All posts tagged Buda Castle New Year

Budapest Fishermans Bastion Night

The Fisherman’s Bastion in the Buda Castle Quarter is one of the few Budapest attractions that are open all year round, even on public holidays like New Year. You can also take night photos of the city celebrations from the Bastion. The even greater news is that it is free to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion from Oct 15 to March 15, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day too.

Fishermans Bastion at Xmas

Fisherman’s Bastion at Xmas – Ben G Hancock Photography

There will be a smaller Fireworks show in Budapest on the Pest side, which you can enjoy from the bastion terraces. You may also consider a beautiful winter dinner on the Budapest dinner cruise on the Danube, enjoying the same city sights from a boat. Or even better, book a whole night program on the Budapest New Year Cruise boats.

Both on Dec 31 and on Jan 1, the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya) viewing terraces are open all day and all night, from Monday to Sunday, which makes it one of the easiest attractions to fit in any Budapest itinerary, especially among your New Year Budapest break or among your Budapest Christmas things to do list. From the Bastion you can see the ship of the Budapest New Year’s Cruises passing by under the many historical bridges, past beautiful attractions.

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best lookout towers in Budapest. No doubt, this is the place to take a sweeping look at the UNESCO World Heritage site and the modest New Year’s Eve fireworks. Indeed, the NYE Fireworks are humbled by the big summer fireworks on August 20 (best seen from the Budapest Fireworks Cruise), which is sort of the birthday party of Hungary.

Budapest Fishermans Bastion Snow in Winter

Budapest Fisherman’s Bastion Snow – Philippe Clabots Photography

On Fisherman’s Bastion you can take fantastic panoramic photos to capture the December sights of the Pest side, the city with its Christmassy and New Year decorations and her “regular” beauties like the Hungarian Parliament, the Gresham Palace, the domes of the St Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge over the river Danube, the Great Market Hall of Budapest, etc.

On New Year’s Day, or even at Christmas, the Fisherman’s Bastion can seem slightly deserted, which is ideal for those who do not like crowds of tourists flocking around a beautiful sight.

Generally speaking, the Buda Castle hill is not a party place on NYE, but there are some restaurants in the Castle District (including a restaurant in the Fisherman’s Bastion), which will serve NYE dinner menus. Most parties are, however, taking place on the more eventful and exciting Pest side of BudaPest, there are also some clubs on the Obuda Island, etc. but typically the Buda Castle Quarter, including the Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya), is a calm place, and an excellent venue to take great Budapest riverfront photos from (just like the cruising boats on the river where going up to the upper decks or side balconies offers a captain feeling and viewpoint).

Budapest Winter

Budapest Winter – Marta Troicka Photography

If you look at the photo, you can imagine easily what the Fisherman’s Bastion look like: 7 turrets, several romantic arcades and ramparts. Not a real fortification, not a “boring” museum. It is an open air attraction, with some closed spaces and roofed balconies.

Buda Castle is one of the most visited attractions in Budapest. The question is if you can visit it during the New Year holidays, how are the opening hours in December, especially around Dec 31, and Jan 1, when several attractions are closed due to the Jan 1, New Year’s Day public holidays (please note that Dec 31 is not a public holiday in Hungary).

Buda Castle in winter snow

Buda Castle in winter – Neil Howard Photography

The good news is that the courtyards of the Buda Castle are always open. Regardless of what season, what time of the hour, or what holidays we are in. The courtyards are not closed off with a fence, so you can take a stroll along the building, visit its courtyards.

You can visit the Buda Castle courtyards free of charge, as only the entrance into the buildings is fee paying, namely the museums residing in the castle buildings:

Each of these museums in the Buda Castle on the Castle Hill has its own independent opening times.

What to do in the Buda Castle?

You can take lots of beautiful photos from the Buda Castle (Budapest panorama photos), and within the walls of the Buda Palace too, e.g. great pictures of the beautiful 19th century romantic statues (our favorite is the Matthias Well, Matyas kutja, a fantastic statue composition with King Matthias chasing a beautiful girl called Ilonka), or the Castle lions on the Lions’ Courtyard, the statue of Eugene Savoya on the Savoya Terrace, the Hunyadi Courtyard with its characteristic Hungarian wrangler statue, etc.

Fireworks in the Buda Castle Budapest?

Buda Castle Opening Hours at Night Budapest

Buda Castle – Rachel Patterson Photography

Unfortunately there are no official New Year city fireworks on Dec 31 / Jan 1 in Budapest, Hungary. Of course, there are several smaller fireworks, typically along the river Danube, which may be observed from the Buda Castle, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. But these fireworks are not so spectacular. The best Hungarian Fireworks show is in summer time in Budapest, on August 20, when we locals celebrate the birth of the Hungarian state, the first Hungarian king (St Stephen, aka Istvan I) and the new bread.

That said, there are lots of nice sights in the city to make it really festive any time in the year: the Buda Castle and the river Danube sights around it are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and are breathtakingly beautiful in their night illuminations.

You can find the New Year opening times of the major Buda Castle institutes here:

National Gallery New Year Budapest (Magyar Nemzeti Galeria) – closed on Mondays and bank holidays

Budapest History Museum (Budapesti Torteneti Muzeum) – closed on Mondays and bank holidays

Szechenyi National Library New Year Budapest  (Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar) – closed on bank holidays

To get an idea of how the inner courts and buildings are arranged in the Buda Castle take a look at this simplified map of the Buda Royal Palace (green lawns, rectangular buildings and sand colored courts):

Buda Castle Courtyards

Buda Castle Courtyards