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).
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?
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):