Route Focus #3 - The 'Szentendre Classic'
Reasons to run the Szentendre Classic...
Perfect for any long run (natural 1/2 marathon distance)
Convenient public transport (HEV) back to Budapest
Hugs the shore of the Danube
Route: 'Szentendre Classic'
Start: Híd Bisztró
End: Szentendre - Postás strand
Suggested Shoes: Road runners
Terrain: Flat road/path and track.
Turn your Sunday long run into a journey of discovery (with a train ticket home)! The route takes you from Margit Hid all the way to the beautiful and interesting town of Szentendre, and for the most part (from the 3rd-ish KM) is away from busy roads! Hurrah!
The route follows the E6 cycle way which starts at the source of the Danube and then follows the river all the way to the Black Sea. Having cycled from Passau to Budapest on the trail we can attest to the route as a whole as being lovely. But for purpose of a runner looking for that lengthy challenge it also works well as a sign-posted route out of the city; follow the E6 (yellow) signs and you will never go wrong.
Crossing the road at Hid Bistro, and before the bridge on the north side, you join the cycle way. Staying on the way is a simple, if slightly smoggy affair at the start (there are three parallel roads for a little way), until you reach Obuda. Note that you must run over a footbridge, but this is the only incline along the whole route.
Obuda is Hungarian for 'Old-Buda' and is - as one would expect - the oldest part of Budapest. Whilst surrounded by communist-era apartment blocs, one can enter into the quaint town square and be instantly - if you squint a little - transported back 100 years. Obuda is well worth a quick visit; don't miss the Christmas Market which always seems to be better and more authentic than others in Budapest. Runners returning to Obuda will find some interesting bars (there is a really cool one in a hidden courtyard which holds an annual Beetles festival, see if you can find it!) and 5 museums in the area.
Run past the Trinity Column into the main square and take the exit in the top right. Take the slight left past Trombitás restaurant and cross the road keeping left of the small fitness park. Carry on alongside tall apartment buildings and past old industrial spaces which at the time of writing were being destroyed. You will come to a t-junction (Viking Cruises offices in front) and turn right. You rejoin a modern cycling path, on which you turn left towards Graphisoft Park. The cycling path ends again, but follow the road which is adjacent to Graphisoft park. From here you are out of the city.
The road bends to the right, and then under a rail bridge. Make sure you cross under the railway, then find the small footbridge to Római Part. In the summer this is a haven for families looking for a easy stroll along the Danube; the stretch caters well for these offering fried food and ice-cream by the bucket-load! After a while, the track enters a area developed for flood defenses, which allows you to rise a little above everything and there is a long open stretch for a cheeky sprint. You know. If you fancy it. Call it Interval-Fartlek-Cruise Training. At the end of this section the route has a short switch-back then enters a wooded area.
On entering the wooded area you are on the final third. Here the path enters a wetland until it rises onto a track parallel to the Lupa lakes. There is another switchback - briefly touching a main road - and the route turns into flat concreted cycling track once again.
You arrive in the town proper (if you chose that option) along the promenade. Pause your sports watch or phone at the monument then stroll along the river as a cool down. There are lots of bars and restaurants here, why not try one out if you aren't in too bad a state. You earned that beer/wine/parlinka today.