City guide

Budapest’s magic musical fountain springs back into action on Margaret Island

Photo : Zoltán Balogh / MTI

One of Budapest’s finest free attractions is the huge Musical Fountain on Margaret Island. Part of the city’s summer magic, it is super romantic with that special someone and a drink in hand. On the hour from 10am to 10pm, the fountain dances, spraying water up high in sync with varied musical accompaniment. After nightfall, spectacular light shows entertain as photos are projected on a special water curtain, portraying Hungarian iconography. For this summer, the set list has been revamped, and includes current international hits, timeless Hungarian tunes, songs for kids and classical pieces. Bring your beloved and steal a kiss when Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ comes on.

In the mornings at 10am, the Musical Fountain starts with a series of songs for little ones, including sweet Hungarian chansons, all repeated at 4pm. At noon and at 7pm, the mood turns more mellow as classical pieces feature, such as ‘The Blue Danube’, Mozart’s ‘A Little Night Music’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’. At 1pm and 5pm, it’s the turn of the 1960s, with ‘Paint It Black’ followed by ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘Stop Stop Stop’ and ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’.

Photo: Norbert Hartyányi / WLB

In the afternoon, classics mingle with modern songs. After sunset, this aquatic attraction is splashed with vibrant colours provided by hundreds of LED lights. The main show starts at 9pm. Backdropped by tunes such as ‘Havana’, ‘Feel Is Still’, ‘Shape of You’ and many more, a multimedia screening displays images of Hungary’s greats – footballer Ferenc Puskás, poet Attila József, statesman István Széchenyi and inventor Ernő Rubik come alive projected on a special water curtain.

Photo: Zoltán Balogh / MTI

To create this stunning sensation, a special jet has been added to the fountain’s existing mechanical system that forms a 30-metre-wide and ten-metre-high fan-like water canvas, where animations are projected with special multimedia effects, creating images up to 10×7 metres in size. Used for the 9pm show, it makes for a memorable scene, the surrounding century-old trees floodlit with multi-coloured hues.

Margaret Island
  • 1138 Budapest, Margitsziget