The Free Walking Tour in Budapest – Why it was one of the best things I’ve tipped on while traveling
When Daniel and I get in to a city we often have no real clue what the city’s history is, what the best things to do are and where to get all the cheap stuff from. We just save it till we get there and then learn and do as much as we can.
This was similar in Budapest, Hungary. When we arrived, our hostel was advertising a free walking tour of Budapest and well, being budget travelers, when you see the word “free” your eyes lit up and the planet aligns and everything falls in to place.
On our first official day there, we packed our backpacks full with our water and boiled egg and bread roll lunches and set off to the meeting point.
The result of this tour? We were so happy! The guides were so friendly and informative and they talked about their city with such passion and honesty that I really felt like I learnt a lot. We get to catch a glimpse of all the possible things you could do in Budapest and they gave us tips and ideas on where to eat, what to see, how to save money and how to avoid spending too much. It was great!
Being a massive history nerd, when we sat in Elizabeth Park I felt like a school kid again, soaking in all the facts and ideas that she talked about. She explained the rule of the Ottomans and then later by the Hapsburgs who ditched them in the middle of losing World War One. She spoke of the struggle they had after siding with Germany in this war and losing then doing the same in World War Two with a much worse result. She spoke of Nazi occupation in 1944 and then “Soviet Liberation” which lead to probably some of the worst atrocities that Hungarian’s could have suffered.
The tour went for 2.5 hours and it honestly was such a great experience. It was nice to be given facts, ideas and tips rather than having to figure them all and it gave us a great overview of such a beautiful city with so much tragic history.
Obviously, their job is tip based and they ask you at the end if you would give a tip but they are so gracious and honest when they do it so you don’t feel like they are just scamming you for money. They understand people are on a budget and can only pay what you can and even if you walk away donating nothing to their hat then they would never chase after you.
Would I recommend this tour? Yes, definitely!
(Budapest Free Walking Tours run 3 or 4 different types of tours and the one we did was an introductory one to the city. For more information on the company and their walking tours available, head to Trip to Budapest for more info! )