High Up In The Buda Hills: A guide to getting to János Hill

János-hegy (or János Hill) is the highest point of Budapest, offering spectacular views of the city. It’s a little out of the way but it’s the journey that makes reaching the top all the more rewarding.

The Zugliget Chairlift takes you up/down part of the hill and then a short walk takes you to the very top, where you’ll find Elizabeth Lookout Tower.

So if you’re planning a trip to Budapest, you’re into hiking and you like scenic views, then do not give this a miss!

Getting There

Get the bus 291 from station Nyugati Pályaudvar (Western Railway Station). Simply get off at the last stop, Libegő, Zugliget. You will find the Zugliget Chairlift building a couple of meters uphill.

Purchase a ticket at the vending machine or from the lady at the tuck shop and enjoy the journey!

Elizabeth Lookout Tower in the distance

Once off the chairlift, you will see the Elizabeth Lookout Tower in the distance. Walk towards it. You will eventually get to a sort of ‘crossroads’ but both paths get you to the same place. The photo below shows the harder of the two and the one I recommend.

The harder route to the Elizabeth Lookout Tower

When you get to Elizabeth Lookout Tower (free entrance) the views are breathtaking. Make sure to get to the very top of the tower to make the most out of your trip!

Elizabeth Lookout Tower
Views from the top of János Hill and the Elizabeth Lookout Tower

What To Take

1. Take a bottle of water and a snack.

There is a shop both at the bottom and top of the Chairlift but these may not be open when you visit. I know this from experience. The first time I visited (late November 2014) there were no shops open and very few people around, but my last visit (early November 2017) it was the complete opposite.

2. Take good walking shoes.

It’s not that hard of a walk but as it’s uphill, you’re going to want to be comfortable.

3. Dress accordingly

János Hill is the highest peak of Budapest. You will be exposed to the elements, so depending on the time of year, you may want to take a good jacket…or not. If it’s hot, it’ll be more appropriate to take a sunhat. Also, be aware that you’re going to get warm from the walk up, so if it is chilly, don’t overdo it with thermals and such.

Other Tips

One of my most important tips is to check the opening times of the Zugliget Chairlift (check here). Every month it differs and you don’t want to have made the whole journey there, to then be turned away.

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