Sights in Budapest


Hungary > Central Hungary > Budapest

Városliget is the largest public park

in Budapest close to the city centre. Its main entrance is Heroes' Square (Hősök tere), one of Hungary's World Heritage sites. The area was formerly called Ökör-dűlő, meaning "Oxmeadow". The first mention of the name comes from 1241 in the archaic form, Ukurföld. In the 18th century the area was called Ochsenried in German. Around 1800 the official name was changed to Batthyány-erdő (Batthyány Forest) after its tenants, the Batthyány family. The first trees and planified walkways were established in 1751 and after the public park was created in the first decades of the 19th century the present-day name, Városliget was accepted and it became the first public park in the world.

City Park was the main venue

of the 1896 millennium celebrations of Hungary, by which time Andrássy Avenue, Millennium Underground and the Grand Boulevard were built.

Vajdahunyad Castle, a replica of a Transylvanian castle of that name, was built to show the various architectural styles found in Hungary, and has Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque parts. In the courtyard is the statue of Anonymus,  the nameless medieval chronicler to King Béla. His work is the main source of information on Hungarian history through the Middle Ages, however the fact that there were four kings called Béla during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries makes it hard to identify him or the monarch. His face is hidden by a hood, making him anonymous, and yet portraying an interesting and important historical figure.

The castle is surrounded

by an artificial lake that's used for boating in the summer and turns into an impressive ice skating rink in the winter, which is a local favorite. The history of the City Park Ice Rink (Városligeti Műjégpálya) goes back to the 19th century, when skating was considered a favorite winter pass time by the elite. It first opened on January 29th 1870 and Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, was present for the inauguration ceremonies.

The Budapest Zoo, the Amusement Park, the Municipal Circus, the Museum of Transport, the legendary Gundel Restaurant and the famous Széchenyi Baths are also located within City Park. In addition, there are playgrounds, slides, wooden castles and monkey bars in the park to keep the small ones entertained. For treasuer hunters, there's a flea market held every weekend by Petőfi Csarnok (open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 2 pm). City Park has the largest artificial ice surface in Europe and it's the centre of Hungarian bandy. The B-group at the Bandy World Championship 2004 was held here and also the Bandy World Championship for women 2007.

The park used to host motorsport events in the 1950s. In 1985 despite the serious plans the city government decided against to host Hungarian Grand Prix races in the park. There are many seasonal activities and you can easily spend a full day here. Getting here from the city center is quick and easy with the Millennium Underground. 

City Park City Park