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.

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.)

Last week we had the chance to meet and cook with chef Zita from BORGANIKA. Zita has an amazing gastro space in Klauzál market in the Jewish district. She offers cooking classes, all sorts of gastro events and she also hosts private dinners. She is amazing and is truly in love with Hungarian culture and food, all of my guests were fascinated by this unique culinary experience.

We cooked green pea soup, chicken paprikas with nokedli and strudel, it was a lot of fun, we enjoyed cooking and eating together and we also tasted some great Hungarian wines.

It’s a great experience for smaller and larger groups and her enthusiasm and professionalism will most probably brighten your day and contribute to an amazing Budapest experience.

Private cooking class at Borganika
Private cooking class at Borganika

Your reviews on TripAdvisor or on my website are highly appreciated and I’m always very glad to read how much you enjoyed your tours. This is a recent review from my TripAdvisor profile:

Our PR agency spent one weekend in Budapest – a team of 5 people – we wanted to celebrate a challenging business year in this beautiful city so close (and connected) to Vienna. We contacted Julia as we wanted to get some really good insights for Budapest, yet we did not have so much time – so we booked 3 hours with her. Julia took us on an outstanding tour in Budapest – I have never met such a dedicated, experienced and in the meantime passionate tour guide / a person loving her home country – every minute with Julia was interesting and exciting, she gave us such a vivid impression of Budapest from its interesting history / culture / architecture – connecting to todays story .. To be with a tour guides like her is pure luck, thank you Julia for this wonderfuld day – we would book her again and can only recommend to anyone who really wants to get a great insight to Budapest.
Thank you very much!

It’s always great to read reviews and to learn about how much travellers enjoyed their tours with me. Here are a few ones from September.

FULL-DAY BUDAPEST TOUR BY CAR

Having Julia show us around Budapest was the experience of a lifetime. She was so knowledgeable, so interesting, and so much fun we didn’t want the tour to end. It is obvious that she loves her city, and her enthusiasm and insight made us love it too. I cannot recommend Julia more. She is a gem. Get her if you can. Richard E. U.S.A.

Thus was a fantastic tour by a Budapest local. Julia was an amazing guide…prompt, friendly, courteous and full of information about her hometown. She took us to a local hangout for a traditional lunch and to “off the beaten path” sights to see. Definitely recommend Julia….5+ stars!!!

DANUBE BEND TOUR BY CAR

Julia was an exellent tour guide.We would rate her a high 5 and recommend her without reservation.

What a real pleasure to meet Julia via her virtual tour of Budapest. My sister and i were introduced to the Buda side of Budapest and Julia did an amazing job of being our virtual tour guide. Her detailed knowledge of history and her city was excellent and we felt we were walking along with her on the tour. Plenty of time for questions and she is a beautiful person….thanks so much Julia ��

It was informative and interesting. Participants were positively surprised how good a virtual guided tour can be.

Rumbach street synagogue, one pillar of the famous synagogue triangle in Budapest was closed for renovation works for almost three years. From the 19th of July the synagogue is open for visitors, so that you can admire the interior of the building designed by Otto Wagner in the 1860’s.

The synagogue is of moorish architecture and surely you’ll be amazed by the abundance of colours: blue, purple and golden. There will be concerts, performances, exhibitions and conferences held in the building and you can also have some coffee and snack in the cafeteria.

I’m happy to show you the building when you book a Jewish Quarter walking tour with me.

 

The lake Balaton is the number one destination of Hungarians in the summer months. It’s the greatest freshwater lake in Central Europe and is famous for its wine regions, cute little villages, beautiful castles and of course the magnificent views over the lake.

You can book the tour or contact me for further details. I’ll make sure to include in the itinerary all the sights you would like to see.

Unfortunately the Great Synagogue (or as we call it the Dohány street Synagogue) is not yet open for visitors, however, we were fortunate enough to visit the building. It was unusually quiet and empty without the hundreds of tourists but it was a very special tour as you can see in the pictures. The synagogue will reopen in August and hopefully you’ll include a visit when you are in Beautiful Budapest.

Book the Jewish Quarter tour with me to explore all the sights and history of the Jewish Quarter of Budapest.