Half-day tour in Budapest
4 hours - fixed price: € 200 EUR - maximum 10 people
Visit all the World Heritage sites in Budapest!
1. Castle Hill: old town including Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion (panorama terrace), the Royal Palace (outside)
Today, Castle Hill is recognized as a World Heritage Site, and has many must-see attractions, Gothic arches, eighteenth-century Baroque houses and cobblestone streets. Though Castle Hill has changed much since building began in the 13th century, its main streets still follow their medieval paths. Some houses date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, giving us an idea of what the Castle District may have looked like back then. Practically every house has a plaque indicating the century in which it was built, and providing details of its history. A surprising number of the buildings are still private homes, as Castle Hill is also a residential area. Cars have been banned - only people who live and work here are allowed to drive; however, public transportation is available.
2. Heroes' Square: Laid out in 1896 to mark the thousandth anniversary of Hungary, Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) is the largest and most impressive square of the city. Located at the end of Andrássy Avenue and next to City Park, Heroes’ Square is one of the most visited sights in Budapest. Surrounded by two important buildings, Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) on the right, Heroes’ Square is also a station of the Millennium Underground.
3. Andrássy Avenue: with the Budapest Opera House and the Millenium Line: the first subway line of the European continent!
Andrássy Avenue, recognized as a World Heritage Site, was built to connect the city center with City Park (Városliget). Construction began in 1872, and the avenue was inaugurated in 1885. Its Eclectic Neo-Renaissance palaces and houses were built by the most distinguished architects of the time. Aristocrats, bankers, landowners and noble families moved in. The iconic avenue was named after Prime Minister Gyula Andrássy, a key advocate of the project.
Full day tour in Budapest
10 hours - fixed price: € 400 EUR - maximum 10 people
Visit the Best of Budapest with all the musts!
1. Castle Hill: old town including Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion (panorama terrace), the Royal Palace (outside)
2. Heroes' Square: spectacular monument of the Hungarian kings in the City park with the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Modern Art Gallery
+ Exhibition of your choice
(We can include a short visit to any exhibition in your city-tour.)
3. Andrássy Avenue: with the Budapest Opera House and the Millenium Line: the first subway line of the European continent.
4. St Stephen's Basilica: St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest and can hold up to 8,500 people. Although in architectural terms it’s a cathedral, it was given the title of ‘basilica minor’ by Pope Pius XI in 1931. It took more than 50 years to build the Basilica.
Originally designed in neo-classical style by Hild, the Basilica was finished in neo-renaissance style based on the plans of Ybl. The dome is 96 meters high, the exact same height as the Budapest Parliament Building. In fact current building regulations stipulate that no other structure in Budapest can be taller than 96 meters. Having the same height as the Parliament also symbolizes the balance between church and state in Hungary.
The patron saint of the church is St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary. His mummified right hand is kept in a glass case in the chapel to the left of the main altar. The beautiful interior is also noteworthy as it is decorated by famous artists of the era. The most valuable artwork is the mosaic based on Gyula Benczur’s oil painting depicting the allegories of the holy mass. Another beautiful work by Benczur is the painting in which St. Stephen holds up the crown and asks the Virgin Mary to become the patron of Hungary.
5. Central Market Hall: impressive iron structure where you can buy handicraft, and actually try local food (closed on Sunday)
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Central Market Hall (officially called 'Központi Vásárcsarnok' in Hungarian) is the largest indoor market in Budapest. Among other things, on the ground floor you'll find a large selection of sausages, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. On the second floor, there are food stands and plenty of vendors selling handicrafts, clothing, embroidery, chessboards and other souvenirs. Paprika and Tokaji are also sold here. In the basement, there is a fish market, a small Asian grocery store, a supermarket, and a small drugstore. While focusing on Hungarian products, on International Gastro Days (held on Fridays and Saturdays), the Central Market Hall also features the food and cuisine of a foreign country.
6. Great Budapest Synagogue: The second largest in the world, built in a magnificent, art-nouveau style. Insight of Jewish Budapest and Jewish Heritage
The Great Synagogue in Dohány Street (also known as Dohány Street Synagogue) is the largest Synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world, capable of accommodating 3,000 people. It was built between 1854 and 1859 in Moorish Revival or Neo-Moorish style, in the wake of Romanticism. Originally, there was a residential block next to the synagogue. In fact, Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist movement, was born in one of the houses located there. This site is now part of the complex and home to the Jewish Museum.
7. Gellért Hill: underground Cave-Chapel, the Statue of Liberty and the Citadella on top (the most beautiful panorama in Budapest)
The hill was named after bishop Gellért (Gerald), who was thrown to death from the hill by pagans in the fight against Christianity in 1046. His statue, which faces Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet hid) and holds a cross, can be seen from many parts of Pest. At the top of the hill is the Citadel (Citadella), a fortress built by the Habsburgs after defeating Hungary's War of Independence in 1849. It was a prime, strategic site for shelling both Buda and Pest in the event of a future rebellion.
8. Baths: Budapest isn't called the 'City of Baths' for nothing. Hungary is a land of thermal springs, and Budapest remains the only capital city in the world that is rich in thermal waters with healing qualities. Budapest is also one of the few places where you can experience traditional Turkish baths dating back to 16th and 17th centuries. Check out Rudas, Király or Veli Bej. If you're looking to kick back and relax over your holiday, Budapest is the place to be. Take a dip in one of its many famous thermal baths, enjoy a unique spa experience or stay in one of the city's health spa resorts, and bathe your cares away.
Let's end the day in the Széchenyi, Gellért, or Rudas baths - all of them have magnificent architetcure and a magical atmosphere...
Specific Guided Tours
that can be the prime focus of your half day or full day tour
Budapest by Night Tour
Budapest is even more beautiful by night. It would be a shame not to take the opportunity to discover the city when it's most spectacular. Let me take you around the safe routes to enjoy the splendor of illuminated Budapest!
1. Heroes' Square: spectacular monument of the Hungarian kings in the City park with the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Modern Art Gallery
2. Andrássy Avenue: with the Budapest Opera House
3. St Stephen's Basilica, the Szabadság Square and the Parliament Building
4. Chain Bridge and the Academy of Sciences
5. Castle Hill: old town including Matthias Church and Fishermen's Bastion (panorama terrace), the Royal Palace (outside)
7. Gellért Hill: Statue of Liberty and the Citadella on top (the most beautiful panorama in Budapest)
Royal Budapest Tour
Travel back in time to retrace the footsteps of kings...
House of Parliament: The Parliament building (Parlament), a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture (although displaying Renaissance and Baroque characters too), is just over 100 years old. The Budapest Parliament building is the third largest Parliament building in the world. It has 691 rooms, 20 kilometers (12,5 miles) of stairs and at 96 meters (315 feet) it is the same height as the St. Stephen's Basilica. See the Holy Crown of Stephen I.
Matthias Church : The historic Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom) is over 700 years old. The church was the scene of several coronations, including that of Charles IV in 1916, the last Habsburg king. It was also the venue for the great Hungarian King Matthias’ two weddings, hence its name. Visit the treasury of the coronation church if you like...
The Royal Palace: The first royal residence on Castle Hill was built in the 13th century, after the Mongolian invasion. It was extended in the 14th century, becoming probably the largest Gothic palace of the late Middle Ages. Construction continued in the 15th century, following the marriage of King Matthias Corvinus and Beatrix of Naples in 1476. Many Italian artists and craftsmen accompanied the new queen, bringing the Renaissance style to Buda. The palace was completely destroyed when liberating Buda from the Turks. In the 18th century, a small Baroque palace was built, which is identical with the core structure of the present-day palace. During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the palace gave home to lavish ceremonies symbolizing peace between the dynasty and the nation. The process of rebuilding the Royal Palace (Budavári Palota) continued in the 19th century, and it was finished in 1904. At the end of World War II, the palace was badly damaged. It was rebuilt once again, in Neo-Baroque style, using many original parts. See the medieval dungeons and Renaissance interiors...
The Budapest Labyrinth: The Labyrinth (Budavári Labirintus) is a mysterious underground maze situated in the complex of caves and cellars beneath Castle Hill. The underground labyrinth system served as a large shelter and hospital during World War II, but the Turks also used it back in the 16th century, mainly for military purposes. Remains dating back to the Turkish era confirm that part of the Labyrinth was also used as a harem. In the 15th century the Labyrinth gave home to a prison and it's most famous prisoner was Vlad Tepes, better known as Count Dracula, held in captivity by Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus.
Budapest Museum Tour
Museum of Fine Arts: The Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum), founded in 1896 and opened in 1906, features the history of visual arts in Europe. Dedicated to paintings, drawings and sculptures of European origin, one of the highlights of its permanent exhibit is the horseman sculpture carved by Leonardo da Vinci. The museum also has an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century paintings and it has the second largest Spanish art collection outside Spain.
Sculptures include Italian works dating back to the 4th century, as well as French, English, German, and Dutch artworks from the 13th century. Egyptian and ancient art, Medieval drawings and Late Gothic paintings are also part of the collection.
Hungarian National Gallery (in the Royal Palace): Exhibitions in the National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galéria) feature the history and development of Hungarian painting. The permanent collection also represents the past five hundred years of art in Hungary, including Medieval and Renaissance stonework, Gothic wood sculptures and altarpieces. While many of the historic figures depicted on older works may be less recognizable for visitors, paintings from the late 19th century will be more familiar.
Hungarian National Museum: The Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) is the oldest public museum in Hungary. The museum's present building was built between 1837 and 1847, and it stands as a great example of Neo-Classicist architecture. Founded 200 years ago, the museum is dedicated to the history of Hungary and today it remains a symbol of Hungary's national identity.
The permanent exhibition includes furniture, textiles, weapons, metalwork and ceramics. One of the most valuable items is the Coronation Mantle (the Crown Jewels are on display in Budapest's Parliament).
A glance behind the iron curtain (1945-1989)
What was life like during communist times in Hungary?
House of Terror: The House of Terror Museum (Terror Háza Múzeum) commemorates the victims of both the Communist and the Nazi regimes in Hungary. The building served as the former headquarter of the ultra-right (Nazi) party in 1940, and its basement was used as a prison. During Communism, the building was taken over by the State Security (Hungarian version of the KGB). Hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, were tortured in the House of Terror.
Hospital in the Rock Museum: The Hospital in the Rock Museum (Sziklakórház Múzeum) is part of an approximately 6-mile (10-km) stretch of interconnected caves and cellars beneath Buda Castle Hill. This museum is dedicated to a former secret emergency hospital and nuclear bunker.
Statue Park: The Memento Park, a Communist-themed outdoor museum located just outside Budapest, is a reminder of the fall of tyranny. In 1989, when Hungary chose to embrace a free market economy, the new government removed many of the statues and monuments identified with the former Communist regime. Now, these formerly revered relics of an unfulfilled dream stand together, providing unique experience. Anyone with even a remote interest in the country's history will find the short trip worthwhile.
A unique open air exhibition of communist statues that were removed from the streets of Budapest and Hungary after the change of regime. The only such collection in Europe!
Budapest Music Tour
Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók , Zoltán Kodály. Did you know they were Hungarian? Liszt's piano virtuoso, Bartók's powerful music like the Bluebird's Castle, and Kodály's solfege – solmisation system are known in the entire world. We visit the exhibitions of these musicians in the very buildings where they had lived and composed!
Museum of Music History: The Museum of Music History (Zenetörténeti Múzeum) tells the story of music through exhibitions, recitals and concerts. The emphasis on Hungarian music, which is rich in folk traditions and covers a wide spectrum from the rhapsodies of Liszt and the compositions of Bartók and Kodály to Hungarian gipsy music.
Budapest Academy of Music: The Academy of Music (Zeneakadémia) in Budapest was founded in the 1870s, enabling talented music students to receive higher education in Hungary, which until then was possible only abroad. One of the biggest supporters of the conservatory was Ferenc Liszt, the famous Hungarian-born composer. In 1873, the Parliament decided to create the institute, and Ferenc Liszt was elected as president. [see: 360 panorama]
Budapest Opera House: The Budapest Opera House (Opera) is considered to be amongst the best opera houses in the world in terms of its acoustics, and has an auditorium that seats 1200 people. It is horseshoe-shaped and, according to measurements done by a group of international engineers, has the third best acoustics amongst similar European venues (after the Scala in Milan and the Paris Opera House). The statue of Ferenc Erkel stands in front of the Opera House. He was the composer of the Hungarian national anthem and the first music director of the Opera. The other statue in front of the Budapest Opera is of Ferenc Liszt, the well-known Hungarian composer.
Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum: The Liszt Ferenc Emlékmúzeum (Memorial Museum) is dedicated to the famous Hungarian piano virtuoso, composer and music teacher of the 19th century.
The museum is located in the Old Academy of Music, founded by Liszt, where the great composer had a 1st-floor apartment. Liszt spent a significant part of the last five years (from 1881 to 1886) of his life here and his furniture, portraits, books, pianos along with other personal belongings are on display. Equipped with a concert hall, musical performances are held in the museum every Saturday at 11 am (price is included in the entrance fee).
Bartók Memorial House: The Bartók Béla Emlékház - the former house of Béla Bartók (1881-1945), a prominent Hungarian pianist, regarded as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, serves today as a museum. The house was built in 1924 and it was Béla Bartók's last residence in Hungary before seeking asylum in the US in 1940. Some of his masterpieces like the 'Sonata For Two Pianos' or the 'Contrasts' were composed here. Photos, furniture and some of his personal belongings are exhibited in the two-story building. The first floor was converted into a concert hall where classical music performances are held regularly.
Hungarian Art Nouveau Architecture
These tours provide an in depth look at the Art Nouveau movement in Budapest that flourished at the beginning of the 20th century. There are two different tours to choose from: the Classical Art Nouveau Tour takes you to the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the city while the Art Nouveau Lifestyle Tour puts emphasis on Art Nouveau in fine arts, applied arts and interior design. You find an astonishing variety of superb buildings in Budapest city! Become an expert in different architectural styles and prove it by showing your stunning photos of the tour...
Buildings to admire: Museum of Applied Arts, Gresham Palace, Postal Savings Bank, Great Synagogue, Paris Department Store, Geological Institute, Bedő-Ház and many more hidden houses...
It is true that Budapest is a bustling metropolis of 2,000,000 people, but luckily, it's easy to escape from the cars, the crowds and the suffocating world of commerce. So let's travel to Buda, and use the Chairlift to get to the highest point of Budapest, where the 529-metre high János Hill lookout tower provides an amazing view of not only the city but entire Pest County. You should choose a nice, sunny day to do this, because the better the weather, the farther you can see from the hill.
This trip takes you into nature around the Budapest Hills, where almost no tourists go, but which is a favourite recreation place of locals. We combine light hiking with interesting and unusual vehicules. The sceenic track connects the "Beverly Hills" of Budapest with the city. This part of Budapest is a strictly protected natural reserve area.
Chair Lift: The Buda Hills has a variety of adventurous outdoor activities and the 'Libegő' is one of Budapest's unique experiences. It is a two-way chairlift system that transports passengers between Zugliget and the lookout tower on János Hill (the highest peak in the city), providing beautiful panorama along the way. After a 15-minute upwards gliding, you arrive to the top, from where it's another 5 minutes walk to the lookout tower. [visit: facebook page]
Elisabeth Lookout Tower (Erzsébet kilátó) on János Hill: the highest lookout point of Budapest. When all space runs out on your camera's memory card, we continue.... [visit: facebook page]
Children's Railway: The Children's Railway (Gyermekvasút), built after World War II, and originally called Pioneer's Railway, is run by children under the supervision of adult railway workers. Children do various types of jobs, from selling tickets to traffic management. Similar projects had been introduced in the former Soviet Union in the 1940’s.
All seven stops along the Children's Railway route are popular recreation spots. Csillebérc, where the Challengeland zip-line is located; Normafa, known for its beautiful scenery; János Hill, the highest peak in Budapest; Vadaspark, home to a charming zoo; and Hüvösvölgy, the site of the popular restaurant called Náncsi Néni, are the most favorite stops.
When Children’s Railway first opened some stations were named after symbols of the pioneer movement, which were then changed in 1990. There is a museum on site (at Hüvösvölgy station) displaying some relics from the Communist Pioneer era. [visit: facebook page]
Cogwheel Railway: To round up the tour, we come back to the city by the cog-railway.