Travel

Budapest, Hungary: Castles Galore!

You may have seen pictures of Budapest all over Instagram! It has quickly become one of the hottest places to visit in Europe thanks to cheap flights and lots of culture. I was quite jealous when my sister went late last year and was over the moon when Katie from Love Kat submitted her hidden gem!

Editor Kate’s sister! @pip_eats

In December 2017, I travelled to the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary for the New Year celebrations with my boyfriend. For anyone that has been to Budapest I am sure you will agree it is one of the most beautiful European cities. To anyone that hasn’t been I would definitely recommend that you get flights booked right now!

Throughout our trip to Budapest we visited all of the top places advised on Pinterest and Trip Advisor – But we also had the privilege to find Vajdahunyad Castle. We found this castle by complete chance and the views from the top of it are spectacular. Although it is not as big or impressive as Buda Castle, it is like something out of a fairy tale and is such a nice scenic walk away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city!

I live in Ireland which has over 30,000 castles and castle ruins North and South of the border but I will admit Vajdahunyad Castle is by far the most romantic and picturesque castle I have ever had the pleasure to walk around.

Vajdanhunyad Castle is located in the City Park by the boating lake / skating rink but if you weren’t staying within this area of Budapest it would be so easy to miss. It is also really close to the Szechenyi Baths and Heroes Square so there really is no excuse as to why only a few people visit it when in Budapest!

The castle was built in 1896, and is a fantasy pastiche showcasing the architectural evolution through centuries and styles in Hungary. The castle is the home of several festivals, concerts and the exhibitions of the Hungarian Agricultural Museum. Vajdahunyad Castle brings together some of the finest structures in Hungarian architecture into a single eclectic palace featuring styles from the Middle Ages to the 18th century: Romanesque, Gothic Renaissance, Baroque buildings, from the Romanesque church of the village Jak to the Baroque palace of Prince Paul Esterhazy I.

Because there are so many different styles of architecture you feel like you are travelling back in time as you walk through each section of the castle. The Hungarian Agricultural Museum is also really different and is good visit on a rainy day or if you have nothing planned – it is really well put together between the animal exhibitions, the agriculture section and the historic remains it was really interesting and well spent two hours!

On the day that we visited there was lots of little ice cream and donut vendors within the grounds which was good as you could take a break, have something to eat and relax before continuing to explore. While we were there we were lucky enough to sign up for a tour of part of the castle and to find out a little bit more about the history of Budapest, the tour itself wasn’t fantastic as you couldn’t always hear the tour guide however the views from the top of the castle tower were phenomenal.

This area is about a 15 – 20 minute walk from Central Budapest so there is no need for public transport or taxis unless it is raining, when we were there it was like -2 degrees, freezing, windy but it was dry so walking everywhere allowed us to warm up while seeing the entire city! There are so many places we found that we know we never would have come across if we hadn’t of walked everywhere!

As the castle is built within City Park, you could easily spend an entire day within this part of the city – you could go ice skating on the rink in Winter or have a picnic on the lovely grounds surrounding the castle in Spring. The grounds surrounding the castle are lovely to just walk around as they are so scenic and quiet, this area is perfect for everyone and anyone from couples to families there is something for everyone!

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