In many countries now you can take free city walking tours. I’ve found them to be very informative, fun, and helpful in providing both orientation and advice during the first day or two of my visit to a new place. The free walking tours in Budapest are no exception, in fact they are the #1 item in TripAdvisor’s Things to Do in Budapest.
I joined one my second day, meeting at the Lion Fountain in Vorosmarty Square, on the Pest side of the city. The group was so large they split us into two separate tours, mine was led by Gee who did a phenomenal job. Her narration was interesting, funny, and gave us the fundamentals to successfully navigate during our stay.
The tour took us across both sides of the river. On the Pest side she explained the history of Hungary, shared info about the Jewish Quarter, Andrassy (a beautiful long avenue to the famed Heroe’s Square), walked around the Parliament Building (one of the largest in the world), showed us St. Stephen’s Basilica and led us along the Danube. On the Buda side of the river, we went Gellert Hill to see the palace, Fisherman’s Bastion, cathedral, and view the Buda Hill vista.
I’ll post more on each of these sights, but these pictures are a sneak preview!
I highly recommend these tours for the first or second day of your trip. After all, there is nothing to lose as they are free (guides work for tips only), and a two-hour walk is oft needed after a long travel. To top it off, I’ve met a number of other single travelers on these tours. During this one, I met a student from Japan, a guy from Poland, and another guy from San Francisco. We wound up all having lunch afterwards on top of Castle Hill and exchanged travel stories, ideas, and advice. Always a good thing!