Blue Danube – 2017 – Budapest Schedule – Sept 23-28

Sept 23

Climb Gellert Hill – Gellért Hill is a 140-m high dolomite rock rising above the Danube in Buda. – 2-3 hours

Gellert Hill received its name after bishop Gellért who came to Hungary from Italy around 1000 AD. King St. Stephen invited him to help converting the Hungarians into Christianity. Some resisting pagans rolled him down the hill in a barrel into the Danube in 1046. A large statue, holding a cross in his right hand, commemorates the bishop on the northeastern slope of the hill, facing Erzsébet híd (Elizabeth Bridge).

View from the hill


Pagony – The Most Unusual Eatery in the City

Address: Kemenes utca 10., district XI.
Open: Mon-Sun: 10.00-23.00


St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest, is dedicated to Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen.

About 8 500 people can get in the beautiful Neoclassical cathedral at the same time. Apart from its vastness, the Basilica offers some unique attractions:

It houses Hungary’s most sacred treasure, St. Stephen’s mummified right hand, the Szent Jobb (Holy Right Hand). Go up the cupola and take in the view of whole Budapest from above!

Great Synagogue, the largest functioning synagogue in Europe.

Sept 24

Bath/Spa day – alternate, shopping, museum

Sept 25

Hungarian Cooking Class- Culinary Hungary

9:00 – 11:00 Market and tasting tour at the Central Market Hall, we select fresh ingredients needed for the cooking class. Also, we sample Hungarian specialties.

11:15 We arrive at our apartment. While we review the recipes you are served some Hungarian home-made fruit brandy.

11:30-13:30 Cooking time. Under our careful eye you prepare the dishes you chose. Soup, main course, dessert.

Goulash Soup
Chicken Paprika with Noodles
Poppyseed Bread Pudding


Visit bar/music venue

Sept 26

Aquincum – alternate, museum other day trip

Sept 27

Transportation to the airport

Sept 28 – Fly home

Blue Danube – 2017 – Budapest Schedule suggestion Sept 20-22

Sept 20
Breakfast and leave the ship

Get cabs to apartment
Check in to our Castle District apartment

Lunch – nearby and buy some basic groceries? if we want to eat breakfast at home or do any cooking??

Unpack, wash clothes  – at least for those staying longer?? – Or start touring… walk to St Stephens Basilica and Great Synagogue

Kasca Restaurant – Hungarian food (recommended by Agnes, an Airbnb host)
Walk (weather permitting) is a little under a mile and along the river – will be beautiful at night – bring your cameras! – 20 min walk north of apartment (less than a mile) – Gypsy music starting at 7.

Schedule depends on what we saw on quick walking tour with BackRoads the day before.  Possibly move up St Stephens Basilica or Great Synagogue

Sept 21 – BUDA
Buda Castle

Built in the 13th century, the first castle was located on the south spur of Castle Hill to provide protection from attacks by Mongols and Tartars. The current incarnation of Buda Castle (sometimes called the Castle Palace) is a massive 18th-century Neo-Baroque-style structure of more than 200 rooms. These are arranged in a symmetrical layout around the 62-meter-high central dome facing the Danube. The castle was badly damaged in WWII, but much of the exterior has been restored. Although the interior was stripped and destroyed during the war, parts are open to the public, and these contain its museums and galleries: the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the Széchenyi National Library.

Outside the castle walls, a number of Turkish tombstones can still be seen, while in front of the domed building, facing the Danube, stands a bronze equestrian statue representing Prince Eugene of Savoy, a hero for having opposed the Turks. This entire historic landmark is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

History Museum/Art Gallery – 2 hours for grounds/views/gardens
more for museums
Matthias Church – Matyas Templom – 1 hour

A prominent sight in Budapest, Matthias Church (also known as The Church of Our Lady) was completed in 1269. Reflecting a distinctly Baroque style, this Catholic Church served as a mosque during the Turkish reign. Its side aisles were extended and given polygonal ends in the 14th century, when the magnificent south doorway with its relief depicting the Death of Mary was added. In 1309, Charles Robert of Anjou was crowned King Charles I of Hungary here. Under King Matthias, after whom the church is named, side-chapels were added, together with an oratory for the royal family and a new south tower bearing the arms of Matthias Corvinus, dated 1470. In 1867, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and his consort Elisabeth were crowned rulers of Hungary here (Franz Liszt composed the famous coronation mass for the occasion). Point of interest – Franz Liszt would be known as Liszt Ferenc, they use last name first.

Fisherman’s Bastion – 2 hours

Behind the Matthias Church, at the exact spot where the local fishermen’s guild built their defense installations in the Middle Ages, is the spectacular Fisherman’s Bastion. Built between 1895 and 1902, its seven towers, colonnades, and embrasures were designed in Neo-Romanesque style by Frigyes Schulek. From here, you’ll find some of the best views over the city and the Danube. In the north courtyard of the bastion stand two statues of the monks Julianus and Gellért (Károly Antal, 1937), while in the south courtyard stands a bronze equestrian statue of St. Stephen (Szent István), the first King of Hungary (A. Stróbl, 1906). The plinth includes four lions, and the reliefs on the sides depict scenes from Stephen’s life.

Chain Bridge

and at night

Wine Tasting – Faust Wine Cellar, Buda Castle (also recommended by Agnes from Airbnb)

Sept 22 – PEST
Old & New Budapest (Pest)

Liberty Square and Liberty Bridge – 1 hour

The new monument dedicated to the victims of the German occupation of Hungary during WW II

The new monument dedicated to the victims of the German occupation of Hungary during WW II is seen at Szabadsag (Liberty) square in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, July 20, 2014. In the middle of the night and guarded by police, workers have set up the main elements of the disputed memorial to the 1944 occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany. The memorial meant to commemorate all victims of the German invasion, which also resulted in the deportation of over 430,000 Hungarian Jews to death camps like Auschwitz, has been widely criticized by Jewish groups and others, mainly because it is seen as an effort to downplay Hungarians’ role in the Holocaust. (AP Photo/MTI, Noemi Bruzak)

Liberty bridge offers many chances for beautiful photo ops!


Central Market (AKA Great Market Hall) if not on 20th

Hungarian National Museum?  – 2 hours



Best Sunset watching spots –

Includes Pest Quay, Fisherman’s Bastion, Elizabeth Tower on Janos Hill, Urania Observatory on Gellert Mountain, Liberty Bridge, Aria Hotel’s High Note SkyBar,

Best places for Live Music in Budapest –

Aszú étterem – good Hungarian Food, (wild boar) – on Pest Side near St Stephens Basilica – live music (classic?)
Sas u. 4.  1051
Jedermann Cafe – good food, live jazz
Ráday u. 58 – Pest side further south
St Stephens – Classic concerts – but website not updated for a year…


Sept 23 – Bill and Kathy to airport.

Transportation to the airport
Through our host or

Blue Danube – 2017 – Budapest Info

The only official currency in Hungary is the Forint. Euros, or even Dollars or Sterling may be accepted by some tourist businesses, but very seldom at a reasonable exchange rate. Credit cards are commonly but not universally accepted. Exchange rate Feb 2017 – 1 HUF = .00349 US$

Budapest is pronounced “Buda-pesht”. Left side of the Danube (West) is Buda and right side is Pest.  A little like Mpls/St Paul.

Apartment is on the Buda side.

Apartment address

Dísz tér 8 23-24
Budapest 1014

This consists of two apartments with doors right next to each other. One with one bedroom and sleeping room in the living room. The other has two bedrooms and one bed in the living room.  I plan on the bigger one for Bill and me, Kevin and Judy and Tim. Smaller one for Vanderwalls, Mike and Marcia. We have to vacate the smaller one on the last day so figure probably easiest to put the ones staying less time in the smaller one. But it can be rearranged too once we see it and which one has better sleeping in the living room for two people.

This is the best I could do without either getting two rentals further apart or one bigger one that had dorm like rooms with 4-5 beds in each room and cost more.

Because we had to rent a larger one to accommodate all nine of us, I am just splitting the cost by nine. So $220/person for their stay.