The Buda Castle Garden Bazaar may suggest a collection of shops or some kind of market of the Royal Palace, but it has never been one, only in its name. In fact, the Bazaar could be more properly called a Cultural Palace with an Ornamental Garden south of the Buda Castle, covering the slopes and offering a beautiful entrance to the royal complex from the riverbank by the Danube.
Highlights of the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar (Varkert Bazaar)
The most remarkable features of the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar are worth a visit, such as the Neo-Renaissance architectural complex, which serves as an extension of the Buda Castle Royal Palace, and the fascinating historical stairways leading up to the Buda Castle level of the Buda Hills (similarly to a dozen other stairways on the slopes of the Buda Castle Hill).
Most importantly, the Bazaar (Ornamental Garden) offers an alternative way to approach the Buda Castle on the hilltop: you can walk on a long stairways, you can take the escalators (any season), or you can use the lift (wheelchair accessible, senior and baby friendly lift connecting the riverside level with the hilltop level of the Buda Castle). The other popular ways are the Funicular, or hopping on/ squeezing in the public buses like bus number 16 or the Castle minibus.
Easter and Christmas markets – as part of the citywide events at Easter and Christmas in Budapest, you can often find upcoming events for entertainment at the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar.
History of the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar
The garden and its buildings were built in the late 19th century (1875 – 1883) based on the plans of one of Hungary’s leading architects Miklos Ybl. Yb also designed other top Budapest attractions like the Renaissance Revival features of the originally Classicist St Stephen’s Basilica, the Corvinus University along the river Danube (right next to the Budapest Great Market Hall), the Hungarian Opera House on Andrassy Avenue, and a dozen more palaces all over Budapest.
Between WW2 and the 1980s the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar was turned into a youth centre called the Youth Park to offer a controlled and decent entertainment venue for the youth of Hungary, who were to be raised with Communist values (but the youth decided otherwise, especially in 1968 in the year of the Prague Spring).
Until 1984 the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar functioned as an open air disco and concert venue, a hallmark of the communist era.
Today it is more like an art venue for exhibitions, concerts, dance shows, guided tours, film screenings in its cinema, as well as featuring a lovely flower garden and park suitable for proposals and weddings.
Location of the Buda Castle Garden Bazaar
The Buda Castle Garden Bazaar is located south of the Chain Bridge and Clark Adam Square by the Tunnel (north of the white modern Elizabeth Bridge). This beautiful complex is closest to the Southern Roundel and Mace Tower of the Buda Castle and its intricate fortification.
You can access the Bazaar on foot, walking down from the Buda Castle and its museums, or take a walk there from Lanchid Street which is one of the featured promenades near the river Danube in Budapest on the Buda side.
The Bazaar is closest to Budapest 19 Lanchid Design Hotel and Hotel Victoria by the river Danube, just a few minutes walk.