1. Budapest: Private City Highlights Tour with Pickup
What makes this tour different from any other tours is that we’d like to guide you through the city from a local’s perspective. On our tour we’ll focus on everyday living, small and big things that make Budapest a homey place to live in including its small squares, quirky small shops and we’ll also peep into courtyards to experience what’s behind the façade. We’ll meet at your hotel or place of residence and start to tour there by sharing all the necessary local information you may need to know about your closest environ. After leaving the tourist-frequented areas we’ll end up in District 8 where we start our tour by visiting a courtyard and an apartment in a typical residential building dating back to1898. Afterwards we invite you to see the district as a home for locals including the local market, the nearby old-fashioned restaurant where they change menu daily to satisfy the needs of regulars, but at the same time highlight the miniscule independent enterprises like vintage shops and a feminist gallery, which add a couleur locale to the district. The next off-the beaten track place is Mátyás tér (square), an outstanding positive example of urban rejuvenation by including local residents. The pride of the place is Barbi’s confectionery who makes the best cakes, best ice-cream and best coffee in town, and all this is in a literary environment. Leaving the square, we’ll head for the administrative centre of the district passing amazing Art Nouveau buildings of no special significance in their own time, like the High School of Apprentices which now houses a technical college. After having a glimpse of the District’s Town Hall where all the political decisions are made and locals can arrange their administrative chores, we will see how this part of the city is developing from being the most run-down and prejudiced part of the city into a liveable, affordable and still historical part of Budapest. We’ll come across some horrible Communist architecture, more brand new housing, but also bullet-holed buildings dating back to the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence against the Russians and ending up at Corvin köz, an iconic place for the 1956 Revolution. After leaving the ‘over the boulevard (körút=Ring)’ part of the district, we’ll continue our walk in the nicer part of District 8, deservedly called Palace Quarter since more than ten palaces were built by the ambitious Hungarian aristocracy of the early 19th century. Most of these places are public buildings now due to the whims of our tremulous history. However, we’ll focus on the minor details and highlight for the outsider why seemingly small things mean a lot for locals like plaques you go by without noticing them or a wonderful initiative of SZATYOR, a bio-eco-organic shop in the middle nowhere. We’ll end our tour at the Central Market at the Pest side of Szabadság híd (Liberty Bridge) and enjoy a panoramic view from a new angle.