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It’s possible to hike to Remete Cave in Budapest without a car, and actually quite easy.
Daniel and I did the hike this past weekend and the cool autumn breeze and changing light on the colors of the trees made for a picturesque trek.
If you want to get out of the city for a day and experience the beauty of the Hungarian countryside, this hike to Remete Cave in Budapest is for you!
But first, let’s take a look at the stats…
Length: 7.5 miles / 12 km
Time: 3.5 hours
Start Point: Zebegeny
Difficulty Level: Moderate
August 2019 update: Adam commented below to let me know a part of the trail on the way to Remete cave from Zebegeny has fallen away.
I’m not sure where it’s located on the route but in the next few weeks or months consider taking a different trail around Zebegeny or Nagymoros while it (hopefully) gets repaired (or, more likely, people just forge an alternate path around the affected area).
How to Get to Zebegeny Without a Car
You can start the hike to Remete Cave in Zebegeny or Nagymoros. We started in Zebegeny.
To get there without a car, start at the Budapest – Nyugati train station. My apartment in Budapest was near the Basilica and I was able to walk only 20 minutes to reach the station. Otherwise, you can also take the M1 metro line to get there.
At the station, buy train tickets from the automated machines that work in many different languages. Daniel and I typed in Zebegeny as our destination and purchased tickets for 1064 forint / 3.75 each.
Unfortunately, I can’t find the train schedule anywhere online but when I was there on a Sunday it seemed like they ran from Budapest to Zebegeny often. We just missed the 12:07 train and got the 1:07 train instead.
From there, it’s an hour ride to Zebegeny. If you want to hike to Remete Cave from Nagymaros instead, simply get off the train two stops earlier.
Finally, when you arrive in Zebegeey, check the schedule for the trains back to Budapest right outside the office on the tracks. That will just give you an idea of what train you want to catch when you return to the city.
If the office is closed, don’t worry. You can board the train back to Budapest and simply buy the ticket from the inspector when she comes around.
How to Hike to Remete Cave
Once you get off the train, walk toward the center of town and turn right on Arpad Ut, the first main road you see. You’ll see yellow crosses painted on trees and poles – you’ll follow these for the majority of the trek.
Keep walking along the road for awhile and you’ll get a nice view of the pretty (but private) Dory Castle from above. Then, keep going. About 20 minutes after you started the hike, you’ll finally enter the shaded forest.
Once in the forest, keep following the yellow crosses but don’t miss the turn off!
The path splits and it’s not too obvious if you’re not paying attention. Just know if you come to a clearing with a hunting stand, you’ve gone too far and need to back track until you see the yellow crosses again.
Once the path splits, you’ll start walking uphill (this is where it starts to get a bit difficult) and come to three different lookouts along the way. We finally reached the highest point after about 1.5 hours of hiking.
Now, pay close attention to the trees because this is when you stop following the yellow crosses and start following the blue horseshoe sign.
The path will turn inward at this point and in five or so minutes you should see the first blue horseshoe on a tree. When you do, turn right to keep following them on the path that leads downward.
From there, it’s about 25 minutes on a steep downhill. This is the hardest part of the hike because the path was so dry and dusty I slipped and fell on my butt twice.
Finally, we emerged at the cave.
Which, honestly, was kind of disappointing. It’s just a small cave and not very deep. Last time I was in Budapest I went caving underground so maybe my expectations were a little to high. I was hoping that we could walk into this one a bit, but it’s not possible.
Still, though, the view was nice over the water and the hills, and there were quite a few people enjoying a beer. If you time it right, it’s definitely the perfect spot for a picnic.
After that, it’s honestly as easy as retracing your steps and getting on a train back to Budapest!
The walk back down took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to hike back to Zebegeny.
There’s a shop here to grab a snack for the ride home and some restaurants as well if you want to stay for dinner, but we opted to return home to finish the night with burritos from Papitos (which I highly recommend).
What to Pack for the Hike to Remete Cave
There are steep climbs and thick forests on the hike to Remete Cave so it’s important to come prepared for the challenge. I recommend packing a small day pack with:
- A large water bottle
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Layers like sweatshirt or light jacket
- Snacks and a packed lunch
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Cash for the train tickets and any other taxis or buses you may need
This is the hiking gear I can’t live without:
|TimberlanD Women's White LeDge MiD Ankle Boot,Dark Brown,7.5 M US||Prime||Buy Now|
|Vibrant All in ONE Travel Mug - Tea Infuser Bottle with 2 Piece Steeper Strainer MESH Filter - Insulated HOT Coffee Thermos - Cold Fruit Infused Water Leak Proof Double Wall Stainless Steel 16.9 oz||Prime||Buy Now|
|Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 100+, 3 fl. oz||Prime||Buy Now|
|Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack, Jasper Red, Small/Medium||Prime||Buy Now|
Final Thoughts on the Remete Cave Hike
There are a lot of hikes in this area if the hike to Remete Cave specifically doesn’t appeal to you.
The town has a map of the different options, and each one has a separate trail marker to follow. Or, you can hike from Zebegeny to Remete Cave and then continue on to Nagymoros, or do it the other way around with a stop at Julianus Lookout… there’s a lot to consider.
However, this was ultimately the trek we chose and while the hike to Remete Cave was difficult at times the views were beautiful, the public transport to get there was simple, and it was a great workout.
If you’re looking for an escape from the city, come to Zebegeny and stretch your legs in the fresh mountain air!
Ready to go? Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Budapest and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the city.
This article is part of the Beyond Budapest series. Read the rest below:
Then, explore the complete Hungary Series for more insider tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.
I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:
➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.
➤ I use Booking.com for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.
➤ Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field.
➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.