There are lots of very nice places near to Budapest. We can go almost any direction and we can find interesting places. The obvious direction is the Danube bend which is a 60km section of the Danube between Budapest and Esztergom. Here the Danube the 2850 km long river has a 90 degree bend from East-West to North-South direction. The Danube is going between very nice forested hills, there are several islands and caves as well in this unique region. The biggest island is the Szentendre island which starts at Budapest North region and go as long as Visegrad, but there are many other islands here as well.
A good summer tours is starts from the Romain bank at South Buda where we can rent canoe and go to Szentendre direction. The road to North obviously much harder because we go against the stream but backwards we can enjoy the easy ride. Usually 4 people can sit in one canoe. If we skilled we can rent kayaks as well, but it is much easier to fall in the water from the kayak. At least one person is usually needed in the boat who has some experience in the water regarding the canoe.
The Danube bend direction contains the following places in Northwards: Szentendre, Visegrad, Esztergom. There are many other settlements here as well but these three the most interesting touristically.
Szentendre is a city of painters, it is a nice little pictoresque village just 20 kilometers North from Budapest, at the bank of the Danube. It is the obvious first choice if we don’t want to travel much. It can be accessed from the Budapest by the suburban railway, called HEV, from Batthyanyi square for example. There are lots of museums and galleries can be found here, for example a village museum (Skanzen), and many galleries. Most people come here to walk next to the Danube, and the narrow streets of the city and have a nice meal in the restaurants next to the Danube.
The Pilis hills is a very nice place, with christal clear air just 25-30 km from Budapest. The area contains several settlements, huge green forest, streams, and hills. Dobogókő is the most visited place by the tourists with an 1020m long ski field, restaurants, pine trees. The maximum height of the Pilis hills is 756m above see level.
If we go a little further
is very nice place at the Danube bank approximately 40 km from Budapest, with a Castle of the former Hungarian King Mathias. The Castle is located at the 333m high hill above the Danube, from where we can have a spectacular view on the River. Visegrád has a beautiful Danube bank, where we can rent vehicles as well, a spa hotel, nice restaurants, forests, waterfalls and nice athmosphere. Visegrad is a very small city regarding population, but this is the finest place around. The main event is the Castle games here in July, where many people here comes even other countries with interesting medieval costumes.
also a very nice place at the Danube bank 60km from Budapest with a huge 100m high Cathedral, a new spa, and a bridge connecting Esztergom with Slovakia through the Danube.
There is a nice lake for bathing at
and another lake called Rukkel with several slides between Bugyi and Taksony both app 25km from Budapest. Both can be a very nice place in the summer heat, with catering services.
also not far from Budapest (42 km), a popular beach of a 10,5km shallow water lake, with three beach cities: Velence, Gárdony and Agárd. A very nice place in summer with restaurants, and mostly free beaches all along the lake’s South shore.
is also a very nice place with a huge park, and a reconstructed Castle formerly owned by the Austrian Governor Sissy (Elizabeth.)
Vác is a middle sized city next to the Danube. The inner city of Vac is quite nice to walk around.
also a very interesting place approximately 20-25 km from Budapest with a bird ringing center, special types of Wine cellars, village museum, and a unique Marsh forest. (Unfortunately dries out in hot summers.)
also a very nice place in the middle of Buda forests with a Wildlife Park 12km from Budapest. Bus No 22 from Széll Kálmán (Moszkva) square goes near to the Park. After 20 minutes walk through the forest can be find the Park in the forest following the signs.
is also an interesting place with its ruin Temple, and lamp museum, from app 30km from Budapest.
is also a very nice quiet place near Budapest where we can have a refreshing walk in the forest to a viewpoint at the adjacent hilltop.
is also a good quiet place with its famous valley bridge have been exploded in 1931, and rebuild afterwards. There is a very nice lake also can be found there.
In Alcsut a huge nice arboretum can be found. There are many flowers, trees, several ruins of old buildings, lakes can be found here.
Etyek is famous about wine growing, the Korda Film studio and Hungarian Golf course. It is a nice place with small hills and enjoyable atmosphere.
Places at more distance
The Lake Balaton is the biggest lake in central Europe. It is a shallow lake, the area of the Lake is almost 600 km2. The closest part of the 77km lake is approximately 100km from Budapest. The Lake has a very clear water, and beautiful natural surrounding. There are several basalt hills at the North shore. Because of the shallow water the Lake is very good for swimming, bathing and playing in the water. The main season is the hot summer months of July and August. There are nice wineries around the Lake as well, for example in Badacsony where the locals like to invite anybody in their cellars to taste their wine.
Eger is a very nice place North from Budapest. Eger is famous about the huge battle at the Stronghold in 1552 against the Turkish army.