Running on the Danube is one of the running treats in Budapest, allowing for views, sites, and exercise while seeing some of the city’s most important sites. There is not a 100% seamless, dedicated waterside path on either the Pest or the Buda side. Some path sections are along the water, and some are on roads above the water, as the main road sometimes hugs the river. Occasionally you will encounter cobblestone sections.
The best, dedicated sections running along the water are (remember, híd=bridge):
Pest Side of Danube, heading north: Great path along the water Between the Rákóczi Bridge and the New Budapest Gallery, for 2 km. Then, it is still pleasant and ‘runnable’ all the way to Margit Bridge, at the 6 km (3.6 mile) mark, where there are wonderful paths along Margaret Island for another 3k, for a total of 9km (5.6 miles).
Buda Side of Danube, heading north: Much of the Danube running in Buda from the Rákóczi Br. heading north is above the water. North of the Liberty Bridge, there’s a nice waterfront section, with Gellért Hill just to your left (or right, if heading south), to Margit Bridge, about 3.5k. Note: No waterside running north of Margit Bridge on the Buda side. Must use Margaret Island, and then the Árpád Br. to Hajógyári Sziget.
- On the Buda side, hop off the water path and run Gellért Hill, and the Buda Castle.Kopaszi Dam, just south of Rákóczi Bridge, is a lovely new park with a 2km running track.
- On either side, Margaret Island, and even further, Hajógyári Sziget, (Shipyard Island) a large park, with several paths, up to 2.7km long and 500m wide, with a couple of pedestrian bridges to the Buda Side.
If you want a great 10-mile one-way run, start in Pest at Rákóczi Bridge, to the end of Margaret Island, and then do a loop of Hajógyári Sziget, and taking the pedestrian bridge to Filatorigát train station.