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Citadella setany 1, Gellerthegy, Budapest, 1118

The basics

Originally built by the Austrians in the 1850s, and later occupied by both the Nazis and Communists, the Citadella was an important military outpost for the same reason people visit today—fantastic views. You can find dozens of canon placements, Communist-era statues, and the Soviet-Realism Liberty Statue—erected to celebrate Russia's victory over Nazi forces.

Visit this free Budapest attraction on a guided tour, a hop-on hop-off tour, and even a tuk-tuk tour. Segway tours and bike tours are also a great choice if the weather's pleasant. Beyond the Citadel's ramparts, you can admire views of Castle Hill, the bridges across the Danube, and spot landmarks including St. Stephen's Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament.

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Things to know before you go

  • Pack water and a snack, since vendors here can be pricey.
  • Wear comfy shoes if you're planning to hike; it's a brisk, uphill walk.
  • Travelers report that the Citadel may not be wheelchair-accessible.
  • Paid restrooms are available.
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How to get there

The Citadella is located up the hillside from Gellért Square. It's about a 15-minute stroll up a paved walkway, and a few flights of stone steps, to the top. If you prefer to avoid the hike, make it easy on yourself and take the bus. The #27 bus runs from Moricz Zsigmond Tér—accessible via the M4 metro line—and drops off at the Búsuló Juhász, a short walk from the Citadella.

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When to get there

Few locations in Budapest top the views from the Citadella at sunset. This destination is open day and night, and the museum is closed on Mondays. You can expect more crowds over the peak summer months. Plan to arrive earlier in the day—or in the evening—to avoid the midday rush in June, July, and August.

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What to See on Gellért Hill

Beyond the Citadella, there are several Gellért Hill sights that are worth adding to your itinerary. At the foot of the hill, just steps from Gellért Square, you can visit the uniquely-styled Cave Church (Sziklatemplom), go for a soak at the Gellért Thermal Bath, and admire the St. Gellért Monument across from the Elizabeth Bridge. Then, after your hillside stroll, stop by the Garden of Philosophers for a moment of quiet contemplation.

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