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Urban walks
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Since 2008

Urban walks

KÉK regularly organizes city walks, inviting a wide audience to discover the city’s architectural secrets. The walks explore unknown and normally inaccessible yet exciting locations in Budapest, such as the Gizella Street Mills, the Dreher Brewery in Kőbánya, the Kelenföld Power Plant, the Törley Champaigne Cellars or the underground tunnels of M4.

Besides these urban exploration tours we also regularly guide professional groups and those interested in architecture and urbanism. If you want to get a fresh view on contemporary architecture in Hungary, choose from one of our tours below.

Designed for groups but also well-suited for individuals, our tours vary from two-hour tours to multi-day excursions. If you are interested in studio visits, interiors of buildings or in the contemporary architecture of the Hungarian wineries, we’d happy to offer tailor-made tours with all kinds of transportation options (bus, metro, boat, bike, helicopter) and length. Please feel free to contact us with any kind of special request.

If you prefer to explore Budapest by yourself, we recommend you to visit our highly popular tour-website, Artur.org.hu, which offers seven free architectural walks and bikerides with 64 buildings built in the last 20 years.

List of our tours

Successes and failures of the Inner City

How planners reshaped the city’s core

The last Baroque building in Pest, Parisian architecture copied in plaster, streets and passages cut into old blocks, modern buildings erecting blockades in the middle of nice streets, the conception of ruin pubs are some of the highlights of this trip.

Location: 5th and 7th districts; Duration and length: 2h, 2.5 kms

Understanding Hungarian modernism

From Bauhaus to Contemporary architecture in Inner-Buda

Hungarian modernism was never as strict as CIAM or Bauhaus. Architects always added some personal flavour, a bit more Mediterranean, more decorative, more playful than German examples. Get a complete overview of buildings from 1930 until today while walking between the Castle Hill and the Danube.

Location: Inner Buda, 2nd district; Duration and length: 4h, 4 kms

Residential developments in the 8th and 9th districts

Urban rehabilitation processes compared

The tour leads through two historical suburbs, Ferencváros and Józsefváros. These formerly ill-famed suburbs give examples of two different types of rehabilitation. The rehabilitation of blocks has been going on in Ferencváros for nearly two decades: new residential buildings have been set up in place of the worn-out ones, though the tenants mostly remain the same. Common green areas have been created inside the blocks, while public areas are also being renewed. Different methods are being used in Józsefváros, on the other side of Üllői road: between Corvin cinema and Szigony street, a new promenade and a whole new district is being built.

Location: 8th and 9th districts; Duration and length: 4h, 4 kms

Art Nouveau in Budapest

Lechner, Lajta and friends. Walking in the footsteps of Hungarian art nouveau

Walk in the footsteps of the greatest architects of Hungarian Art-Nouveau: discover well-known and lesser known works of Hungarian masters like Ödön Lechner, Béla Lajta and others around the City Park. From luxurious private villas to community institutions and public buildings, this tour offers a surprisingly vivid and broad insight to the Hungarian society of the early 1900ies, and the everyday life a Budapest, a bustling metropolis of the era. The tour ends at the Széchenyi Bath where you can relax after a long-day walking.

Location: 14th district; Duration and length: 4h, 5 kms

Vacant Budapest - Walk in the inner parts of Elizabethtown

Ruinenlust at its best

If temporary architecture is your thing, then choose this tour to discover the best Budapest examples. We run an advocacy and research program called Lakatlan (vacant in Hungarian) that promotes interim use. After a short lecture about the lessons learned through the program, we walk through Elizabethtown (Erzsébetváros, the 7th district of Budapest) characterized by barely used public spaces, recently renovated buildings, ruin pubs and artists’ studios. The walk will introduce alternative, bottom up initiatives that appropriated and transformed these spaces.

Location: 7th district; Duration and length: 4h, 3 kms

Népszínház utca, where does it lead?

Cultural diversity in the 8th district of Budapest

Népszínház utca is among the most controversial streets in Budapest. Traditionally the first stop of recent immigrants to the city, the street accommodates a variety of ethnic groups. The commercial street’s fame is overshadowed by its neglected public spaces, derelict buildings, empty shops and tangible social conflicts. Our walk leads along this street towards Teleki tér neighborhood that has been improved recently with a new, community-designed public park. Choose this tour to discover hidden secrets of Budapest, like the country’s last surviving “apartment synagogues”, a newly founded mosque, Budapest’s Chinatown and the oldest and still existing Jewish cemetery of the city.

Location: 8th district; Duration and length: 4 hrs, 5 kms

Urban Walk in Víziváros

Víziváros (Watertown) is one of the oldest parts of Buda, lying between the Castle Hill and the River Danube. Countless architectural examples are to be found here, from the Ottoman era, through the varying baroque and “neo“-styles, to twentieth-century modernist and recent contemporary buildings. The harmonious co-existence of different architectural styles, trends, and historic eras in this area offers a unique opportunity for a quick overview of Hungarian history of architecture, while getting to know the urban legends of Víziváros.

Location: 1st district; Duration and length: 2,5h, 2 kms

Ruin pubs 2.0 - Urban transformation and commercial architecture

Architecture meets gastronomy

If you like to combine walking with great food, try this tour. Ruin-bars are considered as Budapest’s primary tourist attractions. Operated by young entrepreneurs, they are famous for their unconventional aesthetics. If ruin aesthetics dominated the interior design of the first generation of Inner-Erzsébetváros bars, later generations were eager to distinguish themselves from their appearence. Owners of the 2nd generation of ruin-pubs created a growing market for architects turning towards interior design. Wine bars, gourmet shops, restaurants, and other high-quality interiors by young designers will be visited during this tour.

Location: 7th district; Duration and length: 2h, 2,5 kms

On bike from Liget to Margitsziget

Snapshot of contemporary architecture and recent state-funded developments

Riding on the narrow bike route along Andrássy avenue, we can observe several illustrious buildings dating from both the 19th and the 21th century, e.g. works of Erick van Egeraat. From here we ride along Bajcsy-Zsilinszky avenue towards Westend City Center that was completed by 2000 and had played a major role in the renewal of Váci street and its broader environs. The renewed Kossuth square offers an excellent example of good urban design. From here on, we’ll take a curve among the Bauhaus buildings and contemporary office block of Újlipótváros, a district that developed in the 1930s. Our journey ends at the most popular public park, Margitsziget (Margaret Island), where our two stops may be a pleasant pastime.

Location: 13, 14th districts; Duration and length: 4 hrs, 5 kms

Tailor made tours

Please contact us with your special request!

Tours from our existing range can also be shortened or extended in accordance to your wishes. Our professionals guides are university lecturers, practicing architects, art historians and urbanists and are happy to develop tours based on your interest. We can advise you with the planning of your trip and help you with organization of transportation and accommodation.

Pricing

Indicative prices for our standard tours. Prices do not include entrance fees, food and drink and transportation costs.

2h tour
Small groups (1-10 persons): 160 €
Big groups (11-20 persons): 240 €

Half-day tour (5h)
Small groups (1-10 persons): 280 €
Big groups (11-20 persons): 400 €

Full-day tour (8h tour)
Small groups (1-10 persons): 380 €
Big groups (11-20 persons): 760 €

Bálint Kádár

Bálint Kádár

Architect, urban scholar, he got an MSc in Architecture degree in 2003 with diploma price and a PhD degree in 2015 at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He is teaching and doing research at the department of Urban Planning and Design at BME, where he defended his PhD dissertation entitled: Pedestrian space usage of tourist-historic cities – comparing the tourist space systems of Vienna and Prague to Budapest”. He is activist in architectural NGOs since 2000, organising conferences, workshops and social events in the memo association until 2006, and in KÉK since then. He also runs his architecture studio, involved in works from building design to tourism development concepts, participating in exhibitions and competitions.

Bálint Tóth

Bálint Tóth

Architect, commited supporter of public art. He joined VS crew in 2012 because of his strong attraction to industrial zones. As a resident of Ferencváros, he is deeply interested in different methods of urban rehabilitation, and gladly shares his experiences.

Dániel Kovács

Dániel Kovács

Art historian, architectural critic. In 2007-2013 he worked as editor and chief editor of architecture and design magazine hg.hu. From mid-2013 he continued as a project manager, first in the Museum of Fine Arts, then in 2014-2015 in the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest. Since Autumn 2015 he works as program director at the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin. He published several articles on historical and contemporary architecture, and two own books on the Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture of Budapest. Since 2010 he's a member of KÉK. He acted as curator of Artur.org.hu (with deputy curator Péter Gyabronka in the first phase), initiated the Wikipedia project and participates in Transmodern.

Daniella Huszár

Daniella Huszár

Cultural manager. She started to volunteer at KÉK in 2010. As curator she is mainly active in the organization of the Budapest Architecture Film Days and the Urban Walk series. Since 2015 she is also involved with the operational management of the foundation. Previously, she was heading the content development department of a travel guide application (PocketGuide) and was the project coordinator of Krétakör Theatre. Holds master degrees in International Relations (Corvinus University of Budapest) and Cultural Policy (University of Warwick).

Gergely Kiss

Gergely Kiss

Architect, urbanist, foreverstudent. In 2007 as a second-year architect student at Budapest University of Technology and Economics he started volunteering for KÉK as a photographer, bartender, helping activist. From 2010 he became the curator of Urban Walks. In 2011 he coordinated the connecting tours of the launching Budapest100 program in 2012 he was the project manager of the whole event. Currently he is working as an architect and doing a Master’s degree program of architecture in Basel. His mission is to intensify the general architectural interest for the public and to improve solutions for social problems realising projects based on community work.

Monika Kertész

Monika Kertész

Founding member and curator of KÉK, she participates in its activities from the begining 2005. Educated as a cultural manager, interior designer and financial accountant. In KÉK she primarily coordinates the Budapest100, Pecha Kucha Night and is heading the Community gardens program and responsible for the operational management of the Foundation. With her organizational, financial and problem-solving skills she leading KÉK’s operative functioning. She regards social and environmental issues as inherently interrelated, and believes that active local communities may bring about fundamental changes in Hungary, while they learn about cooperation, solidarity and new forms of trust.

Samu Szemerey

Samu Szemerey

Architect and urbanist interested in design as inquiry. His works investigate the relationship of contemporary culture, accessible technology and the human environment. He is a founding member and curator of KÉK Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Center. He has taught, published and lectured internationally. As a consultant and strategist he works with cities, institutions and private clients. He has directed workshops, research projects and curated exhibitions and public programs. From 2014 he also works with Design Terminal as advisor in urbanism. His ongoing PhD research focuses on networked technologies in urban space. He is based in Budapest.

Soma Pongor

Soma Pongor

Architect; Curator of City walks: from 2012 july; Other: Budapest100 volunteer (2012, 2013); Organized walks: Castle Bazaar, Hospital of North-Pest, Headquaters of Hungarian Radio, National Széchenyi Library, Corvin Department Store.

Timea Csaba

Timea Csaba

Architect, urban designer, dancer. Graduated from the University of Applied Arts Vienna and TU Budapest. Speaking four languages and actively engaged in three fields, Timea defines herself as a mediator between cultures and disciplines. Her main focus is movement strategies: let it be a large scale urban migration or composing the smallest detail of a wrist turn. She is a founding member and curator of KÉK and was its first coordinator, launching programmes such as “Urban Walks” and “Bubbles from Japan”. Currently working in Vienna and remains a member of KÉK's Curatorial Board.

Zoltán Erő

Zoltán Erő

Architect, urbanist, founder of Palatium Studio Ltd., founding curator of KÉK. Besides taking part in urban planning and public space development projects, he likes to work on architectural revitalization of historic places and buildings. As a general architect for Budapest Underground Line 4, he was the leader of architects, he was responsible for the arcitectural conception of the whole line, and was also architect in charge for four stations. He often gives lectures and his publications are known.

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