An eye-shaped haven in the centre of the Danube, Margaret Island lies between the grandeur of Pest to the east and Buda, the city’s more frenetic side, to the west. Just 1.6 miles long and less than half a mile wide, it’s a tree-lined sanctuary away from the crowds. And, best of all, it’s (mainly) free.
Most of the island is landscaped parkland and there’s a rose garden in the middle, plus a small Japanese garden near its northern tip, with a fishpond and waterfall.
A grand musical fountain near the Margaret Bridge at the south end comes alive four times a day, its jets dancing to classical and contemporary tunes. We hear George Ezra’s 2014 song Budapest through the trees on the afternoon we visit; it’s somehow more charming than corny.
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