When the kids have seen all the fun the city can provide, or your family is on the outdoorish side, you may need some ideas on where to go. Let us help you discover places that are close to Budapest thus are accessible with family too, while still offering unwinding moments in the arms of the beautiful Hungarian nature.
Island life and quiet waves
Although Budapest was born out of the Danube, nowadays it is not easy for pedestrians to feel closeness to the river that has shaped Hungarian history in so many ways. But there is a way to experience the calm waves of Danube just 20-40 kilometres from the city centre.
The Szentendre Island is located north of the city and despite its proximity to Budapest, it lets you peek into a little piece of life on the Hungarian countryside. There aren’t many roads on this flat island, and the existing ones do not have heavy traffic, which makes the place relatively easy to discover by bicycle. The Eastern side of the island is just like a tiny Balaton with its bike road and beach life. But if you ride or go north to the tip of the island, there is an even better experience waiting for you: the small village called Kisoroszi. Its camping site is just at the tip of the island that divides Danube into two separate arms of the river down until Budapest. You can spend a night here or just enjoy a day walking and sunbathing at the free beach. Expect a sandy, flat and chill beach, the hushing willows of the floodplain, and an amazing panoramic view on the surrounding mountains on both sides – from an absolutely unique viewpoint. Let the kids play in the shallow parts of the water, and when everybody is hungry, walk back to the village to one of its traditional restaurants.
For those ready to go independently, buses 884 and 890 frequent between Újpest-Városkapu and Tahitótfalu directly (which is already on the island), where you need to change to bus 898 to reach Kisoroszi.
If you are looking for a bicycle tour on the island, or just someone to help you get there, get in touch with us here.
Hopping and climbing
Amusement parks are even more fun when they are outside of the busy city. If you want the kids to be happy and tired by the evening, nothing beats the combination of fresh air and physical activity. There is a place just 30 kilometres from Budapest, where a short hike is fun also when the weather is not at its sunniest, as the colours and the atmosphere of the Dera gorge (szurdok in Hungarian) offer a special experience any season. You can cross the winding creek on small wooden bridges, jump on rocks, step or climb over fallen trees, touch supersoft moss, and soak in the view of the cliffs that surround the gorge, which will let the mindful viewer observe the layers of rock formations as a proof of tectonic movements. Depending on the water level, even tiny waterfalls can build up as we walk by the creek that formed the gorge some millions of years ago, and today enters the Danube river close to the town of Szentendre.
Those venturing out to the gorge by bus must take one departing from Pomáz (a small town in the outskirts of Budapest) to Pilisszentkereszt, and get off at the bus stop called Pomázi út 35. But if you are curious to hear what our guide says about the gorge and the mountains, or feel safe hiking with someone experienced, feel free to get in touch with us.
@photo: Pilisi Parkerdő
In the city, but not really
We have one offer for families that cannot afford the above options due to some time constraint: the Kopaszi dam (gát in Hungarian) is open all year round and is easily accessible due to its location at the south Buda side of Budapest, so perfect even for a visit as short as 1-2 hours. The area, which was rehabilitated and rearranged into a recreational paradise, not only offers a vast green area for your family picnic, but also its own guard service, kids’ area, facilities for sports, trees to dream under, plus a wide variety of cafés and restaurants to choose from. You can pick a quiet spot to watch the kayakers paddle by, or find some sunny stairs busy with people enjoying their ice cream. The dam area is also known for its fauna, which it has preserved despite human activity and presence – although you need to be extremely lucky to spot the beavers that live by the river. Spring and autumn days are the most interesting for bird lovers, when many rare species spend time here.
If you are in the city, you can take tram 1 and get off at Infopark stop, which is the closest to the entrance of the dam. Descend the stairs from the tram stop, walk towards the Danube and under the bridge to find yourself right across the entrance. Car and dog owners must keep in mind that parking is not free of charge, and dogs are not allowed in the area.
Choose one or visit all three, and surely you will see a real, more natural face of Hungary, Budapest, and even our countryside. There is so much more to our country than the capital, even if you travel with children.
CHECK OUT OUR GUIDED HIKES