Buzzing across Budapest: drink in the sights with Beers on Wheels
Photo : Beers on Wheels
20/6/2014, 8:45 AM●3-minute article
Sightseeing while cycling is fun, and sightseeing while drinking is fun, so let’s raise a glass to the anonymous bibulous genius that invented the multi-person party bike. All over the world, these mobile taverns take pedaling passengers past many of the planet’s grandest sights while they sip freshly poured suds, and this unique form of cruising while carousing is especially popular here in Hungary’s capital, particularly in Pest’s pancake-flat city center.
Now the newest model of this intoxicating conveyance is available for groups to check out downtown’s landmark attractions while knocking back pints of premium brew. Beers on Wheels provides two-hour tours for groups of up to 18 people with a state-of-the-art cart equipped with a 30-liter keg of Hungary’s own top-quality Dreher lager, poured by a lovely lass at a bar surrounded by three benches and ten sets of pedals, all while a designated driver tackles traffic. This vehicle is loaded: made with a strong but sleek metal frame and topped with a solid roof capable of withstanding all weather, this booze buggy carries guests on exhilarating urban excursions scored by a multi-speaker sound system fed by USB flash drives, and lit for night rides with limo-style LED lamps – indeed, this is a 21st-century beer bike.
Before the blotto journey begins on Nagymező Street just a short stroll away from the Opera House, clients can customize the sign on the side of the bar – a perfect way to commemorate guests of honor for bachelor or bachelorette parties. The expedition kicks off at maximum sobriety as riders pedal diligently while enjoying their first drink along historic Andrássy Avenue, soon passing a pair of musical monuments dedicated to Hungary’s most famous maestro: Liszt Ferenc Square and the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum. (Appropriately, by this point the party-bike passengers are often singing together, though perhaps not as harmoniously as Liszt would like.)
Continuing up Andrássy to Heroes’ Square, the pedaling partyers take a pit stop for photography and piddling before circling past the Műcsarnok contemporary gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts to head back downtown along Andrássy. Soon the tipsy troop passes the House of Terror Museum, but after several pints already quaffed by now, the roving revelers feel no fear.
This is a good thing, because next comes the most strenuous stretch of the tour – wheeling around Oktogon, Pest’s busiest intersection with bustling car and tram traffic in all directions. At this moment the barmaid performs more like a cheerleader to get people pedaling faster, as passengers tend to be punch-drunk. However, after a short sprint up Erzsébet Boulevard, the blitzed bikers leave honking horns behind by pulling into the party zone of Király Street, passing the newly renovated Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music… and the maestro would definitely not be pleased by the soused singing usually heard among the ripped riders now.
Finally, the ride carries its tanked travelers into the blurry lights and nightlife of Kazinczy Street, where – after one more round of Dreher aboard – passengers disembark from the party bike and stagger on to the plethora of clubs surrounding them, having seen many of the city’s most memorable sights… but because what clients can actually remember from the tour on the next morning varies considerably based on consumption, Beers on Wheels provides the option of having a personalized video of each ride recorded for posterity and hilarity.