When we are touring the Danube Bend I usually try to include the visit of the Castle complex including the Upper Castle and the Royal Palace, too.

The miracle that we are able to see how royals lived in the 15th century is due to a passionate Hungarian archeologist who had discovered the ruins of the palace in an orchid, we are tremendously grateful to the archeologists who recreated the lavish interiors of the Gothic-Renaissance palace.

The barely 5.000 sq feet stone house built in the 1300’s was rebuilt and extended several times and transformed to a fabulous royal residence with 350 rooms by King Matthias. Legend is that marble fountains were filled with red wine in the 15th century. The Gothic cloisters, Renaissance loggia, living quarters of our kings and queens, amazing fountains and gardens are to be seen in the Palace as well as items and relics from the Middle Ages.

 

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.

 

You might find that Hungarian people adore sweets, one of the locals’ favourites is the marzipan. The smooth and sweet almond paste can be a nice addition to a great cake and little or large figurines are often created of it, too.

Do you know what Michael Jackson and the Budapest Parliament building have in common? They can both be made of marzipan. The sweetest museum of Hungary is located in the heart of the town of Szentendre where you can admire dozens of statues made of marzipan. You’ll see full-figure marzipan statues of famous Hungarian people, celebrities from all around the world, Hungarian buildings and a lot more. You can also see the atelier with the ladies creating new figurines every day.

Don’t forget to buy some sweets in the shop after the tour in the museum. I’ll happily show you around the museum if you book the Danube Bend tour by car.