Budapest’s Castle District is absolutely gorgeous. Walking through the streets of the district is like stepping back into time, or into a vibrant fairy-tale.
Entrance into the Castle District is generally by foot or special bus. Cars access is restricted and traffic in the historic area is principally pedestrian.
First stop would have to be Trinity Square, which houses some of Budapest’s most renowned attractions. The Square itself is gorgeous, as most of the buildings are white. If you go in summer, the light shimmers off the white stone and the place literally sparkles.
Here in Trinity Square you can find the stunning Mátyás Templom (Matthias Church) and the beautiful Halászbástya (Fishermans’ Bastion). The Square is also home to a monument to Saint Stephen (Szent István szobra), which looks out towards the Church.
Upon arrival in the Square, you may simply walk around or purchase tickets to enter the attractions. Single ticket for the Bastion and Church are available, or you can buy a combo ticket which grants you entry into both. This combo is what I would recommend if you have the time to wander.
Matthias Church, the Church of Our Lady, dates back to the 13th Century and its bright orange-tiled roof is iconic. It is an impressive example of architecture, and well worth a visit.
Fishermans’ Bastion is where the fishermens’ guild built their defences in the Middle Ages and the structure offers wonderful views not only of Trinity Square and Matthias Church, but also of the Danube River and the city of Pest on the other side. Only part of the Bastion is open to the public; one section is a restaurant, and another a nice bar.
The other principle attraction in the Castle District is, of course, Buda Castle. The Castle is quite large and is stunning even just from the outside.
Buda Castle now houses the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery, which both hold wonderful collections. In another wing is the Széchenyi National Library, which is quite large and holds some incredibly old medieval manuscripts. The castle also conceals an underground labyrinth which snakes throughout Castle Hill. Evidently, one could spend a whole day exploring Buda Castle on its own!
While you must pay to enter these attractions, it is free to wander the Castle grounds, which are also gorgeous. The garden also offers stunning views of the Danube and Pest. Have I used the words gorgeous and stunning enough in this post?! Just look, look!
There is also the funicular which departs from Buda Castle and offers views of the District.
Even wandering down the streets of the Castle District makes you feel that you are in some other-worldly tale. The architecture is truly beautiful and there are many lovely stores and cafes which you can check out while you are here.
My advice is to give yourself a full day – maybe two – to truly explore this wonderful district of Budapest. There is so much to see here and the picturesque area will transport you through the fascinating history of the city of Buda.