Dreaming of a day trip, far from prying eyes, but close to downtown? There’s a place on my mind – the beautiful St. Margaret Island (Margitsziget), a secluded island on the Danube, in between Buda and Pest, stretching between Arpad Bridge and Margaret Bridge across the river Danube. There are many things to do in Margaret Island which makes it quite a popular place for a day outing. The island is a park which remains open from 9 am to 7 pm and can be reached by trams, bus or cab from the city center or by ferry too.
Let’s get to The 7 Best Things to do in Margaret Island
Ride unique vehicles across the park to reach from one spot to the other. The Park is spread across 96 hectares and is difficult to cover on foot. Cabs and bus no 26 runs across the island. Vehicles can be booked from Margaret Bridge itself. However, riding the toy train, cycling around, and riding the uniquely designed golf carts provide a more ‘feel-good’ experience. There are numerous unusual vehicles. It’s fun to ride them.
Eat langos and watch the Musical Fountains dance to the rhythm of the music. Langos are fried dough with sour cream, easily available Hungarian snack. You can get them from the cafes and canteens on the island. The musical fountains are fountains that ‘perform’ 4 times a day and the timings are specified at the entry. There is a musical well too.
Climb the spirals of the Margaret Island Water Tower to reach its top for an amazing 360-degree view. Feel the breeze on your cheeks. The tank supplies water to all the businesses on the island, like the cafes, bars, management offices, restaurants, and hotels. The ground floor of the tower is a venue for art exhibitions and also the Budapest Summer Festival.
Take a dip in the Palatinus Bath which is an outdoor thermal bath with various pools, even with a beach style swimming pool with waves, saunas, and a few fun water slides. This is one of the coolest things to do in Margaret Island. Even though this is not the most popular bath in Budapest, it is a wonderful one for a family picnic. The kids just love it here. People, who have claustrophobia, enjoy it here as the thermal baths are under the open sky. The facilities and security services are good and can be booked at a far lesser price than those in the city. Be careful of not losing the given bracelets tags for they are the key to your locker. You can safely keep your belongings inside the locker and have a gala time at the pool. There are even drier facilities to instantly dry your wet swimwear. Towels and swim gears are available on rent so that even if you come unprepared, you can always plunge into the pool.
Stroll across the wondrous gardens- the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden. Begin with the English styled Rose Garden opposite the bath. The vast garden gets gorgeous in spring with colourful roses and other flowers. There is also a Japanese Garden in the northern part of the island with lots of trees, smooth paving, statues, and a central pond with calm water and flowers. Strolling across instantly relaxes the mind and the body with the emanating Zen from the surroundings.
Visiting the mini zoo is one of the most important things to do in Margaret Island. The zoo has deer, rabbits, fowls, and other birds. This zoo is significant because in the medieval times the island was known as ‘Rabbit Island’ and had numerous animals on it.
Soak into the history of the island through the 13th-century remains and the ruins of the Dominican Convent. Margit or Margaret was the princess of the island who discarded her earthy life and luxuries and became a nun to follow the path of enlightenment and selfless love. King Bela got the convent made for Margaret to reside in it. Among the things to do in Margaret Island walking through the Dominican Convent, Franciscan Monastery, Saint Michael’s Chapel is a must. This is a way of paying tribute to the people who resided here in the past.
This island is a joggers’ paradise, a great picnic spot for families and a place to be engrossed in amazing outdoor sketches by artists. Last but not the least, the bonus tip on things to do in Margaret Island is to sit down quietly on a bench at the South-western bank and watch one of the best sunsets in the world with the majestic Buda Castle against it.
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A versatile writer and travel freak, discovering the world in her own casual way. Loves to immerse into the core of Mother Nature and extract her inherent beauty.