Budapest tours and excursions
Yellow Zebra Bikes offer cycle tours of the city's big sites including Hero's Square, City Park, Inner Pest and the Buda Castle District. The company has several routes to choose from, including evening rides and private tours, with refreshment stops factored in. Bicycle hire is also available.
Budapest Bike Breeze Tours run similar trips as well as Bike and Boat tours, Wheels and Meals Sightseeing routes and a special Fading Communism circuit. Guides speak English.Tel: (01) 269 3843; (20) 488 5954
There are several themed boat tours in Budapest, so visitors can either glide down the Danube with dinner and drinks, or sightsee with a little more speed and surf.
Budapest River Cruise offers a Cocktail and Beer Cruise tour, where alcohol accompanies the tourist attractions, while Legenda has a more traditional one-hour waterway exploration with an optional walking tour of Margaret Island too. It also hosts a candlelit dinner cruise which includes a four-course meal and live music.Tel: (20) 953 5251; (01) 317 2203.
City Tour is one of many bus tour operators in the city. Their Budapest routes typically last for two hours and depart from V Andrássy út 3, taking in the Jewish District, Buda Castle, Market Hall, National Museum and more. They sell hop on, hop off tickets that last for 24 hours.
Big Bus Tours offer a similar hop on, hop off service around the city, passing everything from Andrassy Avenue to the Castle District. The entire route takes around two hours and its talking guidebooks are available in 23 languages.Tel: (01) 374 7050; (01) 235 0078
Absolute Tours offers a selection of daily walking tours, for which reservations are not usually necessary. These take around three hours and cover Budapest's major sights. Themed tours include the Hammer and Sickle Tour, Absolute Night Stroll and Absolute Hungaro Gastro.
Alternatively, the Free Budapest Walking Tour only ask visitors to pay whatever they can afford. These daily guided routes are run by knowledgeable locals and usually take 2 hours 30 minutes to complete. Specialist routes include Communism and Jewish themes.Tel: (01) 269 3843; (20) 340 9217
The hugely popular Lake Balaton region is romantically known as the Hungarian Sea. While its water is largely waist deep, the Tihany Well in the north reaches a depth of 13m (43ft). Naturally, activities centre on the water, and include sailing, windsurfing and fishing for eels or fogas - the perch-pike unique to Lake Balaton, best enjoyed with wine from the nearby Badacsony Hills.
Approximately 120km (75 miles) southwest of Budapest, Balatonfüred can be reached by train from Déli pályaudvar in Budapest or by bus from Budapest's Erzsébet tér.Tel: (87) 581 220.
Several waves of 19th century Serbian refugees defined the character of this historic town on the Danube Bend, 19km (12 miles) from Budapest. A group of artists found the Serb-abandoned Szentendre in the 1920s, liked what they saw, and formed a colony here. Its incense-filled hilltop churches include Blagovestenska Church, which looks on to the town's main square, as well as the spectacular Belgrade Cathedral, next to the Museum of Serbian Church Art.Tel: (26) 300 407 .