The Danube Bend is a wonderful Hungarian landscape where the vast Danube River winds through the forest-covered wilderness of Börzsöny and Visegrád mountains.
It is no wonder that numerous observation platforms have been established on nearby elevations, from which the river, its islands and the surrounding mountains offer a stunning panorama to nature-loving visitors.
But the Danube Bend is not only a mere landscape; it is also a feeling, a mood that captures visitors while they roam the hillsides. It conveys history and culture, a phenomenon created by both nature and man.
In addition to well-known lookouts in the area, our list also offers more secluded heights, where fortunate hikers can meditate alone over the beauty of the countryside.
The following five Danube Bend lookout points are well known and appreciated among hikers and tourists alike. Therefore, they must be mentioned on the top of our list.
Only an hour away from the capital, on the right side bank of the Danube (near Dömös), the 639-meter peak of the Visegrád Mountains offer one of the most beautiful panoramas of the whole country, with many other attractions on the way leading to it.
Facing the Danube, you may see the Börzsöny, the Danube Bend below, as well as the peak of the Naszály and the town of Vác further back to the right. Around the andesite cliff resembling a pulpit, lies the wilderness of Pilis itself – what can be more beautiful than that?
Suggested visiting period: In the summer, if you crave some green, or in the fall, if you prefer leaves in a riot of colors.
Situated on the left bank of the Danube, this observation point is perched on top of the 482-meter mountaintop of Hegyestető, near Zebegény.
The lookout tower was named after a 13th century monk who brought news of old Hungarian settlements in the East, and of an imminent Mongol Tatar invasion.
Practically this lookout faces Prédikálószék from a little closer to the Danube, and you can point out the proud Visegrád Castle just across the river.
Suggested visiting period: In the summer, after taking a plunge at Zebegény’s free beach!
Over the centuries, this eagle’s nest has become a large royal castle, from which the Danube and the road that runs beside it could be guarded by our ancestors.
The Citadel (well-deserving of the name) is one of the most important sights to be viewed within the Danube Bend area. Looking down from its towers, you can envision the everyday life of valiant people who once lived here: ships swarming along the river just as they do today, forests bustling with game and birds, and people rushing for their business between the houses.
The castle has many temporary exhibitions and programs about the age of chivalry, so it is worth spending an afternoon here.
Suggested visiting period: During the summer or late spring.
The city of Vác is guarded by an imposing mountain, the Naszály. Even though it had been subject to mining works, it has still retained most of its natural beauty. In clear weather, you may see South Pest from the top.
From this vantage point of the Cserhát range, you can get a great view of the capital, the Danube, the Szentendre Island with its namesake city, Vác, and the Visegrád Mountains, as well. Moreover, onlookers can observe where the Hungarian Great Plains meets the western ranges of the Northern Hungarian Uplands.
Suggested visiting period: On a clear, dry, late fall evening. When the leaves have already fallen, everything is perfectly visible, and the lampposts of Budapest slowly light up in the distance…
Boldog Özséb Lookout
The 756-meter-high peak of Pilis is crowned by this lookout tower, resting on the highest point of the Transdanubian Mountains.
The circular panorama reveals the green hills of Buda and the Danube Bend further down. Pilis itself attracts travelers of all ages with its numerous sights, so the lookout tower is also one of the best possible hiking destinations in the area.
Suggested visiting period: In the summer, when you can roam the Pilis forests at their pinnacle of magnificence.
We have also selected three vantage points along the Danube Bend, which are perhaps a little less known to the general public, so you can expect some silence during your visit there.
If you want a very unique view, the Sárkánydomb (Dragon hill) of Zebegény is the perfect choice, as onlookers can see the winding Danube and the surrounding mountains at a great length.
This location is known mainly by the locals, so you can avoid the crowds of tourists on the beautiful meadow.
Suggested visiting period: Spring and summer.
Near Esztergom, on the western side of Pilis, solitude-seeking visitors may find Strázsa Hill, where a fascinating nature trail awaits.
The panorama includes the Basilica, the Pilis, Visegrád and Gerecse Mountains, and of course, a picturesque view of the Danube. Thermal springs have created several nearby caves open to visitors, and the mountain’s flora and fauna may also pique the interest of outdoorsy spirits.
Suggested visiting period: During the winter, after snowfall, because it is easier to approach, and a magnificent white duvet covers the landscape.
Near Esztergom, the Vaskapu Mountain towers over the countryside. This peak is the westernmost member of the Visegrád mountain range with its 404 meters height.
Ascending the cliffs, you can look beyond the city of Esztergom to the neighboring Slovakia. The point where the Garam river flows into the Danube can be seen from here and the nuclear power plant of Mohi may also be observed when the weather is clear. Rows of old wine cellars give a special tarnished and historical vibe to the path leading up the mountain.
Suggested visiting period: In the fall, during the harvest of the vines.