Varosliget

City Park

Budapest

Budapest City Park (Hun. Városliget) holds several attractions and activities within a small area. Moreover, there are wide grass areas to enjoy on the southern side of the park.
Heroes’ Square (Hun. Hősök tere) is included in this article, although it’s not really a part of City Park. After all, the square is one of Budapest’s landmarks and located right next to the park. Therefore, Heroes’ Square is a must on your itinerary, if you decide to visit Budapest City Park.

Attractions in City Park

Heroes' Square Budapest - City Park
Heroes' Square Budapest - City Park

At Heroes' Square:

  • Millennium Monument, which was erected in 1896 to celebrate the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian state
  • Museum of Fine Arts (link)
  • Art Hall (link)

At the Park:

  • Széchenyi Baths (more information below)
  • Vajdahunyad Castle (more information below)
  • The Museum and Library of Hungarian Agriculture – At the castle
  • Chapel of Ják - A small chapel at the castle’s courtyard
  • Zoo and Botanical Garden (link)
  • Capital Circus of Budapest (link)
  • Museum of Transportation - At the northeast corner of the park (link)
  • Skating rink in the winter and boating lake in the summer
  • Restaurants and cafes

Széchenyi Baths

Széchenyi Baths, the biggest and the most famous spa in Budapest, is situated in City Park. The spa has both, indoor and outdoor pools. The indoor pools are rather simple, with a variety of temperatures. Outside, there are different types of pools; a normal large pool with whirls, a longer pool for swimming, and a 38℃ pool. Different kinds of massages are available as well.

There’s a cafe/snack bar inside that is open all year. In the summertime, there’s also a terrace outside and sunbeds all over the area.

There are no slides or other amusements in Széchenyi Baths, so it’s more suitable for adults than for young children.

Some basic information for the first-time visitors:

  • It’s better to book tickets in advance, to avoid having to wait in line.
  • When booking the tickets, it’s possible to reserve a private changing room for an additional cost.
  • There’re dozens of parties each year in Széchenyi Baths. Be sure to check the dates in advance on their website - either to join or avoid the parties.
  • Swimming shorts are allowed. A swimming cap is not needed unless you’re going to swim in the long pool.
  • It’s best to bring your own towel along; there are places for keeping the towels at least by the showers. It’s also possible to rent or buy one at the baths. Slippers and bathrobe are also good to bring along, especially in the winter.
  • A wallet is needed at the cafe/terrace.
  • Photographing is allowed.

Tickets and more information: szechenyispabaths.com

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle was originally built for the Millennial Exhibition in 1896, to celebrate the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian state. The Millennium Monument at the Heroes’ Square, and the Fisherman’s Bastion at the Buda side of the river, were also built in celebration of the Hungarian Millennium.

Vajdahunyad never was a real castle, though. It was only a temporary establishment, built from light materials for the exhibition. Nonetheless, the inhabitants of Budapest were excited about the castle, and it was rebuilt on the same location a few years later. This time it was built with better materials and it’s still standing there today, on the same exact location.

The different parts of the castle are all replicas of buildings around Hungary. For example, a bigger version of the Chapel of Ják can be found at the village of Ják, on the Hungarian and Austrian border.

Today, the main castle houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture. You can walk around the castle courtyard for free, but an admission fee is collected for the museum and chapel.

More information: vajdahunyadcastle.com

How to get to City Park

Underground: The yellow line number 1 begins at Vörösmarty Square in the city center. The route goes along the wide Andrássy Avenue towards the park, and you can enter at any of the several stations along the way. If you want to exit at Heroes' Square, the correct stop is Hősök tere. Or if, for instance, you are planning to go to the Széchenyi Baths, the stop Széchenyi fürdő is right in the middle of the park and by the baths.

You may find the line’s stations and cars old-fashioned. That’s because the Budapest metro is the second-oldest electrically operated underground railway in the world (first was London), and it’s been in continuous operation ever since 1896. The line was listed as a UNESCO World heritage site in 2002.

Getting to the park by foot via the Andrássy Avenue (Andrássy ut) isn't a bad idea either. The avenue is about three kilometers long, begins with high-end shops and restaurants, and ends with embassies and other beautiful buildings.

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