Castle Hill is a kilometre-long limestone plateau towering 170m above the Danube. It contains some of Budapest’s most important medieval monuments and museums and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Below it is a 28km-long network of caves formed by thermal springs.
The walled area consists of two distinct parts: the Old Town to the north, where commoners once lived, and the Royal Palace to the south, the original site of the castle built by Béla IV in the 13th century and reserved for the nobility.
There are many ways to reach Castle Hill from Pest. The easiest way is to take bus 16 from Deák Ferenc tér to Dísz tér, more or less the central point between the Old Town and the Royal Palace. Much more fun, though, is to stroll across Széchenyi Chain Bridge and board the Sikló, a funicular railway built in 1870 that ascends steeply from Clark Ádám tér to Szent György tér near the Royal Palace.
Alternatively, you can walk up the Király lépcső (Royal Steps) leading northwest off Clark Ádám tér. Just south of Clark Ádám tér, a staircase and lift from Lánchíd utca lead to the Neo-Renaissance Garden of the Castle Garden Bazaar, and from there stairs, lifts and an escalator will take you up to Castle Hill.
Another option is to take metro M2 to Széll Kálmán tér, go up the stairs or escalator in the southeastern part of the square and walk up Várfok utca to Vienna Gate. This medieval entrance to the Old Town was rebuilt in 1936 to mark the 250th anniversary of the castle being taken back from the Turks. Buses 16, 16A and 116 follows the same route from the start of Várfok utca.
The new Castle Shuttle Budapest will whisk you from I Öntőház utca just south of Clark Ádám tér to Castle Hill in just minutes.