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Budapest to Göncruszka and Fony

My great-grandparents came from Göncruszka and Fony about 2-3 hours north of Budapest. I no longer have family there, but I would like to try to visit their birthplaces in my first (and maybe only) trip to Hungary. I'm extending a Viking river cruise that ends in Budapest so I won't have much time and I will be alone, so I don't feel comfortable renting a car. What is the best way to get there? How safe is it to take a taxi from the train station to these small towns?

Thank you...

Posted by
13713 posts

There are five possibilities that I can think of. You can hire a driver from Budapest. The one I know and like a lot is named Laszlo Markus. You could drive up and back in a day if you wanted. He’s great but it’s a bit pricy. I am guessing $400+

You could hire a guide and see some of the great stops in the area. You will be Eger and Tokaji and Lillafüred. Andrew (Andras) ILLES is my favorite guide in town, but there are a number of good ones.

With either of those options you could do a day trip or spend the night in Eger or if you are into nature maybe Lillafüred (stay at the Palota Hotel ) and visit the caves and ride the forest train.

More creative, but less exploratory would be to take a train to Kosice, Slovakia and find a guide there. There is only one direct morning train at 6:30 and it takes 3:30 and I suspect it will cost about $20. From Kosice, Göncruszka is under an hour drive. Hana is the only guide I know in Slovakia: but I have no idea what she would charge. If you do this spend the night in Kosice. I understand its interesting and worth the night.

There is a train to Göncruszka. One train only takes 4 hours and has two changes, the rest are pretty long rides. But what do you do when you get there.

Finally you could take the train to Eger and hire a driver or a guide from there. The direct train takes about 2 hours. I dont know any Eger guides but its a tourist center so i bet you can find one. Nice place to overnight too. If you choose this way and cant fine a guide let me know and i will ask around. You could use a taxi I guess. As for is the taxi safe? Absolutely. But i bet sort of expensive, but i could be wrong. City Taxi has an operation in Eger. City Taxi is my most trusted and relied upon taxi company in Budapest and if their Eger office is as good then you wont do wrong. I think you would get more out of it with a really good English speaking guide or driver.

Posted by
2329 posts

I did something similar 2 years ago--from Budapest I took the train to the town my mother's family came from in 1899, Tata--only an hour and direct. I was more interested in just being there and exploring the old town area, and would have benefited from having either a car (though as a solo traveler didn't want to deal with one) or taking a guide as James suggests to see more outlying areas, but overall it was a satisfying experience just to see the lovely little town for a few hours. On the way back to the train station I happened upon the cemetery (temeto) and set about looking for some Katonas, sort of like a scavenger hunt--once I found one I was ready to go back to Budapest.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you for the ideas. I just wanted to see where they came from, with no other thought than that. I'm worried that it may be time consuming and expensive.

Posted by
13713 posts

It's a pretty long trip, but combined with a night in Eger or Lillafüred, it could be fun.