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Open water swimming in Budapest and sports on the Danube

Although the Danube is not safe for swimming in Budapest, fortunately there are many open water swimming areas in the immediate vicinity of the city to help you keep cool during summer heat waves.

Although there are many outdoor swimming pools and water parks in Budapest, some prefer swimming in natural bodies of water. For the latter, we propose the following bathing spots, and – quite frankly – there really is a certain magic to splashing in a lake instead of a tiled pool.

Lupa Beach opened up shop in 2017 with the express intention of creating an open water swimming area in Budapest that would meet everyone’s expectations. With its white sandy beach and crystal-clear water, the Lake Lupa beach complex offers top-quality services: comfortable deck chairs, parasols, sports equipment that can be borrowed for free, a water park, a wakeboard run, and even a scuba diving center.

A favorite destination for families is the Gyömrő lake and spa, located 30 km from Budapest. With its gentle slope into the water, children can play in the water safely, while more intrepid adults can try out the wakeboarding run in a separate area. In the middle of the lake, you will find a unique bar on a mellow beach – the perfect spot to take a break from swimming with some refreshing cocktails.

Also nearby is Domonyvölgy, for those who crave the quintessential open water swimming experience. D-Beach boasts a 14,000 m2 sandy beach, a beach volleyball court and a beach soccer field. And fear not – you won’t miss out on the ubiquitous lángos (thin deep-fried savory dough) even if you choose to head to Gödöllő instead of to the Balaton.

For those who still want to take a dip in the Danube, there are river beaches in the towns of Dunabogdány, Szentendre and Nagymaros. Here, you can swim safely in the areas demarcated by buoys. It’s no small detail either that each of these three towns are located in beautiful surroundings: perfect for a stroll or for grabbing some ice cream after your swim.

Those who prefer water sports to bathing should take a look at the Omszk Lake. The Omszk Wakeboard Center first opened over ten years ago, and now also offers the increasingly popular stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

No list of water sports on the Danube would be complete without a mention of canoeing and kayaking, and equipment can be rented at various places even within Budapest, not to mention sailboats as well. You can also try out rowing sports at the Kopaszi Dam, or rent single-person and multi-person canoes and kayaks at the Béke boathouse on the Római Part (“Roman Beach”) at very reasonable prices. Although life-vests are always supplied, it doesn’t hurt to be careful as well. This of course applies to bathing as well: it’s important to know that in Hungary children under age 6, as well as children under 12 who cannot swim, may only enter natural bodies of water with parental supervision. So even as you splash away, remember to keep an eye out for one another!

Photo: Pexels

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