Finally, the moment has come, as of the 7th of August, travellers from outside the EU can enter Hungary by air. The rules are:

“persons who are able to present an English or Hungarian language document containing the results of a molecular biological test (SARS_CoV-2 PCR test) not older than 72 hours, conducted in conformity with professional medical regulations in one of the following countries:
a Member State of the European Union or in a candidate state of the European Union,
a member state of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,
a member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation,”

It means that all you need is to have a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours). We’ve been waiting for this for such a long time, it’s such a great news and I really hope that many visitors will want to visit my Beautiful Budapest these coming weeks.

I get a lot of inquiries about travel restrictions related to COVID, it’s actually still not easy to find out who can enter Hungary.

The basic rules:

  • The citizens of the EU who have the EU green card (EU Digital Covid Certificate) are free to enter Hungary by plane, by car, by train or by boat.
  • Travellers coming from outside the EU are free to enter Hungary by car, by train or by boat.
  • There are no local restrictions so you can go to any museum, restaurant, café, bar, hotel or bathhouse without any proof of vaccination and wearing a mask is no longer obligatory.

Hopefully very soon the same restrictions will apply to travellers coming from the EU and from outside the EU, it’s basically a political decision and there is nothing we can do to help visitors.

The good news, is that if you are in Vienna or Bratislava, you’re very close to Budapest and can easily plan a daytrip to visit my beautiful city. The train connections between Vienna and Budapest and between Bratislava and Budapest are great and it’s easy to book tickets. I can also help you to arrange for private transportation if needed.

I’m happy to customise any of my walking or driving tours so that you can have the perfect Budapest experience. I can pick you up at the train station or meet you in the city centre of Budapest and you’ll see all the main attractions and the most beautiful parts of the city in a couple of hours. Please let me know if you need more details or have further questions.

 

I’m starting a new series to introduce you the most famous statues of Budapest and some of the hidden gems, too. These are the beautiful monuments of Budapest we usually see on our walking or driving tours in Buda and Pest.

The equestrian statue of Count Gyula Andrássy is at the Parliament building. He was a great politician and statesman, one of the key figures preparing the Compromise that created the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867.

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.

 

It’s hard to tell now what happens next week or next month and when and how we can start travelling again. The crazy April weather wouldn’t help either, it’s raining and cold in Budapest and it’s hard to believe that summer is only two months away.

However, I’m optimistic and I got my first COVID-19 shot yesterday, so I start planning for the bright summer months to come. I’ll continue offering virtual tours because I know this is the only option for many of you for the next couple of months so feel free to book a live tour streamed from the streets of Budapest or an authentic Hungarian cooking class.

I’ll also offer social distance friendly tours, those were very popular last summer and I think that it’s a safe option for families and groups of friends travelling together. The social distancing tours are available in English and French, as for now I have four options:

  • Buda Castle District walk
  • Downtown Pest walk
  • Jewish quarter walk
  • Szentendre tour by car

All of the tours are designed to be 100% social distance friendly. We don’t take public transport, avoid crowds and admire all buildings only from the outside. It’s not a group tour, it’s only for you, your family or friends.

Rules are the same as last year:

  • Tours are maximum 3 hours long
  • Only walking and driving tours are available, we don’t use public transportation
  • Travellers, tour guide (and driver) are required to wear a mask for the length of the tour
  • No inside visit of the monuments, attractions, museums
  • No coffee or lunch break together
  • Maximum number of travellers on the tour shouldn’t exceed 4 people

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any question or need more details.

SOCIAL DISTANCING TOURS

I’m starting a new series to introduce you the most famous statues of Budapest and some of the hidden gems, too. These are the beautiful monuments of Budapest we usually see on our walking or driving tours in Buda and Pest.

The giant, 8 meters high statue of Stalin was erected in 1951 to commemorate Stalin’s 70th birthday. The statue was destroyed during the 1956 revolution and only the boots of Stalin survived. The replica of the boots is at the entrance of the Memento Park in Buda.

It all started almost exactly a year ago and we had no idea back then how COVID-19 was going to change our lives. We really hoped for better but the pandemic is still in its full force and unfortunately numbers are indicating that the situation in Hungary is very, very bad. This is the third wave with far more people in hospital and far more deceased people than before. This is just very sad.

Another lockdown starts today, all shops have to close – except grocery stores and pharmacies. People are recommended to stay at home and work from home office. All schools went digital. We’re told this is for 2 weeks but nobody knows for sure.

I continue offering virtual city tours and cooking classes and work on different other projects for after the pandemic is over. Let me know if you want to know more!

Stay safe, stay happy and book a tour!

The monument was inaugurated in 2020, on the 100th anniversary of the Versailles Peace Treaty. I’ve been considering posting about this monument for quite a long time and the time has come to publish my opinion, as I’m getting a lot of question about it on my Virtual Tours.

As most of you know Hungary was one of the countries which were badly punished after WW1, we can discuss the fairness of the decision but it’s too late now, as it all happened 101 years ago. As a consequence Hungary lost 2/3 of its original territories and 1/3 of its ethnic Hungarian population. From the early 1920’s political leaders continuously searched for the revision of the treaty, that was actually one of the reasons why Hungary entered WW2.

The Versailles Peace Treaty is named Trianon Treaty in the Hungarian folklore, as the treaty regulating the new borders of Hungary was signed in the Trianon Palace of Versailles.

The memorial is dark and somber. I know that it’s not supposed to be joyful as it commemorates hundred years of grieving but I would be happier to see something a bit less depressing. It’s a 100-meter-long tunnel that goes under the ground. What I like about the monument is that you can see the name of each and every Hungarian village or town that has ever been part of our country. What I don’t like about it is that it’s a dead end, when you walk to the end of it, there is no option to go forward, you have to turn back. I’d like to think that my nation’s history is a canvas changing its colours and shapes continuously and we, the Hungarians are contributing to its actual form. Our history was not over in 1920. I miss seeing the continuity and the hope to move forward.

The memorial is at Kossuth Lajos square right across from the magnificent Parliament building.

I’m starting a new series to introduce you the most famous statues of Budapest and some of the hidden gems, too. These are the beautiful monuments of Budapest we usually see on our walking or driving tours in Buda and Pest.

This is a beautiful but rather sad love story. You see Prince Buda and Princess Pest, divided by the Danube River. The statue is on the Gellért hill near the Garden of Philosophy.

This time of the year I usually do some sort of summary of the most popular tours I delivered the previous year. Last year was special with mostly virtual and social distancing tours so I decided to put together a list of the tours I really would like to do more in the new year. Here comes my wish list for 2021

“THE GRAND BUDAPEST” WALK: a great introduction of Budapest to first time visitors or travellers who only have one day to see the main highlights and some of the hidden gems.

BUDAPEST ART NOUVEAU WALK: the most stunning Art Nouveau buildings and their mysterious secrets are to be revealed on this tour. A great option for architecture fans or first time visitors.

COMMUNIST BUDAPEST WALK: I grew up in the 1980’s so I can share with you a lot of stories from the Communist era which is still considered as one of the most painful periods of Hungarian history.

GYOR, SOPRON AND THE ESTERHAZY PALACE IN FERTOD: three magnificent examples of the greatest Hungarian Baroque architecture, the visit of Győr, Sopron and the simply outstanding Esterhazy Palace in Fertőd.

BAROQUE TOUR IN GÖDÖLLŐ AND HOLLÓKŐ BY CAR: I’m in love with Baroque style, on this tour you’ll understand more about both urban and rural Baroque architecture and about the lifestyle of Hungarian everyday people and royalty from the 18th century to nowadays.

Hopefully we can travel again very very soon and I can take you to the most amazing places in Budapest and Hungary you’ll never forget.