Walking Tour Around Margaret Island (Self Guided), Budapest

Margaret Island on the river Danube is a popular recreational area. Stretching for around 2.5 km, this place was declared a public park in 1908. Beautiful landscaped parks, ancient ruins and various sports facilities dot the island. The island can be accessed by the Margaret Bridge on the south and the Arpad Bridge in the north. This is a quiet place to laze around and enjoy your day. Vehicular traffic is not allowed on the island and is pedestrian friendly.
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Walking Tour Around Margaret Island Map

Guide Name: Walking Tour Around Margaret Island
Guide Location: Hungary » Budapest (See other walking tours in Budapest)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Author: kane
Arpad Bridge

1) Arpad Bridge

Arpad Bridge, located in Budapest, connects the Pest and the northern region of Buda. It goes over the top of the Danube River. To date, it is the longest single bridge in all of Hungary. The massive structure is 1.25 miles long. Along the way, through an embranchment, you can be connected to Margaret Island.

This expansion is named after Hungary’s historical figure Arpad. He is credited with having brought the people to the area in 896. For a period of time from 1950 to 1958, during Communist rule, the bridge was renamed as the Stalin Bridge.

Besides being the longest bridge in Hungary, it is also the most used. Approximately 150,000 vehicles pass over the structure every day. The Arpad Hid metro system is available on the Pest side. An HEV stop is available on the Buda side. This city train can take you all the way to Szentendre.

The view of the Danube River is the best part of this tourist attraction. The bridge itself, other than its obvious length, is of no particular artist value. Still, you can get a great view of the city from here.
Bodor Musical Fountain

2) Bodor Musical Fountain (must see)

The musical fountain on Margaret Island is an exact replica of the first musical fountain in the world. The first one was designed by a Hungarian and to commemorate that, a second one was built in Budapest. The fountain has two staircases and a dome with a statue of Neptune (Apollo) at the top. The background music is played every hour.

Why You Should Visit:
The other musical fountain on Margaret Island, near Margaret Bridge, is one of the biggest in Europe and definitely worth checking out for its fabulous waterworks, repertoire, and light show.
Water Tower

3) Water Tower (must see)

The Water Tower located on Margaret Island was opened to the general public in 1913. It was visited by the whole city on opening day. The size of the structure is impressive. It rises to a height of 57 meters. It has a viewing level just 5 meters below. A top the place is a massive 600 million liter water tank.

In its day, the tower was considered very modern technology. It was the first reinforced concrete building erected in the city of Budapest. Over time, the water tank fell out of use. Now the facility is mostly sought after as a place to hold art venues and enjoy the scenic view of Margaret Island. The look over Budapest is best from the Dome Chamber. The trunk of the tower also houses a permanent art exhibit.

The Lookout tower is accessible by bus 26 from the Western Railway Station and Margaret Bridge. It can also be reached by car and there is a large parking area for private cars at the Northern corner of the Island by Árpád Bridge, close to the tower. It is a must-see if you go to the island.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautifully restored monument, quite rightly a World Heritage Site.
Great photo opportunity as it has a great position on the island.

There is a restaurant/bar at the base, as well as an open-air stage for some cultural relaxation.
Medieval Ruins

4) Medieval Ruins (must see)

Margaret Island has been the home of many religious orders throughout the years. There are some of the best examples of medieval ruins to be found here. During the time of the Middle Ages, the location was referred to as the Isle of Rabbits, or Hares island.

The Dominican nunnery that was built here is one of the most classic examples of medieval monastic complexes. It was built in honor the Virgin Mary. The nunnery and order proper were very wealthy and powerful. Many of the miracles attributed to the area were supposedly performed by Margaret, daughter of Bela IV. The religious house became the place to be for the aristocracy.

The King of Hungary also founded a Friary and Monastery here. The façade and sidewall of an old Gothic church still remain standing. Sadly, much of the stone was lost in 1796, during the Turkish Occupation, in order to build the palatine’s villa.

The small chapel from the Premonstratensian monastery dates back to 1225 and was reconstructed by Karoly Lux after an excavation of the area. This set of ruins was also the result of Turkish raids in and around 1526.
Palatinus Water Park

5) Palatinus Water Park (must see)

Budapest’s most popular water park is located on Margaret Island at Palatinus Strand (Beach). It rests atop a natural hot spring that makes the area a great spa location. The natural thermal energy also supplies power to the whole area. The location has various-size pools, including one of the wave variety. The venue is family-friendly and can be enjoyed by all. The complex is entirely outdoors.

The surrounding beach and park complex is a very popular location for nude sunbathing, walking, and eating. Here you may also find many games to play, from billiards to ping-pong. There is plenty to do here to enjoy an entire afternoon.

The huge swimming area covers 300 square meters of the park. The pool is 100m long. There is a section for women only (for nude sunbathing) and a mixed area. You will also want to try out the wave bath.

The facility has been in operation since 1919 when it was first opened as a beach. The large pool was built in 1919, and the larger complex was completed in 1937. In the 1980s, more of the modern water park features were completed, and the whole park was renovated in 2002.

Why You Should Visit:
A great alternative to the more crowded baths in the city centre - perfect to sort out your travel aches and pains!

Make sure you walk around the whole place as there are many different pools and fun things to discover.
A mixture of salads, chips, local food, crepes etc. is available (and affordable) for your pre/mid/post-swim needs so you don't have to worry about refueling.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-8pm
Tamas Szechy Swimming Pools

6) Tamas Szechy Swimming Pools

The Alfréd Hajós Tamas Szechy swimming complex is a world class location. This place hosted the European Championships in 2006. It has ten lanes, and an overall length of 50 meters. You can also find state of the art diving platforms, two fitness rooms, and a sauna here. The venue can hold up to 8000 spectators for some kind of event. As you tour the building, take note of all the plaques that hang on the wall, representing winning athletes that have trained here over the years.

The whole swimming pool complex is named after two very famous Hungarians. The first is Alfred Hajós. He was born Arnold Guttmann, and took up the mission of becoming a good swimmer at the age of 13, after watching his dad drown in the Danube River. Later, he took the name Hajós (which means sailor in his native language.) He went on to win two gold medals in the Athens Olympics and many championships thereafter.

The second person is Tamas Szechy. He was one of the most famous swimming coaches in the history of the country. His students have won 15 Olympic medals through the years. He is best known for the three macro-cycle training program he developed. It is still in use today. Tamas passed away in 2004.

7) Holdudvar

Holdudvar is located in the southern part of the Margaret Island. Built upon the ruins of an older casino, the place has been renovated and is one of the favourite partying spots in Budapest. The place houses an open air restaurant, a casino, an open-air cinema and an art gallery. At night the lights of Holdudvar shine giving it a fantastic look. The Pálinka bar is open at night and you can dance inside. The restaurant offers a wide variety of quality dishes.

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