Legenda offers a one-hour drive to Margaret Island, which can be followed by a one-hour tour. The trips start at Pier 7 in front of the Marriott Hotel.
The Ibusz company organizes trips on the Danube, which lead past the Parliament and the Academy of Sciences and circle around Margaret Island. This 90-minute cruise (including lunch on board) costs Thurs-Sun (June-September) at 12:30 p.m. at Pier Vigadó tér. This company also offers an evening folklore tour (8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) through the illuminated capital.
Phone: (1) 266 41 90 (Legenda); (1) 318 11 39 (Ibusz)
Budatours is one of the many providers of bus tours . The tours start in winter at 10.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m., from May to October also at 3.30 p.m., in July and August every 30 minutes between 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. at Casino Gresham, V. Roosevelt-Platz. This two-hour tour includes a short stop at Heldenplatz and at the citadel. The tour ‘Jewish Budapest’ by Chosen Tours , XII. Pagony utca 40, takes place Sun-Fri in an air-conditioned bus from 2 p.m. and lasts two to three hours. The meeting point is in front of the Dohány Synagogue in Dohány út. Also Cityrama offers multilingual city tours.
There is a special tour with the riverride amphibious bus.The tour by land and water, which has so far been unique in Europe – without changing the means of transport – starts at Roosevelt ter 7-8 on the banks of the Danube and lasts two hours, one of them in the water. The “floating bus” passes the parliament, the basilica, the opera, Heldenplatz, the Nationalgalerie, the chain bridge, the castle and the Gellertberg and starts several times a day.
Phone: (1) 353 05 58 (Budatours); (1) 355 22 02 (Chosen Tours)
Chosen Tours offers a one and a half to two hour tour (Sun-Fri) through Jewish Budapest. This tour starts at 10.30 a.m. in front of the Dohány Synagogue, Dohány út, but you can also get picked up from the hotel. Advance booking is recommended.
Budapest Tours organizes various tours every day; Reservations are usually not necessary. They take two to five hours and lead to the most important sights of Budapest, including the “hammer and sickle” attractions, such as the sites of the 1956 riots and the statue park, to Jewish Budapest and much more. These tours usually start at the church stairs in Károly körút, Déak tér.
Opera Tours offers a 45-minute guided tour of the imposing opera house built by Miklós Ybl from 1873 to 1884 every day at 3 p.m.
Phone: (1) 355 22 02 (Chosen Tours); 302 11 88 61 (Budapest Tours); (1) 331 25 50 (Opera Tours)
Szentendre: Szentendre with its mountain churches is 19 km from Budapest on a Danube bend. This historic city got its character from the numerous flare-ups of Serbian refugees in the 19th century. In the 1920s, the city abandoned by the Serbs was discovered by a group of artists who founded a colony here. Serbian churches include the Blagovestenska Church in the city’s largest square and the impressive Belgrade Cathedral next to the Museum of Serbian Church Art (entrance on Pátriáka utca). The Margit Kovács Museum , Vastagh Gy utca 1, exhibits works by the most famous Hungarian ceramic artist, while the Barcsay Collection, Dumtsa Jenõ utca 10, showing abstract pictures of one of the founders of the artists’ colony.
The significant Ethnographic Open-Air Museum (Szabadtéri Néprajzi Museum, Svtaravodai út) shows life in Hungarian villages over three centuries. This museum village ( skanzen) includes houses, mills and towers from all over Hungary. The museum is open Tue-Sun from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (March 31-November 11). Guided tours are offered in English). From the train station in Szentendre, Szabadságforrás út, an hourly bus runs the three-kilometer route to the museum. The journey takes 20 minutes in the morning and 40 minutes in the afternoon (other route).
Szentendre also has a new center for modern art housed in a renovated 19th century sawmill, Muveszet Malom (art mill), Bogdanyi utca 32 (tel: (26) 30 17 01). The exhibition hall houses graphics, pictures, sculptures and handicrafts by local artists. Upon completion of the investment project, this building will be one of the most important art centers in Eastern Central Europe.
Tourinform has a branch in Szentendre, Dumtsa Jenõ utca 22 (Tel / Fax: (26) 31 79 66. Internet: www.szentendre.hu). A ride on the HÉV train from Batthyány tér station to Szentendre takes. From MAHART (Tel: (1) 484 40 10. Internet:www.mahartpassnave.hu), there are also two boat trips a day; Volánbusz buses take 30 minutes.
Phone: (26) 50 25 00 (Ethnological Open-Air Museum)
The region around Lake Balaton is romantically referred to as the ‘Hungarian Sea’. The water of the lake only reaches to the waist, except at the Tihany spring in the northern section, where the lowest point is 13 m. The leisure activities mainly take place on the water, including sailing, windsurfing and fishing for eels or fogas – perch-related fish that can only be found in Lake Balaton and are best enjoyed with wine from the nearby Badacsony hills. The Tihany peninsulawas declared a national park in 1952 and is one of the quietest spots in the region. The baroque abbey church on the hill of the village of Tihany once housed the first Hungarian document – King András I’s deed for the first church to stand on this site. The largest holiday resort north of the lake is Balatonfüred , which has been known for the healing powers of its water since Roman times. The seaside resort of Keszthely has a relaxed atmosphere; here is also the large baroque Festetics castle, which is located in a very pretty setting.
A representative of the Tourinformcan be found in Balantonfüred, Petofi Sandor utca 8. Balatonfüred is around 120 km southwest of Budapest and can be reached by train from Déli pályaudvar in Budapest or by bus from Budapest’s Erzsébet tér.
Phone: (87) 34 22 37 (Tourinform)