One thing that few people realise when visiting Budapest is that a huge part of the Hungarian capital, beneath the streets you are walking on, is an enormous limestone cave system, a.k.a. the Budapest Caves.
These fascinating underground caverns are where the water for the thermal baths comes from and they are open to visitors, as they are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to Get to the Budapest Caves
One of the most impressive caves in the area is Palvolgyi Cave, which contains a number of amazing dripstone formations including the “Beehive” and the “Organ Pipes.” To get there, you can take the bus #65 from the Kolosy ter in Obuda. If you get off at the fifth stop, you will be there.
Another popular cave in Budapest is Szemlohegyi Cave, which you can reach by taking bus 29 from Kolosy ter and getting off at the fourth stop. There is an hourly tour of this cave where you can see the unique and beautiful rock formations.
What to Expect
There are a number of different ways to explore the caves, depending on your ability level and sense of adventure. You could simply choose to walk through the well-lit and wheelchair accessible viewing areas of Szemlohegyi Cave, which is nice and easy way to get a glimpse. Or, if you are not claustrophobic there are some other extreme tours that will take you deeper into the Budapest cave system.
These are not for the faint of heart, as you might have to squeeze through tight passages that are several meters long and enter dark and creepy caverns, but it is certainly an experience to remember!
Tips for Visiting the Caves
- Remember to bring warm clothes with you — the temperatures can drop down to eight degrees Celsius in the depths of the caves.
- Bring good shoes with you, as the floor of the caves can be uneven.
- Do not litter or write your name on the cave wall; leave this beautiful wonder unspoiled for future visitors.
- Have fun exploring the underground of Budapest!
For more ideas about tourist attractions, sightseeing attractions and things to do in Budapest see our Budapest Guide which is regularly updated.
Palvolgyi Cave Image Photo credit: aanjhan / Foter.com / CC BY