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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Indicative prices for our standard tours. Prices do not include entrance fees, food and drink and transportation costs.
Small groups (1-10 persons): 200 €
Big groups (11-20 persons): 400 €
Half-day tour (5h)
Small groups (1-10 persons): 300 €
Big groups (11-20 persons): 500 €
Full-day tour (8h tour)
Small groups (1-10 persons): 500 €
Big groups (11-20 persons): 800 €