The breathing center of Budapest
City Park or (Városliget) may not be familiar at first, but when you know that this is the part of town where you can find the Széchenyi bath, Heroes’ Square or the spectacular skating rink, you’ll know what an important part the “Liget”, as its abbreviated, plays in Budapest’s circulation. It was one of the world’s first public parks and serves as a living core that gives locals a chance to feel close to nature even when they are in the heart of the city, not to mention the numerous fun outings that will satisfy all age groups. Once the sun comes out, Budapesters take to the park for a walk, to play with their dogs, soak up the sunshine, or just hang out with family and friends over a cold drink and a pretzel for the kids.
The Városliget is also a place for learning with its paths lined with information boards about the various animals and plants that are native here. A wide variety of birds fill the park with their songs every year and get a helping hand with nest boxes allowing them to raise their young more easily. If you are quick, you will spot the many squirrels that also make a home here.
Right in Városliget is Budapest Zoo. The 150-year-old “állatkert” which literally translates to “animal garden,” the Hungarian word for “zoo”, is one of the oldest in its category. A pleasant day spent with the family in the zoo is one of the most fun and educational experiences to be had with children in the city. The zoo is constantly expanding with better services and better accommodation for the animals, which keep children and adults alike fascinated. The zoo boasts the most ornate elephant and hippo house you’ll likely ever see and has everything from gorillas and orangutans to wombats and koalas! If you’re there, don’t miss the feeding shows.
Next to the zoo is Capital Circus, which has for ages provided families with breathtaking experiences. Budapest presents not only some of the most skilled performers from Hungary but is also regularly hosts visiting groups from around the world.