Budapest has lots of parks and lots of sand. …
Big green parks
City Park (Városliget)
Budapest, City Park, 1146 Hungary
The City Park, or Városliget (the Hungarian “s” is pronounced as “sh”, so it’s said “var-osh-lee-get” with emphasis on the first syllable), is a leafy … It has two playground complexes at the southwest corner and another smaller set of playground equipment (though with an abundance of swings) in the northern part of the park, between the lake and Széchenyi Thermal Bath. In the summer, there’s also a giant trampoline set up beside the northern playgrounds; pay a small amount of forint for 5 or 10 minutes of use.
The trolleybus lines 70, 75 and 79 all serve the Dvořák sétány bus stop, which is an excellent way to reach the southern playgrounds. Use the Széchenyi fürdő bus stop or Széchenyi fürdő M1 metro station for the nothern playground.
Margaret Island (Margitsziget)
Budapest, Margaret Island, 1138 Hungary
Margaret Island is the supreme retreat for Budapest-dwellers. We jokingly call it Margitszigetliget because basically the whole island (sziget) is a park (liget). It’s offerings are diverse: a running track around the shore of the island; wide, green fields for football, Frisbee and sunbathing; a hodgepodge of rental vehicles and tours; multiple fitness clubs and pools; as well as several restaurants with lawn seating.
For free fun, families can gather around the large fountain in the evenings to see light-and-music shows, wander around the Margitszigeti Vadaspark auxiliary zoo, explore the remains of monasteries and churches that once played an important role here, or sample the island’s superb playgrounds.
The southern-most playground, about a 10 minute walk from Margit Híd, has half a dozen play areas: some for tots, some for older kids, all set in sand. There are even two special swings for wheelchair users. A little farther north, also on the west side of the island, is a beautiful wooden playground built in spring 2017, geared more toward older kids. It has multiple climbing structures, a zip line and sand toys, all connected by squishy paths. There are a few picnic tables here.
The typical route to Margitsziget is via the 4-6 tram, which has a stop in the middle of the bridge where it Ys to connect with the island. The 26 and 226 buses shuttle visitors north and south up the center of the island.
Budapest, Szilágyi Erzsébet fasor, 1122 Hungary
Gellért Hill (Gellért-hegy)
Budapest, Gellért-hegy, 1118 Hungary
The route up this hill is a mix of paved paths and stairs, punctuated by red benches affording sweeping views of the city below. The street corner near Gellért Thermal Bath is a good place to start the hike. Atop the hill are the graceful Liberty Statue and a Hapsburg fortress, the Citadella. Several play areas are scattered around the hill. The colorful Cerka-firka Playground on the west side boasts multiple climbing structures, plus swings and a hamster wheel. It’s best suited for older kids. Near the southeast corner, just a little ways up the hill, there’s been a few long slides on the hillside. This spring, in 2017, crews have been rebuilding that site, expanding it’s collection of slides and adding fun climbing structures, including a tower. Near the revamped slides park to the south is a flat play area with a few toys for younger kids.
See map for more parks in Budapest.
Central Budapest playgrounds
All the big green parks above have playgrounds, but the fun doesn’t stop there. The city core is awash with playgrounds and small parks, one of the many ways that Budapest is a child-friendly city.
Not all are described below, so be sure to check the map for a fuller list.
Budapest, Erzsébet tér 4, 1051 Hungary
The gated playground offers a tot slide, sandbox, monkey bars, climbing walls, and play structure with slides and rope bridge. Also within Erzsébet tér are restaurants, a skate park and the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel.
Nearby: Deák Ferenc tér metro station (where the M1, M2 and M3 cross) and another playground, Hild tér
Budapest, Hild tér, 1051 Hungary
Liberty Square (Szabadság tér)
Budapest, Szabadság tér, 1054 Hungary
This large landscaped park has playgrounds for two age groups spit by a wide pedestrian walkway, so it’s difficult to supervise both play areas at once. The tot lot includes a train to climb on and lots of sand. The area for older kids has a few swings and some climbing structures as well as, you guessed it, lots of sand.
Nearby: Kossuth Lajos Square and the Hungarian Parliament Building
Budapest, Olimpia park, 1055 Hungary
This beautiful and busy park has a grassy field dotted with trees on one end and an impressive collection of play structures on the other, divided by a terrace with water jets. The entire complex is surrounded by a fence. It is often bursting with kids, so you may want to dress your own in bright shirts to make it easier to keep track of them. There are swings and gizmos and climbing structures to delight kids of every age. Free community festivals are sometimes held here.
Nearby: Margit híd, Kossuth Lajos Square and the Hungarian Parliament Building
Budapest, Károlyi kert 25, 1053 Hungary
This is another beautifully landscaped garden with three play areas, but the lovely hedges and trees make it impossible to supervise kids in different zones. One of the playgrounds is fenced, and occasionally its use is restricted to school groups. It’s worth the wait, though, offering a fun assortment of climbing structures, noise makers and a mini trampoline. The other two areas are meant for younger kids and are set in large sandboxes. At this park more than most, you will hear English spoken, including by the schoolkids who visit. Look for the resident rabbit in a cage beside the gated playground.
Corner of Király utca and Kazinczy utca
Beautiful murals give this neighborhood park a fun feel. Equipment includes swings, seesaw, play structure with bridge, wooden ship and sandbox.
Budapest, 1072 Hungary
This park matches it’s setting in the seventh district, being a little rough and worn down. Still, it has a spacious gated playground with a few slides, swings and a zip line.
Budapest, Almássy tér 18, 1077 Hungary
A gated playground offers climbing structures for every age, plus a sandbox and a couple swings. Just outside the fence are benches and picnic tables set under the trees.
Budapest, Hunyadi tér, 1067 Hungary
Here there is a small but fun gated playground — offering monkey bars, a tot structure, a few swings and a shaded sandbox — set within a pretty, sunny square. Hunyadi tér is also the site of a farmer’s market in the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter.
Nearby: Andrássy út
Budapest, Lövölde tér 5, 1068 Hungary
The main play structure is currently broken and unsafe for play, so we’re hopeful renovations are coming soon. There are still swings and sand, but this might be one to skip for now if your kids (like ours) are drawn to things they’re not supposed to climb on.
Pope John Paul II Square (II. [spoken Második, meaning “second”] János Pál Pápa tér)
Budapest, II. János Pál pápa tér, 1081 Hungary
This is a large sun-baked square, and not the prettiest in the city. But it does have a sprawling gated play area along the eastern side, featuring multiple sand boxes, a zip line, slides and swings, plus a ball court and ping-pong tables.
The M4 metro line has a modern station with elevator in the southwest corner of the square, providing a good access point. Or, walk a couple blocks southwest from Keleti Station.
Nearby: Keleti Pályaudvar, one of the city’s three major train stations
Budapest, Nehru part, 1093 Hungary
Nearby: Petőfi híd
Budavári Mátyás király játszótér
Budapest, Hunyadi János út 24, 1011 Hungary
Nearby: Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church
Budapest, Margit krt. 47-49, 1024 Hungary
Nearby: On the 4-6 tram line
See map for more playgrounds in Budapest.