A Skier's Guide to Hungary's Slopes

Pixabay
Pixabay
Alex Mackintosh

While Hungary is known for its vibrant capital, beautiful countryside, and stunning Lake Balaton, few see the country as a skiing destination. In fact, the country boasts a number of awesome ski slopes just waiting to be discovered! Cheaper than the Alps, you’ll also have more space to yourself – check out these awesome places to ski in Hungary.

Bánkút Ski Center

Found in the Bukk National Park, this ski resort in northern Hungary offers six ski trails, served by eight ski lifts. As well as marked ski slopes, there are also two cross-country routes, with the longest standing at 8km long. Beginner and intermediate skiers will appreciate the range of slopes; however, more advanced skiers probably won’t find enough of a challenge here. As a bonus, the resort is not far from Miskolc, which is known for its thermal baths set in a cave – the perfect après-ski relaxation.

Prices: 4,500 HUF (US$15) for a daily ticket

Bánkút Ski Center, Miskolc, Bánkút, Hungary, + 36 70 618 9745

Cross-Country skiing

Síaréna Eplény

This ski area in western Hungary is one of the country’s most popular thanks to its large size and variety of slopes, offering something to keep even the most experienced skier entertained. Over seven kilometers of slopes await, with a total of 44 snow cannons, ensuring fresh powder throughout the season. There are seven ski lifts and, due to its popularity, the area is often crowded – but still sees nothing of the congestion often experienced in the Alps.

Prices: 6,700 HUF (US$23) for a daily ticket (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Síaréna Eplény, Veszprémi u. 66, Eplény, Hungary +36 88 453 244

Nagyvillám Ski Course

Perfect for beginners, this ski resort in Visegrad also offers snow-tubing and tobogganing, for a comprehensive winter experience. There’s usually enough natural snow to keep the slopes in ideal skiing condition, but snow cannons are also on hand to ensure powder at all times. A cosy ski hut offers refreshments while ski rentals are also on hand. Thanks to its beginner level slopes, this is a great option for a family ski trip.

Prices: An eight-hour ticket costs between 3,800–4,900 HUF (US$13-17)

Nagyvillám Ski Course, Visegrád, Hungary +36 20 959 0213

Child skiing on a slope

Dobogókő Ski Center

Not far from Budapest, this small ski area features just two slopes: beginners can ski down the lower half of each without difficulty, while the upper halves offer a slightly more challenging option. Thanks to its close proximity to the center of Budapest, the slopes are often busy during weekends – visit the center on a weekday to have it almost all to yourself. Ski rentals are available as are lessons, and there’s a small chalet serving hot food and drinks to keep skiers warm and toasty.

Prices: 4,000 HUF (US$14) for a one-day pass (Fri–Sun); 3,500 HUF (US$12) for a one-day pass (Mon–Thurs)

Dobogókő Ski Center, Eötvös Lóránd u, Pilisszentkereszt, Hungary +36 20 502 66 53

Mátraszentistván Ski Park

Found in the Matra mountain range in northern Hungary, this ski park offers ten slopes of varying difficulties, as well as 3km of floodlit slopes perfect for evening skiing. Snow cannons ensure skiable pistes throughout the season and there’s a “funpark” for those who want to practice jumps and show off their skills. A ski school caters to beginners and those hoping to hone their skills, while a snow slide park with snowtubing provides a fun space for kids and anyone wishing to enjoy the snow in a more relaxed way.

Prices: Daily tickets (9:30 – 16:30) cost between 4,500 – 6,000 HUF (US$15-21)

Mátraszentistván Ski Park, Mátraszentimre, Hungary +36 37 376 685

Chairlift taking passengers up a slope

Kékestetö

Found on the highest peak of Hungary, this is also one of Hungary’s oldest ski slopes. Two runs offer different conditions for skiers: the southern slope is ideal for beginners, and thanks to a number of snow cannons isn’t totally reliant on natural snow. The 590m-long northern slope offers more challenging skiing and is viewed as one of the country’s most difficult runs; there are no snow cannons, so this slope is only operational in case of natural snow. Ski rentals are available, there are a number of ski chalets and restaurants, and a TV tower offers a lookout platform with stunning panoramic views.

Prices: Daily ticket (9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.): 5,500 HUF (US$19)

Kékestetö, Kékestető külterület, Gyöngyös, Hungary +36 37 560 008

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