I’ve had received today some inquiries about how the new recommendations issued by the European Union might affect travels from the US to Hungary. The US is one of the five countries that have been removed from the EU safe travel list.

What is important is that this is a guidance and each EU countries decide individually about travel restrictions. As for Hungary, you can enter Hungary if you come from the US with a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours – no PCR test is needed when you get to Hungary by road, rail or waterway.

What is even more important is that Budapest is as beautiful as always, it’s not overcrowded with tourists, so it’s still a great time to come and see. Let me know if you have questions, or book a tour! Also, don’t forget that a private tour is safer than being in large tour groups, myself and the drivers I work with are fully vaccinated and can’t wait to meet you!

Beautiful Budapest - Fiseherman's Bastion
Beautiful Budapest – Fiseherman’s Bastion

I was lucky today to perform a real, in-person tour, I can’t even describe how delightful it was. After months of delivering virtual tours and not being able to connect with my travellers in person I was starving for the real personal touch.

Walking around the city is always magical, but it’s even more magical now as there are only very few people around that visitors might feel they are the only tourists in Beautiful Budapest. We were the only ones in Matthias Church and St. Stephen’s Basilica and really felt like being part of a very exclusive club 🙂

Unfortunately our borders are still closed for tourists (except if they come from a few selected countries) so I can’t encourage you to come and visit now but if you happen to be in Budapest for any reason, contact me for a tour, you won’t regret it!

I’m still not sure when Hungary’s borders will reopen and travellers can visit Beautiful Budapest, so here is another building for you to admire from a distance.

The Academy of Music is a real jewellery box in the 6th district of Budapest. It’s a music university and a concert hall that opened in 1907. The style is a very interesting mixture of Gothic and Art Nouveau but you might see elements of Classicism, too. The facade is so ornate that it will take you some time to spot the statue of Franz Liszt right above the entrance. Franz Liszt, the most famous Hungarian composer founded the music academy in his home in 1875 and the academy got named after him in 1925.

The building can be visited, there are guided tours, but the most amazing experience is to go to a concert, so that you can admire the building and music at the same time. Most of the programs were either cancelled or are held online and personally I can’t wait to go in person hopefully in the near future.

Great news from Budapest: from the 14th of May the fascinating building of the Parliament of Hungary can be visited again, there are tours every day between 9.00 AM and 3.00 PM. What’s more important is that the ticket prices have been reduced by 50%:

EU citizens: HUF 1600 / person

non-EU citizens: HUF 3200 / person

I think it’s a great opportunity to visit the Parliament now, I often tell that this really is one of the most spectacular buildings of Beautiful Budapest and definitely is a must-see when you visit my city.

As for now the COVID regulations are very strict: “The House of Parliament is open for visitors with an immunity certificate or immunity certificate application as well as for minors under their supervision; after their body temperatures are taken. The use of hand sanitisers installed in the Parliament building and the Visitor Centre is mandatory. Wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth is recommended. Please observe the social distancing rule and keep a 1.5-metre distance from others. Visits are to be undertaken on the sole responsibility of the visitors.”

The only problem is that it’s impossible for individuals to book a tour in advance, tickets can only be purchased on the spot on the day of the visit. I’m an official Tour Guide partner of the Parliament Visitor Center with special permissions so if you book a Full-day tour with Parliament visit with me I can book your Parliament tickets in advance. The Parliament visit can be incorporated in other tours, too, just let me know about your preferences!

The golden age of the famous coffeehouses of Budapest was at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. However, we see now the renaissance of the coffeehouse and coffee culture. We try to see different coffeehouses on our foodie tours so that travellers can sample the best Hungarian coffee and cakes.

I’ve already posted about Central and Book cafĂ©s, although I should have started with Gerbeaud, as it’s the probably the most famous and known coffeehouse of Budapest.

The story of the Gerbeaud family is very impressive, Emile Gerbeaud, the French bonbonnier was invited to Budapest by Henrik Kugler, the owner of the very popular cake shop and coffeehouse on Vörösmarty square. Emile Gerbeaud’s contribution to the cake shop was a huge success, he invented and created a great assortment of bonbons that were sold in millions every year. He overtook the business and the Gerbeaud name became a highly renowned trademark not only in Budapest but all over the European continent.

The Gerbeaud CafĂ© was the ladies’ coffeehouse at the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th century, meaning that young ladies frequented the place in the hope of finding a rich husband. Even now there are rumours and urban legends about how lady guest can give a secret sign if they are in search of a husband or a lover. Join my foodie tour if you’d like to know more about the details and this beautiful cafĂ© of Budapest.

 

We were finally very lucky to enjoy a lovely spring weekend with great weather and a lot of sunshine. Yes, our borders are still closed and we have absolutely no idea when travellers can visit our Beautiful Budapest, so here is a short video of the Heroes square – City Park area to get a little taste of the Budapest spring.

 

Because of COVID and travel restrictions tour guiding has only been available virtually for the last 13 months – and yes, I love virtual tours and I think that participants love them, too.

However, it was time to start a new adventure and we launched Budapesti HelyszĂ­nelĹ‘k with my sister last year. As for now it’s only available in Hungarian, we’re offering scavanger hunts in Budapest, crime mysteries to be solved in the picturesque Buda Castle District, City Park area or Downtown Pest. It’s all about Budapest and its stories, we were mostly inspired by murders, robberies or other mysteries that had happened decades ago.

At Easter we had a special program for families, it was an egg hunt for kids who had to investigate the mystery of the egg theft. So let me take this opportunity to wish you all very Happy Easter with pictures we took on the egg hunts.

 

One of my favourite moments of the day is when the street lights of Budapest are switched off just a few minutes before sunrise. Eventually the best place to film it from is the very top of the Fisherman’s Bastion.

 

On the very last day of the year after the very last virtual tour of the year I’m wishing you a very happy new year from my Beautiful Budapest. I hope all your dreams come true in 2021! #budapest #beautifulbudapest#tourguide #travelguide #virtualtour#happynewyear #BUEK#boldogujevet #2021