One of the oldest parks in Central Europe and a stunning example of 19th century urban planning, City Park is the largest park in the Hungarian capital and is noted as the first public park in the world.
The first signs of an organized park were set way back in 1751 when stone pathways were laid down. The park was completely reorganized at the beginning of the 19th century and ended up hosting the Millennium Celebration even though locations with a far richer history were proposed.
The park contains many attractions as well as seemingly endless pathways that make you forget you are in one of Europe’s biggest cities. Among the most popular things to see in City Park is a replica of the Transylvanian Vajdahunyad Castle. The original castle as well as the replica boasts architectural influences which span from gothic to Romanesque, renaissance as well as baroque.
The park is also home to the statue of Anonymus, a medieval chronicler to King Bela and recorder of some of the most important historical events of the period. In fact, Anonymus’ writings are the main source for Hungarian history for most of the middle ages. The castle replica is also surrounded by a lake which is a great place for a relaxing boat trip or for skating during winter months.
In fact, Budapestians and their love for the skating started even earlier than the park’s creation. The City Park Ice Rink was one of the favorite of the elites from the time and during the opening ceremony on the 29th of January 1870, even Rudolf, the Crown Prince of Austria attended.
The park also houses several other famous Budapest institutions. Among these tourists will be delighted to find the Budapest Zoo, the Budapest Amusement Park, as well as a series of restaurants and the Transportation Museum. The park, of course, also offers everything a modern park needs in order to attract both tourists and locals, including several playgrounds for kids, wooden castles as well as a flea market which is held every weekend.
The Budapest Zoo is a fun place to take a walk and see some of the most amazing sights and animals. The spot is the perfect way to spend a day with your young ones. If walking around and watching animals isn’t your thing, the Amusement Park might be a great alternative. If you had your thrills and are now ready to eat something delicious after a day of walking you should definitely try Gundel Restaurant, one of Budapest’s most acclaimed, and make sure to give Hungarian cuisine a try.
Szechenyi Baths are also located in the park and provide the perfect place to relax and take in the lovely mineral water that Budapest is famous for.