I’m very pleased to welcome you, hopefully I’ll see you soon in beautiful Budapest.

I’m a licensed, professional tour guide, I speak in English and in French, I offer personalized private tours in both Budapest and the magnificent Hungarian countryside. I promise to show you all the most important attractions and the hidden gems of my city, too.

Please contact me for further details, I’d be glad to put together a detailed itinerary for you, so that you can make the most of your stay in Budapest.

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A few general and helpful information before you arrive to my beautiful city.

Money Exchange: the local currency is HUF (Hungarian Forint), you can pay with credit card in almost every shop and restaurant and in taxis, too. Don’t exchange money at the airport, there are dozens of small exchange offices in the city center (don’t forget to check the exchange rates first) and you can also use the hundreds of ATM machines.

Transportation: don’t be afraid of using public transportation, it’s simple, convenient and cheap. You’ll feel like a local. You can buy tickets at the metro stations, don’t forget to validate your ticket when you start your journey.

Cabs: all the local cabs are registered, they’re yellow. Taking a cab is safe, make sure that the driver puts the meter on at the beginning of the ride, don’t negotiate the price. Feel free to get off the cab if the driver refuses to put the meter on.

Tipping: tip is generally 10-15%, it might be included in the price, always check the receipt to see if the service fee is included.

Safety and security: Budapest is a very safe city, you can walk around during the night without experiencing any problem. There might be pickpockets in crowded places, take care of your belongings!

Tap water: drinking tap water is safe, the water is of great quality and delicious at the same time.

Don’t forget to check out the Spring and Easter Fair on Vörösmarty square, it’s open until the end of April. You can buy local, artisanal handicraft products, pottery, ceramics, jewellry and leather products. There are workshops and concerts every weekend. Also, you can taste the most fantastic treats of the Hungarian cuisine, traditional Easter dishes as ham and knuckle, and great cakes, including of course the festive  chimney cake.

 

Let me tell you about the funniest Hungarian Easter tradition. That’s the so-called “watering” of Easter Monday. According to the old traditions water or more preferably perfumed water is sprinkled on girls. Nowadays men usually use perfume but a few decades back they poured large buckets of ice cold water on the screaming ladies. It’s a nice tradition, also, it helps women to remain fresh and beautiful all year long. In exchange the men get nicely decorated, hand painted Easter eggs.

 

Hungarian people named the lake Balaton the Hungarian sea almost a hundred years ago. That’s where most of us spend at least a few days in the summer, go camping for a school excursion or ice skating in the winter. That’s also where many of our friends from East Germany spent their summer vacations during the communist era, but that’s an entire different story.

The lake is about 80 km long, it’s the  biggest freshwater lake in Central Europe. The water is of a very beautiful green, and is smooth and silky, no wonder that the neighborhood is the number one tourist destination of locals. It’s a holiday resort, the paradise of sailers, windsurfers and kiters, the venue of a few great summer music festivals and a perfect quiet place for chilling out.

The Lake Balaton Tour takes you to the pretty Northern shore of the lake, a mountainous region with extinct volcanoes, highlands and several wine regions. The tour also includes rarities of the Hungarian architecture, I show you around the medieval castle of Nagyvázsony, the castle-town of Veszprém and the elegant Festetics palace of Keszthely. We visit charming little towns, like Tihany, which is said to be the richest Hungarian town and Balatonfüred, where we can take a little walk at the marina.  let’s not forget about food and drink, I’ll introduce you to local farmers of the Kál basin and winemakers of the Badacsony wine region.

 

Why do I like Art Nouveau so much? Because it’s probably the one and only architecture being different in the different European countries. Every country has a special, unique and very characteristic style and it’s nicely reflected in the cities’ architecture.

I very often guide tours of Budapest Art Nouveau buildings (Art Nouveau walk), I find their architecture, their ornaments and their stories absolutely stunning. The most important caracteristics of the Hungarian Art Nouveau are  the asymmetrical shapes and curved lines, floral and plant-inspired ornamentation, animal patterns and the rich use of mosaics and ceramic tiles.

Although the period of the Hungarian Art Nouveau didn’t last too long, the colorful and richly ornate buildings looking like jewellery boxes dominate our cityscape even today. The most beautiful furnitures, tea sets and pieces of art can be found in the House of the Hungarian Art Nouveau – Magyar Szecesszio Haza.

 

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.

 

Yes, the Trabant is noisy and it smells. Every time I get in the Trabi I feel like a child again. It was our family car, our holiday car, I can’t count how many times our precious little car took us to the lake Balaton or to the Mátra mountains. It was the only treasure we had as the communist leaders didn’t really allow people possessing much.

There are some parts of Budapest where the time stopped 30 years ago when the last few Trabants rolled down the assembly line. I’d like to show them to you during the Trabant tour, I’ll tell you about the not that glorious decades of socialism, I’ll share with you funny and poignant stories from behind the Iron Curtain. I’m sure you’ll shortly realize that freedom is one of the most valuable gifts and we have to learn to appreciate it.

 

 

Budapest’s largest, Hungary’s third largest church, the richly ornate St. Stephen’s Basilica. It had been built for 55 years and showcases the characteristics of three great architects’ favourite styles: Baroque, Neo-Renaissance and Classicism.

It’s the richest church of the city with exquisite red marble and 22-carat gold ornaments. It’s a working church with services, wedding ceremonies and organ concerts. You can walk up the steps or take the elevators to the top of the dome, so that you can enjoy an amazing view over the Pest side.

The Basilica houses one of our most important national relics, the 1000-year-old mummified right hand of our first king, St. Stephen. Let me show you the Basilica and its neighborhood, book a Pest walk with me.