Luxury BUDAPEST long Week-end Thursday 18th January 2018 – 5 days & 4 nights
Budapest is considered the most sophisticated of Central European capitals and is often referred to as the "Paris of the East". Its wide boulevards and impressive architecture convey a sense of affluence from years gone by. It is home to some 90,000 Jews, once the second biggest community in Europe.
The modern city of Budapest, straddling the Danube River, is a unification of the old cities of 'Buda', ‘Obuda’ (Old Buda) and 'Pest' each with its own separate Jewish community originating as early as the 13th century. Under the various royals and foreign powers (Tartars, Turks, Habsburgs) diverse Jewish communities formed throughout the land. The downtown historic Jewish Quarter still has a quaint atmosphere of contrasts: original buildings needing repair next to shiny new apartment blocks. In 1869, the Jewish community split into Neolog (progressive), Orthodox and status quo congregations—each having its own grand synagogue. The birth house of Theodor Herzl is a museum and many chapters in the history of Zionism took place here. Where once the birth house of Herzl stood you can find the Jewish Museum with wealth of artifacts and documents relating to Jewish history in Hungary.
By 1935 there were more than 215,000 Jews in Budapest, making this community one of the largest in the world. With Hungary joining the Axis powers, the collaborative government introduced anti-Jewish laws. In 1944, the Hungarian Nazi Arrow Cross Party took over. A devastating deportation action was carried out and over half of Hungary’s Jews were murdered within a few months in Auschwitz and Birkenau. This was the only ghetto in Europe which was still functioning when liberated. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and Swiss Consul Carl Lutz saved 10,000s of Hungarian Jews by issuing them false documents. See the moving granite and steel “Weeping Willow” memorial and a bronze statue of Wallenberg to commemorate the Righteous Gentiles and the cast iron “Shoes on the Danube Bank” memorial for those deported and murdered.
During Soviet times a relatively large Jewish community continued on here (about 60,000 members) and it was the only place within the Soviet satellite countries where there was an operational Rabbinical Seminary!
The highlight of any tour to Budapest is a visit to the Byzantine-Moorish style Dohany Street Synagogue. It is perhaps the most magnificent synagogue in the world and largest in Europe, seating over 3000 people. Today's community of approx. 90,000 is served by 23 synagogues and prayer houses, 2 colleges, 3 high schools, a Jewish hospital, Jewish newspaper, kosher restaurants, butchers and bakers. Life is finding its way back to the old Jewish district; shops are reopening, synagogues and Jewish community buildings are being renovated, Jewish cultural events and festivals are held annually.
A tour of Budapest includes World Heritage Sites such as the Buda Castle and surrounding Castle Quarter, Saint Stephen's Basilica, the Chain Bridge, the mid 19th century Andrássy Avenue with its eclectic neo- Renaissance palaces and the Hungarian State Opera. One can still sense the power and splendour of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which was home to many different ethnic and religious groups. The spectacular neo-Gothic Parliament is ornate and massive – building materials included 40 kg of gold! displaying its splendour on the banks of the Danube. A historical stroll along the Danube Promenade is a must for this fascinating, charming and is a very Jewish
Introducing our guide Guide-Agi-Salgo. I started to work in the Dohany synagogue as their guide in 2004 and then started to do Jewish tours. The following year I did the course on tour guiding and started to do all kinds of tours. I work for the following companies: Hungarian Tourism Office, Amadeus Waterways, Avalon Waterways, Scenic Tours, Viking River Cruise, Isram, Exeter, WZO, The Joint Distribution Committee, Jewish Agency, Israel Experience, Maccabi, and of course Jewish Visitors Service. (and many more). I work in English and Hebrew as well. There is an old story how I became a tour guide. I was about 3 years old when I said to a group of children on the playground: "If you want to listen to me, please follow me, And-they-did’. Since then a lot has happened but I still say the same. I like tour guiding so much that I do not consider it as a job. It is important for me that my guests do not only have a good time, but also learn something new, understand the whys, remember tastes, and feelings. A believe that 3 days after the trip you will not remember which monument was built by whom and when, but the feelings and taste of the city of Budapest remains
Holocaust MemorialImage result for budapest jewish sites pictures Image result for jewish shoes on the danube picture
Recommending we fly British Airways from Heathrow at 8.00 landing Budapest 11.25
Returning 17.40 on Monday 22nd January landing Heathrow at 19.25
DAY 1 Thursday 18th January 2018
After landing in Budapest 11.25 met by our guide Agi Salgo and then board our coach to do an essential coach tour of the city pointing out landmarks such as Andrassy Ave, Heroes Square learning its famous history, city park, Castle of Vajdahunyad, drive to Buda through the Chain bridge and then walking the Castle district visiting the Hospital in the Rock.
Recommending bring Sandwiches for Day 1
Check into Hotels by 3.30pm where tour Day 1 concludes
17.30pm Those who wish. Meet Hotel Corinthia reception we are walking to the Jewish quarter for an early supper ahead of going to the Opera to see TOSCA at the Hungarian State Opera House in the famous Andrassy Boulevard
19.00 Giancomo Puccini’s TOSCA at the Hungarian State Opera House, for those who have tickets
Budapest is exceptional for great food and wonderful restaurants with all the local ones being pointed out by our guide including the ornate New York Cafe next door to the Corinthian Hotel – If people booked wish we can book an evening river cruise with meal – also restaurants serenaded by opera singers or gypsy musicians.
DAY 2 Friday 19th January
9.00am Agi Salgo will take the group on a walking tour of the Jewish quarter and environs for 3 hours consisting of Rumbach Synagogue, Kazincy Street Synagogue, the birth house of Theodor Herzl which is now a museum and then finally the biggest Synagogue in Europe The Dohany leaving the group to do the Jewish Museum and Holocaust Museum on their own
17.00 Meet to attend Shabbat Kabbalat service in Shul
Thereafter group Shabbat meal together
DAY 3 – Shabbat 20th January
Free day to attend Synagogue services [please confirm if you wish kosher Shabbat lunch booked] or do as you please
DAY 4 – Sunday 21st January
9.00 We have a coach for a full day, visiting the Glass House, Wallenberg Memorial in the former Middle Class Jewish residential neighbourhood, the shoes Memorial by the Danube, the Synagogues on the Buda side including Jewish cemetery and Margaret Island on the Danube that separates 2 parts of the city of Budapest.
After lunch we have a musical theme by visiting the Academy of Music and the First Strudel house of Pest, the Opera house and Houses of Franz liszt and Bela Bartok
DAY 5 – Monday 22nd January
Morning free until Coach comes to collect us at 11.00am checking out luggage on the coach then when we head out of the city to the Danube bend and the delightful town of Szentendre if very cold we will visit museums then free time for lunch before heading to the airport at 14.30
COST depends on Hotel choice :-
Sharing a double /twin is £695 pp covers Superior room [single supplement £295] at CORINTHIA formerly Grand Hotel Royal with rich buffet breakfast and full access to the magnificent Royal Spa, plus all transport in Budapest guide Day 1, 3 and 4 all museum fees on guided tours plus Friday night Shabbos meal and Tosca opera ticket
The Corinthia [worth 6*] cannot be bettered one of the great Hotels in Europe to indulge with free use of its magnificent Spa indoor pool and facilities so the cost reflects the magnificence of the hotel First opened in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, Corinthia Hotel Budapest remains among the grandest in the city. Meticulously renovated, the hotel's rich history blends seamlessly with state-of-the-art features, such as an original 19th Century Spa, elegant eateries, two bars and the city's largest hotel
SOHO BOUTIQUE HOTEL sharing a double or twin is £495pp single supplement £95 in addition reservation has been made at the Soho Boutique hotel, plus all transport in Budapest guide Day 1, 3 and 4 all museum fees on guided tours plus Friday night Shabbos meal and Tosca Opera ticket – Hotel details are https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g274887-d1112160-Reviews-Soho_Boutique_Hotel-Budapest_Central_Hungary.html also in the Jewish quarter close to the Corinthia Hotel making it easy for groups to meet for tours etc
Extra nights are available either side of trip on request
The cost excludes flights and travel Insurance.