Budapest’s famous thermal springs have created a landscape riddled with natural caves and tunnels. More than 200 caves have been identified beneath the Buda Hills and along the banks of the Danube River, but only three are open to the public. The Pálvölgyi cave system, the largest of these, stretches for miles.
The only way to visit the Pálvölgyi Caves is on an active guided tour that requires participants to crawl through narrow tunnels, climb ladders, and clamber along rocky passageways. Cave tours typically take in the Pálvölgyi Caves and the adjoining Mátyás Hegyi Caves.
Things to Know Before You Go
Wear old clothes and sturdy shoes for a caving tour—it can be wet and muddy inside the caves.
The temperature in the caves is around 52°F (11°C) year-round, so wear warm clothing.
No experience is necessary to join a caving tour, but an average level of fitness and mobility is required. Participants must be able to climb up and down a fixed ladder.
How to Get There
The caves are located in Budapest’s 2nd District, northwest of the city center. To get there by public transport, take Bus 65 from Kolosy Square to the Pálvölgyi Cseppkőbarlang stop, a journey of less than 10 minutes.
When to Get There
Tours of the Pálvölgyi Caves run hourly year-round every day except Mondays.
Pálvölgyi Cave Highlights
Visitors to the Pálvölgyi Caves can admire a spectacular ensemble of dripstone, stalactites, stalagmites, caverns lined with gleaming crystal deposits, and stream-filled chambers. Fossils of sea urchins embedded in the cave ceiling date back 40 million years to the time when a great tropical ocean covered present-day Hungary.