The Buda Castle Funicular has been a link between the riverbank of the Danube and Buda Castle since 1870. The special railway runs on a 95-metre-long track surmounting a gradient of 50 metres while affording riders captivating views of the city below. The Funicular was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The Buda Hill Incline was inaugurated on 2 March 1870 with the purpose of providing easy access to the government offices and the Castle Theatre situated in the Castle District.
Count Ödön Széchenyi, the son of István Széchenyi who was one of the greatest Hungarian statesmen, initiated the construction of the second such railway in the world, based on the one in Lyon, France. The construction site for the steam-powered cable railway was defined by traffic conditions of the time: the abutment area of the Chain Bridge on the right bank of the Danube was a major traffic hub of omnibuses crossing the bridge, the Tunnel completed in 1857 and the terminuses of horse-drawn trams. The engineering plans of the funicular were prepared by Ödön Jaruszek.
At the lower terminal at Clark Ádám tér, a bigger, more impressive station hall was erected to house the engineering equipment including the steam engine. At the upper terminal, a simpler reception building was set up.
During the Second World War, a bomb struck the Buda Castle Funicular on 20 December 1944. After the war, it was dismantled rather than reconstructed, and it was not until 1986 that the line was rebuilt with technical solutions meeting the requirements of the time, such as an electric drive. Glass buildings evoking the past were constructed in harmony with the historical, architectural surroundings. The traction equipment including the driving pulley with a diameter of three metres were relocated to the upper station.
The passenger cars named Gellért and Margit have three-tiered cabins each with a capacity of 24 passengers, and they are run parallel to each other while ascending and descending. The safety of operation is ensured by spring brakes which will stop the vehicle in the unlikely event a cable should break.
The journey time between Clark Ádám tér and the Castle is 95 seconds.
Downtime during maintenance
- On Mondays of odd weeks, the Funicular is closed for maintenance, except when Monday falls on a public holiday, in which case maintenance is carried out on the first workday following the holiday.
- Please call this number for updates: +36 1 201 9128
How to reach the Funicular
- 1013 Budapest, District 1, Clark Ádám tér–Szent György tér
- The lower station of the Funicular is located at Clark Ádám tér, on the Buda side of the Chain Bridge, next to the Tunnel.
- The upper station is situated at Szent György tér, between Buda Castle and the Presidential Palace (Alexander Palace).
- The lower station is accessible by buses 16 and 105 as well as by trams 19 and 41, while the upper station can be approached by buses 16, 16A and 116.
Budapest Card Plus holders ride for free in both directions.
You will receive the Funicular ticket when buying your Budapest Card Plus at one of the following BudapestInfo Points:
- Deák Ferenc tér (1052 Budapest, Sütő utca 2.)
- Buda Castle, pavilon at Szentháromság tér (1014 Budapest, Tárnok utca 15.)
- Clark Ádám tér (next to the Funicular)
More information here.
Only tickets issued on site by BKV Zrt. purchasable at the dedicated ticket office are valid for travelling on the Buda Castle Funicular. The single ticket is valid for an uphill or downhill journey, while the return ticket is valid for a return trip; ticket validity is one year counting from the date of purchase. Other tickets or passes issued by BKK, travel certificates or other documents certifying the right for free travel do not apply to the Funicular.
Before your ride, you need to validate your ticket with the validating machine. The validated ticket is not transferable to any other person. Please keep the sales receipt for your ticket during your journey and then until you leave the station.
Refunds for tickets
Tickets are refunded only in the case of service disruptions or cancellation due to a technical breakdown, power cut or other external reasons, such as in the event the Presidential Palace Guard suspends passenger transport temporarily. In such cases BKV Zrt. will refund the full price of the ticket on the spot, if requested. The unused paper ticket along with the receipt must be handed over to the cashier.
Important rules to respect during your ride
- Passengers need to get off at both stations in all cases even if they have return tickets because of the specifics of the entry system and they need to join the queue to board again
- Staying on the platform is only allowed whilst boarding and exiting
- Government regulation on railways applies to the transportation of pets. Dogs require a full-price ticket and they must be clean and muzzled on a leash.
- Small children under the age of 3 travel free of charge, children from age 3 up to 14 (until the day prior to their 15th birthday) are entitled to a child ticket. Only max. two children under 3 per adult are allowed.
The following persons will be denied travel:
- unaccompanied child under age 6
- persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- persons who behave inappropriately or in an indecent way
- who wish to transport an object that does not qualify as hand-luggage
- who wish to board with ice cream, an opened bottle, can or cup of drink
During the ride, it is prohibited to:
- smoke, eat or drink in the cabin
- disturb others by noise or any activity
- throw garbage or any object from the passenger cabin
- damage the track or equipment.