Budapest selected as the best destination in Europe in 2019

Based on votes from more than 200,000 users, Budapest was just voted the best destination to visit in Europe in 2019. When are you coming?

Budapest is the best European city in 2019
Budapest is the best European city in 2019 – Picture taken from the official website.

My first thought after reading about the results was that “probably all of Hungary voted for this to happen.” During the European Championship in football in 2016, the Hungarians did really well, and suddenly all of Hungary voted for a goal scored by Gera Zoltan to be the best goal of the tournament. In the end he won, but it felt kind of strange, because the swiss player Shaqiri scored a goal that was 100 times nicer than the Hungarian goal, but I guess the Swiss nation didn’t all come to vote for their national hero (like the Hungarians did).

So, when I read that Budapest just won the price, I thought it had to be a combination of Budapest as a fantastic destination and lots of Hungarians voting for their own capital. But, I read in an article that a very little percentage of the actual votes originated from Hungary, and that made me kind of relieved and able to enjoy the price much more!

But, Budapest won, and this might attract even more people to our beautiful capital.

Have you planned your trip to Budapest yet in 2019? If not, get started. And what better place to start than here in our Budapest Guide where we can help you out with private airport transfers, private guided tours, brewery visits, wine tasting experiences, and lots of other great programs. We have done so for more than 10 years, making us a company with long experience and lots of great feedback, and we would love to help you as well.

Read more about all the great programs we can help you with in Budapest here in our Budapest Guide!

Tokaj Harvest Festival 2019

A few days ago we received an email from someone curious about the dates for the Tokaj Harvest Festival in 2019. Here you have them!

Tokaj Harvest Festival 2019

The Tokaj Harvest Festival, also known as Tokaji Szüreti napok in Hungary, is arranged every single year, and it is a big celebration of the grape harvest in the region. Tokaj is the most famous wine region in all of Hungary, and especially the Tokaji Aszu wine is popular and famous all across the world. But, Tokaj is much more than just sweet white wine and dessert wines, and if you decide to visit Tokaj for the Harvest Festival in 2019 you will discover that for sure.

Tokaj Harvest Festival 2019

The dates for the Harvest Festival in Tokaj in 2019 will be October 4-6.

We do not have much more information than this currently, but you can now start booking your flight tickets, find a local hotel in Tokaj, and do more preparations.

Wine festival in Tokaj

If you want to enjoy more wine experiences while in Hungary, we can warmly recommend one of our many wine programs in and outside Budapest. You can read more about the different wine dinners and wine programs at our wine tasting page.

It might be that Tokaj is the most famous wine region in Hungary, but there are lots of other interesting regions in the nation as well. For some, Eger and their famous Egri Bikaver is the symbol of Hungarian wine, while a very upcoming and popular wine region now is the Villany region. But, why taste wine from only one or two regions, when you can enjoy wine dinners and wine tastings in which you can taste wine from 5-6-7 different regions at the same event? Does that sound cool?

Budapest from above – seen from an airplane!

Before arriving to Budapest, or as you leave Budapest, you might be extremely lucky and get a beautiful view of the city. If you sit by the window, make sure to have your camera or your phone ready, just in case.

I just bumped into the following image on Facebook recently, taken by someone just before landing in Budapest. It is an amazing picture, and it is so rich in detail. You can easily see the most important bridges in Budapest, the Hungarian Parliament, the City Park, the Gellert Hill, the Castle area, and so much more.

Budapest seen from the flight!
Budapest, seen from the sky!

Budapest is an amazing city, and if you like the way it looks from above, it will get even more beautiful as you reach the inner city and walk along the Danube in the evening.

Today is the time for the opening of the annual Christmas market in Budapest. During the Christmas season the city gets even more beautiful, especially in the evenings, so you have even more to look forward to then!

Christmas market by St. Stephens Basilica 2018

We have known the dates for the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square for a long time, but just recently, the dates for the Christmas market in front for the St. Stephen’s Basilica was published as well.

The Christmas market in front of the St. Stephen’s Basilica is getting better and better for every year. In 2017, it didn’t only make the square fantastic, but also Zrinyi utca (the street connecting the Danube and the Chain Bridge with the St. Stephen’s Basilica). It is a fantastic market and every afternoon from 16.30 there will be light shows at the church building every 30 minutes.

The Christmas market will open on November 24th (some places it says November 23rd) and it will remain open until January 1st, 2019. The market is open from 10.00 (or 11.00) until 22.00 in the evening, except for December 24th, on which it will close at 14.00.

christmas market by st stephens basilica
The Christmas market by the St. Stephens Basilica – Source

At the Christmas market, you can find an ice skating rink, a big Christmas tree, and lots of small tree houses where you can buy souvenirs, presents, and lots of hot drinks and traditional food. The ice skating rink is free to use for kids under 14 years, but you need to rent the skates you will actually use on the ice.

This year the Christmas market calls itself an eco-fair. All exhibitors will have to use environmental-friendly packaging, resulting in less garbage and better for the environment.

If you want to read more about the different Christmas markets in Budapest, check this site.

Would you like to enjoy a wine dinner in Budapest during this period, or maybe a river cruise at the Danube River? Make sure to arrange your booking as soon as possible, because it gets crowded and fully booked quite regularly in December!

A nice Budapest panorama

The most popular spot in Budapest for beautiful pictures might be from the citadella at the Gellert Hill. But, if you climb down the hill, you can get some awesome shots as you walk towards the Gellert hotel as well.

liberty bridge panorama
A beautiful panorama shot of the Pest side, taken from the Gellert hill

The picture above was taken a month ago as I walked from the citadella on the hill towards the Gellert hotel. It was a beautiful day with nice a nice temperature and a lot of sunshine. And yes, Budapest is beautiful on such days. A

In the picture, you can see the Liberty Bridge (Szabadsag hid). This is the third oldest bridge between Buda and Pest, and it is very easy to recognize because of its green color. You can read more about this and all the other bridges of Budapest here. If you walk across the bridge, you will get to the Pest side, and here you will find the start of the popular shopping street Vaci utca. You can also find the Business university here (first building on the right as you cross the bridge). More interesting is the building coming after the Business university, that is, the Grand Market Hall. It looks like a train station, but it is much more exciting than a railway station. Read more about the Grand Market Hall and what you can find inside of it here.

In the upper right corner of the picture, you can see the small cupolas of the Gellert hotel (you can find the Gellert bath in the very same building).

The Danube is the river dividing Buda from Pest. The distance between Buda and Pest here is between 400 and 500 meters, making it a wide river, and perfect for river cruises. You can also see some of the boats used for longer river cruises on the Danube river at the picture. These travel between cities like Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. For river cruises inside the city of Budapest, they use much smaller boats.

Do you like the picture? Come to see Budapest for yourself, it is even prettier then!

Egyetem square in Budapest (University square)

Budapest has a lot of hidden treasures, and one of them is the amazing Egyetem square (University square). It can be found between the popular Ferenciek square and Kalvin square, and it is very close to another hidden treasure, the Karolyi garden.

Egyetem tér in Budapest
Egyetem tér in Budapest

The square has been named after the university at the square, the University of Law in Budapest. The University was moved to the location in 1784, and the University of Law has been present here since the start of the 19th century.

The building of the university is really beautiful, and at night it is illuminated, making it even nicer. At the right side of the university (see the picture above), you can see the so-called University Church, also known as the “University Church of St Mary the Virgin.” This is a very special church as it was raised by the only Hungarian Monastic order, the Pauline Fathers (Pálosok). The construction work started at the start of the 18th century, and the first stone of the church was set on the ruins of the destroyed Mosque from the Turkish reign.

By the end of the 18th century, the Pauline Fathers were dissolved by Emperor Joseph II, and the church was given to the university.

The University of Law at Egyetem tér
The University of Law at Egyetem tér

A perfect place for eating

The Egyetem square is a perfect place to grab something to eat. There are many restaurants in the area, and if you want to enjoy a nice wine dinner just next to the square, check this article.

Do not miss out on the square as you walk the streets of Budapest. It for sure deserves a few minutes of your time!

Budapest Christmas market dates 2018

When will the Christmas markets open in Budapest in 2018? When will they close? Where are the most popular Christmas markets located?

We get questions such as these all the time, and especially from people looking to buy plane tickets, but they just want the dates confirmed before they press confirm on the booking page. So, what are the dates for the Christmas markets in Budapest in 2018?

Christmas market dates 2018

You will find lots of dates on other websites, but the truth is, no official dates have been given yet. So, it is impossible to know the dates for the Christmas market at Vörösmarty square, and for the Christmas market by the St. Stephen’s Basilica.

But, if you want to know something, then December is a safe month to visit Budapest. Both markets will for sure be open throughout December. The real question is when they will open in November. Based on the earlier years it could be that the market at Vörösmarty square will open already on the November 9-10-11 weekend, but if not then, almost for sure at the following weekend. The market by the St. Stephen’s Basilica is most likely to open on the November 23-24-25 weekend.

But, these are guesses made on the activities in the last years. We will update the article once we have the final dates. You can read more information in general about the Christmas markets in Budapest right here.

Can I pay with Bitcoin in Budapest?

bitcoin in budapestWould you like to pay with Bitcoin during your trip to Budapest? Is it possible? Are there many stores and restaurants in which you can pay with Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the biggest and most famous cryptocurrency in the world. But, that does not mean that it is the best for doing small purchases. If you would like to make a purchase of a cup of coffee in Budapest paying with Bitcoin, you will most likely end up paying a higher transaction fee than the price for the purchase itself. But, let us not jump ahead too quickly. Because, in order to pay such a high transaction fee, you first need to find a place accepting Bitcoin in Budapest, and that might be harder than you think.

If you search the Internet for information about places in Budapest that accept Bitcoin, you will find a couple of names, but no important places, meaning that you can most likely forget about your cryptocurrencies while in Budapest, and spend some FIAT instead. What is FIAT? That is a currency issued by a government, like for example, the Hungarian Forint. Even though you cannot spend your BTC in Budapest, you can still have fun with it. Why not visit CoinMarketCap or check Blockfolio on your mobile to see how your cryptos are progressing. You can also visit one of the popular crypto-exchanges online to do some trading, and hopefully finance your trip to Budapest with money earned as you do some day-trading during your lunch break in Budapest?

Really eager to use your cryptos in Budapest?

If you are totally devastated by the lack of places accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Budapest, you might want to attack the problem in a different way. Maybe you should get yourself a payment card which will work as a VISA/MasterCard, but you will use your Bitcoin (or other currency) as you use it. Doesn’t that sound cool? There are several companies working with this, and some of the most famous are Monaco and TenX.

If you want to find a Bitcoin ATM in Budapest, then one can be found in Anker Klub, and another one not far from Anker Klub, outside the Regency Suites Hotel at the Madach Imre square. If you first visit this area, you might find it nice to know that Anker Klub is one of the few places in Budapest that actually accept payments with Bitcoin.

Places accepting Bitcoin in Budapest

  • Anker Klub
  • Paprika Hostel

Do you know a place accepting Bitcoin in Budapest? Please write a comment beneath, and we will add it to this list, and hopefully, it will become long and comprehensive as time flies! If you find a place on the list above supposed to accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, that doesn’t, please write a comment to let us know, and we will remove it from the list.

Hungarian Grand Prix 2017 – dates and tickets

The most popular weekend of the year in Budapest is the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. In the end of July the best Formula 1 racers in the world come to Budapest to compete at Hungaroring, so also in 2017.

The main race during the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2017 will be arranged on July 30th. There will be qualification races on July 28th and July 29th, but the big final will be held on July 30th. If you want to be there, then you can buy tickets for the event from Viagogo.

It is worth noticing, that you should book your Budapest hotel as soon as possible, because prices go up and rooms are sold out quickly after the announcement of the dates for the Hungarian Grand Prix. You will for sure find rooms in hotels close up to the event as well, but if you want to find the hotel room of your dream stay in Budapest, then you better hurry up!

Hungarian Formula 1
Hungarian Formula 1

In 2016 Lewis Hamilton won the race in Budapest (for the fifth time), but can he do so again in 2017? He is currently the most winning driver at Hungaroring (with five victories), one more than Michael Schumacher. Last year he not only won the race in Budapest, he also won the Grand Prix in total. Are you coming to Budapest to cheer for Lewis Hamilton or some other driver?

What else to do in Budapest?

There are lots of other programs available in Budapest, but you better hurry up if you want to enjoy a river cruise, a brewery visit, a wine tasting or maybe a private guided tour in Budapest during the event. You can read about such activities here in our Budapest Guide, so look around and contact us as soon as possible if we can help you out in any way!

 

FINA World Championship in Budapest 2017

In the time between July 14th and July 30th Budapest and Hungary will be invaded by the worlds best swimmers and lots of supports.

The FINA World Championships were not actually supposed to be arranged in Budapest, but after the winning bid which was made by Mexico, didn’t want to arrange the event after all, then the sport-loving Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orban said that Hungary could fix it instead. Since then a brand new arena has been built, the Danube Arena, just a bit to the north of the Arpad Bridge, and together with the Hajos Alfred arena at the Margaret Island and the Balaton Lake, these will be the venues in use during the event.

Just like during the Summer Olympics, the water events will be divided into two periods. The water polo competitions will be running all the time at the Margaret Island, but in the Danube Arena the World Championship will start with synchronized swimming and diving, and then followed by swimming in the end.

Fina World Championships 2017

Who will the Hungarians cheer for?

The most popular Hungarian swimmer at the moment is Katinka Hosszu. She won three gold medals during the Summer Olympics in Rio, and the chances are great that she wants to win even more as she competes at home in Hungary. There are even more Hungarian swimmers capable of winning medals during the event, for example Laszlo Cseh.

Be aware of this!

You should be aware of the fact that there will be loads of traffic in Budapest during this event, and this summer the Chain Bridge will also be closed down due to maintenance work. We therefore expect there to be a sort of traffic chaos in town, not only during the FINA World Championship, but throughout the entire summer. If you want to buy tickets for the event, then you should hurry up, at least if you want to grab some good seats for your favorite events. For those who want to stream the event online, the following guide can help you out.

What else to do in Budapest?

Have you thought about what you are going to do in Budapest when there is nothing happening in the arenas? Are you looking for some cool activities? Here are some of our suggestions:

  • If you like sports (and the FINA World Championship), you might be an athlete yourself. Go for a run around the Margaret Island and enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful running track.
  • Feel thirsty after cheering for your favorite athlete? Join us on our brewery visit where you can taste Hungarian beers, get lots of local food and taste the Hungarian fruit spirit.
  • If you want to enjoy a good dinner an evening, then visit a wine cellar restaurant where we arrange a five course dinner with six glasses of wine. This is in the center of Budapest, and is available every single day.
  • Discover Budapest on one of our guided tours with a private English speaking guide.

You can read more about these and lots of other Budapest activities here in our Budapest Guide. If you have any comments or questions, use the comment field beneath!