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Okay, we tried it last year and it feel victim to COVID. So, let’s try it again this year.
I picked September/October as that seems pretty safe.

Join me for my birthday on the Nemzeti Vágta weekend.

Here is the Nemzeti Vágta (I will try and get VIP tickets. Last time they cost about $30):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIp6iM7eDjY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24kltnN0U4E

Date is a bit uncertain as of yet. The Nemzeti Vágta generally takes place in mid-September to mid-October. So, for now, let’s use the 2020 date (adjusted to put it back on the weekend) = Saturday, October 10th for the Nemzeti Vágta finals. Starts in the morning and runs till mid afternoon if memory serves me correctly.

I love September and October in Budapest so my guess is I will arrive around the 1st of October and depart around the 17th give or take a few days one side or the other. Somehow I will work at least one other country into the trip. Right now WizzAir has direct flights to Ukraine, Georgia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia: all places where I can get a few days of fly fishing in before the weather gets too cold.

But for the gathering. Something like this:

Friday, October 9th

I thought I would run up to Szentendre if anyone is interested. Late morning train up (maybe 10am), then the boat back (5pm).

Saturday, October 10th

Begin with breakfast at The Lion’s Locker. Great family that owns the place.
https://youtu.be/md0hxk4QAj4

Then walk up Andrassy ut to Hero’s Square for the Nemzeti Vágta. Andrassy ut usually looks like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHWvj534MFA

But during the Nemzeti Vagta it will look more like this, lined with vendors selling food, crafts, etc
https://www.facebook.com/NemzetiVagta/videos/338528976716823/

And here is sort of a crazy view of what is along Andrassy ut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwRvxLEJc_w

For me the beginning is the most interesting. Watching the horses parade around the track. Then watch a few races…..

Then maybe a late lunch nearby at Paprika Vendeglo.

http://paprikavendeglo.hu/

Then, after lunch, maybe someone would be interested in the Hungarian Railway Museum. It’s also not too far from Hero’s Square, but we will ride the bus.
http://www.vasuttortenetipark.hu/

And then meet in the evening for drinks
http://kadarkawinebar.com/

Posted by
11741 posts

While that’s sort of the planned out gathering, I will also be in Budapest as soon as the EU and Hungary open up. I am being wishful in thinking maybe Early May ….. If anyone is in the neighborhood, that trip will something like this:

24-day trip +/- with my daughter starting with flying into Istanbul, spend three nights then fly on to Montenegro. Spend three nights in Budva, then two nights in Perast/Kotor and then drive on to Dubrovnik for three nights. Then then drive through Mostar to Sarajevo. Two nights in Sarajevo and then fly to Budapest. Four nights in Budapest, then the train to Vienna for 2 nights, then the train to Prague for 3 nights. From Prague I return to Budapest, she goes home.
The airfare to Istanbul to Titograd and home from Prague is an open jaw Turkish Air ticket which will cost about $1100. The flight from Sarajevo to Budapest is Wizzair for about $100.

The response below that refers to my Ukraine trip, I moved that part to be on its own.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/ukraine-in-the-spring

Posted by
3787 posts

Boy, that should make up for last year’s postponement. We’ve started plans for Italy at the same time, but I hope your trip can go as you envision, and I hope you’re energetic for your Ukraine portion. Happy Birthday, in advance, too!

Posted by
4290 posts

We're also hoping for Italy in the fall, but this looks great. Has horsewoofie seen it?

Posted by
396 posts

I've rebooked my Istanbul/Budapest trip for April 23 this year.
Hoping to be in Budapest on May 03 for 5 nights if all goes well.
I am sorry to miss the fall birthday celebration :-). Seems like it would be quite a party.

Posted by
6163 posts

Join me for my birthday on the Nemzeti Vágta weekend.

To whom are you extending this invitation?

Posted by
11741 posts

Nadine, if you can arrange to be in Budapest on May 1st you wont regret it. Great celebration for May Day.

I'm not sure of my schedule yet. The very day that Hungary opens, I will book the trip with my daughter. Its possible we would be in Budapest about the same time. She and I will spend a few days there, then I take her to Vienna and Prague. When she goes home, I return to Budapest for a few days before going off to Ukraine. After Ukraine back to Budapest for a few weeks. All in all I will be in Budapest 3 to 4 weeks sometime in March or April or May depending on the country opening.

Nancy, i am inviting the right sorts of people, of course. Over the years I have met up with 4 different RS people while in Budapest. Rather enjoyed it. One in particular.... :-)

Posted by
1071 posts

James,

Sounds like a great trip you have planned. Would you mind expanding on why you like the September to October time frame?

Thanks.

Posted by
11741 posts

I don't think there is a month in the year that I haven't been in Budapest ........ maybe August? Dont remember. But I think maybe 10 out of the last 20 years I have been in Budapest in September or October. Close runner up is April / May ............ Followed by November/December for the holidays.

In September / October

The weather can be near perfect. Sometimes cool, but rarely cold.

Fewer tourists as compared to June, July, August

The theaters are open (they close in the summer). The only theaters open in the summer are tourist theaters.

As the city has been trying to stretch the tourist season, there is usually one or two good events going on.

Restaurants, hotel rooms, venues of all sorts are more comfortable (Europe isn't exactly known for its air conditioning and Hungary is no exception)

Air fare and hotel rooms tend to be a bit cheaper in the shoulder season.

And I just put some links to Andrassy ut in the main body of the post

Posted by
820 posts

Should things be possible, my dates right now look like Oct. 12 arriving, leaving on the 17th. I have flights with miles, purchased today, which can be cancelled and re-instated.

Posted by
11741 posts

Isnt it exciting to be booking flights!!! I get the impression that there are a few here traveling to Budapest about the same time. Lets see how it shakes out. Where else are you going?

Posted by
11741 posts

Come on man .... the Lipa Hotel is a nice little hotel in an interesting corner of Hungary.

hanni.kiss01 remove you post as its against the rules, and replace it with something about the area where the hotel is that might be of interest to tourists.

Like the Szentgotthard Abbey or the Rába River or the vineyards in the region. Its only about 1.5 hours from Balaton which makes it a great day trip if you are staying at Balaton. Just a mention that its a great back door into Slovenia or Austria or Croatia is interesting for people more interested in rural tourism.

Thanks.