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Margaret Island: A Slice of Paradise

Nestled between the banks of Buda and Pest, Margaret Island’s 2.5 km of aquatic and artistic entertainment has been a tranquil setting for the Budapest elite since the Medieval Ages. Now a popular escape from the bustling city streets, the call of the island bring tourists and locals alike to walk amongst the tree-lined paths for a brush of history and culture while beating the heat in Palantinus Strands’ pool complex.

Centenary Monument
Centenary Monument
Amy Carothers

Franciscan and Turkish ruins are scattered throughout the island including a 14th century church and Princess Margaret’s sacred grounds. Iconic landmarks such as the Bodor Well, Centenary Monument, Japanese Gardens and Water Tower offer visitors an eclectic mix of historical significance and architectural wonder.

During the summer, the Island hosts the Budapest Nyari Festival, a theatrical smorgasbord of main stage to classic operas. This season brought The Old Globe’s Shakespearean troupe, Shaw’s My Fair Lady and will close with the Aida, Verdi’s famed operatic. Included in the admission, attendees can climb to the Water Tower’s Lookout that originally was built in 1911 to store clean water for the Danubius Grand Hotel but now its soaring 1987 feet renowned structure provides spectacular Danube and city views.

A tip for theatre aficionados, arrive early and climb the tower while the orchestra is warming up and the sound check is commencing. The echoing of the strings will be music to your ears and provide the perfect accompaniment to the picturesque setting.

As the old-fashioned lampposts flicker on, the Island still hums with excitement. Blankets readied for a moonlit picnic, theatregoers rushing to the Summer Stage and wanderlust couples, walking hand-in-hand enjoying the tranquility and scenic views will take center stage until it’s time to head home.