Wintertime Excursions Around Budapest

Some people swear nature is at its finest in spring, and while we can understand their point, we think that winter isn’t given nearly enough credit when it comes to beauty. If you want to break free from the stifling grip of the city and see for yourself the white side of nature (hopefully we’re looking forward to a snowy February), choose one – or more – from the following hikes found within a one-hour radius of Budapest!


The city’s favorite sled-spot is found several hundred meters above the bustling downtown streets in the Buda Hills. Known for its breath-taking panoramic views and fresh air, the place has been frequented by Hungarians ever since King Matthias rested under the eponymous Norma tree in the 15th century (which was cut down after several lightning strikes and transported to the artesian thermal spring of Margaret Island in the 1920s). Enjoy the pleasant uphill walk, marvel at the gorgeous valleys, slopes and hilltops, spend a meal in one of the area’s numerous restaurants, climb the stairs of the Elizabeth lookout tower, and then take the cute cogwheel-train to its terminal in Városmajor park.


Believed to be the heart chakra of the Earth by Hungarian neo-paganists (followers of the Táltos faith, the ancient religion of the Hungarian people), Dobogókő is both an important pilgrimage site and a popular tourist area in the Visegrád Hills, 700 meters above sea level, halfway between Esztergom and Budapest, situated close by to the Danube Bend. It can be reached either by car or via a bus ride from Pomáz (take the H5 suburban train to get there). Dobogókő hosts the country’s first ski slope, a mountain hut, and several hiking possibilities, including Rám Ravine, Preacher’s Stool and Rogue Rock.


Part of the beautiful Danube-Ipoly National Park, the Börzsöny mountain range is located an hour’s train ride away from the Hungarian capital’s Nyugati railway station (get off at Kismaros then take the forest train to Királyrét). Its tallest peak is the Csóványos with a height of 938 meters, providing one with the perfect vantage point to far-away Budapest and the Danube Bend. The Börzsöny is home to a number of picturesque castles, including Drégelyvár, Hont and Nógrád, as well as a13th century church, situated in the village of Nagybörzsöny.