A huge dolomite rock rising up from Hotel Gellért at its base marks one of the earliest inhabited parts of Budapest. The citadel atop the hill was built by the Austrians in the mid-1800s to better control the unruly Hungarians after squashing the revolution (it was later used by German SS troops in World War II). Other monuments dot the verdant landscape atop the hill, which is now surrounded by posh residences. The walk up from the hotel is steep but worth it for the view once on high.
By Kimberly Bradley , AFAR Local Expert
A Bird's Eye View
While visiting friends and Budapest locals, I was taken to Gellért Hill, just past the citadel fortress to overlook Budapest, the Danube, and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. You can sit and admire this incredible view on one of the perfectly positioned benches, or use it as a backdrop for a fabulous photo op. Nearby you will also find Budapest's "Freedom Statue," which is worth a visit. On the way to the top of the hill, we passed a series of souvenir stalls that offered more than your typical, As-Seen-In-Every-Major-City-Souvenir-Shop souvenirs, which is always refreshing. There is an area to park, but to get to this spot and the Freedom Statue, it is a little bit of an uphill walk. If you're planning a trip to Budapest, don't forget Gellért Hill!
A Beacon in Budapest
You can find an amazing citadel perched on the southern most hill of Budapest. I suggest starting at the bottom of the hill near the Gellért Hotel and Spa. From there you simply follow the trails and stairs that take you up toward the Citadel. If you stay to the right you will come across a few different outcroppings perfect for panoramic shots of the city as well as a church that is built into the side of the hill and carved out of stone.
Best Sunset Views in Budapest
For a gorgeous view of Pest and Budapest's famous Chain Bridge, I recommend hiking up to the Gellert Hill Citadel in the evening to enjoy a spectacular sky slide towards evening over the Danube. Pack a bottle of wine and a blanket, and relax for a couple of hours as the sky goes from dusk to dark in the most spectacular fashion!