One of the most romantic castles in the city of Budapest, Vajdahunyad Castle is a beautiful place to visit and photograph. Between the courtyard, the castle itself, and the multiple museums and attractions within walking distance, guests can happily spend the day there.
Despite how it may appear, the castle was not actually built until 1896 (designed as part of the 1000-year Millennial Exhibition). The castle is considered a fantasy pastiche which was built to highlight the way that Hungarian architecture has evolved throughout the centuries. The castle was designed to include multiple landmark buildings from different areas of Hungary, like the Transylvania's Hunyad Castle (hence the name). It features different architectural styles like Gothic, Renaissance, Romanesque, and Baroque. The original castle was made only of wood and cardboard, eventually being rebuilt with brick and stone in 1904 and again in 1908.
The two main attractions at Vajdahunyad are the courtyard and the castle, which contains an agricultural museum.
? Courtyard - The courtyard, surrounding the castle, is the perfect place to take photos (guests interested in taking photographs inside the castle must purchase a photo ticket). Enter the courtyard through the faux gates and make sure to take in the buildings from the outside - including the Romanesque Church, the Baroque/Renaissance Palace, the Gothic Castle, the Anonymous Statue, and the Court Sandor Karoly statue. Guests can also visit the boating lake (which is also used as an open-air ice skating rink when the weather is cool enough).
? The Castle/Museum - The Hungarian Agriculture Museum (the largest agricultural museum in Europe) is located inside the castle, which is why there is an admission fee charged for entrance. The museum features a variety of both temporary and permanent exhibitions. The permanent exhibitions at the Ag Museum focus on how agriculture has evolved in the country since its inception. There is are also exhibits on the national horse show, the domestication of animals in Hungary, the history of plants and forestry, fishing, conservation, the history of grapes and wine, and hunting. Visitors to the castle can also purchase tickets that will allow them to visit the gatehouse and the towers. Both require significant stairs, so visitors planning to walk them should make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Tours are available at a small cost and are led in both Hungarian and English. They leave at the top of every hour.
There are also many other attractions located on the grounds as well as within walking distance from Vajdahunyad. Visit the Museum of Transportation, the Szechenyi Bath, the Hall of Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Budapest Zoo, and the Budapest Circus.
The courtyard and the castle are open different hours for visitors. The courtyard is open Mondays through Sundays all day long (the courtyards themselves never close to the public. The castle itself is closed Mondays, open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10am to 4p (from the beginning of November through the end of March) and from 10am to 5pm (from the beginning of April through the end of October), and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. The last admission allowed at the castle museum is 30 minutes prior to closing time.
The courtyards and the castle are home to a wide variety of special events. These events occur all throughout the year, but most them occur in the winter. Winter at the castle brings St. Martin’s Weekend, a festival that takes place in November and is Wine and Goose themed in nature, meant mostly for adults. Many of the events will take place at the agricultural museum, which is where most of the children’s events are held as well. Also, in the winter is the New Wine and Cheese Festival. Held at the end of November inside of the castle, this event is not as well known in the area but is reported by many attendees to be one of the best hidden gem wine festivals in the entire country.
In the summers, the grounds are home to the summer music festival, which occurs anywhere from July through August, as well various summer concerts throughout the remainder of the time the weather is nice. Check the website for additional dates, times, and information.
Dining and Shopping
Although there are no official, permanent dining or shopping options available at the castle or in the courtyard, between the multiple festivals and special events and the closeness of local options, guests who visit and want to get a bite to eat or to grab a local souvenir will have plenty of options.
Vajdahunyad Castle, City Park Budapest, District XIV, Hungary, 1146