St. Stephen’s day

On August 20th, the Hungarians celebrate the name day of their first king, King Stephen. This is one of three national holidays in Hungary, but the only one that isn’t related to a revolution or a political riot.

August 20th is the “nicest” of the three holidays in Hungary. People are released from their jobs, and people just relax at home, go on excursions, and have a wonderful time. But, what is happening in the city of Budapest on August 20th?

Fireworks in Budapest on August 20th

Budapest on August 20th

There are quite a lot of minor celebrations in town. There are special celebrations in front of the castle, by the former market (down by the Danube). On this day, people taste the Hungarian bread, they taste the cake of the year in Hungary, and sometimes, there are special performances and flight races in town.

The most important part of the August 20th celebration is the fireworks which last from 21.00 until 21.30. Normally, more than 1 million people enter the streets of Budapest to watch the event (along the Danube), and this is the most unifying celebration in Hungary every year.

What to do in Budapest on August 20th?

As a tourist, you will notice that stores are closed. But, most museums are open, the Szechenyi thermal bath is open, and so are most of the restaurants around town. If you want to enjoy a river cruise, there will be some differences in the timetables due to the fireworks starting at 21.00, but besides that, there isn’t much to think about.

If you need help with an airport transfer, booking of a wine dinner, or maybe some other program, contact us or look around here at for more information!

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!

Flood in Budapest

You have probably heard the news that the Danube and other rivers in Europe are flooding at the moment. In what way might this influence your visit to Budapest?

For most tourists the fact that the Danube is flooding will not influence your stay very much. Life goes on as normal for most people, of course with some exceptions. The Danube is supposed to peak on Sunday/Monday, but already now the water levels are very high. Because of the high water levels the road on both the Pest and the Buda side next to the Danube is standing under water. This will require all drivers to choose other roads, which again will lead to increased traffic and lots of jams in areas and on roads near the Danube. If possible, use public transportation instead.

Most river cruises in Budapest are cancelled in the coming days, because boats will have problems traveling under the bridges because of the amount of water in the Danube.

Hotel guests at the Margaret Island are moved to other hotels, because the idyllic island in the middle of the Danube is very threatened by the flood.

The metro stop Batthyany ter is closed. The metro line is still running, but this stop on the Buda side is closed for passengers.

Except from these things life goes on as normal, and if you are in Hungary and Budapest on June 8th, why not join us on our amazing new wine trip to Eger?

Below you can find a picture from the flood from Pinterest.

Colombus Budapest review

There are some restaurants in Budapest located on great places, and there are those with absolutely perfect locations if you want to enjoy good food accompanied by a beautiful panorama. Colombus is such a place.

Colombus is the name of a boat restaurant located on the Pest side of Budapest on the Danube. The boat doesn’t move, so it is lying still, but with windows looking towards the Buda side and with a terrace giving you a great view towards the Gellert Hill, the Castle of Buda, the Chain Bridge and lots of other Budapest attractions. The location and the view is perfect, but what about the food?

The wiener schnitzel, a traditional main course in Budapest

Colomus Budapest review

At the menu in Colombus you will find quite a lot of fish dishes and some traditional Hungarian dishes. We ordered a fajita with chicken and a traditional Hungarian wiener schnitzel, followed by two desserts. Service was good and the fajita and the wiener schnitzel tasted just the way they are meant to. For dessert we ate a chocolate mousse and a chocolate brownie (we do like chocolate). The brownie with ice cream was great, while the chocolate mousse was average.

Colombus is not only known for great panorama and good food, but they have live music available regularly, salsa evenings and other musical events. Many know the boat as a jazz boat, so if you want to combine good food with live music and wonderful panorama, why not choose Colombus. Next to Colombus you will find Spoon Cafe & Lounge, another restaurant boat. If I had to choose which place to visit of the two I would without hesitation choose Colombus, because based on my own experience I enjoyed my visit to Colombus much more than I enjoyed my two visits to Spoon.

The brownie was a good choice for dessert

The price for the one starter (the fajitas was only a starter), the wiener schnitzel with mashed potatoes and cucumber salad, the two desserts and two drinks was totally around 8500 HUF. I must admit that some people would pay that price for the panorama alone!

Colombus information

1051 Budapest, Vigadó tér, Peer 4

Panorama from the Colombus terrace

Have you been to Colombus yourself? Share your experience and write a comment/review. If you want to make a table reservation in Colombus, use the forms further down

Easter in Budapest

Easter is just around the corner and Budapest is waiting for you with great weather, some wind and lots of cool activities. It is often risky traveling in Easter, because you might end up at a destination where everything is closed and you can not really do anything.

Easter in BudapestIn Budapest there are great activities available every day and a popular activity such as the Szechenyi Thermal Bath is ope every day throughout Easter. When it comes to shopping most shops are closed on April 8th and 9th (Sunday and Monday), but except from that they are open every day. If you are looking for shopping on April 8th and 9th, we suggest that you join us on an excursion to Szentendre.

In Szentendre all shops are open (even on April 8th and 9th) and here you will be able to combine a wonderful atmosphere with wine tasting, shopping, marzipan museum and a little guided tour. Read more about the tour here!

If you are thirsty because of the nice weather you can also come on a brewery visit on April 8th and 9th. The big wine dinner and the excursion to Etyek is also available on these days (and all other days during Easter).

Most Budapest museums are open during Easter, so if you are looking for some knowledge about a special topic, read more about the different Budapest museums. One of the best museums in Budapest, the Museum of Fine Arts is open every day during Easter.

For some Easter is not only about sightseeing, museums and excursions, but it also serves as the foundation for their lives; the belief in the birth, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If that is you, it might be interesting to know that there are several churches where you can attend Easter services in Budapest.

In St. Stephens Basilica there is a service at 10.00 on April 8th, and there are services there at 8.30, 10.00, 12.00 and 18.00 on April 9th. This is the nicest location for an Easter service in Budapest. If you would like to attend a more charismatic church then another church has service at 10.00 on April 8th, while Calvery Chapel has services at 8.00, 10.00 and 12.00 on April 8th.

Budapest is waiting for you with amazing and wonderful Easter programs. Come join us, and enjoy the beauties of the Hungarian capital, some delicious goose liver, and a beautiful panorama on one of the many trips on the Danube.

If you are looking for information on Easter market in Budapest, click on the text. If you would like to go on a river cruise in Prague instead, click here.

Read more about Easter masses in Paris here

Danube opened for boat traffic again

Two days ago we wrote that the Danube has been closed for boat traffic for some days. Now it has been opened again, so if you are ready for a Danube Cruise on the Danube with live music, lunch/dinner and beautiful view – the chance is hereby given. If you are planing to visit London, you can read more about cruises on the River Thames here.

Enjoy Budapest and in these days it seems as if the very cold weather is leaving the Hungarian capital again, so hopefully the spring is waiting for us just around the corner!

No Danube Cruises because of the ice

It is cold in Budapest currently, and because of the cold there is lots of ice on the Danube. And because of the ice there is no boat traffic on the Danube at the moment. It has been so for almost a week, and we expect it to stay the same way for some more days. If you would like to go on a Danube Cruise still, you can do so, only the boat will not move, but stand at the same place. For booking of such a Danube Cruise, go here.

We will come back with an update as soon as the Danube is free of ice and boats are allowed to travel again.

Danube Cruise
Danube Cruise

London DungeonLondon musicals

Last flood pictures for now

Two days ago, early Tuesday, the Danube peaked at 827cm. Now the river is moving back towards normal status, though very slowly. This means that the lower riverside roads will be opened up early next week only, probably! That is unfortunate for everyone with car, as the closed roads lead to even more lines and waiting for innercity drivers. Since the Danube is subsiding this is probably the last post with flood pictures for now, but we hope you will enjoy these pictures.

Earlier flood pictures: pictures 1pictures 2

We will add some more pictures to our Facebook profile, so if you would like to see more, check out Budapest Guide on Facebook!

Floodpictures from Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Even more water in the Danube – pictures

This Friday we posted some pictures showing how much water is in the Danube currently. Since then even more water has arrived, and now it is almost 8 metres above normal level. The carroad running down along the Danube has been closed since Friday afternoon and I guess from tomorrow it will be loads of traffic and long lines for those coming to Budapest with car.

The pictures below were taking Saturday evening, and you can see the Castle in the background, the Chain Bridge and so on!

Budapest flood pictures (June4th, 2010)

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest
Flood in Budapest

Flood in Budapest – pictures

It is raining and raining in Hungary, and all across the country people are suffering because of all the water. Thousands have left their houses and people are “rescued” from their houses by helicopters, almost like action films. But it is reality. Budapest is a city always well prepared against floods, and there are not to serious problems around, but later today the lowest road along the Danube will probably be closed on both the Buda and the Pest side, which will make traffic unbearable, at least if it should happen in the middle of rush hours today.

Below you can see three pictures made today during a guided tour, showing the level of the Danube

Pictures from the flood in Budapest 2013

Hungarian Parliament
Danube in front of the Hungarian Parliament

Flood in Budapest
Water and the Parliament

Flood and Chain Bridge
The Danube at a high level next to the Chain bridge