by Lucas Aresin
You might ask yourself, what can I do in Budapest in autumn?
When summer is over, there is still plenty to do out in the fresh air. Here is a list of outdoor activities that fill you up with energy for the winter.
The best views are the ones that make you feel like you’re a bird, soaring through the sky. Fittingly, Budapest is surrounded by hills, as we know. And what would hills be without a proper chairlift? Exactly! That’s why Budapest has its own chairlift in the Buda hills! This alternative way of transporting passengers up the hillside is a more than 1-kilometer-long cable-lift which completes a journey in a little more than 15 minutes.
The conveyance came to life in 1970 and connects Zugliget with János Hill. The level difference between the two stops is 262 meters. To put that into perspective, that’s the Hungarian parliament building (Országház) stacked on top of itself 2 ½ times.
It might seem like a gimmick at first, but it really isn’t. The convenience itself makes the trip worth it, but you should truly check it for the view.
Once you’re on top of János Hill, check out the aptly named Elisabeth lookout. This majestic structure was built in 1910, is named after Queen Elisabeth (“Sissi”), and towers high above the ground with 23.5 meters in height. Conveniently, it’s also built on top of the highest spot of Budapest.
That means that if you do climb the 101 stairs successfully, you can expect to be blown away! Not by the winds, but by the view. Not only will the Hungarian capital stretch out in front of you like a miniature city, but if the conditions are good, you can even see the 80-kilometer-away Mátra Mountains, and even the Great Plain of Hungary. This gives you a truly epic perspective.
You’ll feel like a monarch overlooking their empire.
Budakeszi Wildlife Park
Maybe you can see Budakeszi Wildlife Park from the lookout as well. It’s located at the edge of the city in the middle of a piece of forest. And while Budapest’s Zoo is an exciting and exotic place to be, the Budakeszi Wildlife Park brings you the native animals of the forest right where they live.
When you stroll beneath the lush treetops and enjoy the forest’s tranquility, you can observe all kinds of fantastic animals, from rodents to felines to bears – from a safe, fenced off distance, of course. And then there’s a special petting and feeding area.
A special feeding area for the human inhabitants of the forest also exists: If you get tired of walking, have a seat in Park’s buffet and enjoy some Hungarian cuisine!
And after this trip through the surroundings of Budapest, we’re back in the city. In the middle of the river, to be precise!
If you’re done with crowded downtown streets, head over to Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube. This central, yet green jewel could be described as the Central Park of Budapest. It’s a getaway spot to stroll or have a picnic, and you can easily dedicate a full afternoon to Margaret Island.
Should you want more than just a casual stroll, fear not, because there’s plenty things to do. For example, you can rent a ‘bringo hintó’, which is a bike cart with a canopy attached. Then there’s a small zoo, playgrounds for the young ones, a musical fountain, the Japanese garden, or the Hajós Alfréd pool complex (if you’re up for a swim). Furthermore: Restaurants, bars, historical chapels, and an open-air theatre.
You can also work out or jog around the island.
You see, the island is chock-full with attractions and things to do. And that’s the beauty of it, if you think about it: If you want to jet from one attraction to the next, you can. But if you just want to let the early-fall sun warm your face while you enjoy the peacefulness of the island, you can, too!
What other outdoorsy things can I do in Budapest in autumn?
- Ride the Cogwheel railway and hike in the Buda forests
- Test yourself at the Budapest Marathon
- Bike around the city or even to Szentendre
- Go to a botanical garden e.g. ELTE Füvészkert
- Walk through one of our cemeteries
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