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10 best hikes near Budapest

Writers

  • Gretchen Kessler

  • Annamária Jász

12/23/2020 3:47 PM

It’s been a long year for everyone but with the holidays approaching, a little outdoor adventure always helps you recharge at a safe distance. There are loads of great hiking excursions easily accessible from town by public transport – here are ten of our favourites:

Photo: Hirling Bálint - We Love Budapest

Róka-hegy

1/10

Robust, yellowish cliffs and rocky towers carved from Dachstein limestone provide a refreshingly colourful sight in the middle of winter grey. This former quarry was the largest of its kind in Budapest until the 1930s and ‘40s – now, it looks like the Grand Canyon in miniature. On a signposted nature trail, you can learn about the rare animal and plant species that live here, despite the artificial circumstances of existing in an old quarry. The mountain is full of interesting cavities, ravines, and overhanging rock walls, so put on your best hiking boots!

How to get there: Szentendre HÉV to Csillaghegy, then walk up Ürömi út.

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Remete-szurdok

2/10

The Hermit’s gorge is nestled between Máriaremete and Remeteszőlős, in a thickly-forested valley which eventually winds its way to the Danube at Elizabeth Bridge. The path is well-lit and well-maintained, so that even a stroller or bike can move with ease. The cave is named after a hermit who made the area his home following the dissolution of Pauline Order. At the end of the trail, you find the little settlement of Remeteszőlős, and it’s well worth walking a little further to the red Poetry Phone set up in 2013, which recites verses when you pick up the receiver. Continue further still, and eventually you reach the Church of the Assumption.

How to get there: Bus 57 from Hűvösvölgy or bus 63 from Remeteszőlős.

Photo: Hartyányi Norbert - We Love Budapest

Kamaraerdő

3/10

This 200-hectare forest is one of the largest in Budapest, and in the spring or summer it’s easy to spend a whole day here, exploring the four-kilometre nature trail, spreading out a picnic blanket or scrambling up 224-metre-high Vadász Hill for a spectacular view. The forest gained its name in 1847, derived from the German Kammerwald, and for many centuries it used to be the forest estate of the Royal Chamber – and the city of Buda.

How to get there: tram 41 from Batthyány tér/Móricz Zsigmond körtér or bus 87/187 from M4 Kelenföld.

Photo: Hartyányi Norbert - We Love Budapest

Kis- and Nagy-Hárshegy

4/10

A perennial favourite, Kis- and Nagy-Hárshegy have not one, but two spectacular lookout towers to climb, as well as a running track and nature trail. The 362-metre-high Makovecz Lookout Tower is a memorial to Imre Makovecz, the award-winning Hungarian architect. A path diverges here to take you to the Kaán Károly Lookout Tower, located on Nagy Hárs Hill. At the setting-off point of Szépjuhászné, look out for the ruins of the Pauline monastery in Budaszentlőrinc.

How to get there: with the Children's Railway currently not running, take bus 22, 22A or 222 from Széll Kálmán tér.

Photo: Mudra László - We Love Budapest

Ördög-orom

5/10

This rock formation in District XII, located between Farkas Valley and Irhás árok, is one of the oldest protected habitats in Budapest – some areas have been designated for nearly 40 years. Signs provide details of the local wildlife of the area. It is worth tackling the steep path, supported by barriers in some places, because the view from the top is stunning: Széchenyi Hill, Gellért Hill, Sas Hill and Tétényi Plateau, as well as the houses and villas of the surrounding hillsides.

How to get there: tram 59 to the terminus at Márton Áron tér or bus 8E to Eper utca.

Photo: Jász Annamária - We Love Budapest

Fazekas-hegy

6/10

Not only is the nature and scenery here lovely, but the real treasure is the World War II bunker which can be freely explored. The area is an old shooting range, and has a panoramic view of Remetekertváros and Hárs Hill. A blue triangle marker will lead you to the bunker.

How to get there: From the tram terminus at Hűvösvölgy, set out at the blue/yellow sign and then enter the forest at the yellow sign.

Photo: Jász Annamária - We Love Budapest

Apáthy Rock

7/10

The 376-metre-high cliff attached to Látó Hill is a romantic viewpoint, and its smooth pathway means that you can even reach it with a stroller. But hikers shouldn't just stop at the view: a serene yet exciting trail leads through the forest along the path marked with a green sign, and a study trail winds its way towards the spectacular rock formations known as Kőkapu.

How to get there: bus 11 to the Nagybányai út terminus or alight at Nagyhíd on tram 56/61 then walk up Pasaréti út – Battai út – Battai lépcső – Csalán út – Nagybányai lépcső.

Photo: Hirling Bálint - We Love Budapest

Árpád Lookout Tower

8/10

On the other side of Nagybányai út, the easy hiking trail leading to the Árpád Lookout Tower begins. The bridges of Budapest can all be seen from here, as well as Gellért Hill, Rózsadomb and a part of Bel-Buda. The lookout tower was built in 1929, and it’s still an incredible view, although some of the taller foliage has already grown enough that it obscures part of the panorama. From here, you can approach Lion’s Rock, or hike up to the top of Újlaki Hill for another beautiful view.

How to get there: bus 11 to the Nagybányai út terminus or bus 65/65A from Kolosy tér in Óbuda to Fenyőgyöngye. 

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

Hármashatár-hegy

9/10

This place is hard to miss, as the 495-metre hill is crowned with the lovely wooden, geometrically-shaped Károly Guckler lookout tower. From the top, you can even make out the bridges spanning the Danube, and in clear weather it’s possible to see the Mátra and even the Tatra hills.  The route of the National Blue Tour also runs through here. While it is possible to park the car at the top of the hill, we recommend doing the full hike from the bottom, as the climb is pretty mild overall.

How to get there: bus 65/65A from Kolosy tér in Óbuda to Fenyőgyöngye.

Photo: Kálló Péter - We Love Budapest

Normafa

10/10

Normafa is one of the most popular excursions on the outskirts of Budapest, full of hiking trails and beautiful views, but facilitated with creature comforts like food, mulled wine, toilets and so on. Scale Elizabeth Lookout Tower, or ride the Chairlift, which right now is offering rides for children for only 100 forints. Note that because of the pandemic, once the car park is full, new arrivals we will be turned away so that the area doesn’t become overcrowded.

How to get there: bus 21/21A from Széll Kálmán tér.

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