Dobogókő is a forested hill overlooking in the Danube Bend region. It is very popular with picnickers from Budapest and hikers from all over Hungary (and beyond). It is also considered to be the most sacred site of the Hungarian neo-pagans and shamanists.
At 700 m (2,300 ft), Dobogókő is the highest summit of the Pilis-Visegrád Hills. Its name, decidedly strange-looking for non-Hungarians, is a compund word: the dobogó part means "beating" (like in "heartbeat"), while kő at the end is "stone", thus you have "beating stone" (or "the stone that beats like a heart"). The Hungarian shamanists believe this is where the maximum number of ley lines intersect with each other on earth, so this is the heart of the planet (hence the "beating stone").
Flora and fauna
The easiest way to go up to Dobogókő is to take the Volanbusz #860 from Pomáz. (Pomáz is on the HÉV5 Szentendre line from Batthyáni Square on the Víziváros of the national capital. Pomáz bus terminal is right next to the HÉV station.) The trip takes roughly half an hour and goes all the way right by the summit.
The other way to the top, much more scenic and a more appropriate approach for the place, involves investing much more time and effort — hiking to the summit through the Rám-szakadék canyon from the village of Dömös on the bank of the Danube. (To get to Dömös, take the Volanbusz #880 from Szentendre bus station, which is right next to the terminal station of HÉV5. Along its route, this bus also stops in Tahitótfalu and Visegrád, where ferry connections from Vác and Nagymaros across the Danube respectively, are available. Get off at the "Posta" stop in Dömös, which is nearer to the trailhead.) The trail starts beside a creekbed in Dömös, with a map on a large sign pointing the right way. The waymarks and the signposts along the trail are generally sufficient, but you may have to ask the locals for directions in a couple intersections. In general, the trail is a not-too-hard uphill walking through a lush forest, and only short and interrupted sections through the canyon may need considerably more effort (but even then, this is a trail regularly done by anyone from any age category between old people and very young children). Spare 3–4 hours aside to complete the route. You may also want to know that the trail is only one-way — hiking downwards from the summit is not allowed.
Fees and permits
No fees of any kind is needed for walking around or hiking up to the summit area. You also don't need a permission from anyone, including for entering the sacred forest — just pass below that beautiful táltos kapu (shaman's gate), and let yourself be immersed by the nature.