Fortress of Visegrad

Getty Images


Top choice in Danube Bend & Western Transdanubia

The 13th-century citadel looms over Visegrád atop a 333m-high hill and is surrounded by moats hewn from solid rock. The real highlight is simply walking along the ramparts of this eyrie and admiring what is arguably the best view of the Börzsöny Hills and the Danube. Take the steep ‘Fellegvár’ trail from the back gate of Solomon's Tower (40 minutes), the shorter 'Kálvária sétány' (Calvary Promenade) trail behind the Catholic church on Fő tér (20 minutes) or the City-Bus Visegrád minibus.

Completed in 1259, the citadel was the repository for the Hungarian crown jewels until 1440, when Elizabeth of Luxembourg, the daughter of King Sigismund, stole them with the help of her lady-in-waiting and hurried off to Székesfehérvár to have her infant son László crowned king. (The crown was returned to the citadel in 1464 and held here – under a stronger lock, no doubt – until the Turkish invasion.)

There’s a small pictorial exhibit in the residential rooms on the west side of the citadel and two smaller displays near the east gate on hunting, falconry and traditional occupations in the region, like stone cutting and beekeeping. There's also a Panoptikum, a wax museum focusing on characters of the 14th century.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Danube Bend & Western Transdanubia attractions

1. King Matthias Museum (Royal Palace)

0.38 MILES

Just inland from the river, the Royal Palace boasted 350 rooms during the 15th-century reign of King Matthias Corvinus to whom the museum it now contains…

2. Art Mill

9.64 MILES

This enormous gallery, spread over three floors of an old mill at the northern end of town, exhibits cutting-edge photography, light and sound…

3. Serbian Ecclesiastical Art Collection

9.67 MILES

This is a treasure trove of icons, vestments and other sacred objects in precious metals. A 14th-century glass painting of the crucifixion is the oldest…

4. Belgrade Cathedral

9.69 MILES

Just north of Castle Hill is the red tower of Belgrade Cathedral, completed in 1764 and seat of the Serbian Orthodox bishop in Hungary, when Hungary had a…

5. Szanto Memorial Home & Synagogue

9.71 MILES

The relics inside Europe's tiniest synagogue are a loving tribute to Szentendre's 250-strong Jewish community, devastated by the Holocaust.

6. Czóbel Museum

9.71 MILES

The Czóbel Museum contains the works of the impressionist Béla Czóbel (1883–1976), a friend of Pablo Picasso and student of Henri Matisse.

7. Ámos-Anna Museum

9.72 MILES

The excellent Ámos-Anna Museum displays the surrealist and expressionist paintings of husband-and-wife team Margit Anna and Imre Ámos. Imre Ámos' dark…

8. National Wine Museum

9.72 MILES

The National Wine Museum, in the cellar beneath Labirintus restaurant, traces the development of winemaking in Hungary and offers wine tastings of between…