The Citadella is a fortress that never saw battle. Built by the Habsburgs after the 1848–49 War of Independence to defend the city from further insurrection, the structure was obsolete by the time it was ready in 1854 due to the change in political climate. Today the fortress contains some big guns peeping through the loopholes, but the interior has now been closed to the public while its future is decided. Note the shrapnel damage from WWII and 1956.

To reach Gellért Hill from Pest, cross Elizabeth Bridge and take the stairs leading up behind the St Gellért Monument or cross Liberty Bridge and follow Verejték utca (Perspiration St) through the park starting at the Cave Chapel. Bus 27 runs almost to the top of the hill from Móricz Zsigmond körtér, southwest of the Danubius Hotel Gellért and accessible on the M4 and trams 18, 19, 47 and 49.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Budapest attractions

1. Liberty Monument

0.09 MILES

The Liberty Monument, the lovely lady with the palm frond in her outstretched arms, proclaiming freedom throughout the city, is southeast of the Citadella…

2. Former Swedish Embassy

0.18 MILES

The former Swedish Embassy on Gellért Hill bears a plaque attesting to the heroism of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat and businessman who, along with…

3. Vantage Point

0.18 MILES

This vantage point lookout to the northwest of the Citadella along Citadella sétány offers one of the best panoramic views of Budapest, the Danube and its…

4. St Gellért Monument

0.18 MILES

Gazing down on Elizabeth Bridge from Gellért Hill is a large and quite theatrical monument to St Gellért, an Italian missionary invited to Hungary by King…

5. Queen Elizabeth Statue

0.26 MILES

Northwest of Elizabeth Bridge is a statue of the Habsburg empress and Hungarian queen, Elizabeth. Consort to Franz Joseph, 'Sissi' was much loved by the…

6. Elizabeth Bridge

0.27 MILES

Elizabeth Bridge enjoys a special place in the hearts of many Budapesters, as this gleaming white suspension bridge (1964) was the first newly designed…

7. Cave Church


This chapel is on a small hill directly opposite (north of) the landmark Danubius Hotel Gellért and baths. It was built into a cave in 1926 and was the…

8. Liberty Bridge

0.36 MILES

Liberty Bridge, with its fin-de-siècle cantilevered span, was opened in time for the Millenary Exhibition in 1896. The bridge was originally named after…