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Budapest welcomes sports lovers with open arms

Fisherman's BastionBudapestGreater Budapest

Hungary is home to a number of large-scale sporting events, some of which are held in the capital. Cheering at World and European championships is an experience never to forget, especially when you are supporting competitors in a special sport like modern pentathlon. 

Modern pentathlon consists of five sports: horse riding, fencing, shooting, swimming and cross-country running. Modern pentathlon started with the modern Olympics and is based on the model of ancient pentathlon. The sport has undergone changes, both major and minor, but continues to enjoy great popularity. Pentathlon has always been very important for Hungarian sportspeople.      András Balczó, three-time Olympic and ten-time world champion, is one of the sport’s most prominent figures. Hungary also has a women’s Olympic champion in pentathlon, Zsuzsanna Vörös, who won gold at the Athens games in 2004. In 2022, Budapest and Hungary started helping to promote pentathlon as one of the organisers of the Modern Pentathlon World Cup. In the second round of the cup in Hungary, the University of Public Service, which is only 20 minutes away from the city centre, provided the venue for the competitions. Let's see how many sights Budapest has to offer.  

Jungle in the middle of the city

Within walking distance from the National University of Public Service, the venue for the competition, you will find yourself in a completely different world, in the untouched nature of the Botanical Garden. You will be enchanted by the blossoming trees and the greenhouses full of exotic plants. In the pool of the Victoria House you can also find the statue of Ernő Nemecsek, the hero of the novel by Ferenc Molnár.  


A little further on from there you can take a walk in the City Park, where there are lots of exciting sights to see. Art lovers can visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which stands on one side of Heroes' Square, the most famous square in Budapest. But you can also walk further to the Vajdahunyad Castle and to the House of Hungarian Music, as well as the family-friendly zoo. 

Back into the past

It is also worth venturing a little further into the city. The Buda Castle District, which rises above the Danube, is one of the must-see sights of Budapest. You can spend up to half a day there. In addition to the Fisherman's Bastion and the Matthias Church, which should be on any visitor’s list of sights to see, it is also worth exploring the hidden treasures of the castle district such as the labyrinth in the depths of Castle Hill or the Medieval Jewish Prayer House from the 14th century on the ground floor of the house in Táncsics Mihály utca 26. The permanent exhibitions of the Hungarian National Gallery feature works of art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, but there are also several temporary exhibitions to explore. 


The Tomb of Gül Baba, a wonderful monument of the Turkish era, and the Rose Garden are also located in Buda, not far from the Buda end of Margit Bridge. Gül Baba was a 16th-century dervish, a Muslim warrior monk, whose grave – renovated in 2018 – is now a Muslim pilgrimage site with its own exhibition space, tea house, romantic park and rose garden. A perfect place for quiet relaxation. 

If you head from Buda to Pest again, visit Margit-sziget, where you can see a musical fountain, a Japanese garden and even a miniature zoo. It is also popular among those who like doing sports. No wonder that modern pentathlete Bence Demeter also goes to the island when he needs to recharge his batteries. In the video below, he talks about why Margit-sziget is such a special place in Budapest. 

BENCE DEMETER ON MARGIT-SZIGETMargit-sziget is one of my favourite places. You can retreat from the noise of the big city and you can use the running track or go to the swimming pool. There are plenty of parks, spacious green areas, an outdoor stage and various entertainment venues.
Bence Demeter on Margit-sziget
Zsófia Szabó on Gellért Hill
Ádám Karl on the Vajdahunyad Castle
WOW Hungary - Greater Budapest

Cocktails and parties

Those who like more energetic events can admire the bridges over the Danube and the iconic buildings of Budapest, such as the Parliament, if they board one of the cruise ships on the river. You can have a pleasant lunch or dinner on the sightseeing boats, and in the evening you can also enjoy the lights of the city with a cocktail in hand.


Those who want to have fun can enjoy the nightlife in and around Király Street, in the entertainment district of Budapest, with the eclectic ruin pubs, which have become some of the most exciting sights of Budapest in recent decades.