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Six amazing castles in Hungary that you have to see

Brunswick CastleMartonvásárGreater Budapest

Autumn is a time for long excursions. It is best time to do things that allow you to enjoy both the beauty of nature and cultural activities. Luckily, Hungary's castles and their fabulous surroundings have plenty to offer. Explore the amazing buildings of the Hungarian countryside.

1. The jewel of Lake Balaton – Festetics Palace in Keszthely

No matter what time of year you visit Lake Balaton, Keszthely, on the western shore of the lake and its fabulous palace, are a must-see. The construction of the Baroque building was started by Kristóf Festetics in 1745 and completed in 1880. The palace has 101 rooms, as well as the largest surviving aristocratic library in Europe. The palace takes you on a journey through time with six permanent exhibitions, a hunting exhibition, a carriage museum and 42 hectares of parkland. 

2. Queen Sisi's favourite place, the Royal Palace of Gödöllő

The gem of Gödöllő, located just 25 kilometres outside Budapest, former home of the Grassalkovich family, is Hungary's largest Baroque palace. But it's not just the size that makes this historic building worth visiting. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, you should also visit the Riding Hall, the Baroque theatre, the palace's fabulous park or even Horthy’s Bunker, which recalls dark times.

3. The world famous Botaniq Castle of Tura

The Botaniq Castle of Tura, which received the Best European Castle Hotel 2021 award at the International Travel Awards programme, offers a wild setting yet is close to the capital. This five-star luxury hotel was built in 1883 by Zsigmond Schossberger in the neo-Renaissance style, modelled on Halton House in England. The castle's restaurant is open to the public, and it's certainly worth staying in this very special gem of a building as well.

4. The story of Beethoven is preserved in Brunszvik Castle

The Neoclassical Brunszvik Castle, only a 30-minute drive from Budapest in the heart of Martonvásár, is a captivating beauty that blends in splendidly with the landscape. The building was completed in the 1870s, with the addition of a 70-hectare English garden incorporating a pond and a small island. Beethoven was a frequent visitor to the castle during the time of the Brunszvik family, so the museum housed in the building is dedicated to him.

5. Discovering world-famous composers: the Esterházy Castle in Fertőd

Visiting the area around Lake Fertő and touring the Baroque-Rococo Esterházy Castle is the perfect autumn activity. The building, completed in 1766, was considered the most popular cultural centre of the time, with visitors including Haydn. The west wing of the castle, which is being renovated as part of the National Palace Programme, is open to visitors, but you can also stop by the Esterházy Café and try the famous Eszterházy cake.

6. Visiting aristocracy: the Wenckheim Palace

The surroundings and wildlife of the Körös-Maros National Park in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain are worth the trip alone, but the natural surroundings and the array of unique buildings also offer a fantastic experience. One of these is the Wenckheim Palace in Szabadkígyós, which has a special symbolism behind its design with its 365 windows, 52 rooms and 4 entrances. Built between 1875-79, the palace was designed by Miklós Ybl in a neo-Renaissance eclectic style. Its 23-hectare English garden is a place of magical peace, where it is easy to recharge your batteries after a tiring day.