This summer is going to be different in many ways, but at least there’s time to explore hitherto unknown landscapes close to Budapest. On a sunny summer weekend, there’s nothing better than a comfortable bike ride up the Danube Bend. Here’s our selection of great new places to stop off for a drink or a light lunch.
Kertünk Bár and Lookout Tower
The Kertünk Bár and Lookout Tower was pretty popular last summer among those familiar with the Danube Bend. If you leave Budapest in the morning, you’ll be quite thirsty by the time you reach here, but if you set off by train, you only have to cycle 5km on the bike path beside Road 2 to arrive at the Kertünk Bár. Here, while relax in the shade, you can admire Tahitótfalu and Dunabogdány opposite, and Pilis rising above.
There are always refreshing drinks on offer here, but no menu – at weekends, they often have picnics or a big goulash on the go, so if you want to have lunch, it’s worth checking out their Facebook page beforehand to see if anything is planned for that day. In addition to cooking, you might find a yoga class or random music, and if you don't have a garden of your own, you can organise a birthday or any party with friends here. The number of seats and tables is limited, as it’s all laid-back, feel free to bring a blanket or mat with you, no-one will bat an eyelid if you spend a while in the shade with a lemonade. It’s a perfect place with a dog, the kids or friends, and it even suits a leisurely walk, 30 minutes from Vác train station.
Kertünk Bár and Lookout Tower, 2600 Vác, Sánc dűlő
If you continue towards Szob, 15-16km later you reach Felsőmező below Rigó Hill in Nagymaros, where Tandem, created by locals from an old waterworks, awaits. If you didn’t know it already, it’s quite obvious from its appearance – the same characteristic, indefatigable, unique appearance that made the Szimpla ruin bar so popular. And yes, Szabolcs Solti, manager and his team, are responsible for the interior at both venues. You can’t miss the large courtyard, as a table beside the bike path invites you with chairs and a large bottle of lemonade, pointing the way to where to go for refreshments. Inside, you can admire the aforementioned Szimpla solutions, while sipping a beer or lemonade in the shade.
If you get hungry, a kitchen has started to operate, with hot sandwiches and dips, but you might also find a grill and goulash cauldron at weekends and be tucking into more serious dishes. If you’re spending the weekend in the area,
it’s worth getting kitted out as the area opposite the Tandem is perfect for badminton or any other team game. You can also rent equipment for various outdoor ball games on-site. As there is no residential area nearby, laid-back outdoor concerts are also planned during the summer. If you get really hot after your bike ride, there’s a calm, sandy beach 80 metres from the entrance where you can go for a quick, careful dip. You can also reach Tandem by Road 2, after Nagymaros, before Zebegény, taking a sharp left at the decorated bicycle on the left-hand side of the road.
Tandem, Nagymaros, Felsőmező (by the old waterworks)
After Tandem, there’s only a 6km bike ride or an hour’s walk to the edge of Zebegény – all along the most beautiful section of the Danube Bend. On the way, feel free to stop and admire, it’s gorgeous. On the site of the former Kerékbár, a great little place called the Danu Kerékbár opened in the spring of 2020, the little brother of V4 from Nagymaros, a great place for relaxing. Count on spending a fair bit of time here, because the Danu Kerékbár offers not only with excellent barbecue dishes, but also a place to pitch your tent if required.
On the menu, dishes are named after important historic destinations on the Danube Bend, Al-Duna flatbread, Wachau pork shoulder, Bavarian sausage, as well as essential summer dishes such as ćevapčići. After such a sophisticated feast, you may not even want to go any further. From the top of the bar next to the Zebegény sign, a beautiful panorama is spread out before you, but you can also cool down halfway up. If we really want to hide away, we recommend the wooden tables by the shore, a whole other world next to a stone wall lined with amber.
If you’d like to stay over but haven’t brought a tent, you can hire one for 2,000 forints a night – they also have a clean, simple shower. If you’ve had your fill of cycling, you’re in the best spot to try other sports – kayaks and canoes can be rented out. You can paddle to Vác, Esztergom or Ipolytölgyes for a few thousand forints. If water sport isn’t for you, you will find sophisticated wines and small-batch beers at the bar counter, and if you feel like swimming, there is a particularly shallow, gravel section just outside, where even small children can take a dip under adult supervision.
Danu Kerékbár, Zebegény, Dózsa György út 1/7