Budapest Castle Hill Funicular
Budapest Castle Hill Funicular

Budapest Castle Hill Funicular – all you need to know about the topic

The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular commenced its operation on March 2, 1870, connecting the Danube bank with the Buda Castle District. It starts from Clark Ádám Square and goes up to the Turul statue. The journey is 101 meters long, with an elevation of 50.5 meters, which translates to a 30-degree incline. Each car can accommodate 24 passengers.


How do I get to the Funicular in Budapest?

To reach the Funicular Budapest, start by heading to the Buda side of the city. If you use the metro, take Line M2 (Red Line) to Batthyány Square or Line M1 (Yellow Line) to Vörösmarty Square. From there, you can walk to Clark Ádám Square, where the funicular station is located. Alternatively, take tram 2 to the Chain Bridge stop or bus 16 directly to Clark Ádám Square. If you’re on foot, cross the Széchenyi Chain Bridge from the Pest side, and you’ll find the funicular station at the base of Castle Hill. For those driving, parking is available nearby but can be limited, so public transport is advisable.

Where does the Budapest Funicular take you?

The Budapest Funicular takes you from the base of Castle Hill at Clark Ádám Square up to Buda Castle. This short yet scenic journey provides easy access to the historic Buda Castle complex, which includes attractions such as the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the National Széchényi Library. The ride offers beautiful views of the Danube River and the Pest side of the city, making it a popular choice for tourists visiting the castle and its surrounding areas.

Budapest Castle Hill Funicular tickets

Some years ago, it was possible to purchase first and second-class tickets for the funicular. Nowadays, only one type of ticket is available.

Ticket prices of the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular

  • Full price return ticket: 4,000 HUF
  • Reduced price return ticket: 2,000 HUF (children 3-14 years old)
  • Free admission: children under 3 years

Buda Castle Hill Funicular – what visitors get for the ticket?

The ride offers panoramic views of the Danube River, the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, and the city of Budapest. Since it has been operational since 1870, providing a historical context and charm. The visitors get a convenient, easy and quick access to Buda Castle, a key historical and cultural site. The incline ride gives a unique perspective of Budapest’s landscape, making it a memorable part of any visit to the city.

Buda Castle Funicular opening hours

Open every day from 08:00 – 22:00. It’s advisable to inquire in advance about the opening hours, as it often undergoes maintenance.

Maintenance occurs every odd week on Monday, except if it falls on a public holiday or celebration. In such cases, maintenance is performed on the first working day following the holiday, causing the funicular to be out of service for several days.

Online tickets are also available, saving time as there’s no need to queue at the location.

Is Budapest Funicular worth it?

The Budapest Funicular (also known as Funicular Budavári Sikló) is definitely worth experiencing for several reasons. It provides a scenic and unique mode of transportation to Buda Castle District, offering stunning panoramic views of the Danube River and the city. The historical significance of the funicular, operational since 1870, adds a nostalgic charm to the ride. It’s a quick and convenient way to reach the top of Castle Hill, saving visitors a steep uphill walk.

The funicular also offers an insight into Budapest’s transportation heritage. For families, children often find the ride particularly exciting. The journey is short but memorable, making it a popular choice among tourists. The convenience of frequent departures ensures minimal wait times. The views from the funicular are unmatched, especially during sunset or at night when the city lights up. Overall, the Budapest Funicular combines practicality with a delightful historical experience, making it a must-do activity in the city.

History of Buda Castle Hill Funicular

As you already know, the Buda Castle Funicular was built to provide an efficient and scenic means of transportation between the lower city and Buda Castle. It was constructed under the direction of Ödön Széchenyi, the son of István Széchenyi, a prominent Hungarian politician and reformer. The funicular opened on March 2, 1870, and was primarily aimed at improving accessibility for residents and visitors. Its establishment was part of broader efforts to modernize the city and enhance its infrastructure. The funicular quickly became a beloved feature of Budapest, blending utility with historical charm.

At the time of the funicular’s construction, there was a so-called “Pleasure House” operating on top of the Tunnel, likely demolished in the 1970s.

Tickets can only be purchased at the bottom station, and only return tickets are available. The return ticket system is due to the Funicular’s two cars, named Margit and Gellért, being connected in a pendulum-like manner, meaning they counterbalance each other. As one car descends, the other ascends.

Upon its launch in 1870, a 35-horsepower steam engine located at the lower station powered the vehicle. This engine essentially assisted the haulage, as the two cars pulled each other.

The Buda Castle Funicular was the second of its kind to be commissioned in the world, presenting a significant challenge to engineers. After its completion, it was tested continuously for several days, and the ropes were even cut to test the emergency brake.

The funicular has had only one accident in its operation, in 1896, attributed to unfortunate circumstances. Overloading occurred, the engineer’s shift ended, and he left the operation to the stoker, who braked too late, causing the cars to crash into the wall. The passengers only suffered minor injuries.

The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular was in a difficult position during the second world war

During the World War II bombings in 1945, the funicular was hit. The restored funicular resumed operation on June 3, 1986, now powered by electric motors. The 54-kilowatt electric motor is placed in the machine room below the upper station.

How to get up Castle Hill Budapest?

To get up Castle Hill in Budapest, you can take this historic funicular from Clark Ádám Square. Walking is another option, allowing you to explore the picturesque streets and pathways leading up to the castle. Alternatively, you can use the public bus, particularly bus number 16, which stops at the top of Castle Hill. For a more leisurely approach, taxis or rideshare services can take you directly to the castle entrance. Each method offers its own unique experience and views of Budapest.

Buda Castle cable car – technical details

The Budapest Castle Funicular, operates on a 95-meter track with a vertical rise of 51 meters and an incline of 48%. It features two carriages that travel simultaneously, counterbalancing each other. As we mentioned above, each carriage can accommodate 24 passengers, providing a short yet scenic ride. The funicular is powered by an electric motor and a counterweight system.

Fun fact

The original funicular carriages were made of wood and had an open design, while the current ones are enclosed for comfort and safety. The funicular was the second of its kind in Europe, showcasing advanced engineering for its time. It’s also featured in several films and television shows, adding to its cultural significance in Budapest.


How much is the funicular at Buda Castle Hill?
Full price return ticket: 4,000 HUF Reduced price return ticket: 2,000 HUF (children 3-14 years old) Free admission: children under 3 years
Where does the Budapest funicular take you?
It takes you from the base of Castle Hill near the Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Clark Ádám Square) up to the Buda Castle.
Budapest Funicular hours?
Open every day from 08:00 – 22:00.
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