With the arrival of springtime, many people are inspired to get in shape ASAP before swimsuit season – but why sign up for an expensive gym membership when Budapest offers numerous parks where you can utilize diverse exercise amenities without spending a single forint? All five of the following parklands found around Hungary’s capital feature numerous ways to get fit for free – from rubberized running tracks to outdoor workout machines to basketball courts – and of course, they all offer fresh air, sunshine, and workout music provided by singing birds for no extra charge.
Budapest’s most popular open-space oasis is a daily destination for many of the city’s most dedicated runners and joggers, as the entire isle is surrounded by a rubberized track stretching over five kilometers, which features panoramic riverfront views the entire way. Furthermore, at the island’s southern tip (beneath the entryway from Margaret Bridge), a free street-workout facility welcomes everyone, while the island’s many paved pathways make this a beautiful destination for breezy bicycling, and the wide-open meadows are ideal for outdoor yoga.
This forested parkland at the base of the Buda Hills is a penniless sportsman’s paradise, with a wide variety of exercise facilities available to everyone. Along with free outdoor exercise equipment, a modern parkour course provides extreme athletes with a chance to practice their rooftop-running skills before trying them out several stories above the sidewalk. This is also a hotspot for basketball and soccer on illuminated courts, while a rubberized track attracts runners and joggers, and a tennis wall welcomes anyone with a racket and ball.
High atop the Buda Hills, this sprawling green space is one of the city’s most panoramic nature retreats, and after recent renovations this is also a popular destination for no-budget fitness aficionados. An all-purpose open-air gym features varied workout facilities, and from here, runners and joggers can traverse a two-kilometer tree-shaded rubberized track leading to the ultra-panoramic Elizabeth Lookout Tower at the peak of János Hill. Furthermore, numerous hiking trails spread out from Normafa to welcome trekkers for healthy excursions.
Tucked amid a bustling residential area of southern Buda, Bikás Park is a beloved refuge of open space that is usually only utilized by local residents, but its sports facilities make this place well worth visiting from any other part of the city. Along with a very modern collection of open-air fitness equipment (including a stationary bike, lat-pulldown machines, and other contemporary workout facilities more typically found in gyms), this parkland features a rubberized track for jogging or running, and popular basketball and soccer courts.
Just a few steps away from the ever-busy intersection of central Buda’s Kosztolányi Dezső Square, a splendid green space surrounds the city’s “bottomless” lake, providing a tree-shaded parkland that has recently been enhanced with a street-workout areafull of high-quality fitness machines. Additionally, a running/jogging track surrounds the lake, and while its length is relatively minimal, the wildlife that can be spotted in and around the water – ranging from turtles to wild birds – means that you can admire fascinating fauna during every lap.