Walking Tour Around Margaret Island, Budapest (Self Guided)

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.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

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.

Walking Tours in Budapest, Hungary

Create Your Own Walk in Budapest

Create Your Own Walk in Budapest

Creating your own self-guided walk in Budapest is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour on Andrassy Utca

Walking Tour on Andrassy Utca

Andrassy Avenue, recognized as a World Heritage site in 2002, is a fine boulevard in the city that dates back to 1870. The entire stretch is lined with cafés, restaurants, luxury shops and cultural institutions. The long, wide road that connects Downtown and City Park is lined with trees and renovated villas and palaces. At the City Park end is the Heroes Square where the most important national...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Pest Orientation Walk

Pest Orientation Walk

Separated from its western neighbor Buda by the magnificent river Danube, the eastern part of Bupadest, formally known as Pest, takes up almost two thirds of the Hungarian capital. Unlike hilly Buda, Pest is predominantly a flat plain with a pretty buzzing and bourgeois setting. It houses some truly magnificent architectural sights, including the Hungarian Parliament itself. In part, this is...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Nightlife Tour

Nightlife Tour

A major city that attracts a lot of visitors each year, Budapest offers a healthy selection of hot bars and clubs where guests are encouraged to party all night long. The diversity of the venues found on the Budapest Nightlife Tour is notable, including decadent nightclubs with heart-thumping live DJs spinning the latest house and techno, hip and artsy crowds relaxing with a cocktail to jazz and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Ruin Pubs Tour

Ruin Pubs Tour

A truly unique attraction to the city of Budapest, ruin pubs are thriving modern establishments that are located inside old abandoned buildings. The antiquity inherent in their architecture adds a certain character to these pubs. Inside the spots found on the Budapest Ruin Pubs Tour guests are treated to an assortment of entertainment opportunities, including hot DJ sets, live musical acts, film...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Jewish Heritage Walking Tour

Jewish Heritage Walking Tour

Over the centuries, the Jews of Budapest were many times expelled from the city and had to rebuild their homes and lives after it. Therefore, it is amazing to see how much they have re-created and many of it is still preserved even after the WWII and the communist regime. This tour covers some of the most important sites that provide an insight into the history and culture of the Jewish population...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Buda Orientation Walk

Buda Orientation Walk

The Hungarian capital Budapest is a relatively young city, emerged only in the late 19th century as a result of the merger of two neighboring towns - Buda on the western bank of the Danube and Pest on the eastern bank. Set on the hills, Buda represents a historic part of the city and is a home to the grand Hapsburg palace which still breathes the imperial air of old-time wealth. While in Buda -...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

15 Must Buy Hungarian Things in Budapest

15 Must Buy Hungarian Things in Budapest

Other than the standalone language and catchy Czardas tune, there's a lot more to memorize Hungary by. Here are some of the things you might want to carry from Budapest to your family and friends back...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Budapest for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Budapest has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money getting around Budapest and visiting the city's multiple highlights, you may want to resort to the Budapest Card.

Among other conveniences, this card allows its bearer to explore Budapest's top attractions, tours, and restaurants either completely free or with great discounts. The card provides 24-, 48-, 72-, 96- or 120-hour passes to these locations, plus free ride on public transportation, thus putting Budapest at your fingertips!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few Budapest hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Carat Boutique Hotel, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Budapest, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Budapest typically costs somewhere between US$20+ and US$90+ per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker bus or cruise boat to enjoy sightseeing of Budapest in comfort from either land or water, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able to get on and off at any of the stops along the four interconnecting bus routes (your ticket is valid for all four) or the Danube riverbanks as often as you like.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Budapest – this usually lasts up to 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the Hungarian capital. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have by walking.

- Pedal your way around Budapest on a 3-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Acquaint yourself up-close with the wonders of Budapest on a 3-hour walking tour of the UNESCO-listed and other heritage sites of the Hungarian capital, plus many more unexpected gems of this magical city.

- Awaken your taste buds to the highlights of Hungarian gastronomy on a 4-hour guided gourmet food tour of Budapest to sample some of the tastiest treats of the famously hearty Hungarian cuisine the city has to offer. Apart from feasting on its gastronomic treasures, with each bite you will also learn about the culinary culture of Budapest.

- Explore the centuries-long fascinating and complicated history of the Hungarian Jews. Take a guided Jewish heritage walk in Budapest to visit the historic Jewish quarters, memorials and synagogues of the city, home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Budapest, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like the Etyek wine region, the Danube Bend, or Pecs. For as little as circa US$80+ to US$140 per person you will get a chance to savor some of Hungary’s delicious wines and learn some tricks of the local winemaking trade, visit the beautiful cities along the Danube Bend, travel to the old Hungarian capital Esztergom, get a chance to enjoy Mediterranean atmosphere amid the land-locked country, see the remnants of Turkish presence in Hungary, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in Budapest and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned minibus or private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.