Jump on your bike and head out for a green tour of Budapest! Exploring the eastern side of Pest, on a well-established cycle route, you come across two streams – Rákos and Szilas – and a reservoir known as Lake Naplás. Altogether, this region is a wonderful little nature reserve, where you can spot swamp turtles sunbathing, alongside the warbling of birds and the blooming of wild plants.

Everyone needs a break from the city from time to time, and the great news is that you don’t have to leave the city limits to find the great outdoors. Hop on your bike and get peddling to one of the green parts of Budapest, which might be easier to access than you think! This time, we head to the east of Budapest, where we meandered along the Rákos and Szilas streams and took a spin around Lake Naplás. You can forget about the screech of car tyres completely and feel instead that you are out in some sleepy village, taking in the pleasant air and gentle sounds of nature.

The great thing about cycling in Pest is that there’s nary a hill to get in your way. The terrain is relatively flat all around, and several sections of the bike path are a straight shot. Lush green vegetation surrounds you, making it natural to slow down a little, breathe in deeply and stop for a couple of photographs. You might also want to stop to read the information boards which dot the bike path, telling you which kind of tree is which.

Lake Naplás is a great place to do a bit of fishing or sunbathing, although unfortunately swimming is prohibited. Here, it is all peace and quiet – no beer counters or food trucks, just a rest area with a toilet and bike storage, and a couple of tables and chairs. Only those who really want to admire nature come out here.

The turtles live in luxury, enjoying the swampy comforts of the lake. Reeds and other aquatic plants grow in abundance, while dragonflies and butterflies flit along the water’s surface in a hypnotic manner. In short, it’s nothing short of bucolic, as the lake turns into a smooth mirror, reflecting the blue sky and wispy clouds overhead.

Cycling around the lake, you can enjoy the varied landscape, as you pass from woods to grasslands and back again. Kids can enjoy the playground, and older ones can take advantage of the BMX track, too. While you may only cover a distance of 40 kilometres round trip, you’ll feel as though you’ve experienced 400km of scenery!