Margaret Island in Budapest is one of the most scenic, and romantic parks with historical attractions, spa hotels, the Music Fountain with music, and even colorful water jets at night, bars, concerts, fun bike carts, a scenic running track, a lovely petting zoo with pony rides, tennis courts, a sports swimming pool, an open air water park (Palatinus Lido), and an Art Nouveau Water Tower. We think it is one of the top attractions in the city (see the Top 10 Budapest Attractions), and also one of the Budapest hidden gems for first time visitors.
Margaret Island quick facts:
- Budapest Danube Island in the City
- Recreational Park since 1908, with Attractions since 12th century
- Ideal for Wellness, Picnic, Romance, Kids, Clubbing (Summer), Running, Cycling, Tennis, Frisbee, Nature Photo, People Watching, for Couples, Solo or Family travels
- Length: 2,8 km (1,74 miles) & Width in middle: 0,5 km (0.31 miles)
- Named after Hungarian Princess Margaret (14th century), daughter of King Bela IV
- Former home of Convents, Churches, Nunneries, Cloisters (e.g. Knights of St John, Dominican)
- Located between two Danube bridges: Margaret Bridge & Arpad Bridge
- Isolated until 1900s, now Popular Park (public since 1908)
- Margaret Island Attractions: Spa Hotels, Water Park, Ruins, Running Track (5.3 km), Petting Zoo, Water Tower, Musical Fountain & Well, Clubbing, Festivals, Japanese Garden, Bike Carts, Photography, Centennial Memorial, etc.
- Features: Romantic, Natural, Relaxing, Contemplative, Fun, Outdoorsy
Opening Hours of Margaret Island
Margaret Island park is open all day, 24/7, all year round (except if the Danube is flooding and the water levels endanger visiting the island for a few days of the year).
Margaret Island is not fenced off, so you are free to come and go on the island as you wish all day and all night. Only taxis and the local bus can go to the island (and some vendors’ cars), so it is a very relaxed pedestrian area.
Warning: At night, in summer time, you can meet many young people clubbing on the island, e.g. debarking from a Budapest Party Boat, or enjoying the night at Holdudvar Bar.
If you decide to stay on Margit Island late at night, make sure to stay in well lit areas, and possibly do not venture into the protective darkness of the woods for a late night romance.
As any park in a big city, there are occasional complaints (thefts), so it is better to be on the safe side. If you party on Margaret Island, stay with friends, and take a taxi to get back to your hotel.
In the evenings, the Music Fountain at the southern tip of the Margaret Island offers a fascinating visual and musical treat with its playlist of classical and light music, and spiral, towering water jets colored with pink, blue, green, yellow shades of light.
The address of Margaret Island is Margitsziget Budapest. The island is located in the middle of the river Danube, between Margaret Bridge (south) and Arpad Bridge (north), relatively close to the city centre of Budapest, considering that it is a cosmopolitan city of approx. 1.9 million people.
By searching Margitsziget or Margaret Island, you can find the location on Budapest Tourist Map, and on any Budapest map (including Google maps where you can also get directions to and from Margit Island.
Visiting Margaret Island is completely free of charge, and there are quite a few attractions, which are free to enter or use (Petting Zoo, Running Track, 12th century Dominican church ruins, Musical Fountain, Musical Well, etc.).
However, the entry to major attractions, like the 19th century Water Tower, which hosts exhibitions, the fun thermal water park called Palatinus bath, or the spas in the spa hotels – the Danubius Grand Hotel, Danubius Spa Hotel Margitsziget – are not free. You can buy your ticket at each attraction on the spot.
You can choose from many options to get to Margaret Island, Budapest.
Tram: the big ring road of Budapest has a very frequent streetcar (actually two), number 4 and 6. Either will take you to the middle of Margaret Bridge. Getting of the tram, you can walk to the island in 1 minute.
Bus: Bus 26, running every 15 min between 8 am and 6 pm, less frequently before and after that.See the timetable here.
The only bus that goes to and from the island is Bus number 26. It is quite a busy bus in spring, summer and autumn, when we can enjoy the good weather and the recreational activities on Margitsziget. Bus 26 goes from Nyugati Train Station to Arpad Bridge. The bus leaves from Nyugati Railway Station, stops at Jaszai Mari Square, at the foot of the bridge, at the Sports Swimming Pool (Hajos Alfred Uszoda), where the water polo championships are often held, then at the Palatinus Bath & Water Park, the Open Air Stage (the venue of the Budapest Summer Festival), at the Musical Well (Zenelo Kut) in the northern tip of the island. The bus has been running here since 1932, as the thermal spa hotel (now Danubius Grand Hotel) has been extremely popular since the very beginning.