11 Apr Outside Budapest Tours
Outside Budapest Tours
If you have already explored the inner parts of Budapest or if you feel like getting out of the city but do not want to go too far, my outside Budapest program is cut out for you. We can visit some of the following places in a daytrip or choose one or two spots to visit during a half day program. The choice is yours!
The Danube Bend challenge
Why the Danube Bend?
The Danube Bend (Dunakanyar) is the perfect daytrip destination for those who are ready for the challenge to escape from the city to reach historic towns, beautiful scenery and untouched nature. The area, easily and quickly accessible in the north of Budapest, is one of the favourite recreational destinations of Hungarians, too.
The super green hills of Visegrád, the Pilis and the Börzsöny with the sharply south-turning Danube together create an amazing landscape. The Danube itself also played an important role in Hungary’s history. The west bank cities such as Szentendre, Esztergom and Visegrád are among the oldest settlements in Hungary. The Baroque city of Vác, the botanical gardens of Vácrátót, the beauty of Nagymaros and Zebegény or the neighbouring Pilis and Börzsöny highlands offer a lot to do and see on the east bank of the River Danube, too.
Szentendre and the Szentendre Island
If you hear the word Szentendre it usually rings a bell that there is a lovely town just outside of Budapest, the first pearl of the Danube Bend with its churches, museums, galleries and cafès in Baroque settings, amazing architecture, cobblestoned streets and the city’s picturesque location attracting lots of visitors year by year. Its mediterranean character was preserved to the present day given by the in-settled Serbians, fleeing from the Turkish occupation. Szentendre, named after Saint Andrew, has several unique attractions (churches, museums, e.g. Margit Kovács Ceramics Museum, Caprice Jewelry Manufacture, the Open-air Museum of Ethnography, Szamos Marzipan Confectionery and Museum), and a pretty relaxing vibe. Right. Unquestionable. But does it have an island?
Actually, yes! Located in the River Danube, Szentendre Island can be found between Budapest and the Danube Bend. It awaits visitors ready to explore hidden beauties with
roughly 30 kilometers of rolling meadows, forests, sand dunes giving a home to an amazing flora and fauna: a place full of rare and protected plants and animals. In the little villages such as Kisoroszi, Tahitótfalu, Pócsmegyer and Szigetmonostor you have the feeling that time has stood still. You can horse-ride, travel by horse and cart, go hiking, golfing, strawberry picking or take part in some of the festivals organised by the extensively enthusiastic locals. You can also enjoy first-class meals in restaurants hidden in the island to top the tour with a great experience in Hungarian gastronomy and continue the day with a full belly and kind smiles collected while being served.
The next Danube Bend spot to the north can be Visegrád: you can climb the 750 year-old stones of the medieval, formal, hilltop Residence of the Royals, explore the romantic ruins of the fortification of King Matthias, learn about life in the middle ages and enjoy the stunning view on the Danube Valley.
Picturesque and beautiful Esztergom is often called the Northern gate of Budapest. It is true: just a glance across the River Danube and you can enjoy the breathtaking view over Slovakia. It was once a royal seat as well, similarly to Visegrád.Hungarian kings must have loved the amazing scenery, the green hills along the river and the river itself which was also serving as a strategic defense throughout history. Esztergom is the centre of the Catholic Church with the possibility of visiting the largest cathedral of Hungary, the Esztergom Basilica.
So, whatever way you tell me to organise it-walking, cycling, driving-, and whenever we go, at the time of a festival or just on a quiet weekday, a tour to the Danube Bend is a truly magical visit and one that all of my guests thinking about spending a day outside of Budapest should take!
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