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Light autumn strolls in and around Budapest

National Botanical Garden
Vácrátót
Greater Budapest

In autumn, nature, the cities and the landscape show a completely different face, often even more colourful than in the summer. On a colder or even bitingly chilly but sunny day, you can take shorter walks in the city or in the woods, even in November.

 

Check out Sashegy!

Sightseeing is most naturally connected with time spent in nature with a walk on Sashegy. If you choose Széchenyi Hill as your starting point, you will have a panoramic view of the city in front of you for the entire duration of the hike. The final stop of the Children's Railway is located a few hundred metres from the final stop of the Cogwheel Railway, and is where the hiking trail starts. The 482-metre-high Széchenyi Hill has a very nice stone lookout, although it is not located on the top, but below. The path winds past the fence of the TV tower, and you can see the 192-metre tall broadcast tower from the outside. After the hairpin bends of the hiking trail leading down the hill ridge, the only well-preserved cave of the Buda Hills, the Farkasvölgy sinkhole, hides next to the trail.

 

You are advised to approach the six-metre deep cavity with extreme caution, because anyone falls into it will certainly not be able to climb out alone. By the way, Farkasvölgy (“Wolf Valley”) did not get its name from the beast, but from the wolf straw that grows here. From here, however, you can proceed on the same level all the way to Ördög-orom. The highest point of the ridge, which stretches for hundreds of metres, is the 317-metre-high Ördögszószék, which seems steep because it also stands above an abandoned grindstone mine. Sas-hegy and the more distant Gellért-hegy can be seen clearly from the dolomite block of Ördög-orom, adorned with outcrops of bare rock. From the end of the gorge, you head down a steep slope through Márton Áron tér to the entrance of the Farkasrét Cemetery.

 

From here, it is only a short walk to the gate of the Sas-hegy Visitor Centre at the end of Tájék utca. The sparse garden belonging to the Centre is also a nature conservation area, with paths that take you around the mountain on a guided tour only, but in return, you also get some information. Sas-hegy, which enjoys an excellent strategic location, was home to one of the seismological stations of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which moved into a bunker built during the World War. If there is an earthquake in Japan, shock waves will be detected here in seven minutes. From the mountain, you can walk almost straight on Hegyalja út to the BAH junction. Sas-út in Buda is a refreshing, comfortable three-hour walk, mostly on a downhill, nine-kilometre-long route.

 

Sashegy

National Botanical Garden – Vácrátót

Plants provide a particularly captivating sight in the fall. Visiting any arboretum is therefore a good idea. One example is in Vácrátót, but you can also have a similar experience in the Szeged Herb Garden or the Castle Park in Martonvásár, or even on the Lake Naplás educational trail in Cinkota. The Vácrátót Arboretum is the largest scientific plant collection in Hungary, and is not only a nature conservation area, but also a more than 200-year-old national monument garden.

 

The number of nesting bird species observed so far is 62; there are 22 fish species living in the lakes, and 73 species of molluscs have found a home here. In addition to independent walks on the trails, a visit to the greenhouse, or even thematic tours featuring the current plants of the month or a full tour led by local botanists can also be requested. This must be arranged in advance and costs extra, but is well worth it.

National Botanical Garden, Vácrátót

MOVE AROUND LIKE A HUNGARIAN