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

It’s always nice to watch the fireworks from the balcony – the advantages of living on a beautiful hill in Buda. St. Stephen’s Day (20th of August) is a national holiday in Hungary and the day’s celebrations are crowned every year by amazing fireworks at night.

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 was surprised to see that two cruise ships are currently docked in Budapest and I also met real tourists in the Buda Castle District and the City Park.

I’ve just checked the official website of the Hungarian Police. It says: “Except in the case of entry by civil aircraft, entry into Hungary from Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, regardless of nationality or protection against the coronavirus, is possible without epidemiological restrictions, but providing other general conditions of entry (eg valid travel document) is necessary.”

I’d think it means that travellers can enter the country without restriction except in case of entry by civil aircraft. However, I read the entire article and found this: “Foreign citizens arriving from abroad in passenger traffic – unless otherwise specified by law or government decree – shall not enter Hungary.” 

It’s hard to tell which rules apply to those who would like to get into the country by car. By the 1st of July the all travel restrictions will be lifted for those who have the EU COVID-19 Passport (when travelling, every Digital Green Certificate holder will have the same rights as citizens of the visited Member State who have been vaccinated, tested or recovered). I’m really looking forward to it and to welcoming travellers in my Beautiful 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.

I know that many football lovers arrive to Budapest to watch the matches. There are of course several restrictions regarding border entry (more details here). Once you comply with all requirements and have your EURO 2020 wristband, it’s time to discover Beautiful Budapest! I’m happy to offer you a customised tour or help you with tips and recommendations, get in touch with me for more details!

If you’re about to explore Budapest on your own, don’t miss any of these beautiful parts of the city:

Ticket holders who have their EURO 2020 wristband can visit all monuments, museums and bathhouses, it’s really a unique chance to see Budapest as you’ve never seen it before.

Matches at Puskás Aréna, Budapest:
Tuesday 15 June 2021 – Group F: Hungary vs Portugal (18:00, local time)
Saturday 19 June 2021 – Group F: Hungary vs France (15:00, local time)
Wednesday 23 June 2021 – Group F: Portugal vs France (21:00, local time)
Sunday 27 June 2021 – R16: 1C vs 3D/E/F (18:00, local 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!

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.