My husband wasn’t convinced when I told him I wanted to do a bike tour in Budapest.
He reminded me of the time we biked around the beach and I wasn’t able to walk right the following three days. I replied that was a different circumstance. That time we rode 12 miles with barely any stops. I explained this time was going to be different.
As I expected, things in Budapest were way dissimilar. We had a blast exploring the city with Yellow Zebra Bike Tours (isn’t that a cool name or what?).
We arrived to the meeting location 15 minutes prior to the tour start. During that time, we adjusted our bikes and were given a short description of the route for the day. Adrenaline levels started to get high since we were about to bike around a good part of Budapest’s main attractions.
I am referring to this activity as a tour but, in all honestly, it felt like we were riding bikes with old friends. All participants shared a loved for travel, history and culture. On top of that, our guide Vicki encouraged us to not rush things and ask questions.
In no time, we were biking to our first stop, the Opera House. That is where we got an introduction to Hungary’s history and the role the Opera House has played in the cultural and social aspects of the city.
Dohany Street Synagogue
Our next stop was the Dohany Street Synagogue (also known as The Great Synagogue). This is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. Also, the building houses the Hungarian Jewish Museum and a memorial to Holocaust victims.
The building survived World War 2 because it was used as a radio transmitting station by the Nazis.
We proceeded to bike along Andrassy Avenue which connects the city center to the City Park. This is one of Budapest’s most famous boulevards since it is lined with Neo-Renaissance palaces and houses (and by the way, it is classified as an UNESCO site). A delicious breeze accompanied us while we were moving along the pale yellow and ochre structures.
We arrived to the largest square of the city were we learned more about the people who founded the country. The monuments in the square commemorate the thousand anniversary of Hungary, the seven leaders who directed the first settlers and the lives of famous Hungarian personalities.
After spending a good chunk of time in Heroes Square and after the mandatory photos, we rode around the shaded areas of City Park. That is when a beautiful castle came into view.
Turns out the castle was built in 1986 to commemorate the Hungarian millennium. It mimics the castles in the Carpathian Basin (located in what is known as Transylvania). This was the area where the kingdom was settled around 895. Hungary lost this land to Romania after World War 1.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths
We were able to take a look at the most famous baths in the city (Budapest has around 125 thermal springs). Vicki showed us how to take a look at the inside from one of the windows located in the ticket area.
After the park, we rode a large trajectory to reach the Liberty Bridge. We stopped in the middle of the bridge to enjoy the views of the Danube and to learn more about the different buildings and monuments seen from there. After that, it was time to cross to the Buda side.
We stopped in front of the imposing Buda Castle to learn about more about this place which was first completed in 1265. It is made of fortifications and a palace complex used by the Hungarian kings. It was build in what is known as Castle Hill (Matthias Church and Fishermen Bastion are also located here).
We took a good look at the infamous Chain Bridge from this stop too.
A Look at the Parliament
Our second stop on the Buda side was in front of the Parliament (which is on the Pest side). And let me tell you, if you visit Budapest, you need to find a nice place to observe this beautiful Gothic Revival building. This is a notable landmark of Hungary, the country’s largest building and the house of the Holy Crown.
Do not leave the city without taking a good amount of time to admire this place!
We returned to the Pest side by crossing the Margaret Bridge. On Liberty Square, we discussed the current socioeconomic situation of Hungary. Vicki gave us a very honest account of how Hungarians see their country and described living and work conditions.
Time to Savor Some Strudel
After biking around the city on a very hot day, it was time to eat some delicious strudel! I tried the apple and cottage cheese/ apricot flavors. My husband had the poppy seed/ cherry and cabbage ones.
We had an excellent time learning more about each other. In addition, Vicki answered all our questions about the country and the city.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
Our last stop was St. Stephen’s Basilica and the large square in front of it. It was exciting to know that we bike about 10 miles around the city. What an accomplishment!
A lady on the tour told me she does a bike tour every time she visits a new city. Well, I will need to follow her need. Yellow Zebra made me a convert.
Hope you have enjoyed this recount!
- For more information about the bike tour I took with Yellow Zebra, click here
- The company offers other tours in Budapest and Prague
- The bike tours had a 3.5 hours duration
- This tour is appropriate for all ages. It is done in flat terrain and there are multiple stops. Believe me, I am not the fittest person in the world and I did more than fine
- Budapest has tons of dedicated bike lanes. It feels secure to ride around the city. In addition, your guide will explain everything you need to know to enjoy the tour
- You are not rushed during the tour. The pace is easy to follow.
- Come ready to enjoy!
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Disclosure: Yellow Zebra Bike Tours offered me a complimentary spot on their tour. In addition, it provided my husband a discount on his tour. As always, my opinions are mine.