Photo: © Budapest TukTuk
Forgo the crumpled map and sore feet and try a different sightseeing experience on your next visit to Budapest. From a trip around the city in a communist era car, to a breezy auto rickshaw ride across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and a scenic tram journey along the Danube these alternative tours of Budapest are some of our favourite ways to see the city.
Rent a Trabant
During the communist era, the distinctive Trabant was the most ubiquitous car in Budapest. Manufactured in East Germany, a few of the cars can still be spotted today and provide a novel way to get around the city. Rent-A-Trabant offers sightseeing opportunities in these characterful vehicles, as well as other add-ons including bespoke Trabant tours and trips to Hungary’s winemaking region.
Take in the Danube on a Tram
The canary yellow trams, or villamos, crisscrossing the capital make up one of the world’s largest streetcar networks, and at 150 years old, it’s Budapest’s most established public transport system. Of the 36 routes in operation, it’s line 2 that trumps in terms of scenic tours. Hugging the Danube on the Pest side, gaze out as the elegant Danube Promenade, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and the Chain and Elizabeth bridges slide past. The Central Market Hall is a great place to hop off—its spectacular produce is well worth perusing.
Travel by tuk tuk
For a breezy jaunt through the city’s major sights, Budapest TukTuk’s zippy three-wheelers deliver a delightful alternative tour of Budapest. Pootle through the peaceful streets of the Jewish Quarter, trip across the Chain Bridge and stop in at the historic Szechenyi thermal baths as your designated tuk tuk driver drops in the odd pearl of lesser-known social history. Its guided tours include all the heavyweight attractions (and a bowl of Hungarian goulash, should you be so inclined), but the Budapest by Night tour utterly charms with its journey along the twinkling banks of the Danube.
Get the best views on the Funicular
Budapest Castle Hill Funicular has been in operation since 1870, when it was only the second funicular railway to open in Europe. Unfortunately, the original funicular was destroyed in World War II, but it was painstakingly rebuilt in the same traditional style following the war. Classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meet the tram at the end of the Chain Bridge to ascend to the top of the famous Castle Hill and explore the Royal Palace and Sandor Palace. Admire the stunning views as the tram climbs up the hill but the highlight is certainly the breathtaking vista at the top, which includes the Chain Bridge and Hungarian Parliament.
See the sights on a bike
For an interactive alternative tour of Budapest that tops up your fitness levels too, take a bicycle out on a guided excursion. Suitable for all levels of fitness, including those with disabilities, you’ll take an easy meander past the city’s main sights with a knowledgeable guide to let you know the best spots to dismount and explore on foot. Whether it’s a peaceful circle through the City Park or a nose around the shopping emporiums of Andrássy Street, the tours offer a fantastic overview of the city’s extraordinary variety.