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Hungary Route Focus #2: Margitsziget

Undoubtedly the jewel in Budapest's crown as far as running is concerned. There are many reasons that Margitsziget (Margaret Island) becomes a second home for many runners. It offers an easy flat course for those who are looking to achieve distance in their training, it is the best place to go if you want to feel part of the massive community of runners here in the city and it is an island in the friggin' Danube full to the brim with interesting sights including Roman ruins, a petting zoo and the delightful Palatinus baths!

Route: 'Margitsziget Loop'

Distance: 5.3km

Start: Steps on east side of island from Margit Hid (Margaret Bridge)

End: Same as start

GPs: Coming... Here is the Strava segment instead.

Suggested Shoes: Road runners

Terrain: Running track / asphalt

Note: Whilst distances shown on the track are measured from the west side of the island, many runners prefer the above location (as demonstrated by the Strava segments). Equally, it seems most runners go anti-clockwise but there is no hard and fast rule for this.

The steps down from the road to the track.

Directions here will be minimal as the route is simple. You join the track with the other eager joggers (all running comfortably at their own pace, there is no pressure here) and run anti-clockwise around the island. Handy distance markers are painted on the track with water stations - in summer - at various intervals.

There are many sights on the route, more than you would expect, but the most welcome ones are the other runners - of all abilities - who use this track. Whilst not overly busy, it is well used, and the feeling of community, imagined competition and reassurance that running is truly for everyone (including you!), helps one reach one's own goals for that day.

Things to see...

Safety is important to us here at runningclub.hu. Whilst a park isolated in the centre of the city isn't always seen as a safe place, we feel that Margitsziget is a wonderful exception! There is a police station en route, and you may see patrols of police officers strolling around the parks and on the track while you run. The track itself is well lit and used through the dark winter months. There are also SOS points which can be used if necessary.

The final point here, which really makes Margitsziget special for runners, is Palatinus Baths, the outdoor strand, very popular in summer and also open in winter. It offers spa facilities as you would expect in Budapest (warm, hot and cold pools as well as steam rooms and a sauna.). Most pleasingly for tired runners, there is also the mighty 'Jogging Ticket' which combines locker use, showers and entry to the spa facilities. We will cover this in more detail in our Next Steps blog.

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