Your Guide to Visiting Royal Palace of Godollo, Hungary

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Royal Palace of Godollo is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Hungary and one of the easiest day trips from Budapest. Located only less than 30 km away from the capital and with frequent train connections, you can easily visit Godollo Palace, even on an afternoon trip, once you are tired of the hustle and bustle of Budapest.

That’s what I did, and I was enchanted with the place! I’m a huge fan of Sisi and Emperor Franz Joseph, so visiting the place where they spent so much time (especially Sisi) was such a great experience for me. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, there were not so many people around, and the whole place just felt right.

Now I can’t recommend enough visiting Royal Palace of Godollo. Read on to plan your perfect trip there!

Godollo Palace

A brief history of Godollo Palace

The Royal Palace of Godollo, also known as the Grassalkovich Castle, was built in the mid-18th century for Count Antal Grassalkovich I (hence the name of the place) and belonged to the family for around a hundred years. After Antal Grassalkovich III died without a male descendant in 1841, Godollo Palace had a few owners and served as a base for Hungarian revolutionary troops in 1849 or as a field hospital for wounded soldiers fighting in the Prussian-Austrian war.

That’s also when the famous Austrian Empress Sisi visited Godollo Palace for the first time and fell in love with the place. At first, due to the high costs of the war, the Habsburg dynasty didn’t decide to purchase the palace. Shortly after, when Austria-Hungary was created, Godollo Palace was bought by the Hungarian state and given as a gift to the new sovereign of the country.

The whole estate was renovated and redesigned to fully meet the expectations of the ruler and his wife. Godollo Royal Palace quickly became a favorite place of Sisi, who spent over two thousand days here, mostly in the spring and autumn. The town itself flourished in that time, too, and was a favorite summer destination for Budapest’s high society.

When Sisi died in 1898, Emperor Franz Joseph wasn’t such a frequent visitor to Godollo anymore. Once Hungary gained its independence in 1918, Godollo Royal Palace was under the administration of the Hungarian Ministry of Finance.

Between the wars, it was used as the residence for Regent Miklós Horthy, and during World War 2, it was briefly the seat of Wehrmacht – the Nazi German army. The Palace was also bombed but fortunately wasn’t badly damaged; however, it was plundered.

After the war, Godollo Royal Palace served as the old people’s home: beautifully decorated rooms were filled with iron beds, the fancy ballroom served as the TV room, and the orangery was a laundry room. Even if since 1951 the palace has a monument statute, it fell into decay.

Finally, in 1990 all the institutions moved out of the building, and the renovation process started. Since 1996, Godollo Palace is open to visitors and has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Hungary.

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

How to get to Godollo

Getting from Budapest to Godollo is very easy.

You can take the regional train from the Keleti station (easily reachable by metro lines 2-red and 4-green); they depart more or less every half an hour, the journey takes 25-40 minutes, depending on the connection, and the ticket costs 745 HUF. You will arrive at the main train station in Godollo, some 15 minutes walking from the Palace.

Alternatively, you can take the suburban train H8 from the Örs vezér the station, at the end of the red metro line 2. If you have a valid Budapest travel pass, you only need the extension ticket for outside of the city. The suburban train takes around 45 minutes to reach Godollo, but you will arrive at Szabadság tér station, just across the street from the palace.

Or you can visit Godollo on a guided tour from Budapest. This way, not only do you not need to worry about navigating public transport, but you will also learn more about the palace and its history. Here are some of the recommended Godollo tours:

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Visiting the Royal Palace of Godollo

The Royal Palace of Godollo is open all year long (except for 1st November and Christmas), from 10:00 to 17:00 or 18:00, depending on the season. The ticket office closes one hour before the closing time of the palace.

Currently, the ticket for the main exhibition (The Era of the Grassalkovich, Royal apartments, Queen Elisabeth memorial exhibition, and the 20th-century history of the palace) is 4200 HUF (around €11,25/$12,50) for a regular ticket. Additionally, you can also visit Baroque Theater and Riding Hall (ticket is 2200 HUF) and Horthy Bunker (2000 HUF). You can purchase the tickets in advance online at the website of the Godollo Palace (where you can also check the opening hours and other useful information) or in the palace – the ticket office is on the left side on the ground floor.

Godollo Palace

Godollo Royal Palace is one of the most popular attractions in Hungary and a perfect day trip from Budapest. Each year a few hundred thousand people visit the place, so if you decide to come here in the peak time (summertime, weekends, etc.), you can expect the palace to be a bit crowded. I visited it in June, on Sunday afternoon, shortly before closing time (I was one of the last people who bought tickets on that day), and it was fairly empty, perfect for exploring and checking every single item without too many people pushing around.

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

You need more or less one hour to see the Palace inside. The first seven rooms are dedicated to the Grassalkovich family and their social status. In this part of the tour, you can also peek into the beautifully decorated palace church.

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

The rest of the rooms are where Franz Joseph and Sisi stayed during their visits to the Godollo Palace, with the historical interior and artifacts from that time. When touring the Palace, you will also find the exhibition dedicated to Sisi. The most impressive room inside Godollo Palace is the stunning representative hall that still today is used for concerts, weddings, and other events.

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Once you are done with the interior of the Royal Palace of Godollo, be sure to wander around the pleasant and well-maintained park, too, and enjoy its relaxing vibe. This is such a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of busy Budapest. If you are lucky, you might even attend an open-air concert in front of the palace. There is also a coffee house if you want to grab a drink and something sweet to eat.

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Godollo Palace

Further reading

While the majority of tourists who visit Hungary focus on Budapest only, there are many more interesting places in the country. Recently I went for a few trips to see more of what Hungary has to offer and I was amazed!

Here are some of the articles you might want to read before planning your trip to Budapest and beyond:

If you are looking for articles about a specific destination – check out the map with all the articles I’ve published (and their locations).

Travel Resources

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Hungary

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Hungary here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.

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  • I’ve included a few handy links of services and products I personally like and use so you can plan your own trip to Hungary too. They are often affiliate links. This means I will get a small commission if you book/purchase anything through my links, at no extra costs for you. Thank you!


Godollo Palace

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  • Reply
    09/05/2023 at 19:47

    I visited Godollo palace during covid times. I expected it to have few visitors, but it was still crowded.
    I took an audio guide, but it was unnecessary – you have all informations on info boards.
    Loved the place and would like to go again.

    • Reply
      20/05/2023 at 17:20

      It really is such a lovely place, isn’t it?

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