Parks in Budapest

Parks in Budapest Hungary

Margaret Island / Margitsziget – the whole area of Margaret Island – in the very heart of the city – is basically a big park and recreational area with swimming pools, lido, running tracks, a tiny zoo, a spa hotel, etc.

Margaret Island - Margitsziget - big open spaces

Margaret Island – Margitsziget – big open spaces (photo by Alex Segre)

Great place to get some calm, relaxing moments. On the minus side, there are not enough good cafes, restaurants, or buffets to get some nice food and refreshments at a good price. Bring your own picnic basket if you are on a budget tour. To have fun and to take a more thorough look at the island, try one of the popular four wheeled bikes available for rent on the island.

Margitsziget - Margaret Island - four wheeled bikes and the water tower

Margitsziget – Margaret Island – four wheeled bikes and the water tower (photo ttimi27)

City park / Varosliget – one of the most important and biggest parks in Budapest. Varosliget is a huge green park spotted with playgrounds, mini football fields, some restaurants, museums, etc., stretching over an area of 1.4 km × 900 m in the city centre, at Heroes’ square. If you wish to go to the most popular spa baths in Hungary, Szechenyi Baths, you will walk a bit in the City Park. If you want to go to see the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, you will be at the City Park. If you want to take the kids (and yourselves) to the Budapest Zoo or the Budapest Circus, you will walk in the City Park. So Varosliget will very likely be on your agenda in one way or another.

Open air ice rink in City Park, Budapest

Open air ice rink in City Park, Budapest (photo by Panoramas)

Gellert Hill / Gellerthegy – not so much of a park in its full flat sense, Gellert Hill invites you for a nice leisurely walk up the hill to take a breathtaking view at the beautiful Danube Bend (part of the world heritage), visit the Citadel, the Statue of Liberty, and the St Gellert Monument (named after St Gerhard). There are very nice cool shady paths along the hill, especially relaxing on warm spring and autumn days.

Buda Hills
If you enjoy a bit more climbing than walking up to Gellerthegy, go to the Buda Hills on the Buda side of Budapest. Real woods, real hilly slopes, real getaway from the bustling city. Plus a real journey back in the communist history of Hungary: Buda Hills can be enjoyed from the Children’s Railway (still running and employing children!) Take the red metro to Moszkva ter, and then get on the cog-wheel railway to go up to Svabhegy. Alternatively, take bus number 21 or 21 A from Moszkva ter and go to Normafa (last stop on the bus route): there are very nice walking paths, views, a highly recommended hotel, cafe, buffets with excellent strudels, etc.

Some of the more beautiful smaller parks in the city centre are great for sitting on a bench to have some cold lunch, or lying on the grass to get some tan, but not big enough if you want to play football or fly frisbee with friends.

Erzsebet ter Park – literally at Deak ter, which is the focal point of the city – important attractions available in 2 minutes are Godor Club (right under the park), St Stephen’s Basilica, Hotel Le Meridien, Budapest, Kempinski Hotel Budapest
Szabadsag ter Park is a must see and sit place if you visit the Parliament. Further attractions: spectacular Art Nouveau buildings, Memorial of the Russian Army (and the US Embassy is also here). Getting there on the red metro line is easy, get off at Kossuth ter. Avoid the park on national holidays as it gets usually quite political around here on March 15, Aug 20 and Oct 23.
Taban – a green hilly park just between the Castle Hill and Gellert Hill, close to the St Gellert Monument, and Rudas Baths (also close to Semmelweis Museum of Medical History
Karolyi-kert (Karolyi Garden) – close to the blue metro line – Ferenciek tere stop and Kalvin ter stop
Orczy-kert (Orczy Garden) – close to the blue metro line – Klinikak stop and Nagyvarad stop

Botanical Gardens
Budapest Zoo is not only a zoo, but it’s a botanical garden featuring a tiny but well laid out Japanese garden. The zoo has fantastic and very un-zoo-like secessionist buildings – well worth a visit, right next to the City Park.
Fuveszkert Botanical Garden – founded in 1771 – is a research place with approx 7000 plants. Unfortunately the botanical garden opening hours are quite limited: it closes at 4pm from Nov 1 to March 31, while in summer it closes at 5pm. Getting there: take the blue metro line and get off at Klinikak or Nagyvarad ter stops. The admission fee is 700 HUF.