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Bathing in Danube Only Allowed at Designated Free Beaches, Police Warn

Hungary Today 2021.07.09.

As weeks of extreme heat in Hungary begin to become increasingly unbearable, more and more people are seeking relief in swimming and bathing spots across the country. For those living or staying near Budapest where the heatwave is particularly intense, one of the most obvious ways to cool down is to dive into the waters of the Danube. Although the insufferable high temperatures may tempt people to take a river swim, it is important to know that not all sections of the Danube are safe for bathing, even if it may seem so at first glance.

Those who want to cool down in the Danube during the extreme heat in Hungary can do so at one of the open beaches near Budapest.

Although not many designated Danube beaches can be found in the Hungarian capital, heading a little further towards the Danube bend, there are several places that can provide shelter from the summer heat.

Another Heat Alert for Hungary Issued until Friday
Another Heat Alert for Hungary Issued until Friday

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The open beaches where we can dive into the fresh river water can be found in Dunakeszi, Göd, Szentendre, Verőce, Dunabogdány, Nagymaros, Kisoroszi, Ráckeve, Szigetcsép, and Szigetszentmárton.

All of these sites provide excellent opportunities for bathers, and they are also very diverse in design, with sand, pebble, and grass beaches.

However, with more and more people deciding to try and escape from the heat using the refreshing waters of the Danube, police have also issued a warning reminding everyone that bathing in Europe’s second-longest river is prohibited outside the designated areas.

The police warn that bathing is strictly prohibited in most other places including fairways, within 100 metres of buoys marking fairways and shipping obstacles, large vessels, floating equipment, and floating structures not intended for bathing, within 300 meters of steps leading down to the water, and within 100 meters of bridges, water intakes, other waterworks, and ferry crossings.

It is also prohibited to bathe in harbors, moorings, loading and unloading areas, designated enclosed water-ski and jet-ski and other motorised water sports tracks, boat ramps, in waters harmful to health, in border waters and open waters in the interior of towns (except in designated bathing areas), at night, and in restricted visibility, unless the surface of the water is illuminated and only up to the limit of the deepwater indicated by signs.

To prevent injuries and deaths, police are regularly patrolling these areas and will take action against those who break bathing rules.

However, despite all the regular inspections, many people still decide to bathe in illegal areas of the river.

Last year alone, 40 bodies were recovered from the Danube, and four deaths were related to bathing there.

Those violating the rules can also expect hefty fines ranging from HUF 5,000 to as high as HUF 150,000.

Featured photo illustration by Balázs Mohai/MTI 

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