The Hungarian capital of Budapest is easily one of Europe's most beautiful cities. This well-preserved gem has seen its share of conflicts come and go over the centuries, but it has managed to hold on to some gorgeous architecture and cultural attractions that have caused it to be called the Paris of the East on several occasions. As a result, when most people think of visiting Budapest, it's the historical monuments and fascinating vestiges of world events that spring to mind first.
However, if you're the kind of person that needs to get some fresh air and prefers to explore on their own two feet, you're in luck. Not only is Budapest a fantastic place to walk around and get some miles on your pedometer while you marvel at the stunning architecture of the city, but Budapest is surrounded by several hiking routes and trails that are well worth exploring. Head out into the country for a walking trip, and you'll be able to enjoy some of the spectacular nature of the region. Forest, canyon, cave, and mountain await those ready to take the trouble to track them down. Plus, going for a hike is one of the best free things to do in Budapest on your trip, so you can save some money while you enjoy the fabulous nature has to offer.
But before you go exploring this jewel of the Danube, don't forget to drop off your unneeded bags with Bounce luggage storage in Budapest. have much more fun on the many hiking trails of the area if you're not carrying more than you need to.
Our Top Hiking Trail Pics in Budapest
Okay, this one isn't exactly a hidden gem. In fact, if you're visiting Budapest and not making the climb to Buda Castle, it's probably because you've already been there many times. However, if this is your first time visiting Budapest, you definitely have to make the climb up the hill to see the stunning Buda Castle.
There's more at the top than just the castle, too. Fisherman's Bastion is one of the city's best-known landmarks, offering as it does incredible panoramic views over the stunning city. You'll also find the Hungarian National Gallery if you prefer to see artistic treasures on your trip. A 10-15 minute walk will bring you from Szell Kalman Square at the foot of the hill to the Castle on the top. If you prefer more of a challenge, you can start off at the famous Chain Bridge across the Danube and climb the many stairs to the castle. There's also a funicular railway that travels up the hill, so you can make things easier on yourself by climbing up and taking the railway back down, or vice versa. Whichever option you choose, you'll be burning some calories and getting some miles behind you while also seeing some of the top sites in Budapest. And perhaps best of all, you'll be staying close to the tourist heart of the city, which means easy access to Budapest's many great restaurants. If you're after the best brunch in Budapest, this is a great place to find it.
Staying in the city, the Gellért Hill is an excellent place to visit if you want to take a hike without getting too far out of town. In fact, the hiking trails of the hill are easily reached by public transport from Budapest city center. But Gellért Hill offers an alternative view to the one you'll get from Fisherman's Bastion, and the sweeping vista over the Danube and the city on either side of it are no less impressive than the more famous one. Plus, this hill is less visited by tourists, making it a good option to get away from it all while still remaining close to the city's attractions.
This relatively short hike will let you visit monuments like the Liberty Statue and the Citadel. Don't miss the cave chapel of the Pauline monastic order, which is one of Budapest's many quirky historic attractions. Once you've figured out how to get around Budapest, this is a relatively easy hike that can kill a few hours and give you lots to see without having to travel too far.
Straying just a little further from central Budapest will bring you to Látó Hill and the impressive Árpád Lookout Tower. From this popular spot, you'll be able to see all the bridges of Budapest along with the castle, the Houses of Parliament, and many of the city's other most beautiful attractions. Although not as well-known by tourists, this trail is extremely popular with Budapest locals, and the walk to the tower can be reached on bus number 65 from Budapest itself. Those looking for more of a challenge can join the 1162 kilometer National Blue Trail from here, but you don't need to go on a multi-day hiking adventure to experience some of the best views in the region.
Elizabeth Lookout Tower
If you just can't get enough of the incredible views offered by the Buda Hills, Elizabeth Lookout Tower is an excellent place to go. Located in the Normafa district on the outskirts of the city, you'll find tons of hiking trails here, but also more urban amenities such as toilets and food outlets. Reachable by bus 291 from Budapest-Nyugati train station, you'll find tons of hiking routes to explore here. If you don't feel like making the climb up the hill to the tower, you can take a chairlift, which makes this a great option for families. Also, the 101 steps of the tower offer a decent workout all by themselves.
While you're in the area of the Elizabeth Lookout Tower, don't miss the opportunity to explore more of Széchenyi Hill. This family-friendly area boasts a children's railway that makes it a hit with kids, and the Fairy Rock close to the chairlift is also a good destination on an easy hike. On the other end of the activity scale, you'll find paragliding services if you just can't get enough of the views over Budapest and want to get even higher than the hill allows you. Plus, there are plenty of short to moderate trails through the beautiful forests in the area, making this an area nature lovers shouldn't miss.
If you're looking for a circular trail in the area of Elizabeth Lookout Tower, Hármashatár Hill is your best bet. Although it lacks the panoramic view you'll get from the tower, the shady trees make it a fantastic place to explore on a summer day. The hill itself rises to a height of 495 m, making it a significant challenge if you want to reach the summit. Otherwise, you can happily explore the trails through the slopes and enjoy the serenity of the forest.
Gyada Meadow offers another excellent hike for families in the Budapest area. You'll find an educational trail that will explain more about the ecology and natural history of the area, and the 13 rest points offer great places to stop along the way. At six km in length, the trail can easily be completed in a couple of hours, so it's a fantastic way to get the kids more active on a visit to Budapest. It's also an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and the suspension bridge over a small gorge adds a thrill to this otherwise tranquil environment. Additionally, there's a small kids playground in case the walk didn't burn off enough energy.
Nagy Hárs Hill
Another hill close to Budapest with another stunning view, Nagy Hárs Hill is home to the Kaán Károly Lookout Tower. The trails here get a little rougher, making this a good option for intermediate hikers who want to challenge themselves. You'll need decent fitness level and some good hiking shoes to cover this 11.5 km trail and still have some energy left to climb the tower. The four-story tower offers 360° views over both Budapest and the countryside surrounding it, making it an unforgettable place to visit on a trip to Budapest.
Head a little further out of the city, and you'll get the chance to really see what makes this region of Hungary so special. Take a train from Budapest to Nagymaros Station, and you'll get a glimpse of the other side of the country far from the city where nature rules.
Remete Cave is actually a group of caves all joined together that have been used by Hungarians for centuries. In fact, some of the caves were probably carved out during the Roman period. In the 12th century, monks came to the caves to become hermits, and the so-called Hermit Cave still shows the work they did to bring some order to these natural caves. The walk from the station to the caves is around four km long, and although there's a bit of a climb, it's a relatively easy way to see a site that combines both natural wonder and historical significance in a way that's classically Hungarian. The cave system is definitely worth visiting if you have the time, and lets you encounter the Hungarian countryside without straying too far from the city.
If you really want an adventure on your trip to Budapest, don't miss the outdoor playground of Pilis Rám-szakadék. This exciting hike leads through a canyon that has been called Hungary's answer to the Grand Canyon, and although it doesn't compare in size to the US example, it's still a thrilling place to explore. Dozens of waterfalls, suspension bridges, and even rope ladders let you hike and climb through the Hungarian countryside and leave the city far behind. Make sure to start at the bottom of the canyon to avoid traffic jams at the famous rope ladder. The varied and fascinating terrain of this region makes this a short but fairly challenging hike that is best attempted by people in good physical shape.
For a more challenging hike that offers some incredible views over the Hungarian countryside, consider taking the 12.7 km trip to the top of Hosszú Mountain. With an elevation gain of 370 m, this hike is a good challenge for intermediate and even expert hikers. Plus, the incredible views of the surrounding countryside are a good reward for the long slog up the hill.
National Blue Trail
The most popular hiking trail in Hungary visits some of the country's most beautiful spots, including a few just outside Budapest. Unless you're a really avid hiker, there's no need to spend several days exploring all 1100+ kilometers of this stunning national route. But if you do want to get some significant miles behind you and see a combination of urban and totally remote areas, this is the trail that can take you there. You'll find camping sites to spend the night along the way as well as guesthouses in tiny villages that few tourists ever make it to. The National Blue Trail offers a way to experience Hungary that even few Hungarians ever get to experience in their lifetime.
Easy Hikes in Budapest
Budapest is full of easy hikes that are great for families with children, older people, or those whose fitness level won't allow for longer trips. The walk up to and around Fisherman's Bastion will get your heart pumping without being too taxing, and if you want to experience a little more nature, Gyada Meadow is an excellent option.
Intermediate Hikes in Budapest
For more of a challenge, turn away from the chairlift and instead walk to the Elizabeth Lookout Tower to be rewarded with impressive views of the countryside. Likewise, the hike to Remete Cave is a decent challenge and a great way to see a more obscure part of the country.
Difficult Hikes in Budapest
If you really want to challenge yourself, Pilis Rám-szakadék is one of the most fun hikes in the area and gives you the chance to see some truly gorgeous natural surroundings. And of course, you could always take on the massive National Blue Trail and really get some miles behind you.
However you choose to experience the Hungarian countryside on a walking holiday in Budapest, Bounce has you covered. By providing safe and convenient luggage storage wherever you are, Bounce makes it easy to do some hiking on your trip. Don't forget to pack your hiking boots and try out some of these trails on your next trip to Budapest.