A beautiful run with a pro quality running track.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Terrain: springy rubberized running track most of the way
  • Length: 5.5km loop
  • Flow: Great
  • Scenery: Trees, parkland, Danube River, downtown Budapest in the background
  • Safety Issues:  None
  • Bathrooms: Not sure
  • Drinking water: Some water fountains
  • Transit Access: Yes trams 4 and 6.
  • Parking: Not sure
  • Night Access: Yes (not sure about lighting)
  • Special Features: The Island boasts a variety of features including two musical fountains, ruins and a thermal bath.
  • Nearby Attractions: Walking distance to a very interesting McDonalds in a building built in 1877 by the Eiffel Company who built the Eiffel Tower!!

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Budapest is a wonderful tourist city, and it is also a great city for running. We had many options of where to run, but I have to say my favourite was Margaret Island (which luckily was near to where we were staying). It was easy to see why this lovely park is a favorite for Budapest runners.
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Located in the middle of the Danube River, basically adjacent to downtown Budapest and the center of the tourist district is Margaret Island. It is easily accessible on foot via the picturesque Margit Bridge or via frequents trams (#4 and #6), which stop right at the start of the island in the middle of the bridge. It is also possible to take the public ferry to the island (it’s part of the regular transit system and makes a great and inexpensive way to travel the river as a tourist!)

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The island has a long history, from churches and convents to a time when it housed a harem! Some ruins remind of us its history including ruins of a 13th century church. In the early 1900s it was declared a public park and it has been the focus on recreational activity in Budapest ever since.

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I was very pleasantly surprised to arrive at the main island and find a professional rubberized, springy, running track! It was awesome! And so nice on my legs which were already fatigued from days of sightseeing. The track runs a circuit around the perimeter of the island making a loop of just less than 5.5km. There were a few water fountains along the way and I assume there must have been bathrooms accessible although we did not notice any.

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The scenery was great! From the setting itself: a beautiful urban parkland with a nice variety of trees providing shade. The features of the park as nice to pass by, including the interesting musical fountain. There are beautiful views along most of the way of the mighty Danube River busy with boats and ferries. The bridges are also very picturesque as you look up or down river and see them all, each unique, fading off into the distance. In the background beyond the river you can see Budapest, and since you circle the island you get to see both sides of the city: Buda and Pest. It’s a wonderful vantage point to see this amazing city.

There is actually a hotel on the island, which would make an amazing place to stay if you wanted to run here every day, but I have no idea as to the price or quality. We happened to have a home exchange apartment (we have exchanged one of our home with someone through a website www.homeexchange.com to get this Budapest apartment for free!) and we were pretty close to the island, close enough to walk and then start our run just as we got to the start of the bridge. There are many hotels within walking distance of the island and if you are a runner this is definitely worth considering as this is such a wonderful place to run during your stay in Budapest.

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We saw lots of other runners. This is clearly a very popular running spot in Budapest. It was easy to feel like you were part of the Budapest running scene as you merged into the running track and joined the throng of morning runners. I love this feeling when I travel. For a moment, I picture myself as someone who lives there and runs this path every day! I imagine I know just a little but more about what its like to call Budapest home.

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If you are in the area be sure to check out the McDonalds that is just up the road from the Margit Bridge and next to the train station at this end of town. This is not your average McDonalds! It is actually quite amazing! House in a building built by the Eiffel Company is 1877 it first became a McDonalds in the 1980s. While some parts will seem familiar they managed to keep the splendor of the building and left the chandeliers in place! It has often been called the most beautiful McDonalds in the world. So be sure to stop by even if you don’t want a Big Mac you can just take some pictures!

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Be sure to check out my other Budapest runs, which will be posted soon! Budapest is a another great tourist destination for runners!!