Margaret Island (Margit-sziget)
Margit-sziget (Margaret Island) is a magical little piece of heaven poised between Buda and Pest. Being there always gives you the sense of taking some time off from the real world. It's small - only 2.5 km (1.4 mi) long - but you'd be surprised how much the island manages to pack in and still feel like an oasis.
Margaret Island was once three islands; they were put together to stem the flow of the Danube in the 19th century. In the middle ages, Margaret Island was called the Island of Rabbits. It was named Margaret after a saint who lived in one of the many nunneries.
The Ottoman rulers kicked out the monks and nuns and took over the island for their harems. There's still plenty of lolling about and pleasure seeking to be done on the island today. It has a pool and lido, a thermal spa, concerts and a Japanese garden to help you relax.
There's also a small zoo and a musical fountain, but just about the nicest thing to do on Margaret Island is what so many of the city's inhabitants do - bring a picnic and lie back in the flowery grass.
You'll find Margaret Island between the Margaret Bridge and the Árpád Bridge in the Danube River. You can stay on the island, or visit it by taking bus 26 (the only form of transport other than taxis allowed on the island).
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