3 Budapest running routes typically traversed by locals only
Photo : Csongor Kiripolszky/We Love Budapest
15/7/2015, 12:51 AM●3-minute article
Most joggers stick with the same trails for their healthy habit, and for people new to a city, it can be easy to continually use the most well-known tracks – and while we here in Budapest love the running path surrounding Margaret Island, sometimes it would be nice to mix up the workout routine with some new surroundings. Fortunately, our city offers plenty of often-overlooked open spaces for those bored with beaten paths – here are three that are well-known by local residents, all awaiting your discovery.
This roughly two-kilometer-long section of riverfront-Pest running space begins at the rear of Bálna, and continues south with almost no interruptions until crossing the imaginary finish line at the foot of Rákóczi Bridge. The road leading there is quite diverse: initially, we have to jog on concrete, which is then replaced by a grassy and/or pebbly section, followed by passing a less-than-panoramic commuter hub under Petőfi Bridge. After passing this point, the scenery is much less crowded as we embark on the long Gizella Promenade, with the choice of the dirt road or the bike path – and this section also features excellent public lighting, so the route is good for nighttime runs, as well. However, during the daylight hours (and especially in the heat of summer), this last stretch is relentlessly exposed to the burning sun, so we must allow the cool river views to provide our only relief – so make sure to refresh and rehydrate at the drinking fountain of the playground at the foot of Petőfi Bridge.
The proportion of green areas is now significantly increased in this pleasant inner-city Pest parkland, after the entire area underwent a thorough transformation. Starting by entering through the main entrance, the first major sight coming our way will be a playground, so we should proceed carefully to pay attention to the baby strollers. Unlike the previous route, here we do not have to fear getting sunstroke, because most of the track is sheltered by the cool shade of surrounding trees. The path is exciting in Orczy Park, as well: after we pass the playground, we enjoy views of a lake, an adventure park, ducks, and someroots, which we should always look out for – one single misstep can result in an ugly fall, and the dirt road here is a bit bumpy; at some parts we might feel as if we were participating in a cross-country race. In the last third of the roughly 800-meter-long path, we reach muscular young men using the street-workout equipment, perhaps giving an extra motivational boost to the ladies. We can rehydrate here, too, by going off the track at the pebbly section.
Since the “facelift” of South Buda’s favorite sports center, life returned to Bikás Park. Not only runners, but basketball, table-tennis, and soccer players also frequently disembark from metro 4 here, in order to shake up the park. The new route follows a high-quality track that includes some curves. Those who feel more adventurous can climb the hill along with racing dogs and take a closer look at the artwork of Kiss István titled “Monda”. Thanks to the trees and the pond, the atmosphere is rather pleasant in Bikás Park, too; we can get water at the basketball courts. A full round is 800 meters long.