Budapest Attractions

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To get most benefit from our 3-day break in Budapest we needed to book various excursions and events. We made these through (run by Hungaria Koncert, HK) via an excellent website,

Budapest is famous for it's Hot Spa Baths. We chose to visit the Gellert Baths. I chose entry plus use of a secure kiosk for changing/storage, whilst a half-hour aroma massage was added to my wife’s ticket. The architecture and decoration of the baths was worth a visit on its own. In addition the man in the onsite HK office was most helpful in explaining the layout of the building and how to use a magnetic “watch” issued to both of us to operate turnstiles and cabin doors. However, there were some disappointments. Maintenance of the facilities is poor. The showers near the cabins are not in good order, the clocks in the indoor pool were still showing summer time and the footbath upon entry to the 38 C bath was not working. The cabin and towel hire facilities were over staffed and the staff were surly and ill-mannered. My wife’s masseuse did not speak English. We are glad we visited the baths but would not consider return.

Our second booking with HK was for a Danube evening cruise and dinner. At € 77 for two, it was somewhat cheap and cheerful. The cruise lasted for only one and a half hours, the dinner was a rather rushed hot buffet but live music trio were great and the views of Budapest at night were spectacular. We would have rather paid more for a longer cruise with waiter service.

By contrast, “Hammer & Sickle Tour” a walking tour of Budapest provided by Absolute Walking Tours at € 64 for two proved to be great value. We enjoyed three and a half hours of Budapest history and anecdote starting at Buda Castle and ending in a private museum of Hungarian communist artefacts in Pest. At the start of our tour our guide, Tamas, asked about our particular interests and tailored his tour accordingly. He knew his subjects well and talked with great enthusiasm. In addition he noticed that my wife was limping slightly and insisted that we took the bus from Buda Castle down to Pest. His analysis of the strategy of the communist regime was fascinating. We certainly recommend this tour.

One minor warning – the confirmation email from HK was occasionally ambiguous and did contain one error. Resultant queries were rapidly resolved by email, but do read your confirmation email carefully!

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