Budapest is absolutely captivating and one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe. Its central area along the Danube River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can easily navigate your explorations of the city by foot or public transportation - including the oldest metro line in continental Europe. Its architecture literally represents every historical style from ancient to contemporary, and Budapest is packed with museums, galleries, theaters, geothermal baths, delicious cuisine, and a marvelous cafe culture. Everything feels gloriously grand yet intimate and accessible at the same time. I love to stroll through the historic hilltop Castle District and gaze down below to the romantic Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Hungarian Parliament building (third largest in the world). A tour of the Hungarian State Opera House is a must as well as Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Heroes' Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and Dohány Street Synagogue (largest in Europe and second largest active synagogue in the world). From Budapest, I found it was so easy to visit smaller Hungarian towns on a relaxing day cruise along the Danube. There is so much to experience in Budapest - and beyond!
Cooking in the Country
Head into the heart of Hungarian art in Szentendre, a museum and gallery-packed town a few miles outside the capital. Once an enclave of Serbian refugees, the town retains a Slavic air, with Cyrillic inscriptions and Orthodox churches found among its quaint and colorful streets. It’s a perfect site for your cooking lesson with a local chef, where you’ll learn to make classic specialties such as goulash and chicken paprikash.
Grand Capitals, Easy Fun
Take in the healing hot-spring waters of the Széchenyi Baths pictured above (the largest medicinal baths in Europe), where 18 pools make for year-round fun. Post-bath, settle in for a folklore show and dinner. Part of an eight-day tour of Central Europe’s imperial capitals, your two nights in Hungary include visits to sites like the Gothic Matthias Church and Fishermen’s Bastion, plus a stop in Székesfehérvar, once the medieval capital. Stops in Vienna and Prague and a quick jaunt to Bratislava round out the journey.
Walk among the departed giants of Communism at Memento Park, a chilling exhibition of the figures who shaped Hungarian politics until 1989. This day-long immersion into Hungary’s past continues at the House of Terror, a museum located in the former headquarters of the Secret Police, with exhibits revealing the atrocities of the regime. Continue to the Hospital in the Rock, a former secret emergency hospital bunker.
Call or email me to arrange these exceptional experiences and more in Hungary!