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 love my Gödöllő-Hollókő tour for many reasons, one of those being that I’m truly fascinated by the beauty of the Baroque Palace of Gödöllő. There are so many things to fall in love with: the architecture, the style, the colours, the details. It really is special because throughout the tour one has the impression to travel back in time to the 19th century.

On our very last visit earlier this month we were being guided by Queen Sissi – the wife of the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef which has made our tour even more remarkable.

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.

 

 

The iconic Chain Bridge is closed for renovation works and will hopefully reopen at the end of 2022. We’ll of course miss it and our walking and driving tours will be a little bit different but we all agree that our Old Lady has needed these renovation works for a very long time.

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!

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

Today is a national holiday in Hungary, we celebrate the outbreak of the revolution of 1848-1849.

Today we celebrate our national independence, the freedom of speech, the freedom of press and we remember the heroism and the courage of the young Hungarians who became united to confront and fight the oppressors.

I hope that the spirit of the revolution lives on in the Hungarian soul and we never give up fighting for the values our ancestors had been fighting for 173 years ago.

 

I’ve decided to share this blogpost originally from 2016 because my experience is that the Buda Castle District of Budapest is the most popular choice for the virtual tours. Most of the attractions below are to be seen during the tour and I’m happy to discuss the special architecture, culture and traditions of this beautiful neighbourhood. Feel free to contact me for further details on live or virtual tours!

The Buda Castle district is the oldest part of Buda, many of the buildings are originally from the Middle Ages. Buda became the capital of Hungary by the middle of the 13th century, the castle and the medieval town were constructed in the top of the Castle hill.

I don’t want to disappoint you but The Castle district is not a real castle. The Hungarian Medieval castle, residence of many of our great kings, constructed in Gothic and Renaissance architectures was destroyed in the 17th century. Only some parts of it are accessible in the Budapest History Museum, unfortunately the rest of the castle rest in the ground now.

You can walk up the hill along the ramparts of the Medieval Castle to get to the 18th century Baroque Palace which houses the Budapest History Museum and the National Gallery. The cobblestoned streets of the historical old town of Buda lead you to the Matthias Church, one of the oldest churches of the city originating from the 13th century. If you have some time, you really need to climb the 197 stairs to the church tower from where you can have the best view over our beautiful city.

From the top of the Fisherman’s Bastion you can enjoy the panorama over the Parliament building and the Pest side.

Continue your walk in the civilian town, admire the unique architecture of the National Archives and wonder around the old Jewish quarter. Probably the most interesting fact about the distric is that there is a 12 km long underground cave and cellar complex underneath the Castle District. There are 2 museums where you can discover this unique labyrinth. The Hospital in the Rock was a military hospital during WW2 and a nuclear bunker during the Communist era. The Labyrinth museum is all about scary fun and you might also meet Dracula, the infamous vampire count.

I’d be glad to show you the famous attractions and the hidden treasures of the neighborhood, too, book the Buda Castle walk!

Ok, the timing might not be ideal. But. I originally created a Facebook profile for my tour guiding services some 5 years ago but I never really had time to take care of it and to publish enough interesting content. Now that I only deliver virtual tours obviously I have more time to work on my tours and profiles and uploaded some pictures and information.

I’ll try to post as often as I can so that you can learn more on my beautiful city and country:

Please like, share, comment, send me messages, so that I can see that you’re checking back on what’s new in Beautiful Budapest!