28 June 2022 / Ádám Geri
The Garden of Philosophers (Filozófusok kertje)
Bordered by Hegyalja Road and offering spectacular views of the Taban and Buda Castle, the Garden of Philosophers is one of the least explored parts of Gellért Hill. A special feature of the place is the eponymous group of statues of philosophers, where Jesus Christ and Buddha, among others, can be found side by side. Because of the windy slope, kite flying is a popular activity here, making it a great choice for families: while the kids fly kits, the adults enjoy the wines.
Orczy Garden (Orczy-kert)
One of Pest's (eastern part of the city) most atmospheric parks, especially since it was renovated. Be warned, picnicking here can easily turn into active recreation, thanks to the playground, outdoor exercise equipment and football, running and basketball pitches. On summer evenings, picnics can be accompanied by concerts and films: you can choose to enjoy the activities from your own blanket or camping chair, and you can even buy wine from the local buffet.
One of the best belvedere spots of Budapest, Normafa is popular in summer for hikers, in winter for skiers and sledgers, and all year round for fans of Hungarian strudel. Whatever the season, it is less discovered by picnickers. But it has all the ingredients: large green spaces and hidden, quieter glades, trees giving shade, a playground for children and a buffet if you run out of supplies.
Folly Arboretum and Winery, Badacsony (Lake Balaton)
The Folly Arboretum, 3 hectares in size, was founded in 1905 by Dr Gyula Folly, a factory doctor at the Zsolnay porcelain factory in Pécs. It is also known as the "living pine museum", with its around 300 species of pine trees. Fortunately, it is also full of grassy, sunny areas, and the fourth Folly generation, who are now taking care of the arboretum, have very wisely revived the wine-growing tradition. Their wines can be enjoyed on their wine terrace with its magnificent panoramic view of Lake Balaton, or, of course, on a picnic blanket.
Tata is undoubtedly the city of lakes, and fortunately the lakes are accompanied by large green spaces. The western shore of the Öreg tó (“old” lake), south of the Esterházy castle, and the Cseke lake in the adjoining Angolkert (English garden) offer plenty of picnic opportunities. The former summer residence of the Angolkert is now a venue for events and a shop. Tata is part of the Neszmély Wine District, so you can also find your local wine here. In Tata, it's also worth adding a little activity to your picnic: a visit to the Esterházy Sparkling Wine Factory (Esterházy Pezsgőgyár), not far from the Angolkert, is not a big detour, but a much enjoyable experience.
There are a number of beaches around Lake Tisza, all of which are perfect for picnics. Perhaps one of most tempting spots is the Morotva cycling park in Tiszafüred with its large green meadow next to the free beach. But the most charming way is undoubtedly to hire boats (you can do this in Sarud, Tiszafüred and Poroszló) and anchor in the middle of Lake Tisza and tie your boats together for the picnic. The lake hardly ripples, you won't be washed ashore for hours, and tranquillity is guaranteed.
Heimann Family Winery, Szekszárd
During the spring and summer months, guests can also enjoy a picnic-style tasting at Heimann’s in Szekszárd. Packages ordered at least 24 hours in advance can be picked up at the press house. In addition to the chilled bottles, glasses, a blanket and homemade finger food (sausages, cheese, vegetables, bread), the basket also includes a map of places and vineyards that are well worth a visit.
Dobosi Winery, Szentantalfa (Balaton)
Vineyards, press house, panoramic view (with sunsets if you're persistent), wine and snacks. All this is on offer in Szentantalfa in a package called "Picnic on Balázs Hill" from Dobosi Winery. You can pick up the package at the estate and – if you wish – they will take you out to the Balázs Hill vineyards. Although the 2-kilometre walk is just the thing to make sure you arrive there hungry and thirsty.
Rókusfalvy Estate, Etyek
The Etyek Picnic, which takes place at least once every season on Újhegy in Etyek, has become a concept over the years. If you like, you can experience it on a "normal" weekend. Pick up a bottle of pezsgő at the winery’s shop, walk up to the vineyard above the building, throw off the blanket and indulge in the bubbles and the panorama!