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Budapest Private Guide

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My husband and I will be doing Budapest on our own following our river cruise. Is a private guide necessary? If so, who would you recommend? Thank you.

allyg

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Budapest is very easily done on your own. It's a very walkable city and has a very good transportation system. Our first visit was during the communist period and it was not so easy for Americans who expect the rest of the world to speak English. However more recent visits were very easy and most younger folks were helpful and spoke some or very good English.:)

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You can do the main attractions on your own with a good map & some research ahead of time

There is the tram system that works well most places ...on the Pest side it is very walkable

You may want to take the HOHO bus if that feels more secure to you

 

Enjoy

 

Lyn

Edited by LHT28

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My husband and I will be doing Budapest on our own following our river cruise. Is a private guide necessary? If so, who would you recommend? Thank you.

allyg

 

We will be there in 2 weeks and from what we've read on here it's pretty easy to get around. We will be taking at least one of the free walking tours, they run 3 different ones each day and only charge a tip (which I dont think is compulsory anyway), from what I can gather on here it seems to be around 10 euros. Have been following them on face book for a while and see good pics from each tour.

 

http://www.freebudapesttours.hu/

 

Debbie

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We were in Budapest last summer for 3 days prior to our river cruise. We used Zoltan Horvath for the first day. He gave us a great over-view of the city. He was excellent. You can contact him at www.rinettguide.com/tours.php You can read more about him at tripadvisor.com His tour helped us enjoy the following two days when we were on our own. We believe it's important to get a local's point of view in addition to the guide books.

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We were in Budapest last summer for 3 days prior to our river cruise. We used Zoltan Horvath for the first day. He gave us a great over-view of the city. He was excellent. You can contact him at www.rinettguide.com/tours.php You can read more about him at tripadvisor.com His tour helped us enjoy the following two days when we were on our own. We believe it's important to get a local's point of view in addition to the guide books.

 

Anyplace can be seen with the help of a guide book and some research but we believe that a quality local guide is a great investment. Not only do you get to hear the local point of view on the city and its culture, you get additional insight into local dining options, non touristy spots to check out and an overall deeper understanding of what it is like to live there. For us, that is a big part of our enjoyment.

 

We have a private guide booked for BUD and do so whenever visiting a major city for the first time. Often we book as well for a repeat visit if we really enjoy the time we spend with our guide.

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Thank you for taking the time to respond----sounds like a guide would be helpful for a good introduction.

Allyg

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Thank you for taking the time to respond----sounds like a guide would be helpful for a good introduction.

Allyg

 

We are in Budapest in November as well and have also booked Gabriella. My suggestion is to check tripadviser.com and research the tours. Several are reviewed and others are mentioned in the forum. Get a few names for private guides and then check them out, not all offer the same tours or service, walking vs driving, price, etc. Free tours by students are also offered but only a Scrooge would not tip! HUF exchange rates especially offer very good value for private guides. Book early in your stay to get a good orientation for the city, touring on your own, etc.

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My husband and I will be doing Budapest on our own following our river cruise.

allyg

 

When you arrive in Budapest, Viking will offer the included motor coach tour which will give you an overview of the city and major tourist sights, as well as a walking tour and free time on Castle Hill. You can take optional tours as well.

 

Afterward you will have an idea what you may like to visit rather than just drive past. Anything not covered in the Viking tour will be easy to visit on your own-the Market, Opera, St Stephens, Parliment, House of Terror, Shoes Memorial, etc. Public transportation and HOHO bus are easily used.

 

If you are going to book a guide, I would recommend it not be for general orientation tour but for a special interest-Jewish Quarter, Communist history, Danube Bend, countryside, etc. Different private guides offer, and some truely specialize in different tours.

 

We will also be in Budapest on our own but in days before our cruise, and have had to be careful planning our sightseeing that we not duplicate the Viking tour offered. You wont have this problem.

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My family used a private guide for one day during a land trip to Budapest. Her name is Andrea Makkay, http://www.privateguidebudapest.com/. We had a driver and van so were able to get a great overview of both sides of the city. Then we went back to see places on our own during the remaining days.

 

It's a fascinating city......Enjoy!

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My family used a private guide for one day during a land trip to Budapest. Her name is Andrea Makkay, http://www.privateguidebudapest.com/.

 

i can also recommend andrea. we did an AMA Waterways river cruise that ended in budapest. after doing the ship's budapest tour on the second last day, we hired andrea to fill in the parts she felt were missing. she has a friend who works for AMA, so she knew exactly what we would be seeing on the AMA tour. she then recommended other interesting sites to visit, culminating in a trip to szentendre, a charming baroque artists' village not far from budapest.

 

again, her email is http://www.privateguidebudapest.com/

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We had confirmed about 8 months ago with Gabriella and she has now cancelled two weeks prior to our visit.

 

If anyone else has a recommendation for a private guide, I would appreciate it. She has recommended Katalin Benko but I cannot find any personal recommendations.

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We had confirmed about 8 months ago with Gabriella and she has now cancelled two weeks prior to our visit.

 

If anyone else has a recommendation for a private guide, I would appreciate it. She has recommended Katalin Benko but I cannot find any personal recommendations.

 

Hi caviargal,

Great timing... I just got an email this morning from the propietor of the B&B where we will be staying.

 

Here is his recommendation:

There is one guide who I really like called Peter Polczmann.

He is also Rick Steve's favorite guy in town and someone my guests are very happy with also.

You can get in touch with him right here: polczmann@freestart.hu

Kindest regards,

 

Come back and let us know who you decide to go with.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks for the referral.

 

I booked with this guide, who is highly recommended by one of the destination experts for Budapest on Trip Advisor. As I am a destination expert for TA for several areas, I often reach out personally to other DE's when I am planning a trip and have found their expertise to be dependable and very helpful. I will post when we return. Andrea has been wonderfully responsive and we are booked for a half day tour, using minivan with driver and walking.

 

Andrea Makkay

Private Guide - Budapest

+36 20 962 9363

amakkay@t-online.hu

andrea@privateguidebudapest.com

www.privateguidebudapest.com

 

 

bobalink, you asked about the cruise we were on with poor entertainment. It was the last 3 Avalon cruises - they were duds in the evening compared to AMA and also to what we saw on Vantage where we were allowed to visit their NYE party when they docked next to us. Our evening entertainment on our B2B in 2010 and also on Panorama in 2010 for Christmas and NYE was virtually non existent. They said it was due to excessive snowfall in 2010 and that the entertainers could not make it to the boat. But for NYE, the weather was perfect and there was no excuse. The CD told us we would have a band and dancing, and instead we sat through 90 minutes of listening him tip toe through the forest as a fairy. Really sad.

Edited by caviargal

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I booked with this guide, who is highly recommended by one of the destination experts for Budapest on Trip Advisor.

 

 

Andrea Makkay

Private Guide - Budapest

+36 20 962 9363

amakkay@t-online.hu

andrea@privateguidebudapest.com

www.privateguidebudapest.com

 

 

bobalink, you asked about the cruise we were on with poor entertainment. It was the last 3 Avalon cruises - ... Really sad.

 

Hi caviargal,

I sent an email to Andrea Makkay and she replied promptly, unfortunately she won't be available in August 2013. She did offer to refer me to another team member.

I am waiting to hear back from Peter Polczmann, too.

 

That is too bad about the poor entertainment you experienced on the Avalon cruises.

 

From what I have read in the reviews, I think we will be pleased with AMA's entertainment. I am ready for a change.

 

We have been on enough ocean cruises that the Broadway shows are repeated, so lately we have opted for quieter venues.

 

Have a wonderful time on your trip. You must be counting the days!

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We began our 2011 Avalon River Cruise in Budapest and found our way around the city on our our with relative ease. Of course that was after we took the Orientation tour offered by our cruise director.

 

I do want to recommend to anyone reading this who will be walking about in Budapest and who is not already aware of the pick pocket problems there, to carry just the money and one credit card you will be using. Also consider using a money belt or other means to keep your wallet and valuables out of sight.

 

We had at least three individuals on our boat who were victims of pick pockets in Budapest and lost their money at the beginning of our trip. And another group of three couples who were accosted in a dark passage way by unsavory characters but our friends managed to get away.

 

That said, if you are aware of your surroundings and take precautions we found Budapest to be a great walking city and welcoming to tourists.

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We just returned from Budapest and used mypersonalbudapest.com. Our guide Attila was very good, and showed us areas of the city that most tourists never see. No matter who you go with, make sure you ask them to see a "ruin bar". There are only about 10 or so in the city, but very eclectic and interesting to see.

 

Cheers,

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The free Budapest tours are great, especially the one of the Jewish Quarter. We also used Gabrielle for a one day countryside tour where we visited three villages oitside of Budapest. it was great and she was excellent. Sorry to hear she had to cancel on someone but I bet she had a good reason. We found her to be very professional and a pleasure to work with.

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Anyone have any experience with Gabriella as a private tour guide in Budapest? Pros and cons of hiring her.

Has anyone done a Budapest by night tour? With whom? Pros and cons?

Thanks in advance.

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We used Andrea g. From tours by locals.....we have been on over 25cruises using private guides and have never had a guide so wonderfully and so experienced as Andrea!,,,,if you want to see Budapest , espescially the Jewish district, she is the guide for you no ifs ands or buts. I've recommended her and everyone has been happy with her as well. I can't wait to go back to use her again.

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We used Gabriella last year for 2 tours. We went on a night tour our first evening. She is a lovely women and knows her history. She will tell you abt the founding of the area and show you all the sites on both sides if the river. She met us at the hotel and afterward brought us to the restaurant we had booked. We used her again the next morning for a driving tour. My daughter visited this fall, and while Gabriella was booked, she arranged a wonderful replacement.

Edited by MURPHY27

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We used Gabriella last year for 2 tours. We went on a night tour our first evening. She is a lovely women and knows her history. She will tell you abt the founding of the area and show you all the sites on both sides if the river. She met us at the hotel and afterward brought us to the restaurant we had booked. We used her again the next morning for a driving tour. My daughter visited this fall, and while Gabriella was booked, she arranged a wonderful replacement.

 

Can you please tell me more about your 2 tours. Was one walking and one driving? How would I find her web site. Was the driving tour expensive? We will be there in November and since our time will be short, I'm not sure how much we can see if we walk. Thank you for your help.

Sharon

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We used Gabriella to hire Katalin Benko (Kathy) for our culinary tour in Budapest. 10 of us went on a tour of the market, wine tasting and to a bakery. It was a wonderful tour and well worth the price. I would recommend it. This was about two weeks ago.

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