Boldogko Castle – Monumental Stronghold with a breathtaking View

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What we talk about in this article

Boldogko Castle in Boldogkőváralja is located in the far east of the Hungarian countryside, not too far from Slovakia in fact.

For us, it was quite a drive to get there. But it was so worth the long drive! This place is very impressive. 

When we finally reach the village, we couldn’t be more happy with the stunning views of this stronghold that has been dropped on the top of a hill in an otherwise flat landscape.

So, we took a few pictures and collected some information about visiting this gem in Eastern Hungary. Follow us on our mission to discover all the castles of Hungary!

Boldogko Castle Hungary
Boldogko Castle

The history of Boldogko Castle

Boldogkő Castle holds a rich history filled with intriguing tales.

Boldogkő Castle, located on an oval-shaped andesite tuff hilltop above the village of Boldogkőváralja, boasts an irregular floor plan with an inner tower that rises majestically in a north-south direction. Its history is intricate and somewhat challenging to trace according to surviving records. While the exact date of its construction remains unknown, it is believed to have been built after the Mongol invasion to safeguard the Kassa (Kosice – Slovakia) road and the valley of the Hernád river.

The castle is first mentioned in a document from around 1295 as “Castrum Boldua”. detailing an exchange of castles involving the ispán of Boldua, now known as Boldogkő. The castle played a significant role in medieval trade routes and defense strategies.

In 1560, György Bebek exchanged the castle with Sárközy Mihály for the captured Turkish leader, Ahmet Pasha. The Sárközy family later sold Boldogkő to the Serényi family before it was officially confirmed by Emperor Rudolf II in 1578. During this period, notable figures of the Hungarian Reformation, such as Dévai Bíró Mátyás, also resided in Boldogkő Castle.

King Bela referred to the castle as Happy Stone after a wedding: “Henceforth let it be called Boldogkő, since out of the seven beautiful maidens, here were the happiest seven!”

What’s so special about Boldogko Castle

This castle, which is more of a fortress, has been built on top of a rock. The only rock in its wide surroundings, it seems. The rock is longer than wide, which results in a long but narrow castle.

One of the ends of the rock hosts a viewpoint that can be reached by a wooden walkway and it recalls memories of the Great Wall of China to us. This walkway and viewpoint offer the best views of the surrounding landscape and it’s a great place for interesting and stunning pictures.

Photographs of this viewpoint are the reason why we wanted to visit this castle so badly, aside from the fact that we were on a quest to visit some of the most stunning castles in Hungary!

Because of the scenic views at the site, it’s a popular location for wedding photography.

Boldogko Castle
Boldogko Castle

How to visit and what to expect?

The visit of the castle is quite impressive. We loved the fact that there weren’t too many other visitors, compared to the castles in Budapest, Viségrad, or other popular tourist destinations. This way, we had most of the castle grounds to ourselves, which enhanced the visit a lot.

We’re not going to delve to deep into the different areas and things to see inside the castle, as we recommend walking around there for yourself. 

For us, the highlights were the large museum in the main castle, which has a few cool medieval attributes. And then, of course, the magnificent view over the ridge. For this place and for the pictures you end up getting, timing is essential!

Boldogko Castle - Monumental Stronghold with a breathtaking View
Boldogko Castle Inside

Practical information for your visit

As we already mentioned, the castle is located in the far East of Hungary, on the road to Kassa / Kosice in Slovakia. During a roadtrip through Hungary, this place could best be visited from a city like Eger, Miskolc, or maybe Debrecen

Or alternatively, you could visit if you want to continue North to Slovakia or Krakow after visiting Hungary.

Boldogko Castle - Monumental Stronghold with a breathtaking View
Boldogko Castle Inside

Getting there: by car

As a foreign traveler, I’d say that getting to Boldogko Castle by car is the only way to visit the Castle. There might be buses that serve this village, but if you don’t speak Hungarian (and even if you do) it will be a long travel day.

The Castle is located at 230 kilometers from Budapest and 55 kilometers from Miskolc. From Budapest, you can drive on toll highways all the way to Miskolc and from Miskolc, you’ll be driving on slower roads until you reach it.

GPS Address:  3885 Boldogkőváralja

The location doesn’t actually have a street name, but no worries: you can’t miss it once you reach the town.

Getting in

The castle has a fairly large parking area, which is free to use, so you can leave you car in the parking lot. Then, make you way to the entrance.

As for opening hours and entrance fee, we will link up the official castle website, as prices may change and opening hours may vary during the year.

Evening view of the flatlands surrounding Boldogko
Evening view of the flatlands surrounding Boldogko

Where to spend the night

We recommend visiting Boldogko Castle in the afternoon. This way, you can get the best shots of the unique features of the castle. But, this also means that sun might be setting by the time you’re finished. Driving all the way back to Budapest will not be the best option. 

We recommend spending the night in one of the cities or villages nearby. 

For instance, drive to the Hunguest Palota Castle Hotel in Lillafüred and spend a day in Lillafüred the next day. Or maybe, you want to get a bit of relax time in one of these spa hotels in Miskolctapolca

Spending a day in the city of Eger is also a great idea, while spending the night in a boutique hotel of wellness hotel in Eger

Rather visit a large, metropolitan city in Hungary? Then consider a few days in Debrecen, which also has nice boutique hotels.

More than enough options for spending the night in the area, right?

Map of the area

Short video about Boldogko Castle

Conclusion - Visit the impressive Boldogko Castle in Eastern Hungary

We had an amazing time visiting Boldogko Castle. Even tough is was a long drive to get there, I still remember the impressive views and the majestic feeling of just standing there, watching over the plains. So yes, we do recommend going to this fabulous castle. 

In the same timespan, we had also visited Visegrad Castle at the Danube, Bory Castle in Szekesfehervar, and the castles and highlights in Budapest. Boldogko was vastly different due to the fact that it was not touristy at all.

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Boldogko Castle - Monumental Stronghold with a breathtaking View
Boldogko Castle - Monumental Stronghold with a breathtaking View
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