Margaret Island or Margit-sziget is the main local recreation and recuperative centre for the people of Budapest. Thermal springs, feeding the medicinal and swimming baths, space for sports and games, carefully tended gardens and paths, and even the remains of buildings which play a significant part in the history of the town is another must visit in this beautiful city. The island – 2.5km (1 1/2mi.) long and up to 0.5km (1650ft) wide – got its name from the canonized Princess Margit (1252-71), daughter of the Hungarian King Béla IV; as the result of a vow made by her father she became a nun in the Dominican convent on the island.

We spent a whole day there and gladly take you with to some of the attractions. Let’s start with a view (click all pics to bigify and enjoy):

Budapest in Hungary - Margaret Island #1
Margaret Island in the middle of Danube with easy access from the famous bridge.

The Music Fountain:
The first you meet is Zenélő szökőkút, a fountain with integrated music and light shows. Could there be anything more recreational:
Budapest in Hungary - Margaret Island #5
These young ones have learned to maximise the experience :lol: I showed them my blog business card and when I told them the purpose, they willingly posed for me.

Bikes for rent:
Rent a bike if you don’t feel like walking. It’s also a convenient and fun way of exploring the island with kids. You can also rent bringo cart, roller blades, electric cars and motors there:
Budapest in Hungary - Margaret Island #7

Plants, fields and playgrounds:
The island gives home to several hundred tree species, bushes, and colourful flowers. The Dominican convent already had a garden in the 13th century for growing herbs. Real landscaping of the island started in the beginning of the 19th century. An English-style park was developed and the planes are at least 150 years old and were planted at that time. Since then they have witnessed many great moments of Margaret Island.
You could really feel recreation in the air and a lot of fun for kids in all ages:
Budapest in Hungary - Margaret Island #4

Medieval Ruins:
If you enter form the southern end of the island the first ruins you’ll encounter are the ruins of the Franciscan Priory. They built their convent in the middle of the island towards the end of the 13th century. The buildings were destroyed during the Ottoman rule in the 16th century. The ruins of the Dominican convent from the 13th century are the most notable ruins. King Bela IV founded the convent after the Mongol invasion (1241-42):
Budapest in Hungary - Margaret Island #8

Spa Hotel Thermal:
This hotel, completed in 1978, is extremely modern and has become well known far beyond the borders of Hungary. It was designed by the architect G. Kéry and is equipped according to the most recent balneological ideas. To us, this was the high point of the adventure, some relaxing hours at their SPA centre. Diane had a traditional massage, a rest in the salt cavern, and an herbal bubble bath – before going to enjoy the warm spring waters of the hot tub. And for me she recommended Thai massage; a combination of deep muscle massage and yoga, and the best health care experience ever. The masseur used her whole body to stretch out my sore muscles, was very professional and sweet too:
Budapest in Hungary - Margaret Island #9
For the purpose of my blog, she willingly posed too :-)

This is my forth post about our adventures in the beautiful city of Budapest. The next and last will be about Hungarian food and some restaurants visits – so stay tuned!

A collection of all my Budapest posts from our trip in June 2009:
#0: All pics from Budapest at my Flickr account.
#1: Budapest the capital of Hungary in the Heart of Europe
#2: House of Terror and Dohany Great Synagogue
#3: Andrassy Avenue with Heroes Square, City Park and Millennium Underground
#4: This post
#5: New York Café and Hungarian cuisine as food traditions in Budapest


  1. Fabulous! We went to the Opera while we were visiting. What a wonderful experience. Although I am not always an Opera fan, I found the experience one of a kind!

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  5. Hey Renny!!! It looks as if you guys had an exceptional time. So glad… and that massage sounds magnifico!!!!

    Lots of love to you
    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend


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  8. Renny – what an excellent website. I’ve pored over page after page marvelling at the photos, the writing and the philosophy!

    Thanks for favoriting my blog on VerveEarth.

  9. i would just like to greet you a happy fathers’ day :)

  10. Wow – looks like you guys walked a lot and spoiled yourselves… yup, what a vacation should be all about!

  11. This was a beautiful day, and the spa experience was unbeatable!

  12. I love the idea of a massage! I’ve seen Thai massage done and they do, they use their whole body. It must be exhausting for them.

    As I’ve said in previous comments, it’s a beautiful city and you’ve shown a great tour of all the best places.

  13. What an interesting post, and what a beautiful place to visit! I can’t wait for your next post on the food and restaurants of the area, Rennie.

    Hope you’re enjoying your Summer. :-)

    Love and hugs,


  14. what an interesting place and history of it. i think the ruins would be most fascinating and the spa….sign me up for some of that!

  15. I would have loved to get a massage too! You two look so relaxed!

    Glad to see you are using your new blog business cards as a ice breaker. It works well, I see!

    Is smoking the chicha (what the young kids are doing) common in Norway? It is in France, I guess it comes from Northern Africa and it was imported in Europe.

    Yea, the blog card has opened a lot of doors for me – thanks for the tip!
    No, it’s not common to see that smoking in Norway. At first, I thought it was drugs :-)
    I would think it comes from the far east?

  16. well I never! ,we never see things like that in Mohacs.
    My husband had it happen in front of him in France ,a mother and Daughter relieving themselves , without the cameras .not a meter from where he was sat.It`s the done thing there.
    It`s hard to believe Budapest is the porn capital of Europe!

  17. Hope you enjoy the Thai massage, it was a little too much for me. :D

  18. Looks like a fun place!

    I love love love massages!

  19. Great insights! Nice photos especially I like rent a bike. It is really cool.

  20. nice photo woderfull

  21. Pingback:Budapest House of Terror and Dohany Great Synagogue

  22. I had been looking for this product. Finally I found it in your blog. Thank you so much for the information

  23. the young men, what are yhey doing ? are they smoking hishash ?

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