Take a walk in the parks of Budapest
June 25, 2019
by Pálma Vízi
Although Budapest is a crowded big city in Hungary, fortunately, it also has many green parks. I think everybody needs them, those spots where you can leave the city behind, to get some fresh air and enjoy nature. Besides these benefits, a lot of interesting programs are waiting for you at these places. Let me introduce to you some of them!
Margaret Island is one of the islands of Budapest, between the Margaret and Árpád Bridge. It occupies a sizeable area of the city. It’s basically a big green park with beautiful plants, trees, and flowers of course. It offers you many interesting programs as well. This is one of the most perfect places for walking, playing or simply just resting.
At the entrance of the island, next to Margaret Bridge, you can book a few kinds of vehicles if you would prefer not walking or strolling. There are bicycles, monster rollers and „bringó hintó-s”. The last one is like a chariot for four people, which works like a bike. It could be a really fun experience, especially when you are with your friends or family!
For the sporty persons, there is a running track around the island, it’s 5,3 km long. Besides that, you can find a swimming pool and the Palatinus Bath is here, where you can relax and make some sporty activity too.
On the island, you can find a mini zoo as well. Mainly saved birds live here, buzzards, eagles, storks. But you can see bunnies, poultries, and deers too, and children have the opportunity to ride ponies for free.
Ruins and fountains
In the Middle Ages, more monasteries were present around here. Their ruins can still be visited these days. Actually, Princess Saint Margaret lived in one of them, the island was named after her.
There are two musical fountains here. One of them is near the Margaret Bridge. It is the bigger one, and in the evenings the music is accompanied by a light show. The other one is near the Árpád Bridge. It is smaller, but really truly sightly as well. Near the smaller well there is a mini Japanese garden. It is really beautiful and a perfect place for relaxation.
Normafa and János Hill
Normafa is located on Svábhegy, 20 minutes away from Széll Kálmán square.
The name means Norma Tree. This tree, the was a beech, started to grow in a time of King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490), according to legends. Probably it’s not that old but either way, it lived a really long life. Its original name was Viharbükk, Stormbeech. The name “Norma” came from Bellini’s famous opera with the same name. The aria Casta Diva was performed under the tree by a Hungarian National Theater’s singer. Unfortunately, the original beech was destroyed by a thunderbolt in 1927. In 1962 a new beech was planted and a plaque guards its memory too.
This whole area is indeed very green, the sounds of the city are almost not audible, the air is fresh, it is almost like a forest. And since it is high above Budapest, the panorama is truly fascinating.
You can also find a running track here, and a big playground for children on Anna meadow. At winter people used to skiing and sledding here. At summer you can just take a walk, make a picnic or relax in the sunshine.
Not so far from Normafa, you can find János hill. It is just 30 minutes long walk in a really pleasant environment. Here it is the tallest point of Budapest with its 528 meters altitude. At this point, you can find a tower, the Erzsébet tower. It was named after Sissy, the Austrian Empress. It is more than 100 years old, and if you climb it, you can see a beautiful view of Budapest. When the weather is really clear, you can see the silhouette of Magas-Tátra, which is a mountain in Slovakia.
There is a chairlift on the hill too. From there you can travel to the other station, which is Zugliget. The journey time is 15 minutes and during the trip, you can observe the wonderful landscape of Budapest.
It is located next to the Danube, in the middle of the city. It is not very tall, 235 meters, but to climb it, it could be a little tiring. You can travel by bus to the top, but if you don’t mind some effort, then I suggest you go on your foot. Gellért hill has many beautiful parts, and all are worthy of your time. It is the part of the World Heritage from 1987.
It had a few names during the centuries. The current name was given after Gellért bishop. He lived in the early years of Hungary and was a missionary, who played an important role in spreading Christianity. Unfortunately, he was murdered during a pagan rebellion, the rebels pushed him down from the hill, which today has his name.
On the top of the hill you can find the freedom statue and the Citadella, and of course, a beautiful view of the city, the Danube and the Erzsébet Bridge, and the Szabadság Bridge.
The hill is entirely green, so you can find a few lovely parks there with a lot of interesting monuments.
The philosopher’s garden
The philosophers’ garden is located on the left side of the Gellért hill, on the side of the Erzsébet Bridge. Here you can see the statues of leaders and other important world religion personalities, for example, Buddha, Jesus, Abraham. The message, which belongs to the composition is „For a better understanding of each other”. The artist wanted to emphasize the importance of understanding and accepting each other.
Near that place, there is another statue too, the meeting of Princess Pest and Prince Buda, the avatars of the city’s two parts.
Almost behind the Citadella, there is the Jubileumi-park. It is really beautiful and has a great atmosphere, especially in summer, when there are colorful flowers everywhere and in the sunshine, you can relax in the shades of the trees.
There is a cave inside the Gellért hill as well, its name is Ivan-cave, in which a church was built in 1924. It got the name „Rock Temple” and still works today. It really looks like a cave inside, in which there are a nice altar and chairs.
At the bottom of the hill, you can find the Gellert bath. The building is truly beautiful with many pools inside and outside. It has thermal water, which is, of course, a great choice for various health conditions. Besides, there are plenty of services here, wellness, massage, sauna. You can spend the whole day here without being bored for a single minute!
It is interesting that there is a reservoir inside the hill, which contains some of the drinking water of Budapest. Unfortunately, it can be visited very rarely.