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19 panoramic viewpoints in Hungary where you would definitely take a photo

Guckler Károly Lookout
Budapest
Greater Budapest

The uplifting endpoint or turning point of every outing is the place where, after the long, tiring climb, you have the whole, breathtaking panorama spread out in front of you. It feels good to take in the beautiful view stretching before you and to feel the continuously vibrating and moving air on your face. This is a completely different experience from watching the landscape in drone-transmitted images, since this time the satisfaction of achievement also adds to the experience.

You can take perfect selfies while standing on the top of Gellért Hill, in Citadella, in Buda Castle, on one of the pillars of Liberty Bridge, in the dome of the Basilica, in the Rooftop restaurants, in the Sky Bars, on the top of the Budapest Eye, at the tip of the island in Kisoroszi, by the coal loading tower built in the Danube in Esztergom, on one of the piers in the floating fishing village on Lake Bokodi, or while standing in the middle of a poppy field outside Veszprém on a calm day at the beginning of May, or even on the top of any Hungarian TV tower or the breastwork of any border fortress around the country. These lookout towers offer different kinds of beautiful views in all months of the year. Here are some tips about the places that are less easily accessible.

Budapest and Greater Budapest

The classic Elisabeth Lookout Tower built at the beginning of the 20th century


János Hill has long been a favourite tourist destination and dating spot. Originally, there was a wooden lookout tower at the top, but it was later replaced with a stone tower. The tower was built of freshwater limestone and sandstone from the Triassic Period, and its topmost balcony stands at a height of 23.5 metres. The view from here is simply amazing.


Guckler Károly Lookout Tower


Hármashatár Hill is a favourite among day trippers, who flock to the treeless hilltop offering a wonderful view of the capital. The Glucker Károly Lookout Tower was built a few years ago, on the 495 m high peak of the hill. In good weather, you can even see the hills of Cserhát, Mátra and Pilis from here.


Csergezán Pál Lookout Tower


The tower was built on the highest point of the Buda Hills, the 559 m high peak called Nagy-Kopasz, and is a sight in itself with its futuristic design. If you climb the 18 m lookout tower in good weather, you will be able to see all around, from Mátra to Pilis and the Zsámbék Basin, as far as the Velence Hills. Whether you start your trip to the wooden lookout tower from Nagykovácsi or from the road between Budakeszi and Telki, it will take you two hours to walk on the Sisakvirág educational trail to reach it.


Nagy-szénás Buda Hills


Just outside Nagykovácsi, a village that is now a part of Budapest, you will find the 550 m high Nagy-szénás, with its bare, rounded cones. As you stand on its lithophyte-covered peak where no trees block the view, you will see an amazing panorama. The fastest route to this spot leaves from Nagykovácsi and runs along the 2-kilometre-long Nagy-szénás educational trail, but if you decide to follow the Hungarian Blue Trail, that will also take you up to the top.


Prédikálószék – Visegrád Hills


The picturesque and busy centre of the Danube Bend region is teeming with sights. This is particularly true for the surroundings of the citadel that tower over the landscape in Visegrád. At the foot of the historic wall of the ancient castle, you will find a bobsleigh track, a luxurious hotel and a forest school as well. Just a few kilometres from here, there is a huge andesite rock called Prédikálószék which at a height of 639 metres, is the tallest member of the group of hills surrounding Visegrád. There is a small clearing with benches and tables on the peak. As you look around you from here you will see the Danube flowing down at the foot of the hill, with this bank of the river home to Visegrád with Solomon’s Tower and the Citadel, while the other features Nagymaros, the peaks of Börzsöny, including Szent Mihály Hill, Csóványos and Nagy-Hideg Hill. The track from Dömös is a little bit steeper, while the one from Pilisszentlászló offers a more relaxing walk.

 

North Hungarian Mountains

Castle Hill Lookout


Climb up Castle Hill that towers over Királyrét: it is worth every drop of sweat, since there is a brand-new lookout tower on top, from which the view of the surrounding slopes of Börzsöny, Pilis, Naszály and Cserhát is something out of this world. In good weather, you can even get a glimpse of the Galyatető and Kékestető peaks.


Kékestető, at the top of Hungary


The TV tower on the highest point in the country is the emblematic building of the Mátra Hills. Also used as a lookout tower, it was built in 1981 next to the stone tower and transmission station that had been there since 1958. The tower is 176 metres tall and you can access the closed lookout area on the second floor and the open-air lookout area on the third floor by lift. The latter stands at a height of 45 metres, so anyone who comes up here will be standing 1,059 metres above sea level and will be able to marvel at the beautiful landscape stretching all the way to the High Tatras. But tourists don’t just visit for the view, but also for the ski run, which is the highest lying in Hungary.


Galya Lookout – Galyatető


The lookout terrace that stands almost 1,000 metres above sea level offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the land around it. The panorama from up here runs from the nearby Mátra and Börzsöny Hills up to the white gleaming peaks of the distant High Tatras. There are three romantic rooms with coloured windows and round-shaped doors inside the tower, which are called bivouac shelters, where you can actually sleep under the million stars of the full night sky. If you want something more comfortable, there is a minimalist Tourist Centre in Galyatető, a few hundred metres down the road.


Tar-kő


The 950-metre-high Tar-kő is located on the southern side of the Bükk Plateau and towers well over its surroundings, so you will have a perfect view of the southern range of Bükk all the way to Eger, and if you come here in good weather, you will even see Tokaj Hill. You can reach the peak after a pleasant hike starting from Bánkút, but if you are only up for a short walk, you can also leave from the car park at Olasz-kapu and walk along the 7-kilometre educational trail of the same name until you get to Tar-kő.


Avas Lookout Tower


There have been many wooden lookout towers on the 234-metre Avas Hill in the middle of the town of Miskolc. The TV tower that stands there today was built in 1963. The tower is 72 metres tall, and somewhere around 10 metres you will find an open terrace where tourists are permitted. From here, you will have a beautiful view of Bükk, the Sajó Valley, Cserehát and Tokaj, and towards the Great Hungarian Plain.


Magas-hegy Lookout Tower – Zemplén Hills


The lookout tower on top of the 514-metre Magas-hegy offers a wonderful view of Sátoraljaújhely, Hegyalja, Bodrogköz and the mountains of Slovakia. There is a chairlift that takes you up to the lookout tower. The 1,332-metre-long chairlift is the longest of its kind in Hungary, and also serves as a ski lift. This place is not only for hikers, but also for fans of adventure tours, of which you will find four here with varying levels of difficulty, but you can also test the bobsleigh track and slide down the extreme ropeway.


Sólyom Crag

The 564-metre Sólyom Crag is not only one of the most typical formations left behind by the freezing environment of the Ice Age, but is also a favourite spot among rock climbers. If you are lucky enough to visit in fine weather, you will even be able to discern the remains of Regéc Castle on the distant peaks. You can climb up to the crag from several directions, but the route that is the most picturesque is the one from the direction of Kőkapu. The nearby Nagy-Péter-mennykő gives you a similar view of the land around the crag. If you look to the north while standing on top, you will see Füzér Castle, Hegyköz and Nagy-Milic.

 

Transdanubia

Ranzinger Vince Lookout Tower


This unique lookout tower on Kő Hill is only a 15-20 minute walk from the most famous sight in Tatabánya, the Turul Monument. You can see that its shape is as it was before, but the purpose has changed, as the 30-metre-tall building was created from a former elevator shaft of the one-time coal mine. From up above, you can see Tatabánya and the nearby towns and villages, such as Óbarok, Oroszlány and Komárom.


Csúcshegy – Tihany Peninsula


The road by the beach in Sajkod takes you to the 235-metre-high volcanic hill in less than an hour. This hill is nothing but the edge of the Outer Lake in Tihany, which was once the crater of the volcano. There are not many places around Lake Balaton where you can stand on such a steep precipice and look over the whole western basin. On your way up, you will pass the Jóska Sobri’s hiding place carved in a cave, while on your way down you can visit the Őslevendulás lavender fields, the Inner Lake or the geyser field.


Vajda Péter Lookout Tower


The lookout tower was built in 1920 and then rebuilt in 1962, on the 709-metre-high Kőris Hill, the highest in Bakony. If you stand on any of the three levels of the lookout tower, you will see the glimmering water surface of Lake Balaton, the small villages in Bakony, in Bakonyalja and the Pannonhalma Hills. In the distance, you will even be able to make out the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, and when the sun is out, the distant ranges of the Alps.


Csobánc, Tapolca Basin


Csobánc is a hill of 375 metres located at the edge of the Tapolca Basin. The hill and its castle remains offer tourists a wonderful panorama and an exciting adventure. No wonder paragliders often use this spot for launch. You will find the same experience on the other two monadnocks of the region: Badacsony and Szent György Hill. Millions of years ago, the region was the land of active volcanos that spat igneous rocks, which settled and solidified on the surface. This basalt crust then withstood erosion in the subsequent ages and protected the rocks beneath it. These hills are witness to the former height of the original land surface. This is why these monadnocks are called witness hills in Hungarian. So if you stand on top of those hills, you will actually be standing on the floor of the one-time Pannonian Sea. The view of Balaton and Tapolca Basin from the plateau is wonderful. The easiest and fastest way to get to the peak is to walk along the track with the green mark from Gyulakeszi.


Károly Lookout Tower in Lővérek


The Károly Lookout Tower – built of stone – is one of the symbols of Sopron and stands by the Fire Tower. The two-level stone terrace offers a breathtaking view of Sopron, Lake Fertő and the snow covered peaks of Rax and Schneeberg. In good weather, you can even see the castle in Bratislava and the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma.


Írott-kő – Kőszeg Hills


The border between Austria and Hungary runs right through the tower. The lookout tower is located at a height of 883 metres and the shortest route to get there starts from Hörmann Spring, and is 2.5 km long (about 45 minutes on foot), but there are many beautiful routes leading to it from Kőszeg, Velem, Bozsok and Austria as well.


Zsongor-kő Lookout Tower – Mecsek


The view from the lookout tower found on one of the slopes of Jakab Hill is unique: there are two villages before you, Cserkút and Kővágószőlős and, not too far away, you can see the Villány Hills, while over the River Dráva you can just make out the outlines of the Papuk mountain range in Croatia. Just a stone’s throw away, you will find the typical rock formations of the hill, the so called Babás-szerkövek with their unique shapes.

 

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