Royal Palace by night, Budapest

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Royal Palace

Top choice in Castle District

The former Royal Palace has been razed and rebuilt at least half a dozen times over the past seven centuries. Béla IV established a royal residence here in the mid-13th century, and subsequent kings added to the complex. The palace was levelled in the battle to drive out the Turks in 1686; the Habsburgs rebuilt it but spent very little time here. The Royal Palace now contains the Hungarian National Gallery, the Castle Museum, and the National Széchenyi Library.

You can access the palace via the Habsburg Steps and through an ornamental gateway dating from 1903, through the Corvinus Gate, with its big black raven symbolising King Matthias Corvinus, or via the escalator or steps from the gardens of the Castle Garden Bazaar below the southern end of Castle Hill.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Castle District attractions

1. Matthias Fountain

0.03 MILES

Facing the Royal Palace’s large courtyard to the northwest is the Romantic-style Matthias Fountain, portraying the young king Matthias Corvinus in hunting…

2. Eugene of Savoy Statue

0.03 MILES

To the southeast of the Habsburg Steps entrance, just in front of the Royal Palace, stands a statue of Eugene of Savoy, the Habsburg prince who wiped out…

3. Hungarian National Gallery

0.03 MILES

The Hungarian National Gallery is an overwhelming collection spread across four floors and four wings of the palace that traces Hungarian art from the…

4. National Széchenyi Library

0.07 MILES

The copyright National Széchenyi Library contains codices and manuscripts, a large collection of foreign newspapers and a copy of everything published in…

5. Castle Museum

0.09 MILES

The Castle Museum, part of the multibranched Budapest History Museum, explores the city's 2000-year history over four floors. Restored palace rooms dating…

6. Turul Statue

0.11 MILES

To the east of the Habsburg Steps entrance to the palace is a bronze statue from 1905 of the Turul, a hawklike totemic bird that supposedly impregnated…

7. 0km Stone

0.13 MILES

What looks like an elongated concrete doughnut hidden in the bushes off Clark Ádám tér is the 0km stone. All Hungarian roads to and from the capital are…

8. Sándor Palace

0.16 MILES

This imposing neoclassical palace dates back to 1806 and now serves as the official residence of Hungary's president (János Áder who was re-elected to a…