Tihany at Lake BalatonTihany at Lake Balaton

Day 1

After arrival a half day city tour in Budapest (Buda side).

In the afternoon you will enjoy a sightseeing tour (on foot) in the historical Castle District in Buda side. The historical quarter of the capital is located on a hill and is surrounded by an ancient wall. The guests have the possibility to visit the Matthias Church and the Fishermen’s Bastion, which offers a beautiful panorama of the city.

Dinner in a restaurant with folklore program or in the hotel.

Overnight in Budapest.

Day 2   

Half day city tour in Budapest (Pest side) 

After breakfast in the hotel you will visit of the most important sights on the Pest side, like St. Stephen’s Basilica (inside), the Heroes’ Square with the Millennium Monument (photo stop) the famous public buildings along the Danube (Parliament, Academy of Sciences, universities, bridges) .

Afterwards a visit of the Great Market Hall follows and then a lunch in a restaurant near the Market Hall.

In the afternoon an excursion to Gödöllő (30 km from the capital), where the largest baroque castle in Hungary awaits you. It is famous for its extraordinary history and unique architecture.

Its designer – Antal Grassalkovich – was one of the most important Hungarian aristocrats of the 18th century, the man of confidence of Maria Teresa. The castle – with its bright hall of honor in white and gold colors, its frescoed rooms, its marble-tiled bath, flower pavilion, carousel, baroque theater, as well as its huge park – was the representation of the seigniorial lifestyle of the time.

After an interesting visit in the castle a 30-minute travel back to Budapest, where a relaxing stay at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath follows.

This is one of the largest thermal complexes in Europe and the first bath on the Pest side of the city, inaugurated in 1913, in neo-Renaissance style.

Dinner and overnight in the hotel in Budapest.

Day 3   

Danube Bend Tour

The picturesque and historic town of Szentendre lies 20 kilometres from Budapest, on the bank of the Danube. A population of ethnic Serbs settled here in the 17th century. They built their baroque and rococo style houses which offer this place unique atmosphere even today. Szentendre has always been a popular place for artists. One part of this special atmosphere is given to the town by the big colony of artists whose gallery and exhibitions are open to the public. One of most frequently visited museum is the Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum. Here is the Marzipan Museum to visit as well.

Guests have some time at disposal to wonder around the small settlement, visit some of the museums, have a coffee at one of the many confectionaries or simply go souvenir-shopping.

Visit of the Open Air Museum Skanzen

Enter into the spirit of the countryside as it was at the end of the 19th century! Handicraft masters work in the houses and yards, sheep bleat in the detached farmstead, the water mill is crushing grain, and the delicious smell of strudel comes from the bakery…

The Hungarian Open Air Museum – the largest Skanzen in Hungary –, which is 20 km from Budapest and situated in the unique and natural surroundings of the Duna-Ipoly National Park presents the architectural characteristics, way of life and traditions of different Hungarian regions. The buildings are arranged just like they were in the original villages, and you can get to know the daily lives of adults and children through the objects they used.

Walking around the museum “villages” visitors can not only observe buildings and objects, but they can also try the various household activities and outdoor games the peasants were doing. You can learn canvas painting, life in the smoke house, how to make candles, traditional Hungarian honey-cookie making, weaving-spinning etc. If you get tired, you can hop on one of the horse-carriages. In the area of the Alföld region, there is a great restaurant where you can taste the traditional Hungarian recipes.

Lunch in the restaurant of Skanzen.

Continue to Visegrád, the former residence of Hungarian Kings. Here you can admire the magnificent panorama from the Fortress of Visegrád. Finally travel to Esztergom, to the oldest royal and ecclesiastical residence. Visit the Cathedral, which is the most important basilica of the country. 

Dinner and overnight in the hotel in Budapest.

Day 4: Lake Balaton      

After breakfast travel to the Lake Balaton.

On the way visit the cities of Veszprém (115 km from Budapest) and Herend (15 km from Veszprém).

Veszprém is one of the oldest towns in Hungary and it also gives home to exceptional treasures of Hungarian church history. People call it “The City of Queens”, because it was the bishop of Veszprém, who crowned the Hungarian queens.

Walk through the Gate of Heroes to the Fire Tower, then to the Archbishop’s Archives and Library in the beautiful Baroque Archbishop’s Palace. Continue to the Gothic Gizella Chapel, the St. George Chapel and the Queen Gizella Museum. From the Castle, which overlooks the city, there is a stunning view of a slender viaduct that bridges the green valley.

Herend brand is one of the largest manufactures of porcelain in the world and the workshops are located in a small town just half an hour from Hungary’s largest lake, Lake Balaton, in the romantic setting of the mountains Bakony. The Herend Porcelain Manufactory is part of Europe’s Cultural Heritage.

After a guided tour through the porcelain manufactory, (founded in 1826), enjoy a coffee break at the ’Porcelanium’.

Then we continue to the peninsula of Tihany (40 km from Veszprém) and visit the Abbey of Tihany, which is a prominent example of a church serving the private representation of its royal founder. Its crypt has preserved its original, eleventh-century construction and the sepulchral monument of its founder, András I. The foundation charter of the abbey is of exceptional importance from linguistic point of view, since it is the earliest written record extant of the Hungarian language.

Then we can make a walk among the village museum houses, the Fishermens’ House and the Pottery are also worth to visit.

The group can participate on a bread / salty cake baking program and make a horse carriage ride.

Walking in Tihany and Balatonfüred, the centre of thermal springs of Balaton. The group can enjoy a nice boat trip from /to Balatonfüred.

Overnight and dinner in a hotel in Tihany or Balatonfüred.

Day 5: Visit of Pécs        

In the morning travel to Pécs. (ca. 2,5 hours) and then city tour in Pécs.

This city in the South of the country is rich in historical monuments. Visit of the ancient cathedral (from the 11th century) and an ancient Christian chapel (from the 4th century) with its mural paintings. Walk in the centre of the university town (known for its Turkish monuments). Visit of the only Turkish mosque (called Dzsami), which is still working today: the mosque of the Jokovali Hasszan Pasha.

Inner visits:

The Cella Septichora (i.e. a “chapel with seven choirs or apses”) is one – and so far the biggest known – building of the Late Roman / Early Christian necropolis of the Ancient Sopianae, the administrative seat of the praises (governor) of the Province of Valeria. The chapel was constructed at the very end of the 4th but maybe even the beginning of the 5th century A.D.

The group can visit The Zsolnay Museum, which is famous for its beautiful porcelain collection.

The next station is the CathedralOriginally built in the 11th century by Bishop St. Maurice, this four-towered cathedral has been destroyed and rebuilt more than once like many buildings during wars. In the bishop cellar of the Cathedral the group can taste a glass of wine.

Our journey leads us to an amazing “champagne” tasting tour, where you will not only learn about the history of Hungary’s oldest quality sparkling wine, but you can also taste it while you are discovering the 2 km long cellar system under the building.

The tour is a memorable experience, but please be prepared that the temperature in the cellar won’t be higher than 14 degrees Celsius / 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Overnight and dinner in a hotel in Pécs.

Day 6   

After breakfast, travel to Kalocsa (120 km from Pécs), the Episcopal see of one of the four Catholic archbishops of Hungary. Amongst its buildings are a fine cathedral, the archiepiscopal palace, an astronomical observatory, a seminary for priests, and colleges for training teachers.

The sightseeing tour of the city includes a visit the Paprika Museum and an organ concert in the cathedral.

The next station is Lajozsmizse (95 km from Kalocsa), where you can spend an unforgettable day in the Puszta, where you are welcomed with a “pálinka”. Afterwards you can enjoy the great performance of the famous horsemen and a carriage ride through the Puszta and also a typical Hungarian meal served in the „csárda” in the accompaniment of gipsy music.

Travel forward to Kecskemét (20 km from the “Csárda”).

What means whisky for a Scotish, cognac for a French, “pálinka” means the same for Hungarians. In the area of Kecskemet making apricot brandy has great tradition that was first mentioned in written form in the turn of 18th and 19th century.

If you are in Kecskemét, a visit in the Zwack Pálinka Manufactory is a must. During the visit you can see the old distillery that was built in the beginning of the 20th century, the modernised distillery and the bottling unit with manual and mechanized bottling machinery. As the peak point of the tour you are offered a professional tasting by a “pálinka” master.

Afterwards a walking tour in the home town of the famous apricot brandy, around the Main Square where beautiful historical buildings – like the Hungarian Art Nouveau Municipal Hall, the Fancy Palace, the Kodály Institute, the Old Church, the former Synagogue – can be seen. The region is the home of lush orchards (apricot, peach, grape), while the surrounding prairie-land, the ‘puszta’ is declared as a protected national park.

Overnight and dinner in the hotel in Kecskemét.

Day 7   

After breakfast travel back to Budapest and departure for home.

Discover Budapest and Western Hungary

6 nights / 7 days to discover the capital and the most important places and programs in Western Hungary

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