Margaret Island is one of the most prized leisure venues of Budapest, being held in great respect by locals who find a cool and refreshing refuge here, especially during the summer season. It enjoys a virtually central position in Budapest, the main means of access being represented by the Margaret Bridge (at the south end of the island) and by the Arpad Bridge (the northernmost point of the island).

The island measures some 2.5 kilometers in length, and about 500 meters in width. It is populated by a plethora of attractions, a feature which turns the island into one of the major tourist hubs of Budapest. It bears the name of Margaret, daughter of King Bela IV, who, as a nun, lived on the island at a Dominican monastery the remains of which are still visible today.

Margaret Island was inhabited even in Antiquity, but in the Middle Ages it turned into more of a religious center, being dotted with a plethora of churches and monasteries. It was only during the 19th century that the leisure potential of the island was discovered by the royal dynasty. In time, the thermal spring on Margaret Island was also discovered, and the place started to grow and evolve its potential.

All these historical processes resulted in the nowadays Margaret Island. One can rightfully state the island is a huge park, the largest in Budapest, being sunken in greenery and pegged out by multicolored gardens (a Japanese garden and a rose garden).

Thus, the main attractions on Margaret Island refer to the Palatinus Bath (one of the most notable seasonal bathing establishments in Budapest, more of a fun water park), an open-air theater and cinema. All these are located on the south side of the island, where tourists can also enjoy relaxing near a monumental fountain (said to be the biggest of all in Budapest) or admire the Centenary Monument (erected in 1972 in honoring 100 years from the unification of Budapest).

The north part of the island it populated by a series of vestiges of significant archeological and historical value, such as the ruins of the 13th century Dominican monastery where the daughter of King Bela IV used to live, and a chapel which neighbors on the oldest baptistery in Hungary, which dates back to the 15th century.

However, one of the most prized landmarks on Margaret Island refers to a water tower built in 1911, now used as lookout and cultural events.

In order to protect both the nature patrimony and the historical and architectural heritage, authorities have decided to prohibit motorized traffic on the island (with the obvious necessary exceptions, such as a bus line and police cars). This state of affairs turns the island into one of the favorite spots for keen joggers and bikers, who delight and train without the nuisance of the road traffic. Indeed, the island is ideally fitted with jogging and cycle paths, being one of the main sites for companies which organize bike tours in Budapest.

Name:
Margaret Island (Margitsziget)
Address:
Budapest, Hungary

Margitsziget, Budapest, Hungary

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