The Eger region’s wine culture has a history of over a thousand years, and essentially it has always determined the life of the local people. The most recognized red wine of the region is the Bull’s Blood (“Bikavér”) but white wine is also produced due to the favorable environment.

The climate is characterized by relatively late spring and is rather dry. The soil is varied, the most typical is brown forest soil covering volcanic rhyolite tuff.

By the beginning of the Communist era, as a result of nationalization quality production got replaced by quantity production and led to producing unpretentious wines. Because of the terribly poor quality of the wines both domestic and international reputation declined considerably. By the end of the 1970’s the Eger wines became in fact high acid, often bitter and astringent, even dilute. The renaissance of the region’s wines and wine production started in the mid-1990’s and it’s time to be very proud of them, again.

One of the best-known Hungarian wine brands is the Bull’s Blood of Eger. It ‘s medium-bodied and is characterized by a deep ruby color with relatively high acidity. Its smoothness is due to the extended ageing (12 months) in oak barrels. Bull’s Blood is a cuvée, and officially it has to contain at least three different grapes.

As for the local whites, one can taste a great variety of Riesling, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Traminer, and Zenit wines.

Book an “Eger and wine tour by car” with me if you’re interested in taking a walk around the vineyards, talking to local farmers and winemakers and learning about all the secrets of the magical Bull’s Blood!

 

The Great Synagogue is one of the most beautiful buildings of Budapest with unique architecture. It looks like a Mosque from the outside, the interior is very similar to the interior of a Christian church, still, it’s the most important cultic and cultural center of the Budapest Jewish community. Don’t miss to visit the interior and the Jewish Museum together with the garden and the park of the Synagogue with moving Holocaust monuments. I’m happy to show you around the building and the neighborhood as part of the “Jewish Quarter Walk“.

 

I very often tell my guests to walk as much as they can, walking around is probably the best way to discover a new place; you have enough time to admire even the smallest details and to absorb the atmosphere of the city.

But, if you feel you’re too tired to walk, you can also choose public transport. Here is a list of some of the best options if you’re about to explore the everyday life of locals. And, don’t forget to validate your ticket!

Metro #1, the 120-year old metro connects the city center with the City Park. Taking the metro is a real time-travel, some of the stations are authentic from the end of the 19th century.

Tram #2, the streetcar or tram (short for tramway) rides all along the Pest side of the Danube river between the Margaret and the Petőfi bridges. Famous for the best view over the Parliament and the beautiful Buda hills.

Bus #16, the one and only bus taking to you to the historic old town of Buda, the buses are small and usually very crowded. It crosses the river on the 170-year old Chain Bridge and the journey ends on the cobblestoned streets of the Buda Castle District.

Funicular: it’s exactly like the one that appears at the beginning of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, it’s great fun although very busy, take it from the top of the Castle hill to the Chain Bridge if you want to skip the line.

 

My most popular countryside tour is around the Danube Bend, probably because it’s very close to Budapest and includes the visit of three very different towns. The Bend of the Danube is to the north of Budapest, it’s a curve of the river where the Danube turns south in the direction of Budapest.

During the tour we visit Esztergom, Visegrád and Szentendre. Esztergom was Hungary’s first capital and is the center of the Catholic church with the biggest Basilica of the country. The Basilica is 170 years old but one of its chapels is older, it dates from the 16th century and is an amazing example of the Hungarian Renaissance. One can climb 380 steps to the top of the Basilica in order to enjoy the view over the town and its neighborhood.

Visegrád is the smallest Hungarian town with a population of 2.000 but it’s of great historical significance. The town’s fortified castle is from the 13th century and overlooks the Danube Bend, by visiting the ruins of the 800-year-old castle you’ll also enjoy the spectacular view over the river.

Szentendre is a little jewelry box, a little town with Mediterranean atmosphere, cobblestoned streets, colorful buildings, small cafés and art galleries. It’s very often named an artists’ town because the neighborhood inspired many generations of great Hungarian artists. You might also would like to visit the sweet Marzipan museum. You have the option to take a boat to get back to Budapest at the end of the tour.