially in summer)
• not wheelchair accessible
• there might be circumstances beyond my control, for example any unforeseen closure/restriction or modification made to opening hours or prices, or to the accessibility of monuments
For any further details or tailor-made offer please do not hesitate to contact me, I will gladly help to customise it according to your request.
I can’t wait to accompany you and discover the Buda Castle together!