If you would like to escape from the heat of the city, breath some nice fresh air and be in the green, Budapest is a perfect destination for all these, too.
So on a hot summer day we waved goodbye to the city and went to the hills. Of the many hills on the Buda side we chose the highest point, the János Hill. After a 15 minutes ride from the centre we took the scenic, 1km-long ride of the Chairlift (Libegő in Hungarian) to get to the top of the hill, which at 527 metres is the highest point within the city limits.
The view is simply amazing!
Best of all is the Elisabeth Lookout Tower from where – in clear weather of course – you can see not only Budapest and the surrounding towns, but also the Mátra Hills in the north-east and the Bakony range to the south and locals claim that sometimes even the peaks of the High Tatra Mountains are visible in the distance.
The story goes that the János Hill once was called ‘Bratislava Hill’ for a while, because the castle of Bratislava could be seen from the top according to the legends.
The lookout tower was built in 1910 by a Hungarian architect who was responsible for the reconstruction works of the Matthias Church and he was the designer of the Fishermen’s Bastion as well.
The tower – which had a red star on top for 40 years during Communism – is named after the Habsburg Empress Elisabeth, Hungarians’ beloved Sissi, the only popular Habsburg in the Hungarian history. The top of the János Hill was one of her favourite places to go and her statue once stood here, but what a shame…it was stolen in the 1930’s.
There is a playground for children on the hill and it is also a great place for hikers, bikers and runners, too.
On the way back we took the Libegő again and we really enjoyed the view peeping into the private villas and gardens of Zugliget area.
The Chairlift runs eight metres above the hillside and is definitely the most romantic public transport of the city, ideal place for the first or second date.
It operates between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm in summer, a single ticket is 1000 HUF, return is 1400 HUF.
For further information check this site: