Did you know you could go caving in Budapest? Well, neither did I until I read travel blog on a cave tour exploring the dark side of Budapest. If you love trying adventurous activities then this is the tour for you. I always get stuck into anything adventurous in a new destination from kayaking in Spreewald, Germany to hiking a glacier in Iceland! And the cave tour was a certainly a unique thing to do in Budapest.
If you’re reading this and not sure whether the Budapest cave tour is for you, I will tell you all you need to know about my caving in Budapest experience. Here I answer all your questions on how to get to the caves, what to wear, can you take a camera on the tour, how physically fit you need to be? And more! Get ready to go deep underground for an epic adventure!
Caving in Budapest
Do you need to book the cave tour?
I booked the ‘Adventure’ caving tour when I visited Budapest in January, known to be the quieter season. The tour was completely full (20 people in total with two guides).
I’d actually taken the last spot on the day when travelling on my own as I can often squeeze into last-minute tours. But if you’re in a group make sure you book a tour in advance.
There are cave tours in the morning and afternoon.
Read more things to see and do in Budapest here
How to get to the caves?
The caves in Budapest and meeting point for the tour are on the Buda side of the Danube. The address is 2nd district, 162 Szepvolgyi Street, Budapest.
You have two options (well three actually if you want to walk!)
Jump in a taxi (15 minutes)
The recommendation that I read was to book taxis through your accommodation (although I didn’t catch any whilst I was in Budapest).
Take public transport (30-45 minutes)
Catch the No. 9 bus. The main stops in the city are from Deak Ferenc ter (same place as the airport bus stop) or further down the road outside St Stephen’s Basilica. Get off at Kolosy ter (about 20 minutes).
Then catch the No. 65 bus from the Bus Station (2-minute walk from bus stop). This is only 5 minutes.
Becky’s Tip – Search the route on Google Maps and this will give you live times for the buses to the caves.
What happens when you arrive to start the cave tour?
Firstly, I should mention I was running late, because I couldn’t find the No. 9 bus stop and missed the bus haha (See my instructions above so you don’t do this). My cave tour started at 15.30, I arrived nearer 15.45, but luckily everyone was still there!
There’s a small communal changing room with large lockers to put your belongings in, these weren’t locked. My bag had my SLR camera in it, plus Budapest pics from the morning and I felt completely safe leaving it there but I’m giving you the option if you wish to leave your valuables at your accommodation.
Next door, there’s a room with shelves filled with some designer overalls (ah sorry actually they aren’t designer but they will protect your clothes) and lots of helmets.
You’re given a helmet, which you can adjust the size (good job as my head is the size of a small child haha) and a pair of red overalls to try on. Apparently, the first pair didn’t fit, even though I thought they were fine.
But I reckon it’s good to always listen to the experts, especially as you’re going to be crawling about in the cave.
What should you wear for the caving tour?
Although you have overalls I would still recommend wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. The overalls are dusty from previous people wearing. And you’ll see what I mean when you get in the caves, the dust gets everywhere!
One thing that is important to know is that the temperatures in the caves don’t change throughout the year. It remains at a warm at about 10 C/ 50 F degrees. I was visiting in the winter and outside the weather was pretty cold, so ended up taking off some clothes before entering the cave.
This is what I wore:
- Hiking trousers/pants (leggings would be suitable too)
- Long sleeved top
- Hiking socks
- Trail shoes (trainers/pumps)
And ladies don’t forget a hair tie!
Overalls, helmet and head torches are all provided by the cave tour company.
Can you take a camera on the caving tour?
My honest answer if you have a nice/expensive camera is ‘No’. Why?
Because the cave was so dusty the chances are that the dust particles can get inside your camera and damage it.
Even with a protective cover, it would still be risky. But, it’s your decision, you can probably tell from my photos how much dust was floating around!
All my photos in the cave were taken on my Samsung A5 phone, which is dust and water resistant. Very handy as it’s been on some tough trips!
There’s a pocket in your overall which you can carry it in as you’ll need both hands free when moving through the cave.
How long are you in the cave?
The entrance to the cave is a short 3-4 minute walk across the road. It was a good job as it was freezing out and I had taken my thermals off!
Our tour group entered the cave around 16.00 and didn’t see daylight again until 18.00. So two hours with your head torches for light.
Can everyone do the Cave tour?
Surprisingly there is an upper and lower age limit for this tour 10-55 years. I’m not sure what happens when you over 55, I hope I’m still fit enough to do adventurous activities at that age. I’d suggest contacting the company if you still want to do.
Also, the caving tour is not recommended for very overweight people. I can understand this as there were a few tight squeezes on our tour. But there were a few different routes through the caves so maybe there are a few that weren’t so small!
What happens when you are in the cave?
Our group was split into two smaller groups on the tour, so there are between 8-12 people per guide. Some sections we were able to gather as a group and listen to our guide’s instructions. Other times he passed the information down in a chain through the cave channels.
This was one of the rules at the beginning. You give directions to the person behind you regarding how to get through smaller sections. Normally, it was something like, ‘go through sideways’ or ‘go head first for this bit’ (yes sounds a bit scary) but once you’re down there it’s 100% the easiest way sometimes!
Stay with your group at all times. I have no idea why you wouldn’t when you’re exploring an unknown cave system. And of course, remember to leave no trace. The next cave tour doesn’t want to see pieces of rubbish in the cave! The same rule as if you were hiking in Budapest.
What else do you need to know before the cave tour?
If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs then you can be refused on the tour. I know I wouldn’t want to be exploring a pitch-black cave with someone who’d had a few drinks so makes sense to me.
And you take part in the tour at your own risk!
Becky’s Tip – The dust particles make you very thirsty whilst you’re in the cave so make sure you are fully hydrated before you go in! Although not too much, as there are no toilets!!
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