Your Ultimate Margaret Island Travel Guide

While both Buda and Pest offer incredible sightseeing in the Hungarian capital, there’s a hidden gem located right between them – Margaret Island. Spanning just 2.5 kilometres in length and 500 metres wide, this tiny island is replete with myriad attractions.

At E-Magine Tours, we operate Budapest E-Bike and Electric Scooter Tours that take you across the city, including Margaret Island. To share more about this green oasis, we’ve made the ultimate Margaret Island travel guide. Check out our blog for tips and things to do, or feel free to contact us for more information about our scooter tours!

cityscape of budapest

A Brief History of Margaret Island

Located at the heart of the Danube, Margaret Island has attracted people for centuries. There’s evidence the Romans explored the isle as far back as the 2nd century. In the Middle Ages, Margaret Island served as the home of a number of churches and convents. The island is named after Margaret of Hungary, the legendary saint said to have performed miracles. Today, Margaret Island is a popular recreational park, but you can still encounter evidence of its history, including at the ruins of the convent where Saint Margaret lived.

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How to Reach Margaret Island

Flanked by two bridges on either end, Margaret Island is accessible by public transport, boat, bicycle, or foot. Only cars with special permits are allowed on the island. It’s easy to walk or cycle along the pedestrian-friendly Margaret Bridge, located on the south side of the island. If you’d rather save your energy, you can take buses 26 and 226 or tram lines 4 and 6. It’s also possible to reach Margaret Island by boat, using the Budapest riverboat service. If you’re traveling from downtown Budapest, we recommend entering from the south side where you can find a selection of rentable vehicles.

You can find out more about the transport options in the city with our Ultimate Public Transportation Guide to Budapest.

Things to Do on Margaret Island

There are so many things to do on Margaret Island, you could easily spend the whole day here! Whether you want to hit up some waterslides or discover ancient ruins, there’s something for everyone. Check out our top picks:

Enjoy Outdoor Activities on Margaret Island

Known as the “green lung” of Budapest, Margaret Island offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The park is lined with walking and running trails, ideal for both casual strollers and training athletes. One of the most popular things you can do on Margaret Island is rent a bike. Our sister company Go Mobility offers bikes, go-karts, and electric vehicles to rent, allowing you to explore Margaret Island sustainably and with ease. Alternatively, you could also join our fun Budapest Margaret Island Fairy Garden Tour and cross the island on an e-scooter!

People talking about the natural beauty of Margaret Island

Climb the Margaret Island Water Tower

One of the most iconic attractions on Margaret Island is the Water Tower. Built in 1911, the Water Tower was designed by Rezső Vilmos Ray in the style of Art Nouveau. You can climb to its top for panoramic views of the city. Don’t forget your camera!

Catch a Show at the Margaret Island Open-Air Stage

Located next to the Water Tower, the Margaret Island Theatre is a hub of culture, offering live performances in the summer. Whether you want to see the opera, watch a musical, or catch a jazz show, the Margaret Island Theatre has a programme to suit your tastes. With a capacity for nearly 3,000 people, this open-air theatre is the place to be!

Watch the Margaret Island Musical Fountain

For an entirely different kind of show, the Musical Fountain on Margaret Island puts on display like no other. As the music plays, admire spurts of water shoot from the fountain in a coordinated dance. The show can be caught multiple times during the day, and at night, when the water is backlit in spectacular colours.

Find Peace in the Japanese Garden on Margaret Island

Near the northern end of Margaret Island, the Japanese Garden offers a peaceful respite from the bustling city. This carefully designed garden has a wooden bridge, koi ponds, and bamboo groves, creating a scene of tranquillity. The Japanese Garden was built decades ago but remains a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike.

Dive into the Platinus Strand Baths

From wave pools to thermal baths, the Platinus Strand Baths has 15 different pools for you to swim in. Open year-round, you can enjoy a warm soak or even go riding down the water slides. Platinus Strand Baths has operated for over 100 years and even opened the first outdoor bath in Budapest. This is the ideal place for families to enjoy a day of fun in the sun. You can even make use of on-site massage services for a more relaxing time.

Discover Ancient Ruins on Margaret Island

Margaret Island is dotted in ruins, including those of the 13th-century Dominican Convent where Saint Margaret lived a life of penance. Nearby, you can see a statue dedicated to her as well as her humble grave. On the south end of the island, you can also see the ruins of a Franciscan monastery, reflecting the range of religious orders that found home on Margaret Island.

See More of Budapest with E-Magine

While it’s incredible to think that there’s so much to see and do on Margaret Island, the entirety of Budapest awaits! If you want to make the most of your time in the city, you can join our All In Tour of Budapest on MonsteRoller E-Scooters, which covers top attractions and journeys to the gardens of Margaret Island. If you want to find out more about our e-scooter tours, contact us and we’ll get right back to you!