NileGuide Expert Says:
Budapest doesn’t have to go next door for some nature, as half of the city is hilly green countryside!
Budapest, Béla király út 47, Hungary
(1) 274 4000
Even though Budapest has outgrown itself into a Central European metropolis, it is still abundant leafy green areas, most of which are found on the hilly Buda side. The Buda Hills are a hilly countryside built on dolomite and chalk hills on the Western side of the River Danube, comprising of the St. John's Hill, Hármashatár Hill, Szabadság Hill and Széchényi Hill. They are a popular destination for short excursions from the inner city, being ideal for picnics and recreational activities such as hikes, bike rides, and even extreme ones like caving and paragliding.
A tried and tested rout that never fails to impress starts at the cog-wheel railway at the Szilagyi Erzsebet Fasor. It's worth taking it to the top and carrying on from there by the 'Children's Railway', a scenic railway manned – apart from the train drivers – exclusively by children. The Elizabeth Lookout Tower marking the highest point of the city at 520m can be found at the St John's Hill stop, along with lovely paths for leisurely strolls. The nearby chair lift will take you down to Zugligeti Road, from where it's possible to catch a bus or taxi back to the inner city.