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 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!

Most of the inquiries I’m getting these days are about information on how one can enter Hungary in light of the spreading of COVID-19. It seems to me that the general information available online is mostly in Hungarian and it’s not exactly easy to understand for most of travellers.

So, here are the latest news and latest rules for you.

The government of Hungary has been applying a colour-based categorisation depending on how serious the spreading of the virus is in the country of origin since the 15th of July. The three colours are green, yellow and red and it determines the rules of entry to Hungary. In case of transfer passengers the country of origin is applicable.

Travellers arriving from GREEN countries are:

  • allowed to enter Hungary without restrictions,
  • if they have symptoms of the infection within 14 days after entry, then they can’t leave their actual residence, and must notify the epidemiological authority immediately.

Travellers arriving from YELLOW countries:

  • have to undergo medical examination upon entry
  • if there is a suspicion of infection, the travellers are not allowed to enter Hungary
  • if no such suspicion arises, travellers are allowed to enter, but it is mandatory for them to go to home quarantine for 14 days.
  • no quarantine is needed if travellers have 2 negative SARS COVID tests (in English or in Hungarian) that were taken consecutively within 48 hours of each other and up to 5 days prior to entering Hungary

Travellers arriving from RED countries are not allowed to enter Hungary in passenger traffic.

The good news is that the spreading of the virus in Hungary is still under control and we don’t see sudden increase in the number of infections. As of today there are 4,465 registered cases and 596 people died.

I’d say that it’s still relatively safe to visit Budapest and visit Hungary, if you do so, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to book a private social distancing friendly tour, 100% safe, 100% fun. If you decide to stay at home, I’m still here to offer you a virtual experience.

I’m posting a lot of pictures of Szentendre on my Instagram, this is such a lovely little town and is only a 30-minute drive from Budapest. It’s a popular destination for both locals and visitors.

I’m currently putting together an itinerary of a few tours for a traveller’s request in September and got the idea to include a countryside tour in my Social Distancing tours. So, here it is, 100% safe and social distance friendly, a private driving tour to Szentendre.

My Szentendre tour is a great combination of history, architecture and culture, the Baroque style little town that has inspired many generations of Hungarian painters and sculptors.

The village has a really unique Mediterranean atmosphere and stunning Baroque architecture. Its charm is due to its colorful houses and cobblestoned streets. The town is full of art galleries, cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops. We’ll see beautiful Baroque architecture, small shops and the sweet Marzipan museum. You’ll have a magnificent view over the city from the top of the church hill and will witness 1000 years of history and culture. You’ll also have the option to taste some local treats or coffee and to do some souvenir shopping.

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 🙂