If you are visiting Budapest, you might be mesmerised by the beautiful architecture and façades of the buildings all around Budapest, but sometimes, the clutter of the concrete jungle, the noise of traffic, and all the man-made objects can easily overwhelm you. For this reason, parks are essential parts of huge cities, and this is also true for Budapest.
If you are visiting Budapest and you would like to escape from the jungle of buildings and be closer to nature, here are some of the best parks you can find shelter in throughout Budapest.
For most people, the first thing that comes to mind about parks in Budapest is the good old City Park, or simply Liget, for short. That is no coincidence. Many of Budapest’s attractions can be found in the park. It is also the second-largest public park, following just behind People’s Park (Népliget) with a total area of 1-1.2 km2.
Heroes’ Square is a must-see if you are travelling to Budapest, and it is one of the main “entrances” to the City Park. Surrounding it are the Museum of Fine Arts and the Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle). One of the best zoos in Europe, the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden, is also located in the area of the park. Another worthy destination is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath which is located only a few minutes’ walk from Heroes’ Square.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. The City Park is rich with many possibilities and things to see. There is the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle and the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture. There is also a giant lake in the middle of the park which is an ice-rink during winter and a boating lake in the summer, but currently, it is a fan zone for the duration of the EURO 2020 Championship.
For the past couple of years, the City Park has been reworked as per the Liget Budapest Project, and many areas around the park have been rebuilt or reimagined. A new Museum of Ethnography is being built in the City Park, along with the House of Hungarian Music, the new National Gallery, and the House of Hungarian Millenium, among many other things. The park also has a birding trail, several playgrounds, a running track, a botanical garden, a fitness playground, sports fields, many statues and memorials, and a lot of green areas as well as a few terraces where you can eat and drink. All in all, it is a must-see location, and there is always something new to discover.
Margaret Island is a 2.5-kilometre-long and 500-metre-wide island in the middle of the Danube, near the centre of Budapest. It is one of the most popular recreational areas of Budapest, with many green areas, but it also houses a few establishments. The island has a long history, which you can explore in detail HERE.
There is a running area around the island, which is 5.35 kilometres in length and is one of the most beloved destinations for runners. It goes past most of the important things to visit on the island. You can explore several ruins, such as the ruins of a Dominican Order nunnery, a Franciscan monastery, and there is also a Premonstratensians convent.
If you would like to go for a swim, you can go to the Palatinus Bath located on the island, and there is also the Alfréd Hajós Sports Pool. There are two hotels on the island, and there is a water tower you can visit. The other sights include a Japanese garden with a fishpond, a small zoo, a music well, and, last but not least, a music fountain with light shows. The island is easily accessible both by car or public transportation. It is an ideal location to spend your free time.
This is one of the newest additions of green areas to Budapest and probably one of the most modern-looking parks in the capital. The park is located in Budapest’s district II, and it is over 26,000 m2, which makes it one of the largest recreational parks in Central Europe, according to their website.
It has 355 live trees, a 700 m2 lake, and three different zones (forest, field, lake). It can be visited every day of the week, and the entire park is obstacle-free. According to their website, there is also a fountain with light shows, and there are many solar panels installed all across the park. Next to the Margit Boulevard entrance, there is a digital water veil that can be programmed to display words or shapes, but the main attraction of the park is probably its hanging garden.
If you have heard people from Budapest speak about ‘Normafa’ (Norma tree), you might picture a single tree somewhere and wonder why so many people want to see that tree. Actually, it is not a tree, it is a place. This might be a bit of cheating as it is technically not a park in the city, but it is one of the most beloved destinations to leave the noisy city behind.
The area was a popular destination for many people as early as the 19th century. It was especially popular among artists, poets, writers, and actors as well, as it seemed to inspire whoever went there. It is a special place for Hungarians and tourists alike. You can easily explore the surrounding forests and can even visit the Elisabeth Lookout Tower, which is a beautiful sight to behold in itself, but also provides an excellent view of the entire capital.
The area is easily accessible via car or public transportation. The main area has a huge field and a playground, as well as public toilets and drinking fountains. From there, you can choose from many trails to hike on, including some trails that help improve your heart rate and have some other activities at certain intervals.
Not far from the main area, you can find the Budapest Libegő (chairlift) and a catering unit. If you go a little bit further, you can reach the beautiful Elisabeth Lookout Tower. However, if you go a different direction from the main area, you will soon reach the Children’s Railway, which holds the world record for being the longest children’s forest railway in the world.
If everything goes well, Normafa will be expanded by a brand new and modern educational and environmentally friendly trail. According to plans, they would like to include special booths for bird spotting, as well as educational plaques to present the different species of animals and plants living in the area.
It is a small lake surrounded by a park on the Buda side of the Hungarian capital. The lake is located a few minutes’ walk from Móricz Zsigmond körtér, a hub for public transportation.
Despite its small size, this park is a great destination if you are in the area and have a few minutes of free time on your hands. It has a running and a walking track around the central lake of the park, the former having a rubbery material that prevents damage to your joints and feet. If you are the athletic type, there is also a small fitness playground next to the trail where you can have some workouts. If you are there to relax, there are several benches all around the lake from which you can look at the birdlife of the lake, as it is populated by ducks, and you can occasionally spot some turtles as well.
This small park has a relatively large playground area, and it even houses an open-air theatre, which is currently open as a restaurant. They also have a projector for the EURO2020 Championship. Additionally, for tennis lovers, there is also a club at the park with a couple of courts.
Source: Millenaris.hu, Tripadvisor.hu, Daily News Hungary