It cannot be denied that soaking up sweet sunshine is best amid the sounds of crashing waves, chirping seagulls, and playful paddlers... but here in the Magyar metropolis – where the closest seaside is far away – we usually feel lucky just to enjoy some slivers of sunshine that reach our balcony, or to visit a local swimming pool, or, for the truly fortunate, to go lay out in the garden. However, if you’re not too shy about showing some skin, there are plenty of places around town where you can take a blanket and tune out the world while bronzing at the varied waterfront sites of Budapest.
There are some absolutely necessary things to take with you for bronzing in Budapest: most importantly, sunscreen, as it is just a misbelief that you can only get burnt by the seaside. Don’t forget to take a blanket and/or a towel; don’t occupy the few benches of these parks, just find a nice spot on the grass. Furthermore, not everyone likes to see a bronzing body, and some of these spots are frequented by families, so always take a good look around and decide how much clothing is appropriate to take off at your chosen spot. And don’t forget to take enough water, a good book, and crossword puzzles!
Szent István Park is Újlipótváros’s biggest and most beloved park; it is truly popular among families, and many people regularly come here for strolling, skating, baby walking, running, and, of course, sunbathing. Due to the closeness of the Danube, the air is never stifling, and after enough sunbathing, Babka is a short walk away for a cool lemonade, while Moritz Eis entices us with frosty confections.
This large lake of District IX, widely believed to plunge deep into the Earth’s crust, is a beloved spot in Buda with lots of flourishing flora, and it is also easily reachable by public transport, as it is located right next to the transit hub of Kosztolányi Dezső Square. Here you can discover the world of ducks and turtles near the lake, play tennis in the park, or do some running, but this is an especially nice spot for sunbathing – if you keep an eye open while soaking up rays, you might spot the grey heron who nests here. After the sunbeams make your skin feel tight, you can continue to the nearby Budai Parkszínpad and fill your belly with grilled Balkan dishes in the shade.
The most hidden place of District XVI is Lake Naplás, which is a fishing hole in the summer, and if it gets frosty enough in the winter it turns into an ice rink. The lake is about one hour away from Örs Vezér Square, and it is a perfect sunbathing spot for even self-conscious people, as there are no trams or tourist groups around, only the clean and fresh air and pretty panorama, far away from the center but still within Budapest’s borders.
Buda’s recently established parkland of Kopaszi Dam is an extremely popular place for tanning due to its breezy riverfront location, and for its wide variety of surfaces to lie out on. If you’re up for a sunshiny picnic, you can get your goodies from Fruska, and devour them while sitting on a blanket.
One of the most forgotten parks of District VIII awaits sunbathers and everyone on their way to the adventure park five minutes away from the Nagyvárad tér metro station. Orczy Garden is a great choice, because if you’re tired of lying around, you can always take a trip around the lake to see the birds and turtles living in harmony near the water. It is worthwhile to choose Orczy Garden when you want to get away from the buzz of Budapest.
We are very lucky to spend summers in a town where a stunning island park lies right in the center of everything, offering numerous activities. Dog owners often take their four-legged friends for a walk here, and the island is definitely one of the most popular places to go for sucking up some vitamin D, maybe even after a lap on the running track. Every sunbather has their favorite spot on this pleasure island; many people hang around at the southern tip reaching beneath Margaret Bridge, while others prefer the spacious green oasis in the middle. The tall and bushy trees always hold some pleasant shade to get away from direct sunlight.
Omszki Lake is found at Budakalász, just north of the Buda border near Road 11. It is mostly famous for its wakeboard center, and even though it is illegal to swim in the lake, the residents of Budapest simply couldn’t care less. Even if you wouldn’t like to tame the waves on a board, you can find a nice spot on the pleasant lakeside, and watch the tricks (and attempts at tricks) of passing wakeboarders.