The Funicular Railway in Budapest is a 19th century nostalgia cable car on the side of the Buda Castle Hill, which will take you from the Chain Bridge up to the top of the Castle Hill, right next the Royal Palace and the Hungarian Presidential Palace in the Buda Castle District. The Funicular runs almost every day, see details about the timetable below.
The terminal of the Funicular Railway is on Adam Clark Square, near the Tunnel under the Castle Hill, at the foot of the Chain Bridge on the Buda side.
Up the hill the terminal is between the Royal Palace and the Alexander Presidential Palace, where the ceremonial Changing of the Guards in the Buda Castle takes place.
For many tourists it is a fun way to get to the top of the Castle Hill, and take some great panoramic photos of the Pest side of Budapest.
For others it only recalls the memory of having to stand in a long queue to buy the cable car ticket, and get in a historical funicular, which is too short to enjoy.
Admittedly, there are many people waiting for the cables, and it takes some time to get in. If it’s hot, and the queues are too long, don’t stress yourself for the Funicular cable car, you will only feel let down as the ride up is truly short.
Instead, take a leisurely 10 minute walk up to the Castle Hill (average condition needed, as the hill is not too high), or take bus number 16, which will take you to Disz square in the Castle district.
The nearest bus stop is on the other side of the Tunnel, so you only need to cross the zebra by the Funicular Railway to get on the bus. Bus tickets has to be validated.
Opening hours Funicular Budapest
The opening times of the Budapest Funicular are very tourist friendly, except on a few Mondays when the Funicular is being maintained.
Mon-Sun 7:30am – 10pm. Note: the cable car is closed every second Monday on uneven weeks of the year for maintenance (except for public holidays, when maintenance is re-scheduled so people can enjoy the fun ride). The timetable of the Funicular Railway is not fixed, there is a car running every 5-10 minutes.
Ticket Prices on Budapest Funicular
Please note that the Budapest travel pass and the Budapest Tourist Cards (Budapest Cards) are not valid on the Funicular. This is the only exception regarding public vehicles in the city’s transportation system.
Adult tickets on the Funicular
- Single Tickets for Adults: HUF 1,000 (approx. 3.5 Euros / Person)
- Return Tickets for Adults: HUF 1,700 (approx. 6 Euros / Person)
Children and Teen Tickets on the Funicular (see more about Budapest for Kids)
- Single Tickets for Kids (3-14): HUF 600 (approx. 2.5 Euros / Person)
- Return Tickets for Kids: HUF 1,100 (approx. 5 Euros / Person)
- Kids under 3: Free ride with toddlers and babies!
Note: the Funicular cable car tickets are not included in Budapest travel passes and Budapest Cards. Unfortunately, there are currently no online tickets sold by the Budapest Public Transportation company (BKV). Check the current prices on the official Siklo info page of BKV.
History of the Funicular Railway
In the 1870s Budapest was a dynamically developing cosmopolitan city in Europe. When the first permanent bridge, Chain Bridge in ‘Budapest was built, there was a need to connect transportation from the bridge to the Royal Palace atop the Buda Castle Hill.
The Funicular Railway (Budavari Siklo) solved the problem of how one can get from the newly built bridge (Lanchid, 1849)easily and conveniently to the top of the Castle Hill, into the Castle District.
At that time Buda and Pest were separate towns, so the construction of the Chain Bridge and the Funicular contributed a lot to uniting the towns of Buda and Pest (and Obuda / Old Buda).
As Buda and Pest became more and more industrialized, more recent technologies have been adopted in the developing city (united in 1873).
The Budavari Siklo cable car was launched in 1870. “This funicular rail was the second in Europe, only Lyon had a similar transportation system at that time.”
Likewise, Budapest had the first underground on continental Europe (following London). Not bad from a city in Eastern Europe, right?
Take a virtual ride on the quirky cable car of Budapest, the Budavari Siklo now. Check out this lovely video of the Funicular Railway. Of course, the real fun is to face the river Danube and its many riverside attractions while travelling in the Funicular! :)