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How to travel from Budapest to Visegrad Hungary and things to do in one day

Visegrád is a small castle town 40km north of Budapest, Hungary. The charming town is located on the right bank of the Danube in the Danube Bend and is the perfect spot for a day trip from Budapest.

An itinerary of a day trip to Visegrád Hungary includes a medieval citadel on top of a steep hill, Roman Empire ruins, a tower that is part of the Lower Castle, and a museum inside the Royal Palace.

And travelling from Budapest to Visegrad couldn’t be easier. The small town is connected by an efficient train network where it is possible to travel from Budapest to Visegrad within an hour.

If you are travelling solo in Budapest and want to explore the Hungarian countryside, then you’ll have to visit Visegrad. Keep reading and find out how to get there and what you can do in one day.

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What you need to know before travelling from Budapest to Visegrad Hungary

Before you start your journey from Budapest to Visegrad, take a look at some of these useful travel tips for your day trip:

  • The best day to visit Visegrád is either Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
  • It takes about 5 hours to complete this Visegrád itinerary. I recommend arriving in Visegrád no later than 10 am.
  • Install Maps.Me on your smartphone and download the map of Visegrád before your day trip if you want to see the detailed hiking map (because GoogleMaps doesn’t show it). But I included a screenshot of the Maps.Me area map so even if you don’t download the app, my post has all the info you need for a day trip to Visegrád.
  • Plan your solo day trip to Visegrád with the following festival:
    • International Palace Games of Visegrád (second weekend of July) – this 3-day annual event is the largest medieval festival in Hungary. See performances by participants from Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Serbia, Slovenia.

How to travel from Budapest to Visegrad

The easiest way and cheapest way to travel from Budapest to Visegrád is by taking the local train to Nagymaros-Visegrad and the local ferry to Visegrad.

Budapest to Nagymaros-Visegrad Train

At Budapest Nyugati Station, buy a ticket from a machine with cash or a credit card and find your train on the correct platform.

  • Local train: from Budapest Nyugati Station to Nagymaros-Visegrad Station
    • Time: 45 minutes 
    • Cost: 1120HUF 
    • Check: MAV website for train schedule

Nagymaros-Visegrad to Visegrad Ferry

Once you arrive at Nagymaros-Visegrad Station, walk towards the Danube for about 5 minutes. Look for a cafe/house next to the “ferry dock”. Buy a ferry ticket inside with cash or a credit card. The local ferry is timed with the train arrival; it leaves 15 minutes after your train arrives.

  • Local ferry: from Nagymaros-Visegrad to Visegrád

Map: What to do in Visegrad Hungary

Below are all the best highlights of Visegrád. Red pins are all the must-see attractions during your day trip to Visegrad while the blue pins are other things to do in Visegrad if you have more time.

And I organized all these attractions into an efficient itinerary. All you have to do is follow the numbered pins and read the description for each attraction.

Best things to do in Visegrad in one day

1. Visegrádi Fellegvár (Visegrad Citadel)

Visegrádi Fellegvár (Visegrad Citadel), also known as the Upper Castle, is a 13th-century castle on top of a 333m high hill. There is a small medieval exhibit inside the castle. But the highlight has to be the magnificant views of the Danube Bend.

There are two ways to get to the Citadel: take a taxi or hike 30-minute to the citadel.

I highly recommend hiking up to Visegrad Citadel. The trek is not long and not difficult at all.

To hike up the castle, walk on Rév utca from the ferry dock. Then the street turns into Mátyás király utca. Look for white and blue markers with the word “Fellegvar” (which means in the citadel) on the left.

GoogleMaps doesn’t show the hiking trail. But if you have the Visegrád map downloaded in your Maps.Me app on your smartphone, you can see a brown dotted line (hiking trail) on the green background (see screenshot below). Follow this trail.

Along the way, you will walk by Kálvária Kápolna (Calvary Chapel), a very small chapel. Then the trail becomes a bit more rugged and steep but still pretty easy.

Once you’re at the top, you’ll see the entrance for Visegrád Citadel. Pay for the entrance and walk all the way to the back to the terraces. This is where you can see the Danube Bend and a panoramic view of the countryside.

Walk up the set of staircase to the citadel. Then follow a set of passages and stairways inside the Upper Castle and you can see several exhibits including the displays of medieval weapons, figurines showcasing life in the Middle Ages, and much more.

Visegrad Citadel, or the Upper Castle, is the symbol of Visegrad.

Built in the 13th century, the Citadel was a residence to Charles I of Hungary. It held the famous meeting of 1335 when the rulers of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Czechia met and solidified their alliance. Then King Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, settled in the Citadel during his reign.

The fortified castle was destroyed, redesigned and reinforced several times by the 15th century. Today, you can see the restored castle and walk around the castle ground and see magnificant views of Visegrad, Hungarian countryside and the Danube Bend. The views are quite breathtaking!

Address: Panoráma u., Visegrád | Hours: 9am-6pm | Admission: 1800HUF (free on Hungarian National holidays)

2. Sibrik Hill

On the 176m high Sibrik Hill, there are remaining ruins that were part of an important fortress built during the Roman Empire in the 4th century.

Supposedly you can see the outline of a deltoid-shaped fortress. But when I visited, there wasn’t a whole lot to see. It looked like the area was being excavated. I saw some ruins, yellow tape for the excavation and the sword statue.

But this was certainly an important part of the history of Visegrád. It is worth checking out and seeing the Danube River.

When you descend the hill from Visegrad Citadel, walk north towards Sibrik Hill before seeing Solomon Tower.

Address: Salamontorony u., Visegrád | Hours: 24 hours

3. Solomon Tower (Lower Castle)

The Lower Castle refers to the fortification system that connects the Upper Castle with the Danube River. In its centre is Solomon Tower, a large residential hexagonal tower from the 13th century.

Today, the Tower houses exhibitions from the Matyas Kiraly Múzeum (King Matthias Museum). Learn about the history of Visegrad via the permanent exhibitions and see the fountains from the Royal Palace.

After visiting Sibrik Hill, follow the road and it will lead you directly to Solomon Tower. Then continue on the road downhill for the next attraction.

Address: Salamontorony u., Visegrád | Hours: 9am-5pm from May 1 to September 30 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays) | Admission: 700HUF

4 & 5. Visegrádi Királyi Palota (Royal Palace)

Visegrádi Királyi Palota (Royal Palace) was first built in the 14th century. Then King Matthias Corvinus had the palace reconstructed in a late Gothic style with Renaissance architectural elements. But then the palace fell into ruins after the Ottoman Turk’s siege.

The excavation of the palace complex began in 1934 and continues today. And part of the palace was transformed into Matyas Kiraly Múzeum (King Matthias Museum) where visitors can take a self-guided tour through complex palace ground.

The reconstructed royal palace is open to the public and it houses many types of exhibitions inside the palace complex.

In my opinion, the entrance fee was totally worth it. I was mesmerized by so many things inside including the Gothic cloister, the Hercules fountain by Giovanni Dalmata, medieval stoves, manicured gardens, the outdoor Gothic wall fountain and many fountains seen throughout the building.

Address: Fő u. 23, Visegrád | Hours: 9am-5pm (closed Mondays) | Admission: 1400HUF

6. Zugfozde Pálinkamúzeum (Zugfozde Pálinka Museum)

After a few hours of hiking and sightseeing in Visegrád, you deserve a break! Visit Zugfozde Pálinkamúzeum (Zugfozde Pálinka Museum) and learn about the history of the traditional fruit brandy in Hungary.

For an entrance fee of 1800HUF, you can visit the self-guided tour through the museum. And for 4900HUF, you can sample some delicious fruit brandy. The price includes two Palinkas, mineral water and a pretzel.

Address: Rév u. 1, Visegrád | Hours: 2-6pm (closed Mondays and Sundays) | Admission: 1800HUF

Take the ferry and train back to Budapest

The local ferry leaves Visegrad ferry dock at 6:30am then 8am and every hour until 8pm. The ticket office is in a small building close to the dock.

Visegrad to Nagymaros-Visegrad Ferry

  • Local ferry: from Visegrad to Nagymaros-Visegrad

Nagymaros-Visegrad to Budapest Train

  • Local train: from Nagymaros-Visegrad Station to Budapest Nyugati Station
    • Time: 45 minutes 
    • Cost: 1120HUF 
    • Check: MAV website for train schedule

Other things to do in Visegrad Hungary

Besides these attractions mentioned in this guide, there are other things to do in Visegrád if you spend more time in the area. Here are a few more suggestions (see blue pins on the map):

  1. Visegrádi Bobpálya (Visegrád Bobsled) (11am-4pm) – take a ride down the hill via a bobsled or alpine coaster in Visegrad Toboggan Park.
  2. Hike to Juliánus Kilátó (Janus Pannonius Lookout Tower) – if you have energy and time at the end of this itinerary, hike 90 minutes from Nagymaros-Visegrad Station to see a panoramic view of the Danube Bend.
  3. Organized day tour of Visegrád, Esztergom and Szentendre – combine all the best highlights from these charming towns via bus and/or boat cruise (available May to September)

Where to eat in Visegrad Hungary

Before my day trip to Visegrád, I only found a few places to eat in this small town. So I brought some snacks from Budapest instead.

However, if you want to eat in Visegrád, most people will dine in the popular Renaissance Restaurant because of its medieval vibe. Or at Palotaház which is a less expensive option. There are also other places to eat near the ferry dock.

  • Renaissance Restaurant – enjoy a medieval feast at this traditional restaurant in Visegrad.
  • Palotaház – try Hungarian dishes at this food court with an open kitchen.

Are you going to take a day trip to Visegrad from Budapest?

I hope so because it is an easy day trip from Budapest. The train ride from Budapest to Visegrad is simple and straightforward. And the local ferry is a fun short ride across the Danube.

Even if you enjoy travelling solo around Budapest, I highly recommend taking the day to explore other areas outside the city.

Let me know in the comments if you are following my Visegrád itinerary or have any suggestions to make it better.

Thank you for reading my Visegrad itinerary

You may also like these other Hungary solo travel posts:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

2 Comments

  • Dot
    August 24, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks Queenie, I found your blog while in Budapest and did this day trip today.

    Prices are all a bit higher now, for example the ferry is now 800HUF. The hike up to the castle was great, even on a 32 degree day (nice and shady with lots of trees). The trail is easy to follow with regular signs for “fellegvar” (castle) and the blue-and-white striped flag that indicates the trail to the castle. I would definitely recommend good walking or hiking shoes though as I saw a few people struggling in Converse and the like. The castle was fascinating and well worth the entrance fee.

    The palinka museum was quite small and all in Hungarian (although we were given a folder of information in English that partially matched the stations). We got one admission ticket and one tasting of 4 palinkas. It was a nice respite from the heat but I would say it can probably be skipped.

    Definitely glad I did this day trip though, and thanks for the comprehensive info!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      August 25, 2023 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Dot,
      Thanks so much for your comment! Oh it is more expensive to go now – wondering if that is a summer price (I went around October).
      I love and appreciate your feedback and comment. 🙂
      Hope you are enjoying your trip in Hungary!

      Reply

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