Budapest is littered with idyllic spots where you can escape to add some kilometres to your daily count. From lush parks, gardens a gently flowing river and a combination of flat and hilly terrains. Some of them take you through the touristy spots, while others provide a perspective of a local. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve gathered the very best running routes around Budapest for you to try.
Kopaszi Dam is a modern park set on a sprawling 10-acre site on the banks of Danube by Rákóczi Bridge. It’s extremely clean, well designed, modern and a stunning setting for a run in all seasons. However, in the summer it gets busier as it’s also a favourite picnic spot for Budapest’s locals. To get the best experience, head down here at sunrise or sunset, where you can catch a stunning view of Rákóczi Bridge rising out the Danube. You can get here easily using a number of public transport options. From buses, trams and even ferry.
Reccomended Route: The park has a purpose-built running track around 2 Km in length. However, this can be increased to around 3.5 Km if you venture off the running track onto the pedestrian paths.
Also known as Hajógyári or Óbudai–Sziget, this green oasis is the largest of all Danubian islands near Budapest. Located just outside of the city centre, it’s not as popular and one of the lesser-known running routes on the list. It’s accessible via public transport, however, if you’re a seasoned stepper than the 8Km jog here from the city centre should be no issue for you.
Reccomended Route: The Island is great for running as there are many different routes you can take, depending on what you’re feeling. If you can’t decide on a one, there’s a decent 3Km loop worth trying.
City Park (Városliget)
Located close to Heroe’s Square, Városliget is renowned for its lush greeneries, serene lake, statues and iconic buildings. The includes Szechenyi Thermal Baths, Vajdahunyad Castle and in the winter, it’s even home to one of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in Budapest. Winding through this huge green natural complex are a network of paths that are excellent routes for running. Due to it’s close proximity to the city centre, it’s unsurprisingly popular. However, it’s around 300 Acres in size, so even at it’s busiest is still one of the best places to go for a run in Budapest.
Reccomended Route: There are many routes you can take, so I’d head there and start exploring. However, a loop of the park is always a good option and at 4Km a pretty decent run.
Located high up in the hills of Buda, Normafa is a favourite place for ramblers and hikers, who head here to escape into nature. It’s fresh clean air, lovely trails, a great combination of flat and hilly terrains have put it amongst the best running routes in Budapest. It’s also home to the stunning Erzsébet Lookout tower that sits atop the peak of Janos Hill (János-hegy). Which is also the highest point in all of Budapest. The only downside is that it’s a bit of a trek to get there if you’re using public transport.
Reccomended Route: The area has a versatile range of running routes that differ in terrain and ground surface. From flat, pathed and gravel running trails. To inclined routes which are ideal for hill runs. However, if your looking for something simple try out the new rubberised running track that’s around 2Km from start to finish. It’s pretty close to the Libegős Játszótér children’s playground.
Margaret Island (MargitSziget)
Margit Island is the most popular of all Budapest’s magnificent green spaces. With both locals and tourists flocking here to unwind and see some of the intriguing monuments dotted around. These include the Japanese Gardens, Octagonal Water Tower, and the Musical Foutain to name a few. Sights aside, it’s also home to an epic running track that is a favourite for joggers in Budapest.
Reccomended Route: If running on concrete pavements exacerbates your aches and pains, then the rubber surface track encircling the island is ideal for you. This track is around 5.3 km long, with clearly marked milestones along the way. Making it perfect for both beginners and more seasoned runners.
Bikás Park is a cool outdoor green space that has undergone significant modernisation. Located in the Kelenföld neighbourhood on Southside of Buda, the park is serviced by the M4 Metro and has a pretty modern station. It’s also got beautiful greenery, a small pond and super cool statue of a bull, by Sculptor Kiss István. However, what makes this park special is its excellent sporting facilities. With table tennis, basketball courts, soccer fields and an awesome running track.
Reccomended Route: What makes Bikás popular amongst runner in Budapest is its curved jogging track which is around 800m in length. There are also quite a few options to get some hill runs done here as well.
Városmajor is an excellent place to head if you want to experience some peace and tranquillity in Budapest. Located in the Krisztinaváros neighbourhood on the Buda side of the city, this sprawling green oasis is home to some intriguing landmarks. From an open-air theatre, cog-wheeled railway to some of the most beautiful views across Budapest. It’s also known for having some awesome fitness facilities, with an epic outdoor gym and running track.
Reccomended Route: The running track is well lit, safe and lined with a fairly good quality soft rubber surface. From start to finish, the full length of the track is around 585 metres, so ideal if you’re just getting into the flow of things.
Rákóczi Garden is real community outdoor space, located a little trek outside of Budapest on Csepel Island. Recently renovated, the park has a good selection of activities for people looking to stay fit and have fun. From table tennis, football pitches, basketball courts, a street workout area and an epic running track.
Reccomended Route: The rubber running track here is small so, perfect if you’re a beginner. However, if you want to work up to more of a sweat, jog from this park to Akácfa utcai kiserdő, another nice green space on Csepel Island around 2.5 Km away.
Semsey Aladár Park
Semsey Aladár is a super local park nestled between the soviet style 10-floor panel house blocks in the heart of Budapest’s 4th District. It’s a fairly decent sized park, with the centrepiece being the epic running track that circles around it.
Reccomended Routes: The track is pretty epic and quite unexpected the first time you see it. A full loop is around 343m, so ideal if you want to practice your sprints or something slightly short distance. You can also do a few loops if you’re more of a long-distance runner.
Feneketlen-tó is a serene 11th District park located just off the bustling Bartók Béla út. It’s particularly popular in the summer when people head down here for a few beers by the “bottomless lake”. The picturesque landscape is magical and if you’re looking to go for a jog, then you’re in for a treat.
Reccomended Routes: Feneketlen-tó has a 530m rubber running track that stretches all the way around the park. It’s a pretty decent route especially early in the morning when no-one else is around.
Boldog Sándor István Park
Boldog Sándor István park is a quaint little park in the 3rd District, that very recently underwent renovation. After which, a new playground, table tennis and basketball court were installed. It also has a narrow running track frequented on a daily by local runners from. the area.
Reccomended Route: The full track circles around the park and covers an area of 300m. Great for both beginners and more experienced athletes.
This guide features some of the best places to run in Budapest so finding a spot aligning with your needs and level shouldn’t be a problem anymore. And if you consider doing some other type of exercise too or want to explore the city on wheels, make sure to check out our article about biking in Budapest.