Overlooking a bend in the Danube River, Visegrad is a historic castle town north of Budapest. It dates from at least the 11th century, although its position was changed slightly when it was rebuilt following the 1242 Mongol invasion. Today, Visegrad is renowned for its medieval citadel and Italian Renaissance-inspired summer palace.
Things to do in Visegrád
Watching over the town is the Visegrad Citadel, a 13th-century stronghold offering magnificent views across the Danube River. It was here that the chambermaid to Queen Elisabeth of Luxembourg stole the Holy Crown, with the intention of enthroning the queen’s infant son, László. Each summer, the Visegrad Citadel hosts the Visegrad International Palace Games featuring medieval-inspired archery, falconry and wrestling.
Be sure to explore the Museum of Matthias Rex, a former royal palace with opulent suites and beautifully restored halls. In the late 15th century, it was reconstructed in a Gothic style by Matthias Corvinus while incorporating Italian Renaissance architectural elements. Archaeological findings from the surrounding region are on display, together with artefacts illustrating Visegrad’s fascinating past.
If you’re visiting in the winter months, head to the Nagyvillam Ski Resort, which boasts several slopes for skiing and snowboarding. With a maximum elevation of just 377 metres, the ski resort is ideal for beginners and children. Alternatively, you can fly down the winter track of the Visegrad Toboggan Park, which also has a bobsled trail that is accessible outside of the snow season.
Getting around Visegrád
Visegrad is just under an hour’s drive from Budapest and 1.5 hours from Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. Buses travel from the Hungarian capital to Visegrad and ferries connect to destinations along the Danube River. The centre of Visegrad is compact enough to explore on foot.