Budapest Marathon – Chronicle and everything you need to go there

Posted by Vitor Dias  /   October 15, 2022  /   Posted in news

Budapeste Marathon - Crónica e tudo o que precisa para lá irThis one tasted bitter. I didn’t run the distance I wanted but I was there to see and feel everything that marathons give us.

Travel, accommodation and registration for the marathon
There are direct flights from Lisbon and with stopovers from Porto and Faro. We made a stopover in Geneve where we stayed for 4 hours. There is a direct train from the airport to the city center that takes about 10 minutes, which means you can always visit something or simply relax by Lake Leman and it’s famous fountain.

Accommodation in hotels in Budapest is not very expensive and there are also many accommodation options on Airbnb, which is always a good option if you are traveling in a group. We stayed in a very central Ibis Hotel (Kalvin Tér metro station). It is just over 2 km from the start of the race and the Expo, which is a plus because you can travel by foot.

Registration for the Budapest Marathon for next year (which will take place on the 15th of October) currently costs €70, increasing as the race date approaches.

Note that Hungary, although part of the European Union, has not joined the euro. The country’s currency is the Hungarian Forint, which is currently equivalent to 0.0024 Euro. During a week we don’t use the local currency once as they accept credit cards everywhere.

If you opt for a longer stay, there are good possibilities to visit other neighboring countries by bus such as Austria, the Czech Republic or even Germany. We went to Slovakia (Bratislava) by Flixbus where we spent a day. Tickets for the trip that takes about 2.5 hours must be purchased in advance on the company’s website (the earlier the cheaper they are). It cost us less than 20€ per person, round trip. Bratislava is a small but very beautiful city, it is really worth visiting. One day you can visit it without great haste.

By the way, I invite you to read the article “how to travel cheaply for marathons” that I published here and which can be useful for those who want to travel to marathons across borders.

The city
The city is very beautiful and has a lot to visit. It is as if they were two cities (Buda and Pest), divided by the river Danube and joined by 9 bridges. It has an excellent transport network (metro, buses, trains and boats). We took a pass (in the machines that exist at the airport) for 7 days (there is also a daily ticket and for 3 days) that cost about 15 euros that we could use in all transports (except E100). From the airport to the city center you can use the E100 bus. The ticket costs about €3.50 and the trip is direct and takes about 30 minutes or the E200 and metro line M3 (this option takes almost twice as long but you can use the aforementioned pass).

transportes budapeste

Elétrico – Budapeste

In general, everything is a little cheaper than in Portugal, namely the food, whether in restaurants or in the supermarket. There is a very wide range of Hungarian, Italian, Greek and Indian restaurants. If you like to try food from the places you visit, try the Goulash (stew).

Points of interest to visit in the city

Buda
– Citadella + Viewpoint
– Varket Bazar Gardens
– Buda Castle
– Fisherman’s Bastion – Ticket €1.70 (free before 9:00 and after 19:00)
– Matthias Church

Peste
– Budapest Parliament (the best view is from the Buda side) – Ticket: €5.20
– Chain Bridge
– St. Stephen Basilica + Viewpoint – Ticket: €8.30 (€5.50 for the viewpoint only)
– Heroes Square + Varosliget Park
– Shoes on the Danube
– Great Market Hall (Central Market)
– Liberty Bridge
– Széchenyi Thermal Baths – Ticket: €17.60 (from 9:00 to 20:00)

Margarita Island
– Margit-sziget Water Tower – Ticket: €1.70
– Rose Garden + Japanese Garden
– Musical Fountain
– Palatinus Strand (Spa, Swimming Pool and Water Park) – Ticket – €7.20

Bars and restaurants
– Simple Kert (Ruins Bar)
– Karavan

Slovakia (Bratislava)Blue Church - Bratislava - Eslováquia Blue Church – Bratislava – Eslováquia

– Michael’s Gate – Bilhete para o miradouro – 4,30€
– Hlavné námestie (Main Square) + Bratislava Old Town Hall
– Primate’s Palace
– Old Market
– Blue Church
– Bratislava Castle – Bilhete: 10€
Fun Statues Around Town
– Presidential Palace 

Bars and restaurants
– Michalská, Obchodná and Ventúrska Streets
– Hviezdoslavovo and SNP Squares

Expo Marathon

It takes place on the University Campus, by the river and it is from there that all the races start and finish, both those held on Saturday (10 km) and those on Sunday (marathon, 14 km and relays). It is a very pleasant place, with vast lawns around it.

The organization advises to pick up the athlete’s kit on Friday because on the following days there may be long lines. In all competitions there are more than 10 thousand registered athletes. The athlete’s kit consists of a bib number and a T-shirt. There are many tents of many brands where they sell sporting goods at considerable discounts, offer food, drinks and other promotional items.

The Marathon

maratona budapeste cubo rubik

The race course is beautiful and takes place on both banks of the Danube and even “inside it” on the beautiful island of Margarita. It was a sunny day which further beautified the show and the panorama of the event. The race is very popular because there are distances for all possibilities. On Saturday there are several races with different distances and also for children. On Sunday there is the marathon, 30 km (start on the opposite side of the river next to Liberty Bridge), 14 km and relays.

The first 14 kilometers are common to the marathon and to the race with a third of its distance, leading the runners of the queen run to pass the finish line and gain an extra boost as it is an area with a lot of public (the same happening in other places, especially in the bridges).

The kilometers are very well marked, supplies every 5 km, with water, fruit and isotonic drinks. It is flat with the exception made on a steep ramp when leaving the island. There are several entertainment spots, some of them with live music.

In short, I strongly recommend the Budapest marathon because, in addition to the race itself, it allows us to visit a very beautiful city, with many cultural and natural possibilities, relatively cheap compared to other European cities and which also gives us the possibility to visit other neighboring countries without resorting to air travel.
As for the race, it has a flat course and a mild climate which allows for good times.

Acknowledgments: Rafael Abrunhosa and Carlos Abrunhosa

About Vitor Dias

Autor e administrador deste site. Corredor desde 2007 tendo completado 59 maratonas em 17 países. Cronista em Jornal Público e autor da rubrica Correr Por Prazer em Porto Canal. Site Oficial: www.vitordias.pt
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