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“Disappointed in the Jewish walk” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Free Budapest Walking Tours

Free Budapest Walking Tours
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$13.26*
and up
Budapest Local Pubs Tour
Ranked #1 of 281 Tours in Budapest
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Insightful and entertaining city walks about history, society, architecture and what Hungarians are actually like. 7 days a week, 9 tours a day. Tours range from General, to Communism, to Jewish themed walking tours with critical and honest local guides. Tours have no fixed prices, based on name-your-own-price system only. Free Spirits. Free Guides. Free Stylers.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Disappointed in the Jewish walk”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

I've decided to leave a review even after reading the condescending response from management in relation to any mediocre reviews received.
Firstly I've done over a dozen free walking tours and perhaps expected way too much.
Whilst we were in Budapest we did all three free tours the company provided. The general was average, the communist walking tour we enjoyed immensely however the Jewish walking tour was a great disappointment.
Our tour guide was rather poor in his command of the English language - fluent, however not accurate or clear. He barely had any proper control of the group and basicaly didn't lead it at all.
People were allowed to wander ahead without him even notifying them that they were going the wrong way. The walk was definitely at a very slow pace; in the end we spent more time in the ruin bar and Jewish book shop than we actually did walking and seeing the sites.
We actually ended up staying in the ruin bar for almost half an hour because he allowed these pushy Germans to get mulled wine after letting them decide for almost ten minutes!
He re-arranged the walking tour as well letting us end at Jewish bookshop instead of the ruin pub.
After having read and heard of emotional stories about this tour I believe we must've missed out on half of it. He only showed us three places to eat in the area; we later found a area on our own in the Jewish district with a better set of restaurants and places to eat.

Another note this is one of the first tour company that I have been pressured into tipping an outrageous amount. They quoted an average monthly salary of 500 Euros yet all three tour guides we had set a "bench mark" of 10 Euros (vaguely saying more or less was okay...); if you calculate how many people go on these tours per day, per week etc I'm quite sure most of the guides would be getting average and even above salaries.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Sherz86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapester1973, Guest Relations Manager at Free Budapest Walking Tours, responded to this review, November 9, 2012
Dear Sherz86,

I'd like to thank for your critical and honest review of our services. I'd like to start with the easier part, by thanking you immensely for your praise of our Communist Tour, and for your appreciation of the General Tour.

As for your critical opinion on the Jewish Tour, I have consulted my both my manager and the tour guide as well before offering a response.

Your complaints are with merit - the tour guide indeed had a challenging day due to private circumstances of his own which shouldn't have affected his performance, but nevertheless they did. For this, we would like to offer our sincerest apologies.

This is not something that would characterize our services, and please rest assured that we are prepared to take whatever measures needed to keep providing the best free public, albeit tip-based, tours in Budapest.

We hope to have you back in Budapest to answer any and all unanswered questions you may have.

With sincere regards,

Aron M.
Guest Relations
The Free Budapest Walking Tours Team + Guides
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Really enjoyed”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

We did both the Afternoon tour and the Communist tour. Both were worth doing. I enjoyed the afternoon one the most as it was so varied however the Communist tour was also worth doing if you have time. The guides were really helpful and gave tips which weren't biased and were actually quite helpful. There was no pressure to pay as it was a 'free' tour but we did give a tip which most people did as everyone really enjoyed it. Def recommend this to anyone going to Budapest.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank 123186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapester1973, Guest Relations Manager at Free Budapest Walking Tours, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear 123186338, our guest from the UK,

We're glad to hear that you really enyjoyed the two tours you took with us, and thanks for sharing this.

It is nice of you to point out that we offer unbiased suggestions of places we personally like in Budapest - this is one of our principles.

With kind regards,

The Free Budapest Walking Tours Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A great way to orientate yourself!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

We took the tour with Bianka and she was fabulous. We enjoyed learning about many aspects of Hungarian life and the information provided about the country's history. The newsletter given at the end of the tour was a nice touch and Bianka was only too happy to answer any questions we had.

Helpful?
Thank KazBuenosAires
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapester1973, Guest Relations Manager at Free Budapest Walking Tours, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear KazBuenosAires,

In the name of all of our guides and Bianka, thank you very much for recommending our tour to other travelers.

The General Tour is a good way to get your bearings upon arrival to Budapest, and to get essential information on Hungarian history.

We hope that we'll see you again on our thematic Communist and Jewish District tours on another day!

With kind regards,

The Free Budapest Walking Tours Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Communist Tour- A necessity!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

On our last afternoon in Budapest we went on the free communist walking tour after spending 3 days exploring the city.
Agnes (and Aron) were our guides and what a fabulous journey and history lesson we had!
The guides grew up in the Communist era so they have a very good grounding of the country and how it has moved through to democracy.The tour was approx 2.5 hours but we did sit in certain areas whilst they spoke to us.
Agnes did not drone on about all her knowledge but stimulated the tour group by asking us questions.
Donations are accepted at the end of the tour as they are not funded in Budapest. You can pay for a funded tour and not get the same passionate information.
As we travelled throughout Europe after leaving Budapest we did another free walking tour plus a paid one (previously booked) and would definetely recommend the free ones (with a good donation) as they are so knowledgable and want to be there.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Jane T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapester1973, Guest Relations Manager at Free Budapest Walking Tours, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear Jane T,

we are grateful for your great review, and for the detail in which you descibed its aspects of value to the travel community.

We'd like to thank you in the name of Agnes, Aron and our entire team of guides for your participation, and we hope to have you back in Budapest once again for something exciting and new.

With special regards,

The Free Budapest Walking Tours Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WI
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Decent enough introduction to the city and Jewish Quarter”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2012

I took two tours (Original Tour and Jewish Quarter) with them because I thought they were decent enough introductions. Very little time to take pictures (it's only a 2.5 hour tour, and the pace is rather fast, so keep up or you will be left behind) and if you stop for a minute, you'll lose the tour group. The tours move very quickly in general, so if you're not in good physical shape, it'll be a pain. They do mention that you can take a bus up to the top on the Buda side (at the beginning of the tour), but once you get to the spot where you could, there's no mention of it and you're made feel like a slacker if you'd like to take public transportation (I may look like I'm in shape, but you can't see asthma). I supposed I could have insisted on it, but the tour guide was so far ahead of me (I was at the end of the group because the tour was moving so quickly and if you take a picture, you pretty much have to run to catch up). So I walked up the hill with the rest of the group (should have insisted on the bus).
As far as information goes, it's average. I didn't expect an in-depth discussion/history of Hungary, but it seems odd to have a guide talk about communism when they haven't lived under it/experienced it (both my guides were very young), just sounded like memorized lines or stories from the parents/previous generation. Nothing wrong with that, just sounded a little strange. The guide for the Original tour seemed to be very high energy and enthusiastic but the guide for the Jewish tour seemed like he'd rather be else where doing something else. Didn't like questions (kept saying "I'll get to that" but didn't really). Yeah, I could have hung around after to ask specific questions, but my time is rather precious when I'm traveling and if I'm asking a question during a tour, I do expect it to be answered during a tour since my question is not something completely off-the-wall strange or irrelevant to the rest.
Also, contact them directly (e-mail or call) to confirm dates, times, and location of tours. When I was planning the trip and checked their site, it had different information than what they currently have; their printed literature also has date/time/place inconsistencies (hopefully they have new printed material now).

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank ALY2011WI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapester1973, Manager at Free Budapest Walking Tours, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Hello ALY2011WI,

We are sorry to read your critical review, as we always strive to provide an excellent service and experience on each of our tour.
Please read our response below:
1. You have joined a 2.5 HOUR PUBLIC TOUR and not a customized private tour that focusing only on your needs and pace. We developed the tour pace for the average walker. We do provide time for taking pictures at lots of venues. Your tour had at least 15 major stops during the tour where you spent more than 5 minute at each.
2. . You wrote: "I may look like I'm in shape, but you can't see asthma"
Please do not blame your tour guide that she has not noticed your asthma. If you know you have difficulties walking uphill, - that is absolutely normal- , it is YOU who has to go to the tour guide and ask her to help you with getting on the hill top.
3. . You wrote that it seemed odd to have a guide talk about communism when they haven't lived under it/experienced it.
Your tour guide has sum up the history in 18 minutes. She mentioned few basic things about Communism and referred to our FREE COMMUNIST WALKING TOUR that is lead by older tour guides.
4.Finally: We changed the departure hour for the Communist and Jewish tour from Oct.28th and provided our new flyer for every ho(s)tel. We also warned our visitors via e-mail, Facebook plus website in time.

Rgds,
Free Budapest Walking Tours Management
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