Sights in Budapest


Hungary > Central Hungary > Budapest

Margaret Island

Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube in central Budapest. The island is mostly covered by landscape parks, and is a popular recreational area. Its medieval ruins are reminders of its importance in the Middle Ages as a religious centre. The island spans the area between the Margaret Bridge (south) and the Árpád Bridge (north). Before the 14th century the island was called Insula leporum (Island of Rabbits).

Today's appearance was developed through the connection of three separate islands, the Festő (Painter), the Fürdő (Bath) and the Nyulak (Rabbits), during the end of the 19th century, to control the flow of the Danube. Originally, the island was 102.5 metres above sea level, but now has been built up to 104.85 metres above sea level to control flooding.


The island was called Insula leporum before being named Saint Margaret (1242–1270) in the 14th century. Margaret was the daughter of Béla IV of Hungary, and she lived in the Dominican convent on the island.


The Knights of St. John settled on the island in the 12th century. Among the present historical monuments of the island are the 13th century ruins of a Franciscan church and a Dominican church and convent, as well as a Premonstratensian church from the 12th century.

The island was dominated by nunneries, churches and cloisters until the 16th century. During the Ottoman wars the monks and nuns fled and the buildings were destroyed. In the 18th century it was chosen to be the resort of palatines. It was declared a public garden in 1908.

Sports and recreation

The island houses various sports establishments, like the Palatinus water park, the Alfréd Hajós sports pool, a tennis stadium and an athletics centre.

The island has a rubber-coated running track measuring 5.35 kilometers (3.33 miles), and is popular among both locals and tourists because of its superb quality and easy access.

Main sights

Centennial Memorial of 1973, commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the city's unification; a small Japanese Garden with a mildly thermal fish pond; a tiny zoo featuring a wide range of exotic waterfowl among other animals; the "Music Well", a small pavilion, which was originally built for open-air concerts ; the "Music Fountain", a fountain near which music is played and light shows are performed in summer. The water springs out according to music, so that the fountain seems to dance at the various classical themes reproduced. Water Tower of 57 m.

There is also an open-air theatre accommodating an audience of 3500, and several clubs and restaurants. For exploration and pastime, four-person cycle cars or small electric cars can be rented for use on the area of the island.