The first attraction of the hike is the Kiscell Museum, which functioned as a monastery in the 18th century, and the park forest of the former castle. You can reach it by taking the 19 and 41 trams starting from Batthyány Square. It’s worth getting off the tram at the Katinyi mártírok parkja stop and walking through the renovated, shaded park all the way to the baroque-style villa building of the museum. Continuing from the museum, don’t forget to take a break at the Mátyás Hill quarry, where you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of Budapest. From the quarry, after about 2 kilometres of walking and approximately 100 metres of elevation, you will reach the towered stone terrace of Árpád Lookout Tower on Látó Hill, which has been welcoming visitors since 1929. From here, you can follow a downhill hiking trail to reach the Apáthy Rock, a popular destination for hikers, located in an urban environment. From this more than 240-metre-high point, a beautiful view unfolds before you of the Buda Hills, and with the help of information boards along the path, you can also get a glimpse into the unique wildlife of the rock. From here, you can take the 56, 56A, or 61 trams at the Nagyhíd stop to access public transportation, which will take you to Széll Kálmán Square.
Árpád Lookout Tower
After a short hike along the walking paths of the Buda Hills, which have been popular for decades, you can reach the Árpád Lookout Tower, hidden among the pine forests. Easily accessible in Budapest’s 2nd district, this covered, Székely-style lookout tower has been offering a half-panoramic view of the city since 1929, including the bridges, Gellért Hill, the green ribbon of the Danube, and the prestigious building of the Parliament. Although the view may not be complete due to the surrounding villas and vegetation, it is still an impressive city panorama, and all you need to do is climb up to the top of the 378-metre-high Látó Hill. It’s also easily accessible by public transport: just a few minutes’ walk from the bus stop of bus line 11 departing from Battyhány Square.
In the heart of the 3rd district, you will find the Kiscell Museum and the surrounding 15-hectare forest. The baroque-style church and Trinitarian monastery, which served as the predecessor of the museum, were built by the Zichy family in the 18th century. The building, later converted into a castle, now houses the Modern Urban History Collection of the Budapest History Museum and the Municipal Picture Gallery, which is the collection of fine arts.
Mátyás Hill Quarry
The Mátyás Hill Quarry Park, easily accessible by bus 165, can be a perfect location for pleasant afternoon walks and friendly barbecue gatherings. In the middle of the protected area, you will find a labyrinth built from stones, but it’s worth climbing to the top of the quarry as well, where a beautiful view unfolds before you. The quarry has several cave entrances, but the 5-kilometre-long Mátyás Hill Cave can only be visited on guided tours.
You can comfortably reach the steep cliff of Apáthy Rock on a stroller-friendly forest path, which is a close-to-nature excursion spot within the urban environment of the 2nd district. The unique rock formation’s popularity lies not only in its easy accessibility but also in its unparalleled urban panorama. At the lookout points, the contours of the Buda Hills and the views of the 2nd and 12th districts unfold before you.
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In Budapest, you will find the country’s longest cave system, the Pál-völgyi Cave, which is about 31 kilometres long and reveals a magical world of stalactites and extraordinary rock formations that has remained unchanged for thousands of years. Except for Mondays, you can join guided tours in the cave every day, and when you visit, don’t miss the interactive exhibition in the visitor centre!
Makovecz Imre Lookout Tower
Imre Makovecz, as the chief architect of Pilis Forest, designed the lookout tower on top of Kis-Hárs Hill, which you can easily recognize by its unique shape resembling a spiral staircase. Climb the 362-metre-high hill and admire the breathtaking panoramic view from the top, which reveals the János Hill, Fairy Hill, Nagy-Hárs Hill, and some iconic landmarks of the city centre. The lookout tower is part of the Budapest Makovecz Trails, which showcase the outstanding creations of the architect’s work.
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