The National Stadium
"Ria! Ria! Hungaria!"
Hungary's dirty little secret is out. Behind closed doors, at national games when they think no foreigners are watching, they chant the real name of the country "Hungaria!" Not the confusing Magyarorsag they insist that foreigners learn as the true name, but the simple, universally understood "Hungaria!"
Of course they also chant Magyarorsag, but it's a bit of a mouthful. It doesn't go with many famous chants, so they seem to have reworked the first line of "Old Macdonald". It goes something like this: "Modge-your-or-shahg modge-your-or-shahg ee eye ee eye oh!"
You have to be a real football fan to go to watch Hungary at the national stadium. This isn't Brazil, and this isn't the San Siro. The once grand Ferenc Puskas stadium is now a whole lot of grey concrete, half of which is falling apart, limiting the capacity to just 35,000 people.
It's a real experience, not all of them pleasant. Rivers of urine (in the surrounding streets), carpets of tokmag (pumpkin seed) and giant unruly piles of beer cans; you can't drink inside so everyone is desperate to fill up and empty themselves before they get through the gates.
But the fans are friendly and passionate and it's cheap to get in. For about 6-7 euros you can get a front row seat near the center of the stadium. And you can actually get a seat, unlike England games. So for that I'll be singing "Magyarorszag! Magyarorszag!" for the time being. Or at least trying...
Biking alongside the river Danube
Budapest is a pretty city. the Gellert hill was a little hard work, but the other parts of the town was absolutelly ok. We had no much time, so decided to rent a bici, and one day was more or less enough to see what we wanted. we found a low budget new place in the center, its called hibike or hi-bike. their sign is a big blue-white hand, you know, like gimme hifive :), its cute.. ok i check.. yeh, its www.hi-bike.hu
anyway my vote : its worths to ride around.
Equipment: New Duch citybike
- Budget Travel
Canoeing on Danube river
A great way to explore nature around Budapest is canoeing. In the north part of the city, where the river enters Budapest some islands divides the Danube. It is known Roman coast, where boating is very popular. The water is pretty clear here, so people swim in the river.
Budapest Bike Breeze organizes canoe tours with professional guide. So if you are bored of sightseeing, go and enjoy nature.
The organizers website is www.budapestbikebreeze.com
Equipment: Slippers, swimming suit
Beer isn't my kind of drink, actually I never get used on it. I was born and raised in the Mediterranean area, part of Croatia where people usually take wines after food. I suppose one cannot sipping beer the way wines should be drink. Anyway, girls told me this Irish beer is very good one.
- Family Travel
National Fingerboard Championship
The fingerboard is a very popular sport among teenagers. The GOKER sport - free time shop held two times national fingerboard championship and this event was followed by a fingerboard meeting.
Equipment: finger board, fingerbike, track items
- Family Travel
Iceskating in the City Park
The building of the Iceskating rink in the City Hall is worth a visit itself, even if you don't want to skate.
The first real building was built in 1875 according to the plans of Odon Lechner, and since 1887 the iceskating part has artificial cooling so it can work even during not so cold days as well. The building which can be seen now was built in 1893 (the old one was just not big enough...)
The rink is open from 9 am to 1 pm and then from 4 pm until 8 pm every day (exceptions: on saturdays they close at 6 pm but sometimes they are open from 7 pm to 10 pm, on Sundays the morning shift is from 10 am to 4 pm).
Equipment: Skates are there for rent as well (500 HUF/hour), so you don't even have to take these with you!
Formula 1 race - Hungaroring
Formula one, the "Racing circus" comes to Hungary every year in August.
The racetrack was built in 1986, and on the 10th of August that year the 1st ever Formula One race in a (now post-) communist country was held, which means that next year we are going to host the 20th F1 race!
The racetrack is in Mogyoród, a little city near Budapest, it will take you only about half an hour to get there if you are lucky. But after the race it usually takes more time to get back to the center...
There is usually a free bus service from Budapest for all having their tickets to the race, and the F1 has every year a contracted taxi company with a flat price from all points of Budapest to the racetrack's entarnce.
Equipment: Sunglasses, water and that's about it! :)
Szechenyi Medical Bath
After sightseeing in Budapest, it is very nice time to relax physically in medicinal bath. It is popular in Budapest; the visits there even came into the traditions of Budapestians for a long time. Actually, these baths appeared long time ago in Ancient Greece, Rome.
The Szechenyi Medical bath looking very nice both from outside and inside, it was built in early 20th century. Medical Bath we have been is composed from an open-air swimming pool with warm mineral water, some very different bathhouses (like Turkish bath), some of baths with underwater massages.
Equipment: Better to bring more underwear, towels.
Mûjégpálya Ice Rink
Ice Skating is the popular thing to do in Budapest. The Mûjégpálya Ice Rink was packed with skaters skating to American music. Bon Jovi music was blaring from the speakers as we watched the skaters go round and round.
Horse riding school near Budapest
I found a new familiar equestrian farm and homely pension with own swimming lake that invites child and adult horse-riders and riding-school guests all through the year.
They have 14 beds, 11 horses and welcome guest horses in a brand new stable.
They are located one hour south of Budapest, Hungary, transfer is available.
Visit them at
Equipment: All equipment can be hired at place
- Family Travel
- National/State Park
- School Holidays
Climbing Gellert hill
Climbing Gellert hill by foot is a real sport activity , climbing the 230 meters to see the view.
You can use a bus or taxi but climbing by foot is the better option to my opinion.
The view from the hill is stunning and it worth climbing.
I saw some people running up the hill for improving their shape and stamina.
- Hiking and Walking
Margaret island - Running
There are a lot of people who run and jog on the parks of Budapest - i saw them on Margaret island and city park.
The better place to run is on Margaret island because there is a rubber surface made especially for that purpose.
The rubber surface is surrounding the island all around on the perimeter so beside the sport activity you can enjoy the view of the Danube.
Equipment: Good running shoes , water after the run.
- Adventure Travel
Margaret island - swimming
On Margaret island there are a few options if you want to swim :
1. Relax near the water of the Danube - suntan and swim in the Danube - although the island is very rocky.
2. Swim in one of the swimming pools on the island
A small warning - If you want to swim in the Danube be careful from rocks , boats and the flow that can be very strong.
Equipment: Bathing suit , sun cream , hat , tower.
Margaret island - bicycling
Beside bicycling around the city to see the attraction there is an option to ride your bicycle for sport activity purpose.
For this option a lot of local go to Margaret island , to ride their bicycle without cars around them or the need to stop to cross main roads.
If you don't have bicycle you can rent here in a few places.
Equipment: bicycle and a helmet of course.
Beside the fact that walking around the city will make you explore it in the best way to my opinion , walking will make you be in good shape.
There are so many things to see here and some of them are far from each other , so you can find yourself walking more than 10km per day , like i did.
Equipment: Good walking shoes , a hat to avoid the sun and a lot of water.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
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