Szemlö-Hegy Barlang

The Cave of Szemlö Hill

Useful Information

Location: In the City of Budapest.
Take bus #29 to Barlang utca (cave walk), 200 m walk.
Open: All year Mon, Wed-Sun 10-16.
Fee: Adults HFT 1500.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave ExplainSpeleotherapy
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=40 min.
V=10,000/a [2000]
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: P. Adamkó et al (1992): The Caves of Buda, pp 21-29 photos, published by the Municipality of Budapest.
H. Kessler (1930): Az új Zöldmáli cseppköbarlang, Turistaság és Alpinizmus 1930.
O. Kadic (1933): A Szemlö-hegyi-barlang kutatásának eredményei, Barlangvilág 1933.
T. Matolay (1934): A Szemlö-hegyi-barlang, Földgömb 1934.
István Éri ed. (1985): BUDAPEST Szemlö-hegy-barlang, Országos Környezetés Természetvédelmi Hivatal, 1985.
Address: Szemlö-hegyi-barlang, H-1025 Budapest, Pusztaszeri út 35, Tel: +36-6-1-325-6001, Fax: +36-6-1-336-0760. E-mail: contact
Speleotherapy, Tel: +36-6-1-325-5993
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1930 discovered as a result of quarry works on the surface.
1974 start of development as show cave.
1986 opened to the public.
2003 complete trail wheelchair accessible.


Szemlö-Hegy Barlang is famous for an extraordinary amount of a rather rare speleothem called cave popcorn, or more serious cave coral. It forms popcorn, cauliflower or disk like structures, covering walls and ceiling. There are numerous other extraordinary speleothems including helictites. The enormous amount of those generally rare speleothems is a result of the geothermal speleogenesis of this cave. The groundwater is heated by geothermal energy, which accelerates both cave formation and speleothem formation. On the other hand, normal karstification processes take place and the groundwater is lowered by the cutting of the stream channel. The karst area is in the catchment area of the Danube, drainage is to the level of the Danube.

The show cave is the seat of the (Hungarian Speleological Society), it is used for speleotherapy and has a reception hall.

Just off Pusztaszeri Street, there is a modern reception centre which accommodates a small restaurant, toilets, slide projection theatre and an exhibition showing the story of the discovery of the caves. Whilst outside there are picnic grounds which offer a superb view of the city.

There are several types of tour from the ordinary tourist trip to a serious caving trip, which will require a change of clothes.

The tourist trip begins with a 60 m long, gently descending passage leading to the Ferencváros [so named after a suburb of Budapest] Section. The roof of this beautiful chamber is pierced by a calcite vein, both sides of which are thickly covered with popcorn. An artificial tunnel, a few meters long, leads to the Long Corridor. A narrow winding passage leads to Debris Hall with interesting lamella calcite formations. From here, through another narrow passage we reach the small but beautiful Maria Chamber. Three meters overhead on the opposite side opens a thin gap: The Needles Eye. Further on we pass through the only section of the Long Corridor left undeveloped. It gives an idea of what the pristine cave looked like.

The pathway gently ascends and the winding passage leads to the Giant Corridor, 2-4 m wide and 15-25 m high with outstanding acoustics which can be appreciated by the organ music from hidden speakers. From the end of the Giant Corridor another 20 m of excavated passage leads to the lift, and back to the surface.

Text by Tony Oldham (2007). With kind permission.