Budapest Fairy-tale Festive Tour Buda Castle District, Pest Christmas Markets and Danube River Cruise
4 nights escorted tour from Jersey and Guernsey via Gatwick
from only £599 per person*
* Price is per person and based on 2 people sharing a standard room on a bed and breakfast basis at the 4* Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel. Dinner is included on one night. Bontour escort throughout. Single supplement of £130 applies.
28th November - 2nd December 2017
4 nights fully escorted tour
Guided visits to Buda & Pest
Authentic Christmas Markets
Dinner Cruise on the Danube River
Explore the Pearl of the Danube shining in all its glory at this magical time of year. Be amazed by its architecture, sample local fare and join in the merriment of the fairy-tale festive markets.
Start your festive season with magic, romance and style on this sparkling tour to Budapest and fill your Christmas stockings with unusual and authentic Hungarian wares.
01534 496 687
to find out more and book
Rightly crowned The Queen of the Danube, Budapest is in fact two cities Buda and Pest united by some of the most spectacular bridges over the second-longest river in Europe. The capital of Hungary, Budapest's rich and dense history is to be admired through the impressive architectural monuments dotted around the city and, majestically, on the river banks.
During the festive season starting mid-November, Budapest literally lights up and shines with Christmas lights, authentic traditional markets, street entertainment and laser shows. Let us take you on a fairy-tale trip to a city where even the tram gets decorated to celebrate the festive season.
To fully experience the refined yet relaxed Hungarian lifestyle, step in one of the capital's fantastic coffee houses where the beauty of the decor is matched by the quality of the cakes. Café Gerbeaud is amongst the very first of these establishments opening in Budapest in 1884 and serving the most delicate confectionery alongside a warming drink starting a tradition still very much appreciated today.
Terms and Conditions
Proposed flight times subject to change.
Day 1: Channel Islands to Budapest
Jersey clients will meet their Bontour representative at Jersey Airport (departure 07:00 with British Airways) and Guernsey clients will join with the whole group at Gatwick Airport (depart Guernsey 08:30 with Aurigny). Your Easyjet flight to Budapest will depart from Gatwick North Terminal at 12:05. On arrival to Budapest Airport at 15:35 you will have a short 45 minute transfer by private coach to the 4* Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel. You will have leisure time to unpack and maybe have a first look at the city where you can sample some of the local cuisine.
Day 2: The Buda Castle District and the Christmas Markets of Pest
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up by coach at 09:00 and taken on a short scenic ride through the city to the romantic and historic Buda Castle District. Stroll the pretty cobblestoned streets as your guide brings to life the magnificent neo-gothic Mathias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion, a set of terraces and fortifications unique to Budapest. From these two icons of the city’s architectural and religious heritage, admire some of the most impressive panoramic views over the city and the beautiful River Danube.
Later the bus collects you to cross one of the Danube’s magnificent landmark bridges connecting western to the eastern sides of the city before arriving in Pest where you can relax in the elegance of the historical Café Gerbeaud. Here, you will be treated to a tea or coffee accompanied by the famous Gerbeaud cake - Dobos – a sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and layered with caramel! This is included in your tour.
Over lunch, enjoy time at leisure to explore the fantastic festive Christmas Market on Vörösmarty Square, the largest in Budapest. Cottage-style wooden stalls adorn this attractive plaza and warm scents of traditional honey cookies, mulled wine, cinnamon and fir fill the crisp air. The choice of hand-made authentic decorations and quality crafts designs is dazzling and will make for fantastic and exclusive Christmas gifts to take home. Enjoy tasting some typical Hungarian culinary delights for lunch, we highly recommend the pumpkin braised in duck fat & sprinkled with hot pumpkin seeds or the lamb sandwich with roasted red pepper.
After lunch, we walk together the short distance to St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest, built in honour of the first King of Hungary. Outside the Basilica, you visit your second festive market presented by the National Association of Folk Artists. Lovely market stalls exhibit sparkling Christmas wares which you can browse before making your way inside to discover the beauty of St. Stephen’s majestic neoclassical architecture.
Day 3: The best of Pest and evening of leisure
Following breakfast at the hotel you will be met by your guide at 09:00 for a half day visit the bustling Pest side of the city, on the east bank of the Danube. Your fully guided coach tour passes Budapest’s finest sights including the impressive Heroes Square laid out in 1751 to mark the thousand anniversary of Hungary. The heroic size of the square is a tribute to the country’s pride in its past. Riding towards the river, admire the famous Andrassy Avenue lined with beautifully elegant palaces including the world renowned State Opera House. At the end of the avenue, learn about the magnificent Parliament Building sitting majestically on the river bank; a glorious sight and an important reminder of Hungarian architectural grandeur.
Next on the menu is the vibrant and lively Central Market Hall which you will explore with your guide. The Central Market Hall is Budapest’s covered market and is an attraction in itself as well as being the local’s source of fresh seasonal produces. The historic three storey hall offers plenty to see and do along its charming alleys. Here you will enjoy a sample of mouth-watering Hungarian specialities from the market: meat, vegetables and cheese served with homemade bread and accompanied by a glass of wine. This is included in your tour.
From here the rest of the day is yours to enjoy at leisure; exploring and shopping as you slowly make your way back to the hotel.
Optional additional Tour: La Traviata Opera at the famous Erkel Theatre. Show times 19:00 – 21:30. £36 per person including transfers.
Be collected from the hotel and whisked away to watch the incredible ‘La Traviata’ live at the 115 year old Erkel Theatre. It will be performed by some of the world most talented dancers and musicians in the largest of Budapest’s theatre buildings. Enjoy Christmas early with an enchanting tale on a stage that has been shared by the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Éva Marton and Grace Bumbr.
Please note that the Opera tickets are subject to availability and will only be confirmed on the 2nd July.
Optional additional Tour: Organ Concert at St Stephens Basilica. Show times 20:00 – 21:30 £40 Per person including transfers.
The program of the concert was adapted by Miklos Teleki and the arias of the program will be performed by Kolos Kováts, one of the most famous concert an oratorio singers in Hungary. The flute is played by Eleonóra Krusic who is already known for her performances with different orchestras from Barcelona to Zürich, Graz and Vienna.
The St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of the most beautiful neo-classical buildings of Budapest. This is the most important church in Hungary, one of the most significant tourist attractions and the third highest building in our country.
Day 4: Day at leisure and evening River Danube Cruise
Enjoy breakfast at leisure before heading back out to the fairy-tale markets and finalising your Christmas purchases.
This evening you will be collected from the hotel and taken on a magical cruise on the River Danube accompanied by the City’s beautiful backdrop with the winter sights sparkling along the banks of the river. Your 2 hour cruise includes a 3 course dinner and a glass of wine per person.
Optional additional Tour: Széchenyi Thermal Baths
Széchenyi Thermal Baths entry with cabin usage, £18.00 per person.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths are simply the best and the largest spa baths in Europe with 15 indoor baths and 3 grand outdoor pools. Located in the extraordinary yellow neo-baroque building, rejuvenate yourself in the marvellous and medicinal natural hot spring waters whatever the weather. The outdoor thermal pools are a unique experience in the winter as you bathe with locals playing chess surrounded by a sprinkling of snow and breathing the clean winter’s air.
Please bring swimwear, toiletries and a towel although you can rent towels on site. If you wish to use the sports pool you will need a swimming cap. You may wish to bring flip-flops. There is a café at the baths where you can purchase snacks and drinks. Transport is not provided however the baths are easily accessible by public transport or a taxi.
Day 5: Budapest to the Channel Islands
We will depart the hotel after breakfast at approximately 09:30 for departure from Budapest Airport at 12:20 with Easyjet. You will arrive into Gatwick Airport at 14:05. Onward flights from Gatwick depart at 19:40 for Guernsey clients and 19:20 for Jersey clients. For Guernsey clients your Bontour escort will leave you at Gatwick Airport.
Budapest’s weather in winter:
Early December is one of the prettiest times to visit Budapest when you can expect light snowfall and festive charm. The average temperature at this time of year is around 1°C. A thermal layer is advised as well as waterproofs and suitable footwear.
The currency in Budapest is the Hungarian Forint.
4 nights escorted tour from Jersey and Guernsey via Gatwick
from only £599 per person*
* Price is per person and based on 2 people sharing a standard room on a bed and breakfast basis at the 4* Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel. One dinner cruise included. Bontour tour manager throughout. Single supplement of £130 applies.