7 Budapest tour companies offering guided bike rides
Photo : Krisztián Bódis/We Love Budapest
26/8/2015, 11:54 PM●5-minute article
Whether pedaling along the Danube Promenade while enjoying the late-summer breeze tickling our faces, or admiring myriad city lights while riding amid them after sunset, or freewheeling through the Buda Hills with an electrically boosted bike, there are many ways to explore the Magyar metropolis on two wheels. With the scorching summer weather now behind us, this time of year is perfect for discovering Budapest with a guided bike trip – here are seven tour companies offering diverse bicycle outings ranging from city-center sightseeing to extended excursions in the surrounding countryside.
While Bikebase specializes in bicycle rentals and sales, the company also provides tailor-made tours by request, with an optimal number of four to eight participants. From cruising around Heroes’ Square to passing by Budapest’s striking Art Nouveau buildings to trekking along the downtown stretch of the Danube, these guided excursions focus on must-see sights of Budapest, with additional stops included throughout the ride on demand. Generally these trips span from three to six hours and cost approximately 4,000 to 6,000 forints per person, headed by guides that speak English, French, or German. In addition to the Budapest tours, anyone aiming to explore the surrounding region can be dropped off at a nearby city and cycle all the way back to Budapest, even without a guide.
Looking for a tasteful biking experience around Budapest? Sign up for BudaBike’s intriguing “Cooking with the Locals” trip. Beyond highlighting renowned monuments like St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, and the Chain Bridge, this excursion takes riders all the way to a local’s home in Hűvösvölgy deep within the city’s Buda side, where they experience Hungarian hospitality and enjoy a “bográcsozás” (a traditional open-air cooking party centered around a large cauldron of stew), while sipping on Hungarian drinks. As the night sets in after the feast, the group takes a leisurely ride back to downtown Budapest while admiring the city’s myriad sparkling lights, ending the trip around 10:00pm. The tour costs 90 euros per person, and requires a minimum of four participants.
From cruising the boulevards of Budapest to taking a daylong trip on a 24-gear cycle to the nearby settlement of Szentendre, Budapest Bike Breeze caters to travelers of all fitness levels with a wide range of guided rides. Anyone seeking classic Budapest sightseeing can go for the 4.5-hour “Wheels and Meals” excursion kicking off every day during summer months at 10:30am at Deák Square, which covers the most prominent sights of the city starting by traversing all of Andrássy Avenue en route to Heroes’ Square, before pedaling up to the Buda Castle; this excursion costs 7,000 forints per person and includes a goulash-sampling break halfway through the journey. In addition to this tour, anyone who wants to acquire local knowledge on Budapest’s communist era can pedal back in time to cover the most infamous Soviet-era sites of District VIII, with a special tour offered for 6,000 forints per person.
Peek behind the scenes of Budapest’s best live-music venues and get in-depth information accompanied by fascinating stories from industry insiders throughout the Bike & Roll Backstage Tour (11,000 HUF) covering some of the city’s most popular nightlife hotspots, where participants lock the bikes and head inside. The jaunt rolls out from District VII on Wesselényi Street 13 from the Budapestbike shop, moving on to Akvárium Club (a popular contemporary art and chill-out zone at Erzsébet Square) before crossing the Danube to the A38 Ship – a huge concert hall within a renovated Ukrainian stone-carrying barge near Petőfi Bridge. The trip proceeds to the Stage Shop, a premier guitar store, before returning to the Pest side, where participants ascend Corvintető – a buzzing rooftop hangout above it all.
Discover Budapest at your own pace while learning about the most important facts of the city with an audio-guided tour covering 50 fascinating spots around town. Take a break whenever and wherever you want and continue the journey whenever your batteries are recharged. Those who opt for the “Gourmet Trip” can take a ride through the world of Hungarian gastronomy, sampling renowned local specialties like traditional goulash soup to hearty lángos to sweet rétes strudel, all complemented with a glass of golden Tokaji wine. Depending on the route plan, Hi-Bike offers a wide range of bicycles to choose among, from easy-to-use city bikes to 24-speed trekking cycles. Guided tours start with a minimum number of two people, and they are priced between 7,000 and 8,000 forints per person.
Conquer the hills and slopes of Budapest with an extra boost on an electrically powered bicycle, allowing riders to charge up to the top of Gellért Hill without an arduous physical struggle interfering with the sprawling city panorama. I Like eBike offers three different excursions: the “Viewpoint Tour” (18,500 HUF) swiftly takes participants up the steepest hills to viewing platforms and sights with the best scenery; the “Real Budapest Tour” (15,500 HUF) offers a ride through the communist era, passing by some of the city’s most intriguing urban ruins; and the evening “Romantic Tour”(12,500 HUF) leads lovers to Budapest’s most iconic and beautiful sights. The daytime journeys include gourmet breaks where riders can grab a lángos or refresh with a glass of fröccs spritzer.
Cycle around Budapest in the saddle of a lightweight 21-speed professional KTM bike, and absorb Hungary’s history and culture under the sparkling city lights during Yellow Zebra’s three-hour “Evening Bike Tour” (6,500 HUF). Kicking off at Andrássy Avenue in front of the Hungarian State Opera, riders pass by the Parliament, pedal along the Danube banks, cross the Chain Bridge, and tool around the foot of Gellért Hill before returning to the Pest side of the city to ride past the Great Market Hall and the National Museum. Yellow Zebra also offers classic Budapest daytime guided tours (8,000 HUF) and bike rentals, including three-speed beach cruisers and tandem bikes for couples to pedal in harmony.