Margaret Island – The Green Heart of Budapest
Margaret Island is a natural island in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. You can get onto the Island via Margaret bridge or Árpád bridge. The entire area is one huge park, the most popular recreational area in the city with many sports facilities, a waterpark, flower gardens, a Japanese garden, a small zoo, a musical fountain, a water tower, an open-air theatre and some medieval ruins. Above all if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the concrete city jungle, Margaret island offers a peaceful hideaway.
In the old times the area was a royal hunting reserve called the Island of Rabbits. Later on it became a religious center, the relics of which can still be seen today. (Sign up for a tour to learn more about the ruins and find Margaret!) The landscaping project of the island started at the beginning of the 19th century and in 1908 it became a public park.
What to do on the island? During the high season you can try electric cars, segways, roller blades, bicycles, “bringohinto” electric or pedal-powered carts etc. to get around and explore the island. Also professional guides can take you around or you can discover the area on your own.
Of course if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can take a leisurely walk or go for a run on the rubber-coated jogging track all around the island, which is well-lit and very popular in the cool of the evenings. Then you can enjoy the car-free and oxygen-rich environment! On a hot summer’s day, you can benefit from the hot water springs famous for their healing effects, have a dip in the outdoor pools of Palatinus “Beach” or relax in the Danubius Hotel Spa.
Looking for cultural activities? Then why not take a walk along the Promenade of Hungarian Artists with busts of famous poets, writers and other artists. In the middle of the island stands a Water Tower housing exhibitions and cultural events. The tower also offers a beautiful panoramic view from the terrace on the top. Then in the evening you can visit the open-air theatre as well and enjoy one of many different shows while sitting under the stars.
Getting tired and hungry? There are a few food trucks selling all kinds of street food. But eat in one of the restaurants if you want a proper meal. From the vendors you may just buy an ice cream, and enjoy the music of the fountain with light shows. Or do as the locals do and enjoy a picnic in nature!
Margaret Island Info
47.527905, 19.046330 (Middle of the island)
How to get there:
Best time to see it: in good weather conditions!
Water tower opening hours: 11.00-22.00 every day from June until the end of September.
For information on the exhibitions and special events got to the official website.