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The Hills of Hungary: Hiking in Budapest

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Budapest Citadel and Gellert Hill
The Citadel and Gellért Hill


You might think that the best thing to do in Budapest is to relax in one of the many beautiful historic spas, but a spa session feels better after a workout. That’s why we recommend hiking in Budapest while you’re visiting the city.

Get a bird’s-eye view of Budapest

The Buda Hills are primarily limestone, with many caves, rocky sections, unique flora and fauna and many indigenous species. That’s because the Carpathian Basin is embraced by mountains which has preserved the area throughout history. There are several lookout points and towers in the hills above Budapest. Here are some of our favorite:

Elizabeth Lookout / János Hill 527m

Elizabeth Lookout has easy access by public transportation to and from Széll Kálmán Square on the Buda side of the city. The children’s railway is pleasant to use for the trip uphill, and it makes for an easier walk to the lookout tower. If you’re still feeling tired on the way down you can take the chairlift. But if you’re up for a little walking it’s not too strenuous. The hiking trails are are clearly marked and it’s about 10km in each direction, so hiking here makes for a nice full-day trip.

Árpád lookout / Hármashatár Hill 495m

This lookout has easy access from tram line 4-6 on the Buda side. Or you could take the 11 bus from Mechwart liget station all the way to the end of the line. From there follow the signposts. The hike is convenient because the trail has the same starting and ending points. It’s an easy roundtrip with a short and steep climb uphill to the lookout. All told it’s a half-day trip, but you could also go paragliding from the summit if you’re feeling especially adventurous!

The Citadel / Gellért Hill

If you’re looking for a green escape from the bustle of Budapest, this is a good choice. Right on the other side of Liberty Bridge, where the Hungarian Statue of Liberty is situated, you’ll find it. Follow the green lane up to the top and you’ll also find additional lookout points on the way to the top.

Where to stay in Budapest

Accommodation in Budapest includes everything from boutique hotels to affordable B&Bs and apartments. This is the Paris of the Danube after all, so it’s not hard to find luxurious accommodation. But if you want to stay someplace more down-to-earth, that’s a possibility too. Take your pick from options on the Pest side of the river, where most of the city’s restaurants and nightlife are to be found. On the quieter Buda side, close to the castle and the hills, there are other great options. Not sure or need some guidance? Get in touch with us for a free travel consultation. Once we start preparing your customized itinerary we will present our recommended options for you to select from.

Things to do in Budapest

There are plenty of things to do in Budapest besides hiking. There’s a broad range of city tours, day trips and excursions to keep you busy in this lovely city. Explore Jewish Budapest, get to know the city fast with a Private Walking Tour, or explore the delights of Hungarian cuisine with a Gourmet Food & Wine tour. Budapest is also an excellent base for day tripping to many other highlights of Hungary.

Are you planning a trip to Budapest? We’re Hungary travel experts. Just get in touch to start planning your perfect Hungary and Central Europe tour!

As one of our destination managers and city hosts Judit bings to bear a wealth of experience in travel and tourism. She loves exploring the city, its surroundings and further afield in Hungary with her young family.

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