Green Guide Budapest: eco-friendly tourism, sustainable visit to Hungary
If you’re the backpacker who likes going off the beaten track, and discovering the green and sustainable tourism of the cities you visit, our selection of green Budapest ideas and themes is just for you! Hike in the woods, picnic on the green grass, use the bike sharing system, check out the markets and packaging free stores, and follow green events – here’s how!
Hiking in the city
You wouldn’t guess from looking around in the busy downtown, but Budapest has pretty woods on hillsides, lookout towers overlooking most of the city or further hills, and great green areas to enjoy nature. If you’re looking for a nice walk/quick run, Margaret Island (the Central Park of Budapest) is your spot (also you can read our post on running in Budapest) – these ideas are for longer (but still not necessarily super challenging) hikes:
The easiest spot is Normafa – take the cogwheel train from Városmajor Park, or the children’s railway, run entirely by kids (except that it’s driven by an actual adult :D).
This is the ultimate picnic spot, from where you can walk back, down and into the city. The Libegő (Zugliget Chairlift) is also within walking distance, and so is the Fairies’ Rock, a favorite spot of climbers. For other nearby hiking trails you usually start by taking a bus/tram from Széll Kálmán tér – favorite destinations nearby include the Jánoshegyi kilátó (Jánoshegy lookout tower), Sas-hegy nature reserve, and Hármashatár hill.
Jánoshegy lookout tower
Public transport, Budapest bike sharing system
You’ll have noticed from day 1 that Budapest has a really efficient public transport system. Instead of relying on cabs, make an effort to take a bus or tram, or simply walk around – it’s a beautiful city after all! Renting a bike is really easy – there are multiple stores where you can get started, but you may want to consider the bike sharing system MOL Bubi, which is reliable and has stations all around the downtown. Make sure you read our post on Biking in Budapest for more useful information!
Budapest markets – Szimpla on Sundays, or others on the other days
Markets let you buy directly from the seller, cutting out so many unsustainable processes that your head will swing in green joy. Szimpla has this really cool initiative where they turn the ruin bar into a farmers’ market Sunday mornings. Most regular markets are open every morning except Sunday – you can try Lehel tér piac (market) on the M3 line, Hunyadi tér piac on M1 or Hold utca piac (the most overpriced, but in a really nice area) in the downtown, near Parliament.
Lehel tér piac Market
Packaging free stores – cool sustainable gift ideas!
Finally Budapest also has them! Even if you’re not planning to cook, cool Budapest gift ideas officially include homemade ketchup, elderberry syrup and many other delicacies you can get here, all green and organic, and of course super tasty.
Best locations: Ligeti Bolt – the first ever in Budapest, in 9 Katona József utca (near Jászai), and a Buda on near Móricz (14 Karinthy Frigyes utca). Ne pazarolj (Don’t waste) – 79 Fő utca, near Battbyány on the M2 line. Also, Szatyorbolt in the Palace Quarter, 12 Gyulai Pál utca.
Green Guide Budapest
Follow them on Facebook to get a weekly list of green events, many of which are in English, or bilingual. You can also get a print version of the map (online it’s only available in Hungarian – in print, they also have English).
Gasztrohős app: your guide to all things sustainable
Download the app to find all local markets, organic stores, community gardens, sustainable gastro places, and much more. The focus is sustainable food, but you can find other valuable information too.
The coolest thing about sustainable tourism? It connects you to locals who share your values and outlook on life. Enjoy the new connections, and take home a piece of green Budapest with you! Gólya and Auróra, the two Budapest social hubs that carry a bunch of the coolest sustainable events, will be the topic of a new post soon. Check them out for the ultimate local experience with a commitment for social change!
Hostel TIP:Maverick City Lodge is a great choice if you want to be close to Szimpla market and right in the heart of the city. Our staff is happy to give you more tips on keeping your stay fun and sustainable. The closest market is Szimpla Market on Sundays, right on the corner! The Central Market Hall is very close to Maverick Student Lodge, and also not too far from Maverick Hostel, either!