Start your hike from Budapest’s green island, the perfect place for active relaxation, Margaret Island! If you’d like to have a little rest before your bike ride, you’ll find plenty of picnic spots here, and there’s also no shortage of playgrounds for the kids. Head north on the island towards Árpád Bridge, crossing via the cyclist underpass. Cycle along the Pest embankment until you reach Gogol Street, then on Bajza Street take Andrássy Service Road to reach City Park, whose promenades are a pleasure to wander through in all seasons. Don’t forget to admire the notable buildings of the park, among which are remarkable masterpieces like the perforated roof structure of the Hungarian Music House and the unique building of the Ethnographic Museum with its stunning panorama. From here, you’ll continue along Andrássy Road, then onto the Kiskörút (officially Károly, Múzeum, and Vámház körút), until you cross the Liberty Bridge and head towards the beloved location for leisurely strolls and beautiful sunsets, Kopaszi-gát. From Rákóczi Bridge, you can bike along the Danube all the way to Margaret Bridge. This section is a highlight of the tour in terms of sights, as you’ll pass by the magnificent Gellért Hill, the venerable Liberty Bridge, the breathtaking Buda Castle, the Várkert Bazaar, and even the Parliament building, as you ride past the Bálna (Whale). As you approach Margaret Bridge, you can ride back onto the island, and complete your tour.
Between Buda and Pest stretches the natural oasis of relaxation in the heart of the city, the popular Margaret Island, frequented by both locals and tourists alike. A multitude of footpaths, a rose garden, a wildlife park, and a riverside rubberised running track await those seeking outdoor activities here. In the middle of the island, you’ll find the country’s tallest water tower, offering an unparalleled panorama of Budapest. It’s also worth visiting the romantic Japanese garden, a true oasis in the bustling city.
Hungarian Music House
Incredible exhibitions bring to life various eras of Hungarian music history at the Hungarian Music House, which also hosts a diverse range of live music concerts. Situated within the City Park, the glass palace is also worth a visit for its unusual architecture in addition to its high-quality programmes. Designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, you can explore his masterpiece through guided architectural tours.
Hungarian Parliament Building
On the left bank of the Danube rises the symbol of the city, the stately Hungarian Parliament Building, constructed between 1885 and 1904 based on the plans of Imre Steindl during the prosperous times of peace. This monumental building was created in the spirit of historicizing eclecticism, yet it exhibits the features of Viennese Neo-Gothic architecture. Today, you can explore the Hungarian Parliament Building through a 45-minute guided tour, either with an audio guide or with a tour guide.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Budapest’s oldest bridge, and an unmistakable symbol of the city connecting Buda with Pest, is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Its construction was initiated by the greatest Hungarian, Count István Széchenyi, in 1832, but it was only inaugurated in 1849, when Emperor Franz Joseph opened the bridge. During World War II, the bridge was blown up, but it was soon rebuilt. In recent years, the bridge underwent renovations and is currently open for use by taxis, buses, motorcycles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The Liberty Bridge, connecting Pest’s Fővám Square with Buda’s Szent Gellért Square, might be the shortest bridge in downtown Budapest, but it’s certainly the most popular. Passing through its iconic green columns offers a truly unique experience of crossing the Danube, and the panoramic view of Budapest that unfolds from here entices both locals and tourists onto the bridge. During the summer, the bridge is occasionally closed to traffic on weekends, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to take over. This festival-like atmosphere gives people the chance to enjoy the old-new public space.
Newbuda’s leisure paradise, the Kopaszi Dam, which surrounds the Lágymányosi Bay, stretches out into the water. On the small Danube island, you’ll find a succession of waterfront restaurants promising a delightful ambiance. But even if you simply wish to recharge in nature, be sure to plan a visit here. Playgrounds, sandy shores, lush hills, panoramic benches, and free summer garden cinemas await you.
Undoubtedly one of the most surprising buildings along the Pest riverside, the Whale Budapest was constructed around the 19th-century Central Warehouses, and from a distance, it does indeed resemble the shape of the marine mammal. Created by Dutch architect Kas Oosterhuis, this structure now serves as the venue for grand exhibitions and is home to some of the most beloved terraces in the capital, offering relaxation just a stone’s throw away from the river. In addition to the restaurants, there’s a high-quality bicycle path passing by.
Bordered by the imposing mansion blocks of Andrássy Road, the vast square at its end, known only as Heroes’ Square, is a World Heritage Site. The monumental Millennium Monument found here commemorates the thousandth anniversary of the Hungarian conquest, standing for more than a century now. The 85-metre-wide sculpture group depicts significant figures from Hungarian history, from King Saint Stephen to King Matthias.
Széchenyi Spa and Swimming Pool
Not only one of Budapest’s, but also one of Europe’s largest thermal bath complexes, it is an essential sightseeing destination. The imposing walls of the Széchenyi Spa and Swimming Pool, set in the fabulous green surroundings of the City Park, attract the attention of people from afar. Beyond its captivating exterior, its interior offerings are equally alluring: indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, steam cabins, and wellness and medical services all contribute to a rejuvenating experience.
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Buda Castle District
The Castle District’s charming cobbled streets and attractions are a World Heritage Site for a reason. It encompasses Buda Castle, which has housed Hungarian kings since the 13th century. Here, you can find the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Széchényi Library, and the Budapest History Museum.
Ferris Wheel of Budapest
Located at Erzsébet Square since 2013, the Ferris Wheel of Budapest has been a favourite for both kids and adults. From the Ferris wheel, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views. You can see Buda Castle, the Danube, and Andrássy Avenue from here.
Városliget (City Park)
Városliget, a stunning destination in every season, is one of the largest and most visited public parks in the city. Covering over 100 hectares of green space, it features charming walking paths, as well as thematic parks like the Rose Garden and a modern water playground. The iconic buildings of the park serve as attractions and leisure spots alike, from the City Park Ice Rink and Boating Lake to the picturesque Vajdahunyad Castle and the renowned rooftop terrace of the Museum of Ethnography.
Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden
Also located in City Park is the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, home to the country’s largest collection of animals and plants since 1866. The inhabitants of the park, located in the heart of Budapest, welcome curious visitors every day of the week. Guests can partake in enriching experiences, evening strolls, and exciting shows. Don’t miss the popular seal show!
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