The cute little mountain town of Lillafured is located in the Bükk mountain region in Eastern Hungary, not too far from the city of Miskolc and Eger.
Mostly known for being a tourist resort, the town has quite a bit to offer for visitors. Whether you go there on a day trip or you want to stay longer, this place has something for everyone.
Lillafüred is named after the daughter of a baron who lived in the castle. This palace or castle is probably the best-known picture of the small town. The renaissance castle first opened in 1930. Now it’s a hotel where you can spend the night if you like.
You can visit this traveler highlight on a day trip from Miskolc or Eger.
In this article, we tell you all there is to know about Lillafured: things to do, where to park your car, where to eat and sleep.
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Hunguest Hotel Palota Lillafüred
The setting for this hotel is a prominent place in the town of Lillafüred and it’s mostly the trademark of Lillafüred. When Googling the mountain town, the Palota hotel is the first picture that shows up. The Hunguest hotel chain bought the castle to set up a luxury hotel in it.
The Hunguest Hotel Palota of Lillafüred has a long history and this castle hotel opened its doors to the Hungarian high society in 1930. For a short period of time during World War 2, the Palota Hotel was converted into a military hospital. Back then it was used to help and heal wounded Russian soldiers.
Today, anyone can stay in the Hunguest Hotel Palota Lillafüred and prices start around 140€ per night per room in low season. The Hunguest Hotel offers a variety of luxury rooms and 2 award-winning restaurants. You can also visit the wellness center complete with sauna, pool, salt chamber, beauty salon, and massage center.
Hunguest Hotel Palota - Practical information
- The Palota Hotel is open all year long
- Room prices start around 140€ per night in low season
- Best view of the palace is from the other side of the Garadna lake
Check out this video!
The caves of Lillafüred
In the proximity of Lillafüred, 3 separate caves can be found. Anna Cave and St. Stephen Cave are located in the center of Lillafüred, while the third cave is located in the woods outside of town. You can also check out another cool cave in the Bükk mountain region: Suba Lyuk Cave in Cserepfalu.
Anna Cave - Anna Barlang
The Anna cave is located in Lillafüred center, not too far from the Hunguest Hotel Palota.
Anna cave is a natural limestone cave that was discovered in 1833, but since then the entrance has been relocated when building the Palota hotel in the early 1900’s.
The cave itself is over 560 meters long, but the public can only visit the first 200 meters.
You can find dripstone and plant fossils in this cave, which was once even used as a church. Szinva river flows through the limestone cave, which resulted in special limestone patterns that are unique and interesting.
Patterns have formed around plants, rocks and trees that have rotten away over the thousands of years water has passed by them. The patterns remain, while the plants and trees are long gone.
Anna Cave - Practical information
- Regular adult entrance fee 1200 HUF (Around 4€)
- The Anna cave is open every day, all year long.
- Tourists can book a guided tour in the Anna Cave
- It’s cool in the cave, so a sweater is no luxury item
- Opening hours 1 April - 30 September 10h - 16h
- Opening hours October 10h - 15h
- Opening hours 1 November - 31 March Special hours apply
St Stephen Cave - Szent Istvan Barlang
St Stephen Cave is also a limestone cave, located in the town center.
It is over 1 kilometer in length, but only the first 230 meters are open to the public.
According to a legend, the cave was first discovered in 1913, when a dog fell down the only entrance to the cave: a small shaft in the ground. When searching for the dog, they discovered the cave. After it took years before they actually excavated the cave.
Today, the entrance is replaced and visitors can walk inside, instead of using the shaft in the ground. During the guided tour through the cave, the dog hole, which is the natural entrance to the cave, is visible in the cave ceiling.
The St Stephen cave shows stalactites and stalagmites in different shapes and sizes. Most formations have names according to how they look, like a mammoth denture.
Due to the high humidity, the St Stephen Cave is used to cure people with respiratory conditions.
St Stephen Cave - Practical information
- Regular adult entrance fee 1200 HUF (Around 4€)
- Tourists have to join a 30-minute guided tour in the St Stephen Cave
- It’s cool in the cave, so a sweater is no luxury item
- Opening hours 26 March - 30 September 9h - 17h
- Opening hours 1 October - 25 March 9h - 14h
Kecske Lyuk Cave - Kecske Lyuk Barlang
The Kecske Lyuk cave is located a little out of town. Therefor it’s probably the least visited cave of the three. Instead of being a tourist attraction in the town of Lillafüred, this cave is more of an attraction for hikers located deeper in the Bükk mountain forest.
In the past, the cave used to serve as a summer stable for goats. For this reason, people still call it the Goat Hole.
The triangular entrance is 6 meters wide and 6 meter high, while the cave behind is up to 23 meters in height. Apparently, this cave is pretty rich in different spider species. Researchers even wrote essays about the spider population in this cave. The cave is also home to a significant bat population.
Kecske Lyuk Cave - Practical information
- No entrance fee is applicable to the Kecske Lyuk Cave
- The cave is open all year long, every day
Lillafüred Hanging Garden
The hanging garden of Lillafüred is located at the Palota Hotel.
It consists of a series of gardens and terraces, each with their specific theme and particular beauty. Some terraces offers views over the Szenta waterfall, while others are flower themed.
The lowest terrace brings you to the entrance of the Anna cave. The Hanging Garden feels like a castle garden and it is free to visit and open all year long.
To view the flower terrace in its full beauty, a visit in winter is less interesting. Winter, however, has other charms and the Hanging Garden is an awesome pastime any time of the year. The Hanging Garden has quite a few steps and is not wheelchair accessible.
We enjoyed our walk through the castle garden a lot. The garden is actually quite romantic and relaxing.
Garadna Lake - Hámori Lake
Garadna Lake is an artificial lake, located next to Lillafüred. After building a dam to control the rivers Szinva and Garadni, the Hamori Lake grew to its current size.
The Garadna lake is about 1,5 kilometers long and in summer, visitors can book activities on the water.
The lake is a great addition to the town and it’s quite photogenic when taking pictures of the Palota Hotel.
Szinva Waterfall Lillafüred
Szinva waterfall is located close to the entrance of the Szent Istvan or Anna cave. The actual waterfall has been relocated a few times.
At this time, the waterfall consists of two falls in a row.
In summer time, the falls are smaller and contain less water. For more spectacular waterfall views, visit them after rainfall.
The Forest Train
The Lillafüred forest train originally was a freight railway, but today it serves tourism purposes.
You can board this train in the town center train station. It takes you through the forest, all the way to Garadna, a place in the middle of the forest.
You can either choose to buy a single ticket and take a bus back to town or buy a return ticket back to the town.
We suggest taking a return ticket unless you feel like hiking through the woods. There aren’t any activities or attractions at the end of the railway and it feels more like you’ve taken a train to nowhere.
The trip itself is cute and romantic, but don’t expect anything fancy once you arrive.
The starting point of the Lillafüred Forest Train is at the train stop at the Palota Hotel.
Lillafüred Forest Train - Practical Information
- Ticket Price for adults Single 1000 HUF (Around 3€)
- Ticket Price for adults Retour 2000 HUF (Around 6€)
- There is nog much to see in Garadna: best buy a return ticket
Check the Forest Train website
Lillafüredi Libegő - Cable Car
The cable car offers a few possibilities. After the cable cart takes you up to the mountain station at a height of 1080 meters above sea level, you can enjoy a hike in the surrounding forest.
The cable cart trip takes 16 to 20 minutes and it’s possible to take a bike with you. Luckily you don’t have to carry it on your lap, but the bikes are attached to the side of the seats. This way you have the chance to cycle back down.
Once you reach the top, you can engage in a few different activities like hiking, cycling or just have a drink.
You can descend on two wheels or walk the Oxygen path to provide your lungs with some clean and fresh air. We chose to take the cable car back down to indulge on scenic views over the Bükk mountain range. Buy a round-trip ticket to enjoy the cable cart and the views on your way back down.
Lillafüred Cable Car - Practical Information
- Ticket Price for Adults Single 1100 HUF (Around 3,5€)
- Ticket price for Adults Retour 1400 HUF (Around 4,5€)
- Opening hours Every day 10h - 18h
- Parking fee 1000 HUF all day (Around 3€)
Things to do in the area
Lillafüred is located close to the larger city of Miskolc. Even tough Miskolc isn’t the cutest city in Hungary, there are a few things to do in the area. You can plan some of these in addition to your trip.
The Diósgyőr castle is located between Lillafüred and Miskolc on the banks of the Szinva stream.
It’s not entirely clear when the castle was built for the first time, but Diósgyőr Castle was destroyed in the 13th century during the Tartar invasion.
You can visit the castle or plan your visit at times of festivities.
At the castle, there are regular Knight Tournaments you can attend.
Want to experience what Heat Ledger went through in A Knights Tale? You can be a spectator at Diósgyőr castle!
Check out more Castles in Hungary!
Check out this short video of cool castles in Hungary!
Miskolc Tapolca Barlang Fürdo
This thermal spa is a very popular thermal bath in the Miskolc area. It is also known as the cave bath in Miskolc and it is a very relaxing and fun place to go for a few hours.
Some of the thermal baths are set inside a cave and there are a few other thermal baths inside and outside. We visited in a colder month and enjoyed the cave bath a lot. It’s quite special and interesting.
If you’re in need of a relaxing day, completed with a spa treatment and a mud packing, all of this can be found in the Miskolc Tapolca thermal spa complex.
Find a parking spot!
This mountain town has a few parking options, most of which are paid parking lots. Parking is usually 400 HUF per hour.
If you plan on staying longer than a few hours, consider parking on a parking lot that charges for a full day. For instance, the parking at the cable car itself.
A third option is to book a hotel with parking options.
If you continue driving on the road to the cable car station, you’ll find free parking on the left side of the street.
In short, we had no trouble finding a spot early in the morning.
Where to eat?
Lillafured has a lot of food stalls where you can eat basic Hungarian food.
We tried a food stall and weren’t too happy about it.
Dining in the Palota Hunguest hotel might set you back a few euro. The restaurant at the hotel actually scores very high on review websites.
Miskolc Pass for Tourists
The Miskolc Pass for tourists is a great way to discover more of the Miskolc area and get a few nice discounts as well. You can order it online before you arrive or buy it at a tourist information center.
Buying your pass online will be around 500 HUF cheaper than getting it in tourist information office! You can get the Miskolc Pass for tourists for 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours, depending on how long your visit will take.
The card also includes discounts on public transportation, tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops.
A lot of tourist attractions are free with the Tourist pass, like visiting St Stephen Cave, Anna Cave, the forest train and a lot of museums.
Depending on how you like to plan your visit to Miskolc and Lillafured Hungary, a Miskolc Tourist pass might be an awesome deal for you!
Miskolc Pass – Practical Information
- 24 hour pass 5990 HUF online (Around 19€)
- 48 hour pass 8990 HUF online (Around 28€)
- 72 hour pass 11990 HUF online (Around 37€)
What is a trip to Lillafured in Hungary like
We took a day trip to the mountain village and we enjoyed our day a lot.
It was a relaxing day with a few great views and a lot of romance.
This day trip is perfect for any type of traveler anytime during the year.
Obviously, Lillafured has a lot of opportunities for hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers.
But even if you’re not into adventure sports… You can always walk around town and let the different methods of transportation take you into the forest and the mountains and back.
After visiting the town, drive the scenic route back to Eger or return to Miskolc. We opted for the scenic mountain route to Eger and we weren’t disappointed!