Budapest has the second oldest underground rail system in the world, but people have been going underground in the area for much longer than that. While the Metro came into being in 1896, the Budapest caves date back into the mists of time and visitors to the city can enjoy some fascinating subterranean adventures. The city is built on a large bed of limestone that is home to a huge cave system. Indeed, it is through this that the warm thermal springs for which the Hungarian capital is famous rise up.
This cave and spa system, believed to be 120 km long, is set to become the latest part of Budapest to attain UNESCO World Heritage status. Visitors can get to the cave entrance in the Pal-Volgyi area of the city, where Pal-Volgyi Cave is actually marked down as the name of the bus stop. There are several options for visitors, ranging from the two accessible showcaves to potholing expeditions that require some previous caving experience. The Szemlo-Hegyi cave has a concrete path that is lit by artificial light and has a concrete path along the floor that is wheelchair-friendly. Guided tours here take 35 minutes. The Pal-Volgyi cave can be explored by a 45-minute guided tour, again with artificial light.
A second option at Pal-Volgyi is the adventurous climbing and crawling tour, which will last for between two-and-a-half and three hours. This will be led by an experienced caving guide, who will lead the adventure. It involves some significant scrambling, crawling and climbing. Those who suffer from claustrophobia should give this a miss, but for others this will be a fantastic adventure. This tour does not require previous caving experience and the necessary clothing and equipment will be provided as part of the tour. Caving trips can be provided as part of special occasions, such as birthdays. Indeed, what better birthday party than a few hours crawling underground and then enjoying cake in a cavern underground? For parents, this is a chance to give their youngster a party they will never forget.So for a real Budapest treat, look underground.