Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest’s cutest sight!
The Fisherman’s Bastion is part of the Buda Castle. It’s the set of 7 fairytale towers and connecting walls topped with a viewing platform, that sit just behind the Matthias Church and offers great views Northeast over the Danube and Pest. It was built in 1899-1905 by architect Frigyes Schülek, in a style complementary to the neighbouring Matthias Church (where he also oversaw the restoration a few years before.) Its 7 turrets symbolise the original 7 tribes of Hungary. The bastion features a huge staircase, large window openings and is not actually defensible at all. These fanciful towers were built as a monument to the fishermen of the Danube. It stands on the site of a rampart that was during the middle ages, defended by the fisherman who lived in “watertown” below. There was also a fish market right here for a period.
How (when) to do the Fisherman’s Bastion
As one of the most iconic parts of the Buda Castle, and within easy reach of tourist coaches, it does get very overcrowded. In order to avoid the crowds, come early or late. At 8am, it would be just you and the pigeons, whereas by 9:30am, it is like grand central station. One has to pay to get up to the slightly better view from the upper platform (though the turnstiles are retracted and open during the night – another good reason to come before 9am or after 8pm) In the summer season, it can be nigh-on-impossible to shoulder your way onto the very small free viewing part of the bastion, as large tracts of it are taken up with a restaurant and various stalls selling Kürtős Kalács (funnel cake) and commemorative coins. Still, the view out over the Danube is great and it is easy to pick out the margaret Bridge with its ramp off to the island, and the Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain bridge, the great synagogue and so on.
Fisherman’s Bastion Info
Address: Hunyadi János út 31, Budapest, 1011 Map ref: 47.501810, 19.035374
Opening hours: Open all the time.
Cost: Adults: 700 HUF – turnstiles operate 9am-7pm march-April (8pm from May-October)
Best time to see it: 8am or after 8pm, but before sunset (it faces east, but has a large hill behind it)
Find this on: Absolute Walking Tour, Evening stroll, (Segway tour, Bike tour and evening bike tour)