Is it dangerous to travel on the river Danube in Budapest?

During the summer of 2019, a terrible accident happened on the river Danube as a ship with more than 20 passengers sank after a collision with another boat. This leads many people to ask whether or not it is actually safe to do a river cruise in Budapest? Here you will find the answers and the information you need!

If you have ever seen a picture of Budapest, you have most likely seen the beautiful Danube as well. It is amazing as it divides the city of Budapest into Buda and Pest, and it can be crossed on one of many bridges. The most famous of the bridges is the Chain Bridge, the first bridge that was built. It was finished in 1849. But, do you know why it took such a long time for a bridge to be constructed at all? Because of the current! There is so much water floating down the river at all seconds, making it a much harder river to control than, for example, the Charles Bridge in Prague (a bridge that was built more than 500 years earlier).

Budapest by night - a beauty for the eye and for the soul!
River cruise in Budapest – is it safe?

There is a lot of water passing by at any second, and the normal rate is somewhere between 2500-3000 m3 per second. But, in times of flooding (which it was during the time of the accident), the amount of water can increase to around 6000 m3 per second. The most extreme amount ever measured was more than 10,000 m3 per second.

Swimming in the Danube

The quality of the water in the Danube has improved lately, and at some locations, people do swim in the Danube. But, that is not in the main river, but at smaller extensions of the river without the strong current. There is an annual competition in Budapest where one can swim across the Danube by the Liberty Bridge, but every single participant is followed by a boat in order to be able to pick them up in case they do not manage. In other words, if you do not have great swimming skills, the Danube can be a really scary river.

If you are a great swimmer, it can still be dangerous, especially close to the bridges where underwater currents can pull you down towards the bottom before you are pressed towards the surface once again. During normal circumstances, the deepest parts of the Danube within the borders of Budapest is around 6 meters deep. But, when the river floods, it can easily reach 10 meters and more.

The conclusion is: Do not swim in the Danube when in Budapest, do not even try to swim, and warn any others that even consider getting close to the river.

River Cruise Budapest

What about a river cruise in Budapest?

There are many river cruises available in Budapest, and lots of companies working with providing awesome tours that give tourists fantastic memories. You never hear much about them, simply because they get no attention, and because there are no accidents. The only time you hear about them is when something happens. Luckily, that is very seldom, and that is why you never heard about it before the accident on May 29th in 2019.

As long as you stay on the ship (and not in the water), there is no problem and no need to worry before you board a river cruise in Budapest. The ships are also well equipped, meaning there are safety vests available for all passengers. During the accident on May 29th, things went so fast that they didn’t have time to get any such equipment. The accident was caused by human error, something that might just as well happen on a bus, in a taxi, or in an airplane.

The conclusion is: You shouldn’t worry at all about taking a river cruise in Budapest. It is very safe, the boats are controlled and well-equipped, and it will give you a memory for a lifetime as you enjoy the view and the food/drinks served on board.

Maybe it sounds dangerous considering the strong current. Of course, it does. But, doesn’t it sound dangerous to sit in a box of metal at 10,000 meters? Wouldn’t be fund to fall out from there either, would it? In other words, stay on the plane and stay on the boat, and you will be safe and have an enjoyable time!

What are your thoughts/questions?

These are some pure facts and thoughts related to whether or not it is safe to go on a river cruise in Budapest. Do you have some experience that you would like to share? Or do you have a question related to the river Danube or some specific river cruise in Budapest? Write your question or comment in beneath!

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?

Is it possible to do river cruises on the Danube now?

Yesterday we received a question from one of our website visitors asking whether it is possible to do river cruises on the river Danube in Budapest this summer due to the flood.

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Everything is back to normal state in Budapest and has been so for 5-6 days. Again this means that all river cruise boats are operating as usual with normal schedules and programs. All roads near the Danube are open for traffic, which again means that taxis, buses and cars can drive you all the way to the different boats.

Enjoy Budapest 2013
Enjoy Budapest during the summer of 2013 – also on the Danube!

All in all everything is set  and ready so that you can enjoy your summer holiday in Budapest in 2013. If there is something you should be warned about it is that the amount of mosquito’s in Budapest often rise quite a lot of floods, and based on observations the last few days it seems to be true in 2013 as well.

Where can I find the schedule for the Hungarian State Opera?

Thank you for the question. If you want to find a schedule and buy tickets for the Hungarian State Opera I recommend that you visit Jegymester. There you will find an overview of performances and you will also be able to order tickets online for any performance.

Notice that the Hungarian State Opera has a long summer break so from end of May/June until end of September there are no performances available in the State Opera. If you still want to visit the building there are guided tours every day at 15.00 and 16.00 in this period!

Enjoy and hope you find what you are looking for.

Ask your Budapest question!

Cezanne exhibition opening hours and ticket price

I’m interested in Cezanne exhibition in Museum of fine arts in Budapest. Which are the days and hours when this museum is open and what are the costs of the tickets?

Thank you for the question. You can read further information about the exhibition in our special article about the Paul Cezanne exhibition in Budapest. The entrance fee if you pay full price is 3200 HUF per adult. If you buy the tickets online beforehand the price is 3000 HUF.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest where the exhibition can be seen is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10.00-18.00, but the ticket desks close one hour before closure. On Thursdays the museum has a longer opening time and is normally open until 22.00 in the evening.

Enjoy the exhibition and enjoy your stay in Budapest.

Ask your Budapest question!

Where do Hungarians go to do winter sports?

I am going to move to Hungary, but I am wondering where I can continue doing winter sports, as I am a big winter sport lover. Thanks for all your help!

Luxury Ski Deals
Luxury Ski Deals

This is a good question, and we thank you for asking it. First of all it is not a coincidence that Hungarians now very little about Winter Olympics, and you will never see a winter Olympics broadcast at the normal national television in Hungary. The reason is that they are not really even there, and the results are not at all good. The main reason is that there are very few places in Hungary ideal for practicing and for winter sports in general. Still, if the Hungarians want to do some ski sports, the poor and easy version is to visit Normafa in Budapest. Here you can do some sliding and normal skiing is also possible.

For those interested in luxury ski deals we normally recommend to leave Hungary and travel to Austria. There you can find large areas and skiing opportunities. One such option is for example to visit Semmeringen. Here you can find 14 kilometres of ski runs during the day, 13 kilometres of ski runs at night, 3 kilometres Zaug adventure toboggan run, Split Park for Snowboarders and Free-style skiers, Kinderareal, Fast, comfortable lifts, FIS world cup arena and of course bars, hotels, restaurants and lots of other cool activity possibilities.

Another option only 350km from Budapest is Annaberg. There you can find different length of ski tracks (4-20km) and the alpine runs have a height difference of 600metres. It is also family friendly making it ideal for families coming with smaller children. The alpine area has a total of 9 elevators. The price for a day ticket is about 30 Euro per person, but if you come with children under 6 years they go free in company with an adult. Annaberg also has a small childrens land, making it even more attractive for the little ones.

These are just some suggestions, but for some good deals on such programs, you better go abroad, and the most luxurious and popular versions can be found in Austria.

Is there a hop on hop off bus in Budapest?

Is there a hop on hop off bus in Budapest ? And if, what route does it go.

First of all, thank you for the question. Of course there are hop on-hop off buses in Budapest, in fact there are several companies arranging such tours. The largest companies are Program Centrum (Hop on – Hop off tours) and City Tour Hop on Hop off Kft (Giraffe Hop on Hop off). The newest on the market in The Big Bus Company with their Big Bus tours.

The companies have somewhat different routes, but the main stops are all the same. This means that they all stop at the Gellért Hill, the Castle Hill (Disz tér), by the Elisabeth square, Parliament, State Opera, Synagogue, Heroes Square, Citypark and so on. You can find more information about the different companies at their respective homepages, but in general all three companies work fine and should be pleasing to most visitors. What makes the difference is sometimes what kind of extra services they include if you buy a ticket for their hop on-hop off service.

Good luck!

If you want a private tour in Budapest or maybe an excursion to Szentendre visit our page about Tours and fun where you can see all the different private tours in our register.

May I pay for your airport transfer service in Euros or must I convert to Forints?

Thank you for the question! It is possible to pay our drivers in Euro, but normally recommend arranging with the payment in the local currency, the Hungarian Forint. The reason is that on the fly our drivers will always say a higher Euro fee than the actual HUF fee, making it better to pay with Forint. Since you anyway need HUF to pay in shops and restaurants elsewhere in Budapest, you should just as well arrange with getting the local currency at once, thus being able to pay our drivers as well with Hungarian Forint.

If you still want to pay with Euro, ask the drier for the current rate.

Related questions:

Do you have the dates for the 2013 Budapest Wine Festival?

Thank you for the question. As we received your question we did not really have the answer to your question, but after digging around and writing to the people arranging the Budapest Wine Festival we got an answer. In 2012 the Wine Festival will be arranged from September 12th to 16th, and according to the information we have been given it will be arranged from September 11th-15th in 2013. So, if you have the chance it is just to make ready, order your flight tickets and the hotel, and get ready for a wonderful wine festival in Budapest in 2013 as well.

The International Wine Festival is in fact one of the most popular festivals arranged in Budapest and Hungary every year. You can not compare it to a festival such as the Sziget Festival, which is an event with live music and concerts and with a totally different focus, but as a inner city festival with champagne and wine in focus, this is far larger than similar festivals such as the Palinka and Sausage festival and other cool festivals.

For more information about the wine festival, we suggest you visit the festival we have dedicated to the wine festival which can be found at the following page.

The wine festival is normally arranged in the Castle area of Budapest, on the terrace in front of the castle looking towards the Danube and on the backside of the Castle where you can find the Buda hills. This is also the area leading into the main entrance to the Szechenyi Library and the Budapest History Museum.

Ask your Budapest question!

What is the price of a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt in Budapest?

I am going to Budapest and would like to buy a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt while there. How much does it cost?

There are quite a lot of products you can buy in the Hard Rock shop in Budapest, but if you want to buy the traditional short armed Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts with white or black color the price is 7700 HUF per t-shirt. If you are new to Budapest and do not really know how much this price is in other currencies, then we can tell you that with the actual exchange rates of today this is:

6500 HUF is in American Dollars about 31USD. If you come from Great Britain and London then the price is about 20GBP (Sterling). For those located within in a country with Euro the price is approximately 25 Euro. This may of course change from time to time, but currently the HUF is very strong, but that can change within days, and then the price of the Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt will feel cheaper to people arriving from abroad.

Most people buy Hard Rock t-shirts because they collect. If you don’t then you should probably not buy one in Budapest, because the price is really high. If you go to other stores you will find normal t-shirts at much lower prices, so you can probably buy 2 t-shirts for the same price as the t-shirt from Hard Rock Cafe. But if you collect, then money is not a question, and of course you should buy a t-shirt!

Good luck, and we hope this answer can help you!

Ask your Budapest question!