Any recs on this? There are three companies mixed reviews.
Yeah, recs. We have taken hop on hop off buses in several cities and have always found them a good way to spend part of a half day. You can see more by taking them than you can on foot.
Linda, personally I'd pass on HoHo's - the only way to get a feel for a city, good or bad, is to walk it - HoHo's are just city transit with Coles notes audio. Absolutely NO feel for the city, the people, admiring the buildings and best of all popping into a cool coffee shop along your walk. I say this for all cities, not just Budapest.
Hi Linda! We've used the BigBus HOHO in Budapest and loved it. In big cities like Budapest where it is simply not feasible to walk because of the large distances between sights the bus was perfect and we thought the price was reasonable too. We had no trouble jumping off and exploring Gellert Hill for example then catching the next bus to other parts of the town. A big bonus was BigBus also have a ferry on the River Danube as part of the HOHO bus so you can catch the ferry from one end of Budapest up to Margaret Island (like we did). We actually lost our ticket on day 2 but called the hotel (Palazzo Zichy) who were outstanding at calling the HOHO and explaining the situation, we only had to say who we were when jumping on and the girl let us on no problem. You can save the evenings for walks if you want to explore the centre of town etc. Worked well for us. You get some great shots from high on the bus too. Greg
We take the HOHO bus in just about every big city. I find it a way to get the lay of the land. I will say one city that I found that the bus did little to help me figure out the lay was in Berlin. Way to big.
London, great; Budapest, not really worth the effort. If you are interested write and I will walk you through getting around Budapest on the wonderful and famous yellow trams, supplemented a little by the metro. Public transport is actually part of the fun and experience here.
Thank you for the responses. Its always good to see other opinions. I've only been on one HOHO bus which was a terrible experience. My husband loves the them!
Take James up on his offer. Budapest's public transportation system is great...but Budapest is a wonderful walking city. You can even walk from Pest to Buda over the Szechenyi Bridge. Stroll along the Danube, or up Andrassy ut (Budapest's grand boulevard). This town has neighborhoods that are fun to explore. Have fun.
Having just come back from a long weekend there (our first visit), I just wanted to mention: - the public transport system got us everywhere we wanted to go (the only exception is Gellert (sp?) Hill (referred to above), where you do have to walk the last 10 minutes),
- HoHo boats were referred to earlier. We discovered by reading the small print on the back of our 72-hour transport tickets (metro/tram/bus/trolleybus), that they are also good for the public ferries (but only on weekdays). Obviously no official commentary, although there was a bored-looking "cabin boy" who was keen to point things of interest out. - even if you have no particular reason to use Metro Line 1 (you probably will though, as it runs up to the House of Terror and the main park), do go on it at least once. It's charming. I hope you enjoy Budapest, we loved our short stay. The only (minor), downside was that is now suffers the "curse of EasyJet" and there were several parties of drunken fellow Britons on stag and hen parties! However, they can't be avoided anywhere it seems.
Thanks Keith. We are there for a short time too. Arrive Thurs evening and leave Sunday morning. Good tips. We're used to the young drinking groups, they are everywhere in Austin too, they don't bother us. They usually resort to my husband and I retelling each other funny stories of party party days and lots of laughs of how silly we were!
Looks like the topic has been resolved more or less, but I cannot resist chiming in. I am in the anti- camp when it comes to bus tours. In many cities, like London and Paris, you can do very well with a public bus and your Rick Steves guidebook. In others, take the metro and walk the key areas. We did Rick's Budapest walking tour ourselves in Budapest and found it to be very manageable. It's a big city but the places that you would want to go are fairly concentrated and well connected by transit. We rode the trams alongside the river more times than we needed to, just for the view. I have said it here before, Budapest is one of the three most underrated cities in Europe (that I have been to); the other two are Madrid and Lisbon. You will have a great time regardless of what you decide.
You might also take a look at these walking tour maps. http://www.bigboytravel.com/freewalkingtours
We loved the HOHO bus in Budapest earlier this spring. It was a great way to see all of Budapest and decide what we wanted to do. Having said that, I will second the suggestion to take James up on his offer - he provided some very helpful information for us and I'd say we had the best of both worlds. We were able to be tourists with HOHO - which isn't a bad thing. It was a nice relaxing day, we were able to tour all over Budapest, take a trip along the Danube, and were able to get to the top of Gellert which offers the most amazing view of Buda, Pest and the Danube. Using James' helpful tips, we got to explore Budapest on our own via walking and public transport- wonderful adventure! The city is quite walkable to most sites. Whatever you decide, you will fall in love with Budapest.
I would make a really bad budget traveler. I look at it this way, you spend over a thousand dollars a person to get there, the room or apartment or what ever is costing $100 and up a night, so if you think there is any possibility that you will get some enjoyment out of the HOHO then buy a ticket. It adds what?, maybe 0.25% to the trip?
Yes, James has been great! If trying to get caught up at work so I can leave for vacation doesn't do me in, I am looking forward to being in Budapest in 2 weeks!
Thank you to everyone!