Do you remember our previous article about the world's first public park, City Park (Városliget)? Now you can read about the biggest one in the city, People's Park (Népliget). Mystical little forests and paths with deep history, old green lawns, sculptures from the past and secret relics from another era. This is it.
People's Park is a big green area in the city of Kőbánya, one of the biggest districts in Budapest. The southwestern point of it is right on the border of two other districts called Ferencváros and Józsefváros. The neighborhood is constantly developing. You can find there new office-blocks, a brand new football stadium almost finished and one of the main tram lines number 1 and 1A under complete reconstruction.
People's Park is full of deep and colourful history just like the whole city itself. Before the middle of the 19th century the place was a landfill and an old mine was operating there too. The area is functioning as a public park since the second half of the 19th century. They had built roads, paths, established areas for amusing people. Thanks for the multiple types of trees they had planted that time the park now has a unique and diverse atmosphere.
During the long decades most of the visitors of the park were the workers of the city and people from the middle class. They had multiple options to amuse themselves and lots of places to take their families to. Lots of activities were available for almost every range. Show Square (Mutatványos tér) was one of the most popular area of the park. There were cheaper restaurants, a cinema, bumper cars, a circus, a ferris wheel, a whirligig, a swing-boat, not to mention the famous artist Henrik Kemény's puppet-show. The biggest and longest roller-coaster of Central Europe was also here. After a renovation of the area the international Hungarian Grand Prix motor race was held in the summer of 1936 at People's Park too. After 1945 almost all of these had become history.
The second half of the 20th century hadn't brought anything major to the park's life. They have established the Centenary Park (Centenáriumi Park) in 1973 and built the Planetarium (Planetárium) in 1977. Some car races was held around the park until the 1980's. You can visit several sculptures and memorials about former buildings and long-passed events all over the park. You should check out the Göcsej Relief (Göcsej dombormű) renovated in 2010, created by János Németh. It is a nice sight! Apart from the sights there is a good chance for you to take a pretty long walk or jog around a bit but watch your back at nights! Speaking of healthy living and safety you should definitely visit SportHotel Népliget with various sport grounds on the east side of the park. Check in and rent the whole field to have a great time playing soccer with your friends!
If you are looking for some pure Budapest style nightlife People's Park can fulfil your needs. Why don't you come down to Liget Club & Bar? It is a really popular club right next to the Planetarium. Get on your favourite suit (or dress), lean into the bar like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas did, have a fine cocktail (not as much as Nicholas Cage did) and vanish into the night!
Expectedly the complete renovation of People's Park will begin next year to become a safer and more up-to-date public park for you and all of the visitors.
How to get to People's Park? You can use metro line M3, tram line number 1, 1A (replacement buses during the renovation) and 28, several blue buses, night buses and even regional buses. Your stop is People's Park (Népliget)!
Websites you should visit: