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!
Just a couple of pictures I’ve taken on my tours to show you how beautiful Budapest and its surroundings are in spring.
The Citadel on the top of Gellért hill is being renovated, and unfortunately the entire area is closed because of the construction works. It also means that a truly popular tourist attraction of Budapest is closed and it’s impossible to enjoy the most magnificent views over Buda and Pest. The very bad news is that it remains closed for another few years and it’s impossible to estimate when it reopens. It’s just my personal opinion that they could have left a little path open for the tourists to enjoy the view, but that’s not the case.
You can still take a walk on Gellért hill, and you can climb to the statue of Saint Gellért from where you’ll have a great view over the Pest side of the river.
Some of you know how much I love this time of the year, I love the smells and the colours of spring and I’m fascinated by the blossom of the cherry trees all along Tóth Árpád sétány in the Buda Castle district. Walk with me to see more!
I’m taking a lot of pictures and videos while I’m walking around my Beautiful Budapest. Here is a little video to show you some of the attractions I’ve taken recently. I hope by seeing it all of you will want to see it for yourself. Don’t hesitate to book a tour with me, so that you can have the most amazing Budapest experience!
There are a few buildings that I love in Budapest, Mai Manó House is one of them. It’s such a special building near Andrássy avenue, full of little details and a facade that tells you many stories. We walk by the building very often while we discover the Pest side of the river.
It was designed for Mai Manó, photographer of Emperor Franz Joseph in the 1890’s. As he was a renowned photographer, his profession was clearly demonstrated on the facade, you can see the little angels holding cameras and you can also observe the muses of photography. The main front of the building is full of colours and is richly decorated by colourful ceramic tiles. The style is Neo-Renaissance with a lot of flower and animal motifs.
The House of Photography is home to permanent and temporary exhibitions, and the interior is just as fascinating as the outside.
A new museum opened in the City Park of Budapest, the museum of Hungarian Music. We had a private tour in the museum last week and were truly impressed by both the design of the building and the museum’s programmes and exhibitions.
The building was designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, to me it looks like an extremely ornate spaceship abandoned in the woods. For example I love the 12m high glass windows and panels and the hundreds of golden stylised leaves decorating both the interior and the outside. As a result it looks like a huge forest of gold, which is even more beautiful in the sunshine when the lights are nicely reflected on each and every gold leaf.
In the sound dome you can enjoy a unique audio-visual experience with sounds and music coming from all directions. I loved when all the sounds and music came together by the end of the show. It really felt like as if we witnessed a special chemistry experience in a musical laboratory. As an addition the permanent exhibition offers a musical journey in space and time. You must take some time to explore it, because you can easily spend hours in this underground musical maze. Music lovers should plan to spend some 2-3 hours in the building. Visitors can expect to get a better understanding of Hungarian music from the different periods of our musical history.
(On a personal note I have to add that I’m very much against all new constructions in the second largest public park of Budapest. The reason is that I think we should preserve and enlarge the green spaces in the city. However, I like the modern approach and the fact that the building is supposed to use sustainable and climate-friendly solutions.)
We celebrate Independence Day on the 15th of March, the Hungarian freedom war against the Habsburgs started on the 15th of March in 1848.
I collected some Hungarian flags from all around Budapest for celebration. On the Hungarian flag RED stands for life, blood and passion, WHITE stands for honesty and GREEN stands for hope.
I know that many of you who are planning a visit to Europe are now concerned about the war in Ukraine. Personally I’m more concerned about the people who are at great risk, those who stayed in Ukraine and those who decided to flee their homeland. This is sad, this is awful and I hope that Russia’s leaders will held responsible for this unscrupulous aggression.
For you, as a traveller, there are no risks when you come to Europe. Yes, by now over 100.000 refugees arrived to Hungary, they are being taken care by local NGOs and charities. The volunteers of these organisations work 24/7 to provide refugees with shelter, food, transport tickets and hope. You won’t see crowds of refugees at the borders or at the train stations because of the heroic work of the volunteers and local people who offer to share their homes with people fleeing the war.
We’re supporting local charities and I’m also supporting a tour guide in Ukraine because I cannot imagine how it feels to lose your ground, your home, your entire life from one day to another. There are many charities to support, they need all the help they can get.
From the bottom of my heart I wish that the heroism of the Ukrainians defeats the aggressor and peace will be restored.