No 2: Varosliget (City Park)
Although City Park is more built up then I would like it to be, it’s a nice spot to hang out for the day. We visit the Budapest Zoo a few times a year; there have been so many little arrivals recently (2 orangutan babies last year, the little gorilla baby is more of a toddler now, 3 little tigers were also born last year and just last month a new giraffe baby was born) so it’s always exciting to go back for a visit even in winter.
I don’t normally like City Zoos but the Budapest Zoo has so nicely been renovated; it doesn’t feel too crowded. There are 2 playgrounds within the Zoo where the little ones can hang out and there is also a petting Area where the kids can get up close to some animals. For food the restaurant by the rock cave is ok, there are tables outside and they have plenty of highchairs. No changing facility there though, you have to walk back to the main playground.
We normally come by bike to City Park and it was really nice to see that the lake was finally reopened last year. I think the Art on the lake exhibition now finished, but they created a whole new promenade with new restaurants that are open in the summer which is a real bonus as I always found there were never enough food options in this park apart from the old school Hungarian stands that sell langos, cheap burger or hot-dogs.. You simply come down on the stairs by Heroes Square to you right. You have to be careful though letting small children loose as there is no fence next to the lake and it’s pretty easy to fall in. Those new spots are pretty child-friendly with having lots of bean-bags on the floor and the one by the boat-rental place even have little blankets pinned down on the grass so a nice spot to hang out and listen to some music. If you are into low-key summer hang-outs, Kertem on Olof Palme setany is our favourite in the park, their Balkan burgers are great, lots of space for the kids to run around, and great concerts. I really hope those places will open up again from June.
We come to the park to visit many of the festivals that get organised here, most famous is the Festival on children’s day at the end of May. The playground by the lake is good for toddlers as well as for bigger kids and the museums in the park (Museum of Transport and the Agricultural Museum) worth a visit.
I can’t wait for my daughter to get bigger so we can visit the Budapest Amusement Park (Vidampark). We just visited the Circus (carry on after the Zoo) the other week and my 27 months old lasted a whole hour.
To get there: Take the Millenium M1 underground to Hosok Tere or Szechenyi Bath stop. Alternatively Bus 105 to Hosok tere stop that goes along Andrassy ut.
Andi Lustak was born in Budapest and is a Freelance Technology PR consultant when she is working and a mom of a beautiful 2 years old daughter. Andi studied, worked and lived in London for 9 years before relocating back to Budapest to spend a big chunk of the year in her beloved home city with her British partner. She found Reka’s baby-mommy group when she was only 4 months pregnant in 2009 and met some great friends since through this great community. Baby-free time these days means watching a lot of box sets in the evening, she and her hubby are currently into Mad Man and can’t wait for the new seasons of True Blood and Fringe.