Take the road less traveled and discover Europe’s most unique city - Budapest! Hungarians have their own distinct language, local flair, hospitality, and absolute love of life. Beautiful architecture, eccentric art, thermal bath houses, impressive nightlife, and a very friendly exchange rate put Budapest high up on the list of must-sees for anyone familiar with Europe. Enjoy the beauty of Budapest on a river cruise, explore deep into the city’s underground caves, party all night in one of the massive clubs, and recover the next day in their famous bath houses. Live it up in Budapest! This trip typically departs Santa Maria Novella station at 21:00 Thursday night and arrives first thing Friday morning between 9:00 and 10:00.
*Please note that, although rare, departure times are subject to change.
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The trip departs Florence from the Santa Maria Novella train station. The meeting point is in the International Ticketing Hall opposite tracks 8 and 9. Please meet your trip leader 20 minutes prior to departure.
Travel to Budapest is by private luxury coach with A/C, DVD, and bathroom. We make one 45 minute stop.
Friday morning we meet for a 3 hour walking tour of Budapest with a professional Hungarian guide who grew up in Communist Hungary. Breakfast will be served prior to the walking tour. The walking tour is a great introduction to the city and Magyar history and culture. Major sights on the tour include St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge, Parliament building, Castle Hill/Royal Palace, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. The tour is subject to arrival time and maybe switched to Saturday. If it is switched, your trip leader will show those interested to the Great Market Hall or one of the thermal bath houses.
The afternoon is free to explore Budapest and its many activities. Bus2alps reccommends going Caving, joining the Communist Walking Tour or taking a walk down the Danube river.
In the evening your trip leader can recommend some great local places for dinner, and then head to check out some of the famous ruin pubs and underground clubs that Budapest is known for.
Today your trip leader will organize an optional trip to the famous Szechenyi Baths, located near Heroes Square. This is a traditional Hungarian experience you won't want to miss! After, your trip leader will lead you down Andrassy Utca, Budapest’s version of the Champs-Elysees. There is also the House of Terror, or the Art Gallery Museum. You can also visit the Great Market Hall to try its great local cuisine and do some souvenir shopping. Get there early as the Hall closes down at 14:00 on Saturday.
Saturday night you’ll have the option to go on a Danube River Cruise, which is a great way to see a different view of the city with beautiful views of the buildings and bridges lit up against the water at night. There is also a delicious Hungarian buffet on the boat. Or at night you are free to try one of the many restaurants in the area. Your trip leader will let you know what time to meet at the hostel to head to our favorite ruin bars!
Sunday morning we meet in the hostel lobby for departure to Florence. We will make one stop 45 minute stop for dinner.
Budapest Walking Tour: The top walking tour in Budapest, the Hungarian guides give a fantastic account of early Hungarian histor, in addition to life in Communist and Post-Communist Hungary.
Caving: Get a little dirty exploring the labyrinth of the Matyas cave system of Budapest. During this 3-hour tour you get to climb on walls, crawl through narrow passages, and see just what is going underneath the city. Be sure to bring boots or tennis shoes.
Danube River Dinner Cruise: A scenic boat ride along the river with stunning views of Parliament and the castle as you dine on a delicious dinner buffet while listening to live music and sipping a complimentary glass of champagne.
Thermal Baths: The cave system below Hungary was created by the movement of natural springs below the city. Join the Hungarians in their love of relaxing in one of the dozens of thermal baths scattered throughout the city, fed by their natural springs.
Communist Walking Tour: This free (guides work off tips) tour gives a complete history of life in Communist and Post-Communist Budapest and highlights important locations involved in the struggle against Communism.