James mentioned that he knew a good personal guide for Budapest. I would be interested in learning about personal guides the prices they charge when they are available Etc
I guess that means me.
Okay, first is a gentleman named Andras (Andrew) ILLES. I met Andrew over a dozen years ago. He was the guide we hired on our first trip to Budapest. He is a gentleman and an incredibly decent individual. Over the years I have hired him a half dozen more times for my own use and I have had him take care of numerous guests of ours. A few years back when the whole immigrant thing was in full swing and full disruption I had some guests stranded in Vienna, trying to get to Budapest (rail service had been suspended). I called Andrew and he sent his daughter to Vienna to get them for me. Not saying he did it for free, but he cam through for us. Andrew is a Guide/Driver which is rare these days. His Citroen is large and comfortable. Here is his webpage: http://www.guideinbudapest.com/
A second guide is Anett Hrubiak. I have never actually met Anett; guess I should some day. About twice a year I have "special" guests in Budapest and on one ocassion Andrew was booked on the days I needed him. I called everyone I knew and her name came up twice so I gave her a try. Since then we have used her 3 times; each with good feedback; the last time was about 18 months ago. My business associates have met her and spoke well of her as well. http://vasvarirentals.com/img/partners/hrubiak.jpg
The company Beyond Budapest has some excellent and quirky tours. The one called Stars of District 8 is worth the time; but then i love the "rustic" nature of District VIII. https://beyondbudapest.hu/tours
As for, do you need a guide? Generally not. If you are very short on time a guide will increase the efficiency of getting places, but a at the expense of a lot of the charm of the town. If you have a particular interest you want to really see in detail, then a guide can be useful as well. Things like Jewish Budapest or WWII or Soviet Occupation or Art Deco/Art Art Nouveau/Bauhaus buildings or..... Send me a PM and I can give you a link to a decent guide in pdf format.
A lot of the time you don't need a guide, but you do need transportation; for that there is only one man, László. This guy is amazing. He's incredibly professional and incredibly helpful and incredibly insightful to talk to on long trips (or even short trips). My significant other will say, "I want to see Laszlo on the next trip" and I then have to find an excuse to hire him. He has taken us to Wine Festivals, Bear Sanctuaries, Fishing Lakes, the Busójárás in Mohács (worth being in Hungary in the dead of winter to experience) and a couple of small villages. A few years back we went to the annual Opera Gala, a pretty exclusive black tie event. We live about a 3 minute walk from the opera house, but in the dead of winter you can't just walk the streets in a tux or a mink so we asked him to bring his super nice Mercedes and take us. He lives on the other side of town and for what he charged for a 5 minute drive (actually a longer drive than walk) he essentially comped us. http://www.silverwings.hu/
Since I am talking about transportation, there are not many places in town, that a visitor would be interested in, that you can reach from Deak Ferenc ter in under 10 minutes by Metro or Tram. So if you choose wisely where your accommodations are located there isn't much you will need to hire transportation for. Just get a TravelCard and you are covered. If you do need to get from one end of town quickly and efficiently, hire CityTaxi +36- 1 -2-111-111. Honest, efficient and clean.