With the onset of the pleasant autumn weather we should take advantage of every opportunity for a little trip. Fortunately, we don’t have to go far: the Buda side is surrounded by the beautiful hills of Buda.
Let’s see the highest point of Budapest: the 527 meters high János hill, with the Elizabeth Lookout on the top of it. From here the Hungarian capital unfolds before our eyes in a full panorama, and the green area seems limitless. In addition, the approach is easy, and if we’ve chosen well, it’s very special too. The excursion area of Buda is reachable – besides the conventional vehicles – with Chairlift and Children’s Railway as well.
The Chairlift (Libegő)
The Chairlift is some kind of suspension railway, like the ski lifts. The route to the János Hill is 1040 m long with 262 m altitude difference, and it makes this distance in 12 minutes. The experience is quite different when you travel up or down: to the way up the chairlift starts at Zugligeti valley, and we can admire the forested parts of the mountain. Downward we can delight in the stunning views of the Pilis Mountain peaks and the neighborhood of Budapest. On clear days the fields at the edge of the city and the wooded hills near Gödöllő can be seen as well.
The chairlift operates throughout the year, in September from 10 am to 6 pm. The easiest way to approach is the bus 291 departing from Nyugati Railway Station, but the following Children's Railway also provides transfer opportunities.
The Children's Railway
The Children's Railway has been established in the communist era and offered leisure activities for the young pioneers. Working here was a serious privilege, there was oversubscription every year. These days it’s still popular among primary school children: during the training, they learn about traffic skills, local geography and become familiar with the telecommunication equipment and insurance facilities. After that, the kids can work and practice as ticket auditors, schedule or relay operators, and in similar positions, but the engineers and the drivers are adults, of course.
In the magnificent forest surroundings where the train passes, we can get off at 9 stations if we fancy a little trip. The easiest way to reach the Children’s Railway is the cogwheel (tram 60) from Városmajor or the tram 61 from Széll Kálmán Square or Móricz Zsigmond Square.
Children's Railway (black) & Chairlift (red)