Five reasons to join a running competition in Budapest!

There are lots of articles online telling you six reasons to visit Budapest, ten hidden gems in Budapest, seven mistakes not to make in Budapest, and 33 things you must eat while in Budapest. If you eat all those things, you will probably get stomach problems and have difficulty traveling home, but the intention behind it is good! This article, however, wants to give you five reasons to join a running competition in Budapest. Are you ready to be inspired?

Not many think about exercising and running as they plan their trip to Budapest. Instead, they read about the fantastic attractions such as the Hungarian Parliament, the Gellert Hill, and the Castle district. Then they read about those amazing activities such as a river cruise on the Danube, a relaxing bath in the Szechenyi thermal bath, and a wine tasting in a wine cellar or in a wine bar.

But, let us turn things around and make your trip to Budapest even more interesting, inspiring, healthy, and challenging!

Things get better when you invest your time and energy!

It is a well-known fact that things get better and more interesting if you invest. A football match becomes way more interesting if you bet 1 euro on the outcome compared to just watching without anything at stake. If you spend three hours reading about Hungarian history before your arrival you will understand much more when you see the different buildings and hear about the different kings and historical incidents on guided tours, during your river cruise, or elsewhere. In other words, investing time and energy gives you more in return… that is a general principle!

But, what does that have to do with joining a running competition in Budapest?

1. You have a goal with your trip to Budapest!

If you register for a running competition in Budapest you visit the Hungarian capital with a vision. The goal isn’t just to arrive, have fun, and leave, but it is about more. You want to accomplish something. Maybe your goal is to run a 5km race? Or are you coming to run 10k, or maybe a half-marathon or a marathon? There are many possibilities, but they all mean that you need to pack your clothes differently. You need to make space for running shoes, some running clothes, and maybe your lucky drinking bottle.

If you run in a competition in Budapest you suddenly get a different perspective. Your trip isn’t just about consuming, it is about experiencing, giving, and most of all, living!

2. Your trip starts months before you travel to Budapest.

If you come to run in Budapest, your trip starts months before you fly to Budapest (or travel by car, train, or bus). From the first moment, you will start to think about your future travel and prepare for it. As you run up and down the streets of your hometown, as you visit parks, lakes, and mountains to prepare your body, you will have Budapest on your mind. This will give a special focus on your trip, and you will also spend lots of time meditating on what you can expect during your days in Hungary.

New Chain Bridge in Budapest

3. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet with locals!

Running competitions are fantastic. They have a special atmosphere, and it is a fantastic way to meet locals. Many running competitions have after-parties in which you can dance, sing, drink, and have fun together with the other runners. Even though there are lots of internationals partaking in the different competitions, most runners come from Hungary. As a result, it is a wonderful chance to have a chat with locals, ask them about politics, get some authentic recommendations, and maybe drink a cold beer together with your new friends.

Maybe your running experience in Budapest will mean the start of some brand-new friendships.

4. It is healthy, and maybe a start of something new in your life!

Moving your body is healthy. It will have a good effect on your body, and there are many other benefits to running. Did you know that running is good for your brain and for improving your memory? Running releases endorphins in your body, by many referred to as the happiness hormone. Your heart will also be happy to pump blood at a higher pace in your body. If you are brand new to running, you might want to consult a doctor or some other professional before you start, just to get some good advice on how to start training and preparing for the running competition in Budapest.

After running in Budapest, you will most likely fall in love with running competitions. As you return home, it will only take a few days before you start looking for more running competitions; maybe in Budapest or maybe in some other city in Europe? There are lots of running competitions all across Europe. If you like Budapest, you will probably enjoy the city of Prague with all its running competitions as well!

Maybe this is the start of a new era in which you travel all around the world to run in all sorts of running competitions.

5. You get to explore the city while running!

As you come to Budapest, you probably plan to see the most important sights and buildings in the city. Did you know that many of the running competitions take place in the center of Budapest? As a result, you will see the beautiful attractions and buildings while running up and down the streets of Budapest. It is also very common to use the lower roads along the Danube, which means you can enjoy the magnificent Danube panorama towards the Buda and the Pest side while running. If you join one of the evening races, you might even see the magnificent buildings of Budapest beautifully illuminated while running. Believe me, it will give you an extra boost that will make it even better and more memorable to run.

running in budapest
Above you can see a picture from a night running competition by Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Do you feel inspired to register for a running competition in Budapest? You can read more about upcoming events in our Budapest calendar. There you can also get information about concerts, festivals, and other things that will happen in the Hungarian capital in the future.

Budapest Night Run 2024

Budapest is a beautiful city, but it becomes even more beautiful when it is dark outside and the lights are turned on! Wouldn’t it be nice to see the city with your own eyes in the darkness while running a distance of 5, 10, or 21 kilometers? That is possible if you come to Budapest and participate in the Budapest Night Run, also referred to as Generali Night Run.

It started as a simple run, but it has become one of the most popular sports events in Budapest. The atmosphere is fantastic and due to the fact that it is in the evening, you avoid the extreme heat, and you get to see the beautiful city of Budapest at night. All distances start by the Castle Garden (Várkert). This is located on the Buda side, just below the castle (next to the Danube). From there you will run along the Danube towards Margaret Island. This makes you able to see the most famous Parliament building in the world with its beautiful illumination while running. You will later run in the castle district, through the tunnel, and in the area near the Chain Bridge. All in all, a fantastic experience. Throughout the race there are so-called pacers helping you keep your pace. In other words, if you plan on running at a pace of 5 minutes per kilometer, follow the person running with a sign telling you that they are keeping that pace.

Budapest Night Run 2024

Date: August 31, 2024
More information and registration:

The earlier you register, the cheaper it gets. If you are very late, you can register on the spot before the race, but then you should arrive early to make sure everything gets finished in time before the race.

There are also races for kids, meaning that this is an event for the entire family.

Would you like to see more what the event is about? Look at the official event video from 2022.

Would you like to read more about other sports events, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, and happenings in Budapest? Take a look at our Budapest calendar.

SPAR Budapest Marathon 2024

SPAR Budapest Marathon is a fantastic event for those in love with running. Not only can you run a full marathon, but there are lots of other running competitions taking place in Budapest on both Saturday and Sunday during this event.

It is possible to run as a couple, you can run a set distance on Saturday and then run more on Sunday. There are also races for children, for families, and there is even a walking competition you can be a part of during this event in Budapest.

Would you like to participate in this event? Or maybe you want to know more about the options and the different distances? You can find more information at

The competitions normally start from the Pazmany Peter setany (close to the Petofi bridge on the Buda side).

Budapest Marathon 2024

Dates: October 12-13

budapest marathon

Is this an activity for you?

Are you used to running? If you have some experience, then you probably have a feeling about whether or not this is a task you can overcome. If running 5km makes you scared, you shouldn’t start with a marathon. Instead, start running 5km and then do a couple of races in which you run 5-6km. Later you can increase the distance and start running 10km, 15km, and maybe even try a half-marathon after some months. It is important, however, to take it step by step. Going for a marathon without the correct preparations can have a bad effect in several ways; you might get discouraged, and it is much easier to get injured.

As a result, take it step by step, and if you feel like, run in the Wizz Air half marathon in Budapest first. If you feel like it was a success, you could consider running the full marathon in Budapest later!

It is also worth remembering that several distances are available during this event. In other words, you can run even though you do not run a full marathon.

A short history lesson.

There has been arranged an annual marathon in Budapest since 1961. There was a change around 1984, and since 2009, the name-giver to the marathon is SPAR. The best time ever run in the present era in this marathon is from 1984 when Zoltan Kiss ran the distance in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The number of participants varies each year, but it is normally between 30,000-40,000 participants running the different races.

The route starts near the Petofi bridge on the Buda side. There is no fixed route for the Budapest marathon, meaning that there are minor and sometimes bigger changes to the route every year.

What can you see while participating in Budapest marathon?

The main goal for marathon runners in Budapest is to finish the race. But while running, you will see fantastic buildings and attractions in Budapest. Some attractions you will see while running are the Hungarian Parliament, the Castle, the Gellert Hill, the Chain Bridge, the Margaret Bridge, Margaret Island, the shoes by the Danube, the Fishermen’s Bastion, the Matthias Church, and many other fantastic buildings.

Your energy will heavily influence whether or not you will be able to enjoy what you see or if all your focus will be on reaching the finish line. No matter what, the amazing atmosphere in Budapest and being surrounded by beautiful buildings and the Danube will for sure bring extra energy to your body!

Wizz Air Half Marathon 2024

It is time to get out and do something fun again. Are you ready to run a half marathon in Budapest? The annual event, the Wizz Air Half Marathon, will be arranged in Budapest on September 8th in 2024, and this is a fantastic chance to see Budapest while running around the beautiful capital of Hungary.

The exact route of the half marathon hasn’t been set yet, but no matter where the half marathon will be held, you will run along scenic routes in Budapest and it is going to be a fantastic experience!

There isn’t much information available in English about the event yet, but the online registration for the event can be found at:

If you use the page above and combine it with Google Translate, you should be able to succeed!

Wizz Air Half Marathon 2024

Date: 8 September

This is a fantastic opportunity to explore Budapest while running and enjoying yourself. If you want to read more about other running competitions or events in Budapest, just look around in our Budapest Guide. Here you will find information about what is happening in the city, but also information about the most important sights the city has to offer, the coolest activities, public transport and many other exciting topics.

Balaton Supermarathon 2025

Are you tougher than steel, and braver than Superman? Then the Balaton Supermarathon has got to be something for you. Discover the most beautiful lake of Hungary while running on this marathon lasting for either 2 or 4 days.

All participants taking part in the Balaton Supermarathon will have to choose between one of the following contests.

  • Balaton Supermarathon: 196 km, 4 days – individual, in pair, relay for three and four
  • Half Balaton Supermarathon: 94,9 km, two days – individual, in pair, relay for three and four
Balaton Supermarathon in Hungary

Those who decide to do the entire action all by themselves will run the following paths on the given days.

  • Thursday: Siofok – Fonyod: 48,45 km
  • Friday: Fonyod – Szigliget: 52,9 km
  • Saturday: Badacsony – Balatonfured: 43, 6 km
  • Sunday: Balatonfured – Siofok: 51,3 km

Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful experience? You will not have much time to drink wine and enjoy the area, but I guess you have lots of reasons to celebrate on Sunday as you get to the finish line of the amazing Balaton super marathon.

Balaton Supermarathon 2025

March 6-9, 2025

How to register for the Balaton Supermarathon?

If you want to know more about the event and register for the event, then do so at

It is worth registering as quickly as possible, because it gets more and more expensive the longer you wait.

Go ahead and start training. It is probably wise to gain some experience and speak to a personal trainer before going on such a marathon, at least if you don’t have long experience doing similar stunts from before.

Other programs in Budapest and Hungary?

Would you like to know more about other programs and events in Hungary? Check our events calendar right here.

Do you need help with some private transportation from the airport, or maybe you want to book a brewery dinner? Look around here at for more information and help!

WizzAir Budapest Half Marathon

Half Marathon in BudapestDo you have some good shoes and the capability of running at least 3,4km and maybe as much as 21km? Then you can join in on the WizzAir Budapest Half Marathon coming up on September 14th in 2014.

This is a cool marathon with thousands of competitors every year. Lots of the partakes come from Budapest and Hungary, while quite some thousand are tourists coming to town combining pleasure and joy with running. If you want to partake in this event yourself, then you can find more information about the Half Marathon in Budapest on September 14th at the following website.