Save the date! 20th of March, 2021, Travel From Home Virtual Tours Festival organised by TheWaysBeyond. You’ll have the chance to visit virtually several destinations around the world, I’ll be your virtual tour guide in Beautiful Budapest. Stay tuned!

Travel From Home Festival

It’s about time to announce Travel from Home, the first virtual guided tour festival @travelfromhomewithus a new project we have been working on for a while already with our dear partner @beyondromaniatravel and @sofar_virtualtours – a team of smart and passion master students from Sorbonne Nouvelle university.

Get in touch with me if you’d like to schedule a private virtual tour!

The Budapest home of Liszt is surprisingly modest with only two rooms, one of them serving as bedroom and study at the same time but it’s nevertheless full of treasures. The Budapest home of the one and only Hungarian composer universally renowned as one of the greatests of the 19th century was on the elegant Andrássy avenue.

His home is a museum now and it’s a remarkably valuable collection of objects: personal items and amazing instruments of music. My favourite piece is a music composing desk with a built-in three-octave piano keyboard, specially designed for Liszt in the 1870’s. I also love the ornate music stand that Liszt received as a gift in 1858 and thanked it by saying: “I wish to produce soon some works worthy of being offered as an homage to the three patrons of music: Beethoven, Weber and Schubert” – whose busts decorate the wonderful piece.

Although Liszt only welcomed visitors in his home on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, the museum is open to visitors every day except Sundays.

I’m aware that some of you were planning to visit Budapest in November and December and decided to cancel or postpone your visit, although it’s hard to see what we can expect the next weeks and months and the government’s actions are also hard to anticipate.

Yes, we’ve been experiencing the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus since the middle of August after successfully slowing the outbreaks earlier in the year. The last time I shared information about the numbers was in June, four months ago there were 3892 confirmed cases and 527 people died. As of today, there are 31480 confirmed cases (+ 700%) and 833 people died (+60%). Because of the limited testing capacities we are not sure about the accuracy of these numbers but they are worrying nevertheless. Because of the increasing numbers many countries around the world advise their nationals against all but essential international travel to Hungary.

Lockdowns and other strict measures to protect public health were imposed quickly in spring and that led to record low number of registered cases and deaths. This is a very different situation now, as the government refuses to re-impose strict health measures and at the same time to offer financial help to businesses badly affected by COVID-19. A personal note: self employed tour guides can’t expect any help from the government, financial or other.

So, here are the rules:

  • physical distancing of 1,5 meters is to be kept,
  • face masks (medical or textile masks that cover the nose and mouth) are mandatory in shops, in taxis, on public transport and at public transport stations, in theatres, cinemas and shopping malls,
  • restaurants, cafés and bars are to close at 11.00 PM.

And here are the rules about entering Hungary (from the 1st of September until further notice):

  • only Hungarian citizens and foreign citizens who have a permanent Hungarian residence permit can enter Hungary in passenger traffic and they are subject to home quarantine for 10 days,
  • foreign citizens are not allowed to enter Hungary,  (entry into Hungary from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia is regulated separately), the exceptions:
    • foreign citizens who arrive to Hungary for international sports or cultural events can enter Hungary without restriction (they must have a negative PCR test result performed within 3 days prior to entry and an authentic ticket for the sports or cultural event),
    • foreign citizens studying in Hungary or participating in family events might be exempted from the prohibition,
    • foreign citizens who arrive to Hungary to perform some business or economic activity are also exempted from the prohibition.

So, if you’re coming to Budapest for either sports, cultural or business reasons, don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss the options of a 100% safe Social Distancing tour, believe me, Budapest is so beautiful, it’s safe and most of the sights and attractions are entirely deserted.

And, don’t forget about Virtual Tours, a great live, personal experience to visit Budapest from the comfort of your armchair and to support Budapest tourism.

As always, stay safe, stay healthy and stay happy!

I know that these last 3-4 months have been extremely difficult for many of us. I delivered my first virtual tour on the 20th of March and haven’t had a real, live tour ever since. I love virtual tours and I think travellers that booked any of them all had a very special experience.

But. I need personal connection, I need instant reactions, I need to see and hear my travellers.

As of last Wednesday our borders are open to the citizens of the EU and some other countries. I don’t see many actual tourists yet but hopefully this will change soon. It was time for me to create my Social Distancing Tours.

Rules are very simple:

  • 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

I hope I’ll have the chance to finally meet real people and to show them around the city that I love the most. I hope that this is just the beginning and very slowly life will get back to normal, if you still remember what normal is 🙂

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.

Book Café has always been a special place, hidden in a modern 20th century department store on Andrássy avenue. Unfortunately the building and the coffeehouse are both closed now and we don’t know yet when they reopen.

As of today there are 3892 COVID-19 cases in Hungary and 527 people died. This means that the numbers haven’t increased much since the restrictions were lifted about two weeks ago.

That’s again a very good sign showing that hopefully we might leave the pandemic behind us soon and we can start travelling again. Fingers crossed 🙂

It’s also safe to say that Hungary and the neighbouring countries were not as badly affected as other European countries, it might be safer to travel to Hungary than to Italy, France or England. And of course, private tours are much safer than any other group tour.

Restaurants and bars, most of the shops reopened but the touristy places are still deserted and it literally breaks my heart. It’s so sad to see that places that are usually packed with people talking a hundred different languages are practically empty even now.

I don’t know when travel bans will be lifted and when tourists can finally come to my beautiful Budapest but I’m very optimistic and excited. Also, I’m putting together the social distancing tours, they will be uploaded once travelling is safe again. In the meantime, I’m still offering my popular virtual tours.

This is the end of the month of April, this time of the year I’m usually very busy with tours as Budapest is magnificent in the spring months. This year is different, I can only deliver virtual tours, I can only show you my beautiful Budapest on the screen of your laptop or tablet. 

As of today the situation in Hungary is still much better than in other European countries. There are 2583 registered cases (probably more but testing here is not as good as in other countries) and 280 people died. We’re in self isolation and can only go out to work, to do grocery shopping or to help relatives. This is the 7th week of self isolation.

I cannot tell you how much I miss travellers and the busy streets of Budapest. I’m devastated to see the deserted streets, cafés and restaurants. But as for now, it’s safer to stay home.

However, I think that summer months will bring us relief and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that with social distancing we’ll be able to deliver some tours. I know that group touring will not possible but that’s maybe a good time for all travellers to try private tours. I’ll offer some special tours once it’s safe to do so, and people who visit my beautiful city will definitely have the most amazing Budapest experience.

I hope to see you soon!!

These are the empty streets of my beautiful Budapest:

Actually, this tour was suggested by one of my travellers, he and his family were mostly interested in our communist history. I customized a 1-hour online tour for them with the virtual visit of the House of Terror Museum and they liked it very much, so this tour is now available on my website.

This tour gives you a comprehensive overview of the Hungarian history in the second half of the 20th century. With a lot of footage and photos from the archives you get a better understanding of our life under Communism. Also, visiting virtually several exhibition halls of the House of Terror Museum makes it a full online experience.

Just like all of my other tours, this one is live and private too, and is fully customizable. Feel free to ask me for more details, or book online!

The first line of the Budapest underground was opened in 1896 and has transported tens of millions of passengers ever since. Most of the stops are authentic from the late 19th century with the colourful ceramic tiles and elaborate woodwork.

Taking the metro is like a time travel and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it.

There goes the metro

My new passion is to collect the sounds of Budapest, recording local music all over the city. This is the first recording of my collection, we were extremely lucky to hear a short organ recital in the Matthias Church of the Buda Castle district.

Organ recital in the Matthias Church of Budapest