Magyar Magyar

The gem of the capital: Várkert Bazár

Várkert BazárBudapest Greater Budapest

When you see it from the other side of the Danube, you might wonder what it is, and you would be right to wonder! Come across one of the bridges to Buda and discover this amazing, sprawling site for yourself. 

Várkert Bazár, which is a World Heritage Site, is a Neo-Renaissance garden built on the side of the Castle Hill when the area and the nearby Danube embankment were being redesigned. Works were carried out between 1875 and 1883 based on plans by Miklós Ybl, one of Hungary’s greatest architects. At that time there was a beautiful ornamental garden, a gloriette, ornamental fountains, grottoes and the houses of the royal bodyguard. Much later, between 1961 and 1984, young socialists partied there in the popular club called Youth Park. By 1996 the condition of the complex had deteriorated so much that it was considered one of the world's 100 most endangered monuments, although it was only renovated in 2014. 

A romantic selfie spot

Today, this Neo-Renaissance space is a iconic aspect of the renewed Buda Castle District. You can experience the harmony of past and present, art and nature, classical and contemporary style all year round. The garden is an unmissable place for a romantic walk or a selfie, and it’s also worth checking out the cool restaurants and shops nearby. Diverse events are held here regularly to entertain visitors, both inside and outside. These include outdoor and club concerts, special literary evenings, family events, the magic of dance, art cinemas, exhibitions, interesting discussions and thematic days. 

Look for the wonder in green!

In the central part of the building complex, which you can approach via a lovely ramp lined with plants, a wonderful structure will greet you: a Gloriette decorated with four female statues. The ladies, which are carved from Sóskút limestone, were created by sculptor Adolf Huszár. They were damaged in World War II, but they have been restored to their former glory, and once again look down on passers-by with a friendly smile. 


Interestingly, the ceilings of the Gloriette and two of the Várkert Bazár’s pavilions are covered with majolica tiles, which is a type of ceramic coated with white glaze after firing and decorated with colourful paint. Miklós Ybl, who designed the Várkert Bazár, was the first Hungarian architect to use majolica-glazed ceramics to decorate the exteriors of buildings.


Over time, as the bonds weakened, the majolica tiles on the pavilion vaults started falling off. During the reconstruction of the building complex, the majolica cassettes were recreated, and in a lucky coincidence, original majolica ceramic tiles were also found in a pit, so these were also used. Would you like to know which parts are original and which are modern reproductions? You can find it out in the guided programme titled Buda Castle Walks, gem of the capital.

Uniquely rich flora

The Neo-Renaissance garden was the jewel of the royal gardens on Castle Hill. 2,440 plant species were once grown in the Castle Garden, and during the reconstruction attempts were made to restore the uniquely rich flora of the park. In addition to the carefully selected saplings, special varieties of roses and creeping plants were planted, which will completely cover the supporting walls of the ramp and the pergolas in a few years.


Tip: You can easily get up to the Buda Castle with the escalator starting from Várkert Bazár.