Red Corner: Hungarian Troglodytes

There is simply nothing worse than discovering something wonderful about a destination long after having left it. This is how I felt when I came across a recent article in The Budapest Sun about a marvelous system of caves lurking directly beneath the city of Budapest.

Subterranean surprises are always the most underrated of tourist destinations. And yet, often times I find they actually eclipse the more popular tourist haunts located in the surface world above. This is why, after numerous visits to Budapest, I was saddened to discover a little known underground treasure while sitting behind a computer on the other side of the world.

Instead of being immersed in the goulash-eating tourist hordes crowding the narrow streets of Budapest, I could have been quietly spelunking through some of the nearly 200 limestone caverns that riddle the foundations of the Hungarian capital.

Although only a few of these caves are actually open to the public, they most certainly offer a peaceful, off-the-beaten-path alternative to the adventurous few who venture to their depths. Guided tours (available in English) will whisk you from the bustle of the capital, deep into a dazzling world of stalagmites, gypsum crystals, and a unique crystalline arrangement known as popcorn.

And don’t worry; there will be plenty of goulash waiting for you upon returning to the surface world.