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Zero parliament availability??

I have Rick Steves Eastern Europe book, and in it he recommends booking parliament tours a few days in advance online. Well, lo and behold, two weeks out and there is NO availability AT ALL for any English tours on our dates. Beware! Make sure you book early to ensure you get a time?

On that note, does anyone know for sure if more tours are added with demand? OR if there is another way to get a tour/in to the building?


Posted by
877 posts

There was a person that posted a week or so ago that wondered if they could go on a Spanish tour to the parliament and just use the Rick Steves app to listen as they walked around inside the building. I think if that is the only way it get in and see it that you might do the is a wonderful building that you need to see but the RS app might tell you all you need to know in English.

Posted by
6 posts

That is a GREAT idea! Thanks :) I wasn't even aware it was on the app...but that will definitely suffice. To be honest, I was really upset that the guidebook steered me wrong, as it is usually pretty accurate. The next available English tour appears to be on July 21, which is SIGNIFICANTLY further into the future than 2-3 days in advance as the guidebook suggests, so an edit is definitely necessary, and I hope this can serve as a warning to other travellers to book as far in advance as possible to avoid this.

Posted by
4734 posts

OR if there is another way to get a tour/in to the building?

Yes, you can also book a variety of tour types that include the entry to and tour of Parliament. For an example, Google "grand city and parliament tour" and you'll find companies that offer a city tour plus the Parliament tour. Other tours pair the Parliament tour with a Danube cruise.

I took one such half-day bus tour of the city and really enjoyed it. As part of the booking, they provided our English language Parliament tour tickets. During the course of our city tour itinerary, our city guide brought us to Parliament, collected the entry tickets for the group, saw us into our timed tour where we continued with the Parliament guide, waited for our Parliament tour to end and continued with us on the rest of our city tour.

Those tour groups may be where many of the English tour slots are being sold to on the dates you are searching.

Posted by
330 posts

When we were there a few months ago, we had arrived early for our 9 am tour. Notice they had several English tours that were added from the ones that were listed online. I would go early and try. Good luck.

Posted by
27265 posts

In fairness to Rick and company, it's possible the English-language Parliament tours have only recently booked up that far in advance. It's a very expensive ticket for Americans, but tourist traffic to Budapest (including river cruises that dock very near Parliament) seems to be increasing rapidly. Probably the Parliament building is a bit behind in adjusting the number of English tours it offers, though it sounds from the post above as if that is happening now.

I've observed similar patterns involving the need to book much, much farther in advance than was the case a few years ago at some of Barcelona's modernista sights, the Alhambra, Auschwitz and the Schindler factory in Krakow. From reading this forum I have the impression that London, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam also have sights that are increasingly hard to get into. This forum is probably the best place to find out about current conditions. There's a long lead-time for printed guidebooks, though RS makes a serious effort to provide guidebook updates on this website.

Posted by
8 posts

English tours are always booked. We did one in Russian. It went great. I have also seen them add English tours on the spot.

Posted by
404 posts

I just walked into the Parliament ticket office this morning and bought an English tour ticket for later this afternoon. They had LOTS of English tickets available for today, but you can only buy them in person for the current date, not in advance for later days.

Posted by
22 posts

From my experience they typically have more options available when you arrive in person than online. It seems to me that they have an allotted amount of tickets they sell strictly online and more that they sell face to face. If you arrive there early in the morning around opening time, you should not have an issue purchasing tickets for an English tour later that same day or even for the next day.