Top 28 Historic Castles in Hungary [2024]

Wondering about which historic castles in Hungary are the “must-see” castles? Hungary is an old country in the heart of central Europe, with 103 ancient, medieval, and historic castles with fascinating, gruesome, and tragic stories to tell.

Hungarians built their castles in dramatic and spectacular locations. Here are the best 28 historic castles in Hungary and everything you need to plan a visit to them. See how many you can fit in on your next trip to Hungary!

Hungary Castles Map

1. Füzér Castle

Nestled deep in the Zemplén Mountains, Füzér Castle has had a colorful history. It was here that the Hungarian crown was taken after the disastrous defeat at Mohacs.

Photo of The Castle of Fuzer with blue sky and clouds on an autumn morning in the mountains of Zemplen, Hungary
The Castle of Fuzer with blue sky and clouds on an autumn morning in the mountains of Zemplen, Hungary

A particularly infamous owner was the aristocratic serial killer Elisabeth Báthory, who was said to have brutally murdered hundreds of girls between 1590-1610. 

Füzér Castle was also known for being one of the most beautiful ruins in Hungary. For better or worse, it no longer has that honor.

Since 2016 the castle has been completely restored. An interactive museum of 16th and 17th Century Hungarian life, Füzér Castle is jam-packed with activities and shows exhibitions on gem-cutting, wine-making, beer-brewing, and minting.

What better place to step into the daily lives of ordinary Hungarians in Early Modern Central Europe?

Location: Füzér in the Zemplén Mountains, close to the Slovak border.

Address: Füzér, Rákóczi Ferenc út 2, 3996 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 6 pm every day of the week.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 3000 for adults and HUF 2500 for students and seniors. Kids under six enter free.

2. Boldogkő Castle

Boldogkő Castle means “happy castle” but it’s debatable whether this old medieval fort lives up to its name.

View from below of snow-covered hillside and  Boldogkő Castle in winter, Hungary
Boldogkő Castle in winter, Hungary

It was the site of some contention over the ages, changing hands a number of times in the wars and intrigues that fill the history of Central Europe.

It was finally blown up on the order of the Hapsburgs in 1701, briefly serving as a Jesuit granary before falling into obscurity.

Today the castle is a museum, complete with costumed tours, military exhibitions, a restored medieval smelter, and the dreaded torture chambers. Make sure to check out the beautiful views of the Zemplén Nature Reserve from Lion’s Rock.

Location: Just west of the Zemplén Mountains, in the northeast corner of Hungary.

Address: Boldogkőváralja, Külterület, 3885 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 7 pm every day of the week.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 2000 for adults and HUF 1700 for students and seniors. Kids under six enter free.

3. Salgó Castle (Salgói vár)

Salgó Castle (Salgói vár) sits on a hill high above the city of Salgótarján, and despite its ruined state must rank as one of the most beautiful castles in Hungary.

Aerial photo of Salgói vár - The ruins of Salgo Castle in Hungary.
Salgói vár – The ruins of Salgo Castle in Hungary

The castle was constructed in the second half of the 13th Century, after the First Mongol Invasion (when the need for more fortifications became very apparent).

It was captured and held by Czech Hussites for ten years in the 15th Century and then captured by the Turks in the 16th, apparently without a shot being fired.

The castle was heavily damaged upon its recapture by Hungarian forces and was soon ruined and overgrown. Some restoration has occurred but Salgó Castle retains the same lonely beauty it has held for centuries.

Location: Above the city of Salgótarján, on the Slovak border.

Address: Salgótarján, 3100 Hungary

Opening Hours: You’re free to visit the ruins whenever you’d like.

Entrance Fees: Entrance is free.

4. Castle of Diosgyor

Originally an old-fashioned motte and bailey, the Castle of Diosgyor felt the full brunt of the Mongol Invasion and was destroyed soon after its completion.

Photo of the exterior of Diosgyor castle before it's renovation in the city of Miskolc, Hungary
Diosgyor castle in the city of Miskolc, Hungary

Luckily for us, the castle was rebuilt in its current Gothic style. At first a favorite royal residence, Diosgyor became a customary wedding gift for Hungary’s Queens.

But with the coming Ottoman invasion, the castle fell into disuse and was pretty much ruined by the 17th Century. Gradually absorbed by the city of Miskolc, Diosgyor was excavated in the Soviet period and finally restored in 2014.

It is now open to visitors, housing a museum and festivals and concerts throughout the year.

Location: The old Diósgyőr section of Miskolc.

Address: Miskolc, Vár u. 24, 3534 Hungary

Opening Hours: The castle is still undergoing major renovations and has not yet reponed. However, the jousting arena with its accompanying events of all kinds remains open.

Entrance Fees: Pre-renovation, tickets cost HUF 150000 for adults and slight reductions for students and pensioners.

Events: Check the castle’s website.

5. Eger Castle

Built in the mid-13th Century with a Gothic design, Eger Castle is most famous for its 1522 siege, in which desperately outnumbered Hungarian defenders withstood a huge Ottoman army.

Photo of the walls and main gate of rampart of the Eger fort (castle) with medieval town of Eger, Hungary
Walls and main gate of rampart of the Eger fort (castle) with medieval town of Eger, Hungary

Although the Ottomans captured Eger sometime later, the defense of the castle went on to become an enduring symbol of the Hungarian nation.

The Turks made key additions during their century-long stay in Eger (including a beautiful rose garden) but the castle fell into decline after its re-capture.

Partially dynamited and then deconstructed for building materials it’s only recently that the Castle of Eger has been restored. Regaining its status as a national monument in 2014 it’s now home to several museums.

Location: The center of Eger.

Address: Eger, Vár 1, 3300 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 10 pm every day of the week in summer and until 9 pm in winter. Hours of exhibits and museums vary, but generally open around 10 am and close in the early evening.

Entrance Fees for Museums: Walking around the castle is free, but a Museum Ticket (valid at all museums and exhibits) is HUF 2000 for adults and HUF 1000 for students and seniors.

6. Drégely Castle

Sitting on a peak in the Börzsöny Mountains, the long ruined Drégely Castle is most famous for being the site of a heroic but futile last stand.

Aerial view of Drégely Castle - a fortress in North Hungary
Drégely Castle is a fortress in North Hungary

In 1552, this late 13th Century castle was besieged by an Ottoman army numbering over 10,000. The defenders, led by the famous György Szondy were outnumbered by almost ten-to-one but refused multiple offers of surrender.

They held out for over a month, but eventually, the walls were battered down by Turkish cannons, and the small garrison was slaughtered to the last man.

Respecting his bravery, the Ottoman commander buried Szondy with full military honors. The razed castle was used by the Turks for a short while afterward but was ignored after their retreat.

Apart from some brief restoration work around the Fall of Communism, it has remained ruined ever since.

Location: In the forests north-west of Nagyoroszi

Address: Drégelypalánk, Drégely vára, 2646 Hungary

Opening Hours: You’re free to visit the ruins whenever you like

Entrance Fees: Entrance is free of charge

7. Esztergom Castle

Once the capital of Hungary, the first iteration of Esztergom Castle was completed at the beginning of the 11th Century by modern Hungary’s founder, the King-Saint Stephen I.

Photo of the  Panoramic view from Esztegom with river Danube and Basilica and the Esztegom Castle
Panoramic view from Esztegom with river Danube and Basilica behind Esztegom Castle

Later restyled into a Romanesque-Gothic palace, it remained the center of the Hungarian state until rampaging Mongols forced Hungary’s kings to move their capital to Buda.

Luckily, much of the castle’s core buildings survived the Mongol Invasion, and they remained important through the Renaissance, even attracting the likes of a young Botticelli.

It was only the bitter warfare of the Ottoman period that saw Esztergom decline into a shadow of its former self.

Luckily, extensive renovations have been going on since the 1930s to bring this important historical building back into the limelight, and it’s more than worth a visit.

Location: On top of Castle Hill (Várhegy) in Esztergom

Address: Esztergom, Szent István Tér 1, 2500 Hungary

Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays, Open from 10 am every other day, closing its doors at 4 pm in the winter and 6 pm in summer.

Entrance Fees: Admission to the Castle is HUF 1500 for adults and HUF 750 for commission card holders.

8. Visegrád Castle

Built high on a bend of the Danube River, Visegrad Castle was prized by a long line of Kings for its command over this most strategic of locations.

Aerial panoramic drone view of the high castle of Visegrad with summer foliage and trees and blue sky with clouds at background
Aerial panoramic drone view of the high castle of Visegrad, Hungary

Once a bustling and unified castle town, the castle of Visegrad now consists of three separate parts.

At the highest point of Castel Hill is the imaginatively named Upper Castle, a 13th Century triangular citadel with panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Closer to the river is the Lower Castle and its Solomon Tower, named after the unlucky King Solomon, imprisoned in Visegrad Castle after his abdication.

Finally comes the Royal Palace, an early Renaissance summer residence built by King Mattias Corvinus.

Now housing the King Mattias Museum, this palace was a venue for numerous diplomatic congresses throughout the years and gives its name to the modern Visegrad Group, which first met here in 1991.

Location: On Castel Hill (Várhegy) in Visegrád.

Address: Visegrád, Várhegy, 2025 Hungary

Opening Hours: Hours for the different parts of the Catle vary widely, depending upon the season. They generally start around 9 am or 10 am and run into the evening.

They’re often closed Mondays and the Solomon Tower is closed during the winter months.

Entrance Fees: It’s generally about HUF 1700 to enter the citadel, HUF 1400 to enter the palace, and HUF 800 to enter the Tower, with prices 50% less for seniors.

9. Tata Castle / Tatai Var Castle

If you’re a fan of the hit Netflix series The Witcher, then Tata Castle might look a little familiar.

Lake Oreg and the medieval Tata Castle, Hungary from across the Lake on a bright autumn (Fall) day
Lake Öreg and the medieval Tata Castle in Hungary

Built in the late 14th Century on the northern shores of Lake Öreg, Tata Castle was owned by the likes of King Sigismund and Matthias Corvinus, who remodeled the fortress into a sophisticated royal residence.

But this moment in the sun didn’t last long. Starting in the mid-15th Century, Ottoman raids intensified into fierce border warfare, and the castle suffered severe damage in the next few centuries.

In the 18th Century, Tata Castle passed into the hands of the famous Esterházy family who demolished some of its ruined parts and remodeled others in a neo-Gothic style.

It was only in the Soviet era that the castle was more fully restored, and the Domokos Kuny Museum was founded on-site.

Location: The north tip of Lake Öreg Füzér in Tata.

Address: Tata, Váralju u. 3, 2890 Hungary

Opening Hours: The castle and its museum are open from about 9 or 10 in the morning until 5 pm. Both are closed on Mondays.

Entrance Fees: Entrance to the Courtyard is free while tickets to the museum are around HUF 1000, with some discounts available.

10. Royal Palace of Gödöllő

The Royal Palace of Gödöllő was originally built for the Grassalkovichs, a noble family Baroque in the service of the famous empress Maria Theresa.

A phot of the front exterio of the Royal Palace of Godollo or Grassalkovich Castle is an imperial and royal Hungarian palace located in the municipality of Godollo, Hungary
Royal Palace of Godollo (Grassalkovich Castle), Godollo, Hungary

An enormously complex and built in an exquisite Baroque style, the palace was eagerly snapped up by the royal family when the Grassalkovich line died out.

From 1867 it became the official Hungarian residence of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, including the locally loved Empress Elisabeth.

Becoming the home of the Regent Horthy during the Second World War, the huge palace of Gödöllő had a variety of mundane uses during the Soviet Period.

Parts of the complex became barracks for troops and even an aged care facility, and a lot of the old aristocratic finery began to decay.

Fortunately, Gödöllő underwent serious restoration towards the end of communism and is now a national monument and one of the most impressive Baroque Palaces in all of Europe.

Location: In the middle of Gödöllő, 30 km from Bucharest.

Address: Gödöllő, Grassalkovich-Kastely 5852, 2100 Hungary

Opening Hours: Usually open from 10 am til 6 pm every day of the week. The Ticket Office closes 1 hr before the official

Entrance Fees: A Ticket for the permanent exhibitions costs HUF3200 for adults and HUF 1800 for students and seniors.

11. Schossberger Castle – Botaniq-Kastély

Schossberger Castle was first built in the late 19th Century by Baron Schossberger in the style of a sumptuous French chateau.

Evening photo of Botaniq-Kastély Hotel in Schossberger Castle, Hungary
Schossberger Castle which is now a Leading Hotels of the World Hotel called Botaniq-Kastély, Hungary

In its previous life, it was notable for being the one-time residence of one of Hungary’s greatest composers, Béla Bartók, but the ravages of history would not be kind to the place.

Falling into decline after the Second World War, Schossberger Castle was used as a primary school before being more or less abandoned in 1973. In subsequent years it became known as a kind of ornate ruin and was often hired out for filming.

All this changed in 2020 when the castle was fully restored and transformed into the BOTANIQ Castle of Tura Hotel, a five-star luxury establishment that must rank as one of the finest in Central Europe.

That said, if you’re not keen on staying the night, you can still walk the castle’s beautiful grounds and gardens.

Location: Near the center of Tura, just outside of Budapest.

Address: Tura, Park u. 37, 2194 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 5 pm every day of the week.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 2500 for adults.

Where to Stay: BOTANIQ Castle of Tura

12. Vajdahunyad Castle

Situated in Budapest’s City Park, Vajdahunyad Castle is actually a copy of the Hunyad or Corvin Castle, situated in what is now Romania.

Photo of exterior of Vajdahunyad castle, built to celebrate the Millennium, perfectly illustrates the different architectural styles that characterize Hungary. It is partly inspired by the castle of Honedoara (Transylvania, Romania)
Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest, Hungary

The castle was built in honor of the one-thousand-year anniversary of modern Hungary’s founding and was originally just a temporary structure built from cardboard and wood.

But Budapest’s residents loved the castle so much that it was later rebuilt in more permanent stone and brick.

Comprising an eclectic array of architectural styles, it now houses the Hungarian Agricultural Museum while the castle’s lake hosts boating in the summer and transforms into an ice skating rink in the winter.

Location: Within City Park, Budapest.

Address: Budapest, Vajdahunyad Stny, 1146 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open most times, all year round (Museum excluded).

Entrance Fees: Entrance is free but some festivals have an admission price

Museum Details: Hungarian Agricultural Museum entrance ticket is HUF 1600 and half-price for students and seniors. The Museum is closed on Mondays but open from 10 am until early evening, closing earlier in winter.

13. Buda Castle

First built in the 13th Century, Buda Castle (also known as the Royal Castle) has undergone much reconstruction and deconstruction over the years.

Photo of Buda Castle, on Castle Hill with the Danube River below, at sunset, Budapest, Hungary
Buda Castle, on Castle Hill with the Danube River below, at sunset, Budapest, Hungary

A center of power for countless rulers of the capital of Hungary, only the foundations of the old keep remain, and much of the current structure dates from the simplified post-WW2 reconstruction.

Nevertheless, Buda Castle remains a center point of modern Hungarian culture and tourism.

It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, housing the National Library, the Budapest History Museum, and the Hungarian National Gallery.

Location: Part of the Castle District, (Várnegyed) on Castle Hill.

Address: Budapest, Szent György Tér 2, 1014 Hungary

Opening Hours: The courtyard is open all year round.

Entrance Fees: Entrance to the Buda Castle courtyard is free except during festivals.

Museum/Gallery Details: The Castle’s Museums and Galleries have different openings and entrance fees but are usually quite cheap (a few thousand HUF at most) and are open during the day from 10 am until evenings, though often closed on Monday. The library is usually closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

14. Jurisics Castle (Kőszegi vár)

Jurisics Castle is named after the Croatian nobleman and commander Nikola Jurišić, who famously defended this key fortress against the Turks in 1532, preventing their capture of Vienna.

Photo of the Walls of the Juricsis Castle in Koszeg, Hungary on a sunny day
Walls of the Juricsis Castle in Koszeg, Hungary on a sunny day

Although numbering less than a thousand, Jurišić and his men held out against an Ottoman force numbering over one hundred thousand for almost a month before heavy rains saw them end their campaign. 

In more modern times it’s become a military museum, with a number of permanent exhibitions focussing on its illustrious history and live demonstrations of medieval life.

If that’s not enough there’s also a castle bazaar and buffet to quench a right royal appetite.

Location: The town of Köszeg, on the Austrian border.

Address: Köszeg, Rajnis u. 9, 9730 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 10 am til 5 pm every day except Monday.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 1800 for adults and HUF 100 if you’re a student or over 60. Kids under three enter free.

15. Esterháza / Esterházy Castle

Dubbed the “Hungarian Versailles“, Esterháza (or Esterházy Castle) is the finest Rococo palace in Hungary, if not all of Europe.

Panorama view of the Esterhazy Palace or Hungarian Versailles in Fertod
Esterhazy Palace in Fertőd, Hungary

The castle is a world apart from the dour medieval fortresses of previous ages, instead, Esterháza was built by the fabulously wealthy Esterházy family as a place of luxury and sophistication.

The family was renowned patrons of the arts and Esterháza was ground zero for their cultural programs. Concerts at the palace attracted nobility from across Europe, while one section was open to the public for musical education.

Esterháza was even home to the composer Haydn for over two decades, with its loneliness supposedly inspiring his famous Farewell Symphony.

Nowadays Esterháza is a world monument bringing in over 200,000 visitors every year, with guided tours of its extensive halls and gardens.

Location: Inside the town of Fertőd, close to the Austrian border.

Address: Fertőd, Joseph Haydn u. 2, 9431 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 6 pm every day of the week.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 3000 for adults and HUF 2500 for students and seniors. Kids under six enter free.

16. Csókakő Castle

With its commanding views of the countryside leading up to the town of Székesfehérvár, it’s easy to see why Csókakő Castle was built.

Drone photo of the Partially restored Csókakő Castle in the Vertes Hills, Hungary
Partially restored Csókakő Castle in the Vertes Hills, Hungary

Constructed in the late  13th Century, the castle on the hill fell to the invading armies of Suleiman the Magnificent without a fight and remained a key Ottoman observation post for almost one hundred and fifty years.

After the Ottomans were expelled the castle fell into ruin and was essentially ignored until the late 19th Century when it was rediscovered by the archaeological world.

Nowadays, Csókakő Castle’s ruins are partially restored, with its gate, drawbridge, and parts of the walls now intact, and work is ongoing to bring it back to its old glory.

Location: Above the village of Csókakő, just out of Székesfehérvár

Address: Csókakő, Külterület, 8074 Hungary

Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm in the winter and until 8 pm in the summer

Entrance Fees: Entry is free, although parking fees are HUF 500 for the day

17. Károlyi Castle

Constructed in the mid 19th Century by the Károlyi family, Károlyi Castle is of an eclectic Classicist design, one that incorporates many Baroque elements.

Photo of the exterior of Karolyi Palace in Fuzerradvany, Hungary on a winter day
Karolyi Palace in Fuzerradvany, Hungary on a winter day

You’ll have to contract a guide to take you through Károlyi Castle’s chambers and its extensive grounds (which cover over 50 hectares and include a small lake), but it’s well worth it.

The castle has both temporary and permanent exhibitions covering all parts of history along with a range of cultural and musical programs.

You can also stay at Károlyi Castle, in its 20-room hostel, and eat at its fine restaurant, before kicking back in its extensive library.

Location: In the town of Fehérvárcsurgó, north of Székesfehérvár.

Address: Fehérvárcsurgó, Petőfi Sándor u. 2, 8052 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 10 am til 6 pm every day of the week.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 1500 for adults and HUF 750 for students and pensioners.

Where to Stay: In Karolyi Castle of course!

18. Bory Castle

Unlike many of the castles on this list, Bory Castle is not centuries old. Instead, it’s a very modern castle, built by Hungarian architect and sculptor Jenő Bory up until his death in 1959.

Photo of the Interior courtyard of Bory Castle, Hungary
Interior courtyard of Bory Castle, Hungary

Made from concrete,  Bory Castle fuses a bewildering number of different architectural styles.

The castle is also a kind of gallery, bedecked with Bory’s sculptures and paintings from his wife Ilona. In fact, the castle was built in her honor and is known locally as “the Hungarian Taj Mahal”.

Bory draws visitors from the surrounding city of Székesfehérvár and across the nation, all intent on visiting this ornate and unique castle.

Location: The Öreghegy garden district of Székesfehérvár.

Address: Székesfehérvár, Máriavölgy 54, 8000 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 5 pm every day of the week.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 2000 for adults and HUF 1000 for children and pensioners.

19. Somlói Castle

Somlói (or Somló) Castle was built on top of an old volcano, and it had a suitably explosive history. Built-in the late 14th Century as a small stone fortress, Somlói Castle was bought by the Bishop of Eger in 1495.

Trip Anthropologist
Somlói Castle Ruins, Hungary

The Bishop spent a great amount of money turning Somlói Castle from a fortified observation post into an Italianate castle-chapel, according to the latest Renaissance fashion.

The Bishop also had the foresight to compliment Somlói Castle with modern military fortifications and a number of cannons. This would come useful when Sultan Suleiman marched north, and despite his victories over the Hungarians, Somlói Castle held. 

When the Ottoman threat faded, Somlói Castle faded too and it’s now a ruin. Luckily for us, the Hungarian government announced in Jun 2021 that is spending almost a million euros restoring the place.

Location: The old volcanic hill south of Doba, not far from Veszprém.

Address: Doba, Somlóvár 2, 8482 Hungary

Opening Hours: You’re free to visit the ruins whenever you like

Entrance Fees: Entrance is free of charge.

20. Sümeg Castle

At the peak of a barren hilltop, in Hungary’s Balaton Highlands lies one of the best examples of an intact medieval fortress in Central Europe.

Aerial view of the beautiful Sümeg Castle with fog at sunrise, Hungary
Aerial view of the beautiful Sümeg Castle with fog at sunrise, Hungary

Sümeg Castle was built in the late 13th Century and sheltered King Bela IV during the dark days of the first Mongol Invasion. 

It later served as a frontier fortress in the long war against the Ottomans and a key stronghold of the Kuruc peasant rebels in their fight against Hapsburg authority. It was after this rebellion that Sümeg Castle was burned and left in ruins.

Now largely restored and owned by the Papp family, Sümeg Castle shows a number of permanent exhibitions alongside knightly tournaments and war machines and grand feasts, taking visitors right back to its medieval heyday.

Location: On top of Castle Hill by the town of Sümeg.

Address: Sümeg, Vároldal u. 5, 8330 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am until some time in the evening, depending upon the season.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 1500 for adults and HUF 800 for pensioners, students, and children 6 – 14 years of age. Kids under six enter free. Feasts and tournaments have extra fees.

21. Kinizsi Castle (Nagyvázsonyi-vár)  

Kinizsi Castle is named after its old owner, the famous Hungarian hero Pál Kinizsi, who lead (and later destroyed) the infamous Black Army of Matthias Corvinus.

Aerial view of medieval Nagyvazsony castle near Lake Balaton, Hungary
Aerial view of medieval Nagyvazsony castle near Lake Balaton, Hungary

It was fought over by various nobles after Kinizsi’s death and suffered Ottoman occupation only briefly. It started to become dilapidated during the 19th Century and was used as a prison before being completely abandoned.

It’s now partially restored, but still retains a lot of the grittiness it possessed as a hard-living Hungarian border fort. A new restoration took place from 2017 until mid-2022 when it newly reopened.

It’s quite fittingly a military museum, and its chapel contains the tomb of the great Pál Kinizsi himself.

Location: In the village of Nagyvázsony, just north of Lake Balaton.

Address: Nagyvázsony, Vár u. 9, 8291 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open every day except Monday, from 8.30 am to 4 pm.

Entrance Fees: Admission was around HUF 1000 before the latest renovations and parking was HUF 500, but this may be subject to change.

22. Festetics Palace

It took the noble Festetics family over a century to construct their palace, but their descendants must have been pretty proud once it was finally completed.

Photo of the frpmt exteriorFestetics Palace in Keszthely, Hungary
Festetics Palace in Keszthely, Hungary

Initially built in the Baroque style, the palace took so long to complete that by its completion in 1885, sections had been updated into the more vogue neo-Baroque fashion.

Dodging the worst effects of World War Two, the palace was nationalized during the Communist period.

In 1974 it was made into the Helikon Palace Museum, named after the Festetics family’s priceless library.

Numerous exhibitions are situated through the palace’s eighteen chambers, while the grounds contain a beautiful set of gardens, a bird park, and an aquarium, as well as an oak tree dating back four centuries.

Location: Within the town of Keszthely.

Address: Keszthely, Kastély u. 1, 8360 Hungary

Opening Hours: The palace is open from 10 am til 5 pm throughout most of the year.

Entrance Fees: Tickets to the castle and one exhibit costs HUF 2900 while the most comprehensive entrance ticket will set you back HUF 4400, with seniors and those under 26 entering for half-price.

23. Szigliget Castle

Unlike much of this list, Szigliget Castle gets its distinctive beauty not from how it’s been preserved, but from how it has decayed.

Photo of Szigliget Castle partially restored and neat Lake Balaton, Hungary
Szigliget Castle is partially restored and near Lake Balaton, Hungary

Although now reunited with the mainland, the castle was originally built on a volcanic island in the middle of Lake Balaton and watched over its waters for Turkish pirates during the Ottoman period.

But Szigliget Castle’s real demise did not come at the hands of an invading army. Instead, it came with a lightning strike in the 17th century, that scored a direct hit on a tower storing gunpowder, destroying much of the castle.

That said, even in its ruined state the castle acts as a great museum, with its interior buildings kitted out in the original style and with numerous exhibits from throughout its history.

Make sure to watch re-enactments of medieval battles if you arrive during peak season.

Location: On top of Szigliget’s Castle Hill, near Lake Balaton.

Address: Szigliget, Magyarország 71123, 8264 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from about 9 am until evening depending on the season.

Entrance Fees: Tickets cost HUF 800 for entrance to the castle and HUF 300 for the weapons exhibit, with a half-price discount for children.

24. Simontornya Castle

Simontornya means Simon’s Tower, and it got its name from its 13th Century builder, Simon, son of Solomon.

Aerial view of medieval Gothic Simontornya castle, Hungary
Aerial view of medieval Gothic Simontornya castle, Hungary

Since then Simontornya Castle has had a number of different lives. First an aristocratic stronghold of families like the Lackfis (who added a Gothic touch), then a royal castle and Renaissance-style palatial residence.

When the Turks took Simontornya they made it a thorough military establishment, assisting in their occupation of Hungarian lands.

In the early 18th Century it became a key stronghold of the peasant Kuruc rebels. Finally losing political and military significance it became a simple barn for local farmers.

Now of course it’s a museum, showcasing the area’s local history displaying the works of famous local artists, and teaching classes to students of all ages on Hungary’s medieval history.

Location: In the village of Simontornya, south of Székesfehérvár.

Address: Simontornya, Vár tér 10, 7081 Hungary

Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm in the summer and 4 pm in the winter. Closed on Mondays.

Entrance Fees: Admission is HUF 1000 for an adult and half that for students and seniors. Kids under six and those over seventy enter free. Group guided tours are HUF 3000 for a family.

25. Gyula Almasy Castle (Almásy-kastély)

While it can be confusing to first-time visitors, Gyula’s Almásy Castle is quite different from the Gyula Castle that sits just across the road. While Gyula Castle is a dour and historic Gothic fortress, Almásy Castle is a refined mansion.

Almásy palace on a winter afternoon in Gyula, Hungary.
Almásy palace on a winter afternoon in Gyula, Hungary.

Built in the 18th Century, the purpose of Almásy Castle was not to defend but to impress, and passed through the hands of a series of aristocratic families, all of whom added their own special touches to the buildings and expansive gardens.

After a period of decline in the Horthy and Soviet era, Almásy Castle now operates as an interactive museum of aristocratic Hungarian life.

There are digital exhibits on the daily lives of servants, lessons on how to be a real noble, and a great cafe to grab a bite before you leave.

Location: Between the old castle and the rive in Gyula.

Address: Gyula, Kossuth Lajos u. 15, 5700 Hungary

Opening Hours: Open from 9 am til 5 pm every day of the week except Mondays.

Entrance Fees: The most comprehensive ticket costs HUF 3600, and half price for students and seniors.

26. Bükkösd Castle (Petrovszky-var)

Visiting Hungary’s many castles can be so wonderful, you sometimes wish you could stay there forever. Well, for the small price of eight hundred million euros, you can.

Photo of the front exterior of Bükkösd Castle, an old Baroque castle in Bükkösd, Hungary on a bright blue day
Bükkösd Castle, an old Baroque castle in Bükkösd, Hungary

Commissioned by the Petrovszky family and Built by Maria Theresa’s personal architect back in the 18th Century, Bükkösd Castle is a beautifully preserved Baroque Chateau with an elegant façade that glows golden in the light.

Bükkösd Castle is now privately owned and visiting it is not always easy. If you’d like to check the place out, make an appointment with the owners and try your luck.

Location: The town of Bükkösd, just outside Pecs.

Address: Bükkösd, Kossuth Lajos u. 34, 7682 Hungary

Opening Hours and Entrance Fees: Irregular though possibly available by appointment

27. Biedermann Castle

Biederman Palace (or Biedermann Castle) gets its name from the Biedermann family of Vienna who bought the land around Mozsgó (and the old mansion that used to occupy the castle’s spot) in the mid-19th Century.

Photo of the fountain and exterior facade of the Biedermann Palace (University of Lodz), Lodz, Hungary
Biedermann Palace (University of Lodz), Lodz, Hungary

The building now visible was built in 1896 in beautiful Art Nouveau style and served as a sumptuous home for the wealthy bankers (and later barons) until it was nationalized by the state in 1945.

It now serves as a social care home, and its interior is not open to the public. That doesn’t mean you can’t marvel at its beautiful exterior and the beautiful gardens that surround it.

Declared a nature reserve by the Hungarian government, the crowing glory of the Biedermann Castle Park is the Lake of Ornaments, with its curved Japanese bridge leading to a central island.

Location: The town of Mozsgó near the Croatian border.

Address: Batthyány u. 7, 7932 Hungary

Opening Hours: The castle is no longer open to the public, although you can walk through its gardens.

28. Siklos Castle

Like many other castles in Central Europe, Siklos Castle has worn a lot of hats. At first, it was a key stronghold in Sigismund’s struggle with the Hungarian nobility, then a border fort held by the Turks for a century.

Aerial views of the Castle of Siklos in Baranya county, South Hungary
Castle of Siklos in Baranya county, South Hungary

An internment camp in World War Two, it’s now open to the public and part museum and part hotel (that’s also connected to a thermal spa). 

Among a range of exhibits on local history and the castle’s military heritage, you can see the niche where the famous aristocratic humanitarian Dorothy Kanizsai performed her daily prayers.

Siklos Castle can offer visitors a more macabre experience. For down below lies a set of dungeons (for commoners and nobles alike) and a torture chamber for guests who were less forthcoming.

Far less grim is the wine bar, which offers a large and interesting selection from across the local wine-growing region.

Location: In the town of Siklos, not far from the Croatian border.

Address: Siklós, Vajda János tér 8, 7800 Hungary

Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm most of the year, and til 6 pm in the summer.

Entrance Fees: Tickets are HUF 1900 for adults, HUF 1000 for students and pensioners, and HUF 700 for kids

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