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.

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.

The ruin pubs in the Jewish quarter of Budapest are very popular, I encourage my travellers to visit one or two during their stay in Budapest, it’s always a special experience. The biggest ruin pub is Szimpla in Kazinczy street, it isn’t just a bar, it’s also a great community. There is a farmers’ market every Sunday with some live music, great food and great drinks. Szimpla is open  from 3.00 PM on weekdays, 12.00 PM on Saturday and 9.00 AM on Sunday.

Szimpla Ruin Pub Budapest

I’m taking a lot of pictures on my tours in Budapest and around Hungary, however, I always forget to post on my Instagram. Especially during high season it’s difficult to post on Facebook, Instagram or my own blog, but believe me, I’m trying hard. Here are some pictures I’ve posted recently.

 

We were on a tour near Parliament when we heard some music from in front of the building. When we walked closer we noticed that a military band was playing and were surprised to recognise the song they were playing: Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode.  Budapest really is a musical city, you can hear street musicians at the most popular tourist spots and sometimes you’re just lucky to be at a special performance.

Musical Budapest

Thank you so much for sharing your reviews, it’s always a pleasure to see how much you enjoyed your tours in my Beautiful Budapest. I’m grateful for all the reviews shared on Google, TripAdvisor or on my website.

Here are a few ones of the most recent reviews:

My wife and I have been using private tour guides for many years as we have traveled the world. We consider it the absolute best way to experience, as fully as possible a new city, region or culture. Julia is one of the best private tour guides that it has ever been our pleasure to work with. Charming, witty, knowledgeable, professional, thorough and kind are just a few of her positive attributes. She greatly helped bring the Budapest area to life for us. We recommend her most highly.

We had a wonderful time with Julia. She is proud of her city and happily took us around to see it. She is knowledgeable, happy and very experienced. I would not hesitate to use her again. Recommended!

Julia is an outstanding tour guide! She is extremely knowledgeable, and very accommodating and flexible. We would highly recommend her tours if you are planning a trip to Hungary!

I’ve had the chance to visit the interior of the State Opera House shortly after it reopened after long years of renovation works. The interior is just magnificent. I’ve always felt overwhelmed by the style and grandeur of the building, and I wasn’t disappointed. I love the colours, the smells, the amazing Neo-Renaissance design and ornaments. Visiting the building is like a time travel to the late 1800’s.

I’d highly recommend to buy a ticket for an evening performance or to buy a ticket to visit the Opera – there are guided tours in English every day at 1.30 PM, 3.00 PM and 4.30 PM. Private tours are also available, please let me know if you’re interested, I’m happy to include the Opera visit in a driving or walking tour.

Many of us have been surprised earlier this year to learn that visitors need to buy a ticket to see the interior of St. Stephen’s Basilica. So far the general opinion was that the house of God is open for everybody and visitors only had to pay a small amount of donation at the entrance.

You need to buy the tickets in advance at the ticket office, which is located to the right of the church. The ticket price is HUF 1.200 (about EUR 3) per person. Be aware that during wedding ceremonies you are only allowed to a small part of the interior and the church is closed for visitors during church services.

I’ve had a group of interior design students from the US who booked an Art Nouveau tour with me. I thought they would be interested in seeing the villa of György Ráth, first director general of the Museum of Applied Arts of Budapest.

His home is an amazing source of inspiration for art lovers. One really feels like visiting a family with great sense of art and culture. The British, Austrian and French Art Nouveau are all on display and one can also admire the Oriental influence, as well as the Transylvanian roots appearing in Hungarian art at the turn of the century. The 600 pieces of art in the exhibition represent all branches of applied art: jewellery, furnitures, Zsolnay ceramics, Tiffany glassware, amazing paintings and sculptures.

The museum is open for the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM.

 

You know that I love Budapest and I love the public transportation of the city. Some of you also know that my personal protest against the Russian aggression in Ukraine is that I refuse to buy petrol and haven’t driven my car for a while. The video below shows what I experience and see every day while I’m riding the local metro and trams.

I don’t really share posts on politics or my own political views. This post is different though, because I’ve just started to realise how politics affect travellers’ choices. I’ve just received two cancellations because travellers decided not to visit Hungary because of the country’s prime minister’s political statements and approach.

I think generalisation is dangerous. I think that it’s impossible to form an opinion about a country by this country’s politicians’ statements or approach. That won’t tell you anything about the country’s people, its culture, its architecture, its history. Also, it’s just a temporary state, a snapshot in Hungary’s history of over a 1000 years. And none of the election results shows what all the Hungarians think or how they feel. I think that’s the same all around the world and many of you agree with me.

My travellers are always encouraged to ask questions, I’m happy to discuss everything and anything and I think I always succeed in changing preconceptions or clarify things. I just love to spend time with open minded people who try to understand our country and our  culture and also what led to the actual political status quo.

Again, I respect other people’s choices and I don’t want to change them. But the cancellations meant to me that the travellers formed an opinion about me and my country without actually knowing us and it hurts a lot. And, more importantly, Budapest is Beautiful no matter what the politicians do or say. Let me know if you’re interested in seeing it for yourself!