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Active Challenges in and Around Budapest

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If you’re after a thrill and want to get moving, Budapest has plenty to offer both in terms of the natural surroundings, as well as the many options for sports and activities in the city.

Rock climbing trains not only the body but the psyche as well, and is very popular in Hungary. Challenge yourself, test your endurance and your balance in one of several locations in the hilly regions around the city. The degrees of difficulty vary, but absolute beginners will easily find a place to get started and even experts will find a rock to test their skills.


Budapest is a city of runners and joggers. During the spring and summer there are competitions almost every month. Whether you prefer a light workout or a full marathon is more your pace, there will certainly be something for you to enjoy. The love of running doesn’t stop at the city’s borders. If you want a change of scenery for your physical challenge, you can participate in the half-marathon held in the Danube Bend.

A traditional sporting event of the summer, is the swim across lake Balaton. Just a relatively short drive from Budapest, you can join thousands of entrants to the event that attracts every age group from small children to the elderly every year.


Lake Balaton is also a traditional venue for sailing. Absolute beginners can start learning the ropes, while experts are also regulars at the lake, for instance, to participate in the famous Kékszalag (Blue Ribbon) Round the Lake Race which is the oldest of its kind in Europe.

As more fine hotels were built in and around Budapest, so too new golf courses began appearing all around. These venues are maintained so that they are certified to host international championship events, while beginners can also get started.


Have the drive to explore and you’re not afraid of tight spaces? Budapest and its surroundings have a number of cave systems that are open to the public. Under the supervision of an expert, you can learn about the vast web of caverns and crevices in the Budapest hills while putting your body to the test.


Fancy hopping on a bike and seeing some more of the countryside? Then head out to one of the several destinations that are within easy reach of the city. Lake Velence offers a fun 30-kilometer bike ride that you can easily access by taking the train, and renting a bike on location. The tour of the Danube Bend is nearly twice as long, but you can choose how much you want to cover. Some parts have bike lanes, while others will have you roughing it on the dirt road.


If you like animals, you’ll certainly enjoy a shot at horseback riding in Budapest’s newly renovated National Riding School (Nemzeti Lovarda Budapest – Tattersall) near Keleti Railway Station which offers riding for enthusiasts as well as for those looking to learn.