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Private tour from Budapest to a top hidden treasure region of Europe: Lake Balaton

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Ways to Experience My Personal Budapest
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Reviewed March 24, 2011

As a frequent solo traveler, I have often found standard group tours to be impersonal and uniform. Admittedly, I am a tour guide and that sometimes makes it hard to concentrate on the tour & not the tour guide’s technique. After reading previous reviews, MyPersonalBudapest seemed to exactly fit my needs and wants. I contacted Andras and arranged for a personal two-day tour, including airport transfers.
My two day tour went by quickly... almost too quickly. Looking back, I realize that I never felt that I was on an actual tour. It was, as if, a trusted friend had invited me to visit Budapest, then proceeded to show off its greatest attributes. Andras provides a warm and gracious welcome to Budapest’s best charms... the food, history, architecture and most importantly the local hospitality.
On the first tour day, I was greeted by Balazs, a Trabant owner/driver. The driving tour was wonderful with Andras giving details on what we saw, explaining the history of where we were, plus we stopped several times for better views and history focus. Balazs is a very sweet, friendly man who kindly (and humbly) answered all my Trabant questions, allowing me to check out the engine, and even told me about his weekend stunt driving activities. Yes, I am somewhat fascinated by older cars.
Afterwards, Andras & I visited Szentendre where local ceramic artists introduced me to molding clay into functional art. I never imagined that I would actually touch the clay, not to mention make something! It was hard work, but a really fulfilling experience. I may have to sign up for classes in the future. The first day ended with the local pub night, which was a lot of fun. We were joined by a few of Andras’ friends, which only made the experience more authentic. What’s drinking at the pub without a few friends? We visited three distinctly different (non-touristy) pubs & I never felt out of place or even noticed... excellent. The second day began walking around the city, as Andras pointed out hidden treasures not mentioned in guide books. I particularly liked this part of the tour; because I’m pretty sure I would not have found these places. After lunch we visited Etyek, spending time at a family run winery. Instead of listening to a lecture or presentation, there was a conversation explaining what they do and what they hope to do. I was introduced to how the family produces their wine, the different ages of their vines, the makeup of the region’s soil & their future foray into brandy making. I left Etyek much more knowledgeable about the Hungarian wine making process, with a great bottle of wine and a full stomach.
On both days, lunch was a meal brilliantly cooked by Andras’ mother. Andras’ parents are a welcoming, funny and engaging couple. Upon entering the house, I was greeted with hugs & plum palinka (yum). The excellent food was served at the family dining table surrounded by family photos and books. Afterwards, coffee was enjoyed out on the terrace while soaking up the sun’s rays. On the second day, Andras’ mother could not be there, but she thoughtfully prepared the meal before leaving for the day. Andras’ father was wonderful as he presented & served his wife’s efforts. Just imagine visiting an aunt & uncle that you haven’t seen in a long time, and being welcomed with home cooking and good conversation.
Because I opted for a personal tour, Andras offered to include or substitute places/activities, depending on my preference. I declined as I was perfectly happy with the agreed upon tour. I would not have changed a detail of this unique Budapest tour, except maybe to add another day. MyPersonalBudapest provided me with fabulous memories, well above and beyond my expectations. I can easily recommend taking this tour & I whole-heartedly encourage other Budapest visitors to sign up for this one-of-a-kind experience. Andras is the perfect host to introduce the wonders of Budapest.

Date of experience: March 2011
1  Thank D8028ZZrobinr
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2011

We are very experienced travelers and have high expectations when we use our (precious) time to discover a new location. Budapest has been on my 'travel wish list' for years, and for this reason, I wanted this trip to be perfect ... and it was!

A couple of weeks before our arrival, I had a long E-Mail exchange with András regarding the preparation of the trip - we finally choose a quite rich program :

Day 1:
We started with a city tour was very interesting and gave us a first overview of Budapest and the places to see. The 'Hungarian' lunch was delicious and it was very interesting to visit a genuine Hungarian home (OK, the trip was a bit long, but finally worth it). Finally, a treasure hunt made us raise our heads and notice funny details we would never have discovered alone …

Day 2
We started at 9 with an Art-Déco tour in two vintage cars (a Citroën Traction from 1954 as well as a Rolls Royce Silver Spur) - this was just gorgeous, and we discovered numerous partly incredible treasures - with very competent guides (we had almost a ratio of 1:1 between guides and tourists ;-). We then had lunch in what András called the "best pancake bar in town" - this was not extraordinary, but correct. In the afternoon, we enjoyed a relaxing tour on the Danube and then headed to the climax of the stay: a private concert given by a famous Hungarian pianist at his home. This was gorgeous, especially for me as an amateur pianist - and we were so pleased that we invited the pianist to play for our friends when he will next come to Switzerland - which will be in two months.

If you are looking for a way to "deep dive" into the Hungarian Culture and the architectural, cultural and social heritage of Budapest, then I can recommend András without any reserve. Although some of the reviewers find that the trip is expensive, I do not share this position - we came back with tons of beautiful images and interesting information - and this is something money finally can't buy!

Thanks András, we really enjoyed our discovery of Budapest!

Date of experience: March 2011
Thank CarosassoneCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2011

If you're trying to take a day tour of Budapest and really see what the city has to offer, definitely go with this tour. You start off with a great view of the city, get to see all the famous historical sites, and learn a ton of information from a native Budapester. The best part is.. for lunch you actually go to his parents house and get a home cooked meal! That alone makes it worth it, you can't get something unique like this unless you have family there or know someone. In the afternoon, you play an Amazing Race style game where you run around Budapest gathering information about different landmarks and hopping on busses and metros in the process. It forces you to interact with the locals while learning cool stuff, and the competition is also a lot of fun. Nothing like seeing your friends running in the distance towards the bus you caught in the nick of time. The day ends with a night cruise, which gives a whole different perspective on the city. I wish they would do this kind of thing in more cities..

Date of experience: February 2011
Thank agrest272
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2011

I just wanted to write and say thanks for the excellent tour you arranged for us in June. Having never visited Budapest, or Hungary for that matter, my partner and I knew little of it apart from what we had read but many websites focussed on the city's obvious USP's (unique selling points) like the cave system and the spas and less so on the wonderful hospitality and the sights and sounds of the contrasting areas of Buda and Pest. Many websites also concentrated on restaurant reviews, however we found a gem that most people never know about, unless they had contacted you. Our second stop on our tour, if you recall, after visiting the beautiful riverside town of Szentendre was for a genuine home cooked family meal. At that point I knew we'd booked something truly special that a large tour operator could only wish to replicate, and fail. Not only was the food delicious but the hospitality was amazing and we left feeling very full!

All of the travel was taken care of which was fantastic and we were given plenty of opportunities to explore the town for ourselves. you found the right balance between being a tour guide and letting ourselves wander. You also organised our cruise of the Danube and took us to a fun ceramic making session where Alexandra and I still argue about who made the best plate. For the record, it was me! If that wasn't enough we also had time to squeeze in a visit to a family vineyard where after sampling lots of wine we were able to sit, eat and reflect on a great four days in your country.

So, to us, the people are what made Budapest the great holiday it was and we would like to thank you Andras. Best wishes to your family also.

I thoroughly recommend you and mypersonalbudapest to anyone who's looking to do something different on their vacation and have completely unique stories to tell when you come home. Please feel free to use my comments on your own website and I wish you the best of luck for the future - until we return for more.

Kind regards

Karl & Alexandra

Date of experience: June 2010
Thank KarlandAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2011

If you are interested in a personal tour in Budapest, look no further...whether you are traveling with children(we had three children ages 3. 7, and 9) or with elderly we had my mother age 75, My Personal Budapest tours provide a unique and personalized service that you will not likely find anywhere else. We are Americans who have lived in Europe for three years, traveling to many countries, Budapest has always been one of those cities that we wanted to check off but was afraid it may be too adult. Are worries were unfounded with this service as Andras personalized our tour to make it fun and enyoyable for all ages. I highly recommend his service. He and his family who cooked a homemade hungarian dinner for us made us feel like family and provide with an experience of a lifetime. Thank you Andras and best wishes with your company, I know you will do well.

Date of experience: February 2011
Thank gmrice3
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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