Labyrinth - Labirintus, Budapest
The Budapest labyrinth is just a small part of all the cellars and caves under Castle Hill. The labyrinth has been used for many different purposes over the years including shelter and an underground military base. As you walk through the tunnels, you will see various historical exhibits. It’s possible to see artwork, fountains, artifacts, and even old Ottoman headstones. Several tunnels are illuminated by oil lamps. Overall, I thought the labyrinth was really touristy and a little on the expensive side. If you’re debating about whether or not to visit, I would say go if you have some extra time, but don’t cancel other activities in Budapest just to do this. Make sure to bring good shoes because the floor can be really wet and slippery.
We went there today July 31, 2012 and it's very exciting to wander the underground caves below Buda castle. To think it's centuries old, originally used as a prison - even held Dracula at one time, and of course used for protection during the wars! Also, a wonderfully cool reprive from the summer heat!
According to their website, the labyrinth has been closed illegally by the Hungarian government.
This is terrible! This place looked really amazing with so much to see and do in one place.
"On 29 July 2011 (29/7) the riot police raided, and the green militia closed down, the Labyrinth of Buda Castle."
Press Release: http://www.labirintus.com/en/112/press
Now containing a series of imaginative exhibits the Labyrinth comprises of 1000 yards of complex caves, cellars, dungeouns and springs which run beneath of Castle Hill.
The network of caves was quite impression and the exhibits were a bit "cookey"... I wanted to see more of Budapest's history in the caves, yet some of the exhibits had copies of cave paintings located throughout Europe.
You can take the tour during the day or the night tours are done by oil lamps.
Sadly, I did not encounter David Bowie dressed as the Goblin King in the Budapest Labyrinth! A winding network made up of five labyrinths, this underground tunnel system runs more than a kilometer long and fifteen meters under the ground. In 2011 the Labyrinth started remaining open all day and all night, so visitors can get totally creeped out in these dark passages under a full moon (not that you can see it!). While the maze is lit during the day, at night your only source of light is a hand-held lantern (and there are no guides at night). Visitors can come any day of the week, any time, and there are discounts for Budapest Card holders. Check the website for entrance locations and more information.
We went to the Labyrinth on a visit recently. We have found it quite easily, based on the instructions on the website. (Actually, the website is quite useful and informative, the English version too.)
We went down from the entrance at Uri utca. It was a bit cold downstairs but we got used to it quickly. There was an interesting film at the beginning, its worth watching it. The girl at the entrance was very kind, she gave us an English leaflet so we could read about the Labyrinth and know what to expect.
It's quite fascinating inside, though it is not a historical exhibition as some may expect. Instead, it has a unique atmosphere, which is just great to feel down there. We wandered around for more than an hour, visited all the different Labyrinth parts and saw the Pantheon exhibition too. That was very interesting too. We are thinking about going back for the Oil Lamp labyrinth thing, because it must be great to go around with an oil lamp, with no lights on at all!! There are also other night-time programs, they sound very interesting, too! And you can use the day ticket again for those, which is great!
All in all, I think its a great place to go, we enjoyed it really much! Go there if you are in Budapest, it worths a visit!!
We visited the labyrinth in 2007. It was actually a little hard to find, even though we had the address. When we got there, it was just after 6pm, so we actually did the oil lamp tour. I forgot how much we paid. We had the Budapest card and got a little discount, i think.
There were 3 of us and the staff gave us 2 lamps, so I actually had to travel without a lamp. The minute we passed through the doors, we found ourselves in a pitch dark tunnel. We saw a small "map" of the labyrinth and tried to memorize as much detail as possible so we can hit all the points on the map. There are parts we could not explore because it was closed after 6pm.
I found it quite a disorienting yet interesting (might I say slightly thrilling) experience, mainly because of the oil lamps. We wandered up and down the narrow-ish tunnels, lit only by the dim lights of the lantern and found that we kept returning to the same place. Mostly, we are probably just bad with directions and did not clue in to take a picture of the map. Some sites are easier to find, like the cave with the music and wine fountain - you can smell the wine from pretty far away. One time, I was trying to take a picture of one of the statutes and my friends left, thinking I was with them. Even though I was in complete darkness for only maybe 1 minute, it seemed like forever and I started plotting how to feel my way out or connect with another group of tourists. I couldn't even follow the voices to try and find them because it was so dark. Luckily, they weren't too far away before they realized they "accidentally" ditched me. Needless to say, I stuck to my middle position through the rest of the tour.
We explored by oil lamp for about an hour and hit all the sites, including the closed passage to the "labyrinth of courage". Unfortunately, we could not find the exit of the labyrinth and had to retrace our steps and leave by the entrance. The guides were not happy about that. We found out later that one of the pieces of "art" we saw was actually the door, we just never tried pushing through.
The labyrinth by lamp tour is a lot of fun though not particularly informative. It is probably not a must see, but if you want to have a change in pace from the castles and buildings, it might be worth checking out.
For an admission fee of 1500 HUF, you can discover the underground tunnels in castle area. Dimly lit and moist tunnels give a strange feeling to the visitors wandering around. The length of the tunnels connected to each other reach upto 2 km and there are different sections with different themes. The wine fountain is an interesting section, but do not drink the wine circulating here as it may cause some trouble in your stomach later. You can spend around 1-2 hours in the labyrinth without getting bored. If you are in the castle area and you have time, consider visiting here.
I was a bit disappointed by the Labyrinths underneath Obuda. They were interesting to wander around, and some of the sculptures decorating the passages were attractive, but there was no description of any of the historical uses to which the caves must have been put (such as cellars and bomb shelters); instead there were lots of fake 'prehistoric' cave-paintings, and joke archaeological finds (such as an excavated trainer/sneaker footprint. I can see that some people might find this quite amusing, and it would be good for children, but it left me feeling slightly cheated.
Entry in Jan 2009 was 1500Ft
We went down the stairs but we didn't pay to get in. Actually I heard it is not worth the money, which is a pity because this underground network has lots of history and is a fascinating phenomenon. Basically the Labyrinth is made up of underground tunnels which stretch around the castle district. They are not man made though have been helped by man over the years to sustain themselves. They have been used as hide outs during the war. During the cold war they were also home to a military installation. Now it is a simple tourist attraction which also houses history exhibitions along the way.
I cannot recall the exact price but I know I didn't think it was cheap.
It smelt a lot of humidity so if you are smell sensitive think twice. If you have a slight fear of enclosed spaces I don't think this will be much fun for you as once you start it is a while before you can get back out.
The Labryrinth was an interesting thing to do. Liz, Istvan and myself walked through the Labyrinth's series of dark pasages and caves. There are some funny things in the Labyrinth such as a fake fossilized Coke bottle and a large kings head popping up from the floor. In the midle of the Labyrinth is a wine fountain that flows red wine. Don't drink the wine......God only knows what or who has put there hands/mouth in there. One section of the Labryrinth was so dark we used our cell phones to light the way.
Although the Buda castle is destroyed, the labyrinth below it has surbvived and is open to the public. Compared to other sights in Budapest, it has a high entry fee which has disappointed the one or other traveller. I was interested in the gas light walk, a speical event offered one summer evenings where you could explore the labyrinth with a guide – and of course your own gas light.
Unfortunately, the labyrinth was closed at that time. Maybe next time...
This series of caves below the ground on Castle Hill were something unexpected and interesting the wonder around. They costed 1100 HUF for students and were worth every penny, especially in the hot summer months when its scorching outside but nice and cool down in the caves. You wander around these caves, mostly in the dark or low lighting and are not sure where you are going. Sometime you wonder if you should be down here doing this because it seems as if you might get lost. The creppy statues of men doing things int he dark corners dont help and the way the caves kind of dead end and then you have to find your way back adds to the thrill. There is one corner with a fountain that has vines all over it but it is not pouring out water, its pouring out what I thought was simulated blood at first, but is wine. There are pre historic drawings on the wall and water dripping from the celling in place. This is a definate interesting place to go and a place not many people visit. I went there by myself and wished I had someone there with me because I got seriously freaked at times. Dont go alone if you scare easily.
Important! Since march 2008 the Castle Labirinth is closed to the visitors for an indeterminated period due to the litigation between the renters and the comune of the district I of Budapest.
Sorry for the images, I know that their quality is not the best:)
This Labirinth is one of the most famous tourist sights in The Buda Castle district. Unlike the medieval cellars it recieves visitors since decades. As also Liz (LKM1018) wrote in her Budapest page that this city is a real cheese:) The Castle labirinth is even much bigger than the parts that the tourists can (better could) visit, but unfortunately there is no money to unfold the rest and make it safe for the tourists. The Labirinth, infact suffers continuosly from the leakages and the wash-outs.
Anyway, this is a very interesting stuff and also it`s a bit artificial, the fitments aren`t mostly old at all, for example the fake cave-paintings.
Altough the grave-paintings that you see here are fake, these caves were really home to the prehistorical man. Later, during the centuires these caves and the artificial cellars built in the medieval times were connected and they formed this labirinth.
One part of the cave-system was transformed first to a hospital (in the wwII it was a very important one, because it was quite safe). Unlike the Labirinth that il closed now, the Hospital museum opened recently (spring 2008) and it can be visited. The owners, to illustrate better the war times and conditions placed numerous wax-works into the hospital.
I hope that also the Labirinth will soon reopen because it is just cool and it`s a big fun-it`s so stupid to divest the tourists of these experience...
Here you can see two images of Liz (LKM1018) and Chris (cjg1) in the Labirinth. I write more about my first VT meeting in my travelouge. We had a really great time and fun together that`s for sure:)
On the further images you can see some of the tourist stuffs:
1. The wine fountain that recalls the memory of king Matthias, Hungary`s richest king who could afford a fountain from wich flew wine instead of water. You can try this wine, even though it`s quite sour like vinegar:)
2. In another room (or better cellar) you can see a projection about the sights in Budapest
3. You can also try the labirinth of the courage (not mine:) ) a part where there are absolutely no lights, it`s completely dark: you must find the way out somehow on your own. Unfortunately almost every tourist cheats and so they should be disqualified: they use little torches, mobile phones, cameras and stuff like that. Well, also we cheated so it`s better that I don`t blame the others:)