Margit Island is one of the most popular parts of Budapest, many people come here in the morning or the late hours to run, or walk their dogs, others go to the swimming pool, and in good weather groups of friends picnic on the huge green lawns, but many people just walk under the foliage of the giant ancient trees.

There is everything here to stimulate the eyes and mouth, an open-air theatre, a lookout made from a water tower, a working chapel, a sculpture park and an artist's promenade, and even medieval ruins: the second founder of the state, Béla IV's daughter, Princess Margaret, was the nun of the Dominican monastery here after the Mongol Invasion.

Margit Island is the capital's most visited park (Photo: Balázs Both/

Those arriving from Margit Bridge are greeted by the Musical Fountain, which was renovated in 2013. The Musical Well at the other end of the island, in the north, was restored in 2014, at the same time the Japanese Garden was renovated, and the 5,285-metre-long Margit Island running circuit was widened. The Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium was renovated in 2014, and the expanded and renovated Palatinus bath was handed over in 2017. At the same time, the restoration of the former lower island restaurant (the later Casino, then Holdudvar) designed by Miklós Ybl was completed.

There are many other things here, the Athletic Centre, two hotels - one of which is a 150-year-old creation of Miklós Ybl -, a petting zoo, a rose garden, the oak trees of János Arany, and a small tour train and pedal carriage mainly for the entertainment of tourists, and food is provided by mobile vendors next to the restaurants. Running competitions, sports competitions and countless cultural and other programs await visitors.

A clearing on Margit Island (Photo: Balázs Both/

It is no wonder that it attracts crowds, especially on weekends, because of the well-kept park, the renovated environment, and the huge offer not seen anywhere else. Margit Island has so many visitors that, according to the Budapest City Council, we are now "overusing" our favourite public park.

 "Due to the high number of visitors and the variety of activities taking place on the island, a kind of overuse has been felt in the past period," reads the website of the Budapest City Council. On the same site, it is also announced that to reduce the burden on Margit Island and to strengthen its "rest island" character, the municipal decree 3/2013 (III.8.) will be amended. This legislation is about the use of public lands owned by the Budapest City Council.

The city administration, therefore, plans to reduce the number of visitors to the island.

What kind of amendment the capital is considering can be seen from the questionnaire that can be filled out on the website of the Budapest City Council until 19 October: in it, the city administration asks the users of Margit Island to give their opinion on the services. There are so many questions about the presence of the tour train, pedal carriages and mobile vendors that there is a good chance that the capital wants to limit these services. The questionnaire offers a separate list of disturbing factors, here the visitors can say if the traffic on the main asphalt road, the traffic on the walking paths, the tour train, pedal carriages, mobile vendors, excessive crowds, garbage, as well as the volume of the musical fountain bother them on a scale of 1-7.

It has not yet been announced when the questionnaires will be processed and to what extent their content will be taken into account in the planned legislative amendment.


Cover photo: Margit Island (Photo: Balázs Both/