Visiting the Herend Factory is always a special experience. The dedication and the talent of people making the most famous Hungarian porcelain products is simply amazing.

During the tour one can see all the different phases of porcelain making and can also learn a lot about the ‘white gold’. I recommend to include the visit in the Lake Balaton tour to make this tour even more authentic.

Take a look at how Budapest looks like now, all white and snowy. It’s such a special period of the year, as unfortunately we’re getting less and less snow every year. Come and see for yourself!

I’m very fortunate to have special requests all the time to customize Budapest tours according to my travellers’ preferences. Today we had the chance to visit the Pálvölgyi caves, which is actually the longest cave in Budapest. The visit is about 60 minutes and you can see different stone formations, unique dripstones and prints of primeval shells.

Another advantage of hiking in the caves is that the temperature is constantly 11 degrees Celsius / 52 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s relatively warm in the winter and pretty cool in the summer.

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.

 

Although Füvészkert seems to be hard to pronounce but it’s surely woth a try, as it’s a true hidden gem in  the 8th district of Budapest. The oldest and largest botanical garden of the city is from the 1770’s and is home to more than 7.000 plant species on a 3-acre-area. The 150-year-old Chinese gingko is the oldest tree in the park. You can admire the tropical and subtropical plants in the Palm House, Amazonas water lily in the Victoria glass house and the rich collection of palms, cactuses, bromelias and orchids. It’s one of the major locations in Ferenc Molnár’s ‘Paul Street Boys’, a famous Hungarian novel.

 

 

To show how much local people love the Széchenyi baths, I can tell you that we also have a nickname for it and call it simply ‘Szecska’. It opened in 1913 and has a total of 18 indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It’s one of the most richly ornate buildings of the city with an architecture combining Neo-Renaissance and Classicist elements. One really has to see the main foyer where both the statues and mosaics are all realted to water and bathing culture.

I only recommend going to the Szecska in the summer for those who don’t mind crowds but it’s really quiet and enjoyable in the winter. I can take you to the Széchenyi if you book the Baths of Budapest  walking tour with me.

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