Discover the sights of the Városliget (City Park)
Discover the sights of the Városliget (City Park)
Városliget is one of Budapest’s largest parks, located close to the busy streets of the city center. Thanks to the excellent public transport, the park is easily accessible, so the Városliget is a popular area for relaxation for the locals. Regardless of the time of day, you can always meet locals here. Some come here with their dog, connect with their family or friends, and some visit the park for active recreation.
The closeness to nature of Városliget has become really popular in the recent period, but it is important to note that the park contains many attractions that should not be missed during a visit to Budapest.
In our article, we will now summarize the main attractions for you, so if you would like to take a pleasant walk in the city, you do not have to give up the beautiful sights of Budapest.
Although Heroes’ Square does not belong to the Városliget, most people – who approach the park from the city center – head to the park area from here. At the heart of Heroes’ Square is the Millennium Monument, which was designed and built for the 1000th anniversary of the conquest of today’s Hungary. In the two semi-circular colonnades prominent figures of Hungarian history appeared, some of which were replaced over time – for historical reasons.
The huge open space in front of the imposing monument is a popular venue for many events, and it can also be a perfect starting point for those looking for cultural programs, as there is a museum on both sides of the square: the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Art.
Vajdahunyad Castle and the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture
Vajdahunyad Castle was originally built as a group of buildings that housed the Hungarian Agricultural Museum in the at the beginning of the 20th century. The castle is a copy of the Vajdahunyad castle found in Transylvania, but in the case of the Budapest building, the main features of several different architectural styles can be found: Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque. The Hungarian Agricultural Museum found here is the world’s first agricultural museum, and it still houses one of Europe’s largest agricultural-historical collections. Visitors can see various forestry collections, nature conservation, horse breeding and agricultural history exhibitions.
City Park Lake
The Lake Városliget is the artificial lake of the park, which can be used for boating when the weather is warmer, and in the winter, the Városliget Ice Rink operates in this area. The Zielinski Bridge runs over the lake, on which the Városliget can be approached from Heroes’ Square. From here, we can also admire the park’s many landmarks.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
One of the most famous facilities of the Városliget is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Swimming Pool, which is a popular place not only for locals, but also for tourists. With its 15 indoor pools and 3 outdoor pools, the complex won the award for the largest spa complex in Budapest, and it also offers numerous medical treatments.
The Metropolitan Zoo and Botanical Garden opened its doors to the public in 1866, and since then the area has undergone many changes, but one thing has always been certain: Budapest residents and visitors to the city like to immerse themselves in the details of Hungary’s oldest and largest zoo. This is also confirmed by the fact that almost every year it is the most visited cultural institution in the country with its 1.1-1.2 million visitors.
The past of the zoo was full of difficulties, for example, before the Second World War, more than 2,500 animals were counted in the zoo area, but by the end of the war, only 15 animals survived and most of the buildings were destroyed beyond recognition. However, as the years progressed, the zoo was able to get back on its feet, and now we can enjoy a truly impressive experience when we visit it. There are several zoological exhibitions and botanical collections in the zoo area, but the historical environment of the place is also worth mentioning.
House of Hungarian Music
The House of Hungarian Music opened its doors to the public within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project. The building is located in the immediate vicinity of Lake Városliget, where visitors are welcomed with famous music programs and a permanent music history exhibition.
Sou Fujimoto, a famous Japanese architect, was responsible for the design of the building, whose concept was to merge the built and natural environment. His vision was beautifully realized, the transparent glass structure of the building was in perfect harmony with the trees of the City Park.
Museum of Ethnography
The Ethnographic Museum was also realized as part of the Liget Budapest Project, where the building was built specifically for this purpose. The museum was handed over in 2022, the year of the institution’s 150th anniversary. The institution was founded in 1872, and from 1973 the museum and its exhibits were previously available in the Palace of Justice, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the Parliament, at Kossuth Lajos Square. Work on the museum’s new building began in December 2017 and it will be handed over in 2022. The building cannot be called ordinary in any way, it easily stands out even in the built environment of Budapest. The two building wings of the museum stand out in an arc with a diameter of almost 1 kilometer at the two ends. A roof garden was built on the top of the building, which can be visited independently of the museum, and you can enjoy a fantastic view from the top of the building!
Millennium House I NEO Contemporary Art Square
The Millennium House opened with the historic reconstruction of the former Olof Palme House. The original building was one of the oldest facilities in the Városliget, whose renovation processes were carried out within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project. A rose garden was planted in front of the building’s main entrance, and a Zsolnay fountain similar to the building’s facade decoration was also installed.
If you want an exciting program outside of the built environment, you don’t have to give up the City Park either. BalloonFly is located a few minutes from the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, which guarantees an unforgettable experience for everyone. The balloon rises to a height of more than a hundred meters, from where you can see the entire Városliget, but you can also enjoy the panorama of Budapest. The balloon is available all day, so you can admire the beauty of the city even at sunset or in the evening lights.
However, we consider it important to note that the weather conditions greatly influence whether or not the balloon will operate on a given day.
If you are looking for a great outdoor program for the family, the Városliget Playground can be a great decision. The playground was also able to open thanks to the Liget Budapest Project. Thanks to its design and infrastructure, it has become the most modern and complex playground in Hungary, where the whole family would love to spend the whole day!
The Városliget also has many attractions, starting from cozy streets, statues depicting historical figures, cafes and other restaurants. We hope that with the help of our blog post you will be able to admire all the sights of the grove!
Photos – Norbert Lepsik