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Buda Green 1: From Gellért Square to Fairy Rock / Following beautiful views

By 2023.10.13.január 8th, 2024No Comments

Tour information

You can join the Green hiking trail of Buda at the always busy Gellért Square, and as you ascend above the city, the green areas of the capital unfold before you. The route which is undoubtedly the most exciting panoramic trail of the capital starts on the 80-metre-high footpath carved into the side of Gellért Hill. After passing the restored statue of Saint Gellért, the forest path leads to the romantic Philosopher’s Garden, from where you should head towards the peaceful Tabán and Vérmező. Leaving Városmajor Park behind you, you begin your climb up towards Normafa: along the way, you’ll traverse an urban yet peaceful and shady environment and be prepared for several sets of stairs to climb! Passing through Kis-Sváb Hill, you’ll soon reach the lesser-known, currently closed Jókai Garden and the inviting Széchenyi Lookout Tower, then head towards the popular Normafa! In Budapest’s premier hiking park, you can recharge for the final stretch of your journey with freshly baked lángos, heavenly strudels, and ice-cold refreshments. Approach the Fairy Rock with a pleasant forest stroll, where you can enjoy breathtaking views before returning to the city via public transportation from Zugliget.

Attractions

Statue of Saint Gellért

For over a century, the statue has graced the Danube-facing side of Gellért Hill. The 7-metre-high statue was made by Gyula Jankovits, and the figure of the pagan warrior converted to Christianity is the work of Aladár Gárdos. Saint Gellért was martyred for spreading Christianity, and the statue stands on the site of his martyrdom. Thus the name Gellért Hill.

Philosophers’ Garden

On the quieter western side of Gellért Hill, you’ll find the Philosophers’ Garden, adorned with benches. Many people come to this green park for sports, picnics, or simply to relax. Besides the serene and close-to-nature atmosphere, it’s the breathtaking urban panorama that truly makes it a popular spot. Within the garden, statues of famous thinkers invite you for contemplation, while the statues of Prince Buda and Princess Pest offer a beautiful view.

Szent Gellért Square

Situated right by the Danube riverbank, at the Buda end of Liberty Bridge, is the bustling Szent Gellért Square, a major public transportation hub where numerous buses, trams, and Metro line M4 intersect. From this vibrant public space, you can easily access the locals’ favourite panoramic excursion spot, Gellért Hill, and it’s also the beginning of the lively Bartók Béla Avenue, home to cafés and art galleries.

Jókai Garden

Hidden in one of the steep, winding streets of Svábhegy is Mór Jókai’s former summer house, now surrounded by a magical historic garden. The writer acquired the estate in 1853 and, driven by his passion for gardening, adorned it with vineyards, fruit trees, and an ornamental garden. The meticulously tended garden and the small house on the property are remembered today as a focal point of 19th-century literary life.

Széchenyi Memorial

Once situated on Heroes’ Square, the Gloriette fountain designed by Miklós Ybl was relocated to the Széchenyi Hill in Buda due to the construction of the Millennium Monument. During peaceful times, it served as a popular viewpoint and excursion spot, and a bronze statue of Count Széchenyi was erected here. Currently, due to the tall trees, the panoramic view is somewhat limited, but the park, which evokes a lively past and promises refreshing walks, still has a pleasant atmosphere.

Children’s Railway

The Budapest Children’s Railway is unique not only because it has been connecting the most beautiful forest hiking spots of Budapest for 75 years, but also because it is operated by children aged 10-14 who manage the railway traffic and handle ticket sales and inspections. The railway that operates between Hűvösvölgy and Széchenyi Hill is surrounded by numerous attractions that invite nature enthusiasts, such as the Elizabeth Lookout Tower on János Hill.

Normafa

Normafa, the highest point of Svábhegy, is undoubtedly Budapest’s number one resting and hiking spot, visited by nature enthusiasts for centuries. If you’d like to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind, explore the exciting hiking trails, sports facilities, and breathtaking natural treasures of the huge green park, and, of course, don’t miss out on the legendary Normafa strudel!

Fairy Rock

A short, uphill route leads from the Zugliget station of the Chairlift to the impressive Fairy Rock, marked by the green triangle trail sign. It’s worth taking up the challenge, as from the rock formation rising from the slope of Tündér Hill, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama of Budapest. If you prefer an easier walk, you can also approach the rock by descending from Normafa.

+ Programme tip

Zugliget Chairlift

Since 1970, the Zugligeti Chairlift has been transporting passengers to János Hill, overcoming a 262-metre elevation difference. One of the most popular attractions in the capital city, it operates year-round, every day of the week (except for maintenance days). During its 2600-metre journey, you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city, especially when travelling downhill.

Erzsébet Lookout Tower

Budapest’s most famous lookout tower is on János Hill, reaching 528 metres above the city, making it the highest point of the capital for over 110 years. It was named after Queen Elizabeth, better known as Sissy, who loved to admire the detailed landscape below from here. It’s worth visiting this attraction with a combined trip that includes a ride on the chairlift from the direction of Normafa.

Gellért Hill Adventure Trail

On the two-kilometre-long Gellért Hill Adventure Trail, you can quickly forget that you are in the middle of a big city. In just an hour, you can stroll through the shadowy forests of the hill and enjoy the enchanting panoramic views of Budapest, and you can even visit iconic monuments such as the Statue of Liberty. The trail starts near Szent Gellért Square. Explore with the Digital Wanderer app and uncover the secrets of the place on a virtual time travel!

Details

Region: Budapest and agglomeration
Days to complete: 1 day
Difficulty: hard
Tour type: walking
Length: 17.3 km
Hours to complete: 6 h

Starting point: Budapest, Szent Gellért Square

Map

Route

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