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Buda Hill Castle

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This stunning castle in Budapest will surely make your day complete! Find out more

Published by flag-ph Rhomir Yanquiling — 6 years ago

It was October 2017 and I was almost a month already to Budapest. My classes had already started. My first month was a bit busy complying with the administrative stuff of my settling in the city. I did apply for my residence permit, bought a Hungarian sim card at Vodaphone, applied a bank account at Unicredit: all these were needed data for my scholarship. I was happy because I was able to finish complying with all these requirements and I still have time to get to know the city more.

During the last month, I made it my plan to visit at least one tourist destination in Budapest once in a week. I resolved to do this every weekend when there were no classes. I asked my roommate if he could recommend one place in the city that I could visit the next day. He told me that Budapest is filled with beautiful and scenic sights and that he could get me a map showing the different places of interest in the city. He did give me a tourist map and I was elated as there are a number of places that I have not visited yet. Basing from the map, both sides of the city, Pest and Buda, are equally filled with interesting sights which are worth your day of visit.

Having looked into the map, I decided to first explore the beautiful and interesting spots in the Buda side. The first in my list in that day was the Buda Hill Castle. Inasmuch as it was a sunny autumn, I reckoned it best to visit the castle in the next morning.  

It was around eight in the morning. I got a good night sleep and was ready for the day’s adventure. I immediately took my breakfast, sipped a cup of coffee and dressed up.

I went out the dormitory as early as 8:30 in the morning. While heading towards the Corvinus University, I noticed a group who were having a walking tour of the city. The tour guide raised a yellow flaglet to signal the participants of the spot where they were standing. I passed through the university for around five minutes and reached the Szabadsag Bridge three minutes after.

The Szabadsag Bridge provides a good vantage point where you can see in which direction you want to go and in which part of the city to head on. Geographically, it gives you a nice reference point to the various sights of interests in Budapest.

To walk or not to walk? That is the question

Upon reaching the Szabadsag Bridge, I was in a dilemma whether to walk or not to walk when going to the castle. I was already near the Fovam ter and I could decide as well to just take the metro and then subsequently transfer to a tram.

Sensing that the weather is good and that it was early morning (not too hot for a good morning walk), I find it an opportune time to sweat out a bit and reap the benefit of an early morning walk. Apart from that, walking during that early morning would be pleasurable since I would be able to explore more of the Buda side beyond the Gellert Hill which I visited the last time. I would also do my body the favour of enjoying the fresh breezy autumn air as I pass through the Danube river. Autumn is Budapest brings with it an unusual flavour of adventure and excitement.

From the Szabadsag bridge, you can already see the Buda Castle at the top of the hill. I would say the distance from Szabadsag bridge to the Buda Hill castle would be around one (1) kilometer at least based on my calculation of the distance from where I was at that point.

So I headed towards the castle. I crossed the Szabadsag bridge which is like around three hundred meters and took me around three minutes walk. I turned right and proceeded towards its direction. I saw some people who were jogging towards the direction of the castle. There were also a few people using bicycle to navigate the city. After a few more minutes, I can now see the Chain Bridge and I was now gradually approaching the castle. A few meters away, the foot of the hill is already apparent as shown by the elegant structure that spirals up the hill. I crossed the tram's rail and reached the very foot of the hill which will lead me towards the peak.

There are a variety of wasy through which you can go up the castle depending where you may be. But I found two ways which will make you enjoy your visit more delightful and a little more challenging and adventurous: that is to reach the peak by foot and to to take the siklo or funicular. The siklo or funicular is rather a unique way of reaching the castle hill. In Budapest, most newcomers like me have already tried its three important forms of transport in land---tram, bus and the metro. But only have have given siklo a try. If you are wondering where you can find this interesting mode of transport, just find the well-known Adam Clark ter.

You can find the main entrance of the funicular at the Clark Adam ter which is only a stone throw away from the end of the Chain Bridge in the Buda side. The funicular is easy to recognize once you reach the end of the Chain Bridge as it appeared like an inclined structure. In my personal estimation, the funicular measures around 100-120 meters. Once you are aboard the funicular, you will be able to see the vast expanse of the panoramic view of the sights surrounding the castle in the hill. It offers you beautiful and scenic sights.

If you are wondering whether or not there is a fee in taking the siklo, my response is in the affirmative. Depending on the passenger, the fee varies. It runs every ten minutes and is open at around 7:30 in the morning and closes at around 10 pm. The last time I took the siklo going up the hill, I paid around 1, 200 forinth. I do not know exactly whether fees have changed, if any.  

At the photo below, you would see the funicular or more popularly known as "siklo" in Hungarian. From the base of the funicular's entrance and across the street, you will find the Chain bridge and the Clark Adam ter. You may decide to walk your way up by turning left from the entrance of the funicular. I was lucky to have taken a good angle of the siklo while I was walking my way up the hill. While taking pictures, I met two Japanese guys from Tokyo who happened to visit the city for a week now.


What to do in the castle

Once I reached the foot of the hill, I was mesmerized by its sheer beauty. I started exploring the sights at the foot of the hill, then climbed it through the stairs until I reach the top.

The good news is it is free to enter the castle, although you have to pay entrance fee for visiting the museums and the galleries. I first thought that admission to the castle is with a fee, but it was gratis et amore dei.

The air is refreshing as I ascended into the castle. Although it was just 9:00 in the morning, a number of tourists had already flocked into the area. There were some of them taking selfies and others were having group pictures at the different parts of the city.

A day is not enough to visit the entirety of the castle and other surrounding scenic spots near or within the hill. You should identify and decide which ones to visit first and which to leave behind for the next day.

When I went there, I decided to limit myself visiting the royal palace first, explore the cobbledstone and take a walk on the immediate surrounding without having to pay admission fees to gallery and museums. That said, I decided to leave the galleries and museum and go for the free admission sites first.  

Enjoy the good panorama

The castle offers a good panoramic view of the Pest side. If you are fond of taking pictures, the location of the castle offers the perfect angles for photo-ops. Moreover, you would also be able to get a good view of some parts of the Buda side.

The Danube river with its yachts and cruise with the UNESCO-declared architectural buildings in the background give you a very priceless view: so scenic and beautiful worthy of a master's paint brush in the canvass.

What should I do than to capture these masterpieces in flesh through my lenses. I took the opportunity to take lots of pictures that will capture the memories of my visit in this grandiose place. And captured pictures I did. My friends back in the Philippines will surely be envious with me if I show them what I got in my lenses. These photos are so amazing. 

Explore the royal palace

The Royal Palace is a good place to start your day tour of the Buda castle. You ought to visit the palace as it would not fail your expectations. There are lots of interesting sights to see in the palace and it takes an adventurous and enthusiastic attitude to get to know more about the history of the palace construction as well as the history and tales about it.

The Royal Palace exudes with elegance coupled with dazzling and stunning beauty. It catches the attention of any passers-by immediately. The entrance alone is so inviting and attractive. This has been my impression the first time I saw it. You would say that the castle has been built by the master builders, architects and engineers of that time.

The palace in these photos is exuding with timeless beauty and classic elegance. I have taken them in the first few minutes of my arrival in the place. Truth to tell, the last time I saw an architectural marvels like these was in the movie. I could not believe my eyes that I was seeing such splendour in flesh within sight. Who could be more ecstatic this day than this curious traveler in me? These pictures are just priceless and I am sharing it to you!



Walk along the cobbledstones

Do you want to turn back time and get a feel of the rustic atmosphere of the ancient Medieval-like architecture? Then you should not miss walking the cobbledstones. The stone houses are a delightful thing of beauty to behold! I do not exactly know how to describe my feeling when I reached the houses paved with cobbledstones. I love to feel the texture of the stones used. They just give me a feeling of having shared a portion of the past of Hungary. The cobbledstones reminded me of blacksmiths in the Medieval Period moulding metals for their craft.

Here is a sneak peek of my photo while exploring the Medieval-like image of houses and the cobbledstone.


Visit the museum and galleries

The Buda Hill castle is the site of the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Museum, the Budapest History Museum and the National Library. Entrance to the castle is free but admission to these galleries and museum are with a fee. You can find detailed information about the castle with this site: http://budacastlebudapest.com/getting-there/

I decided not to visit the galleries and save the next day exploring them and other interesting sites that are found near or within the castle.

Well, at the day’s end, my visit to the castle has been very eventful. I brought with me memorable experiences of my visit to the castle. I have had lots of stories to tell and share with my friends and kins back home. I also have lots of pictures to remind me always of this trip. I can always keep them within the pages of my memory lane. When I get old, I have some good tales about my travel that I can share with my children and my children’s children.


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