In almost every major city of the world, you’ll find a guided Segway tour. Mike and I are always on the lookout for unique things to do while traveling. So if the weather is right, you can bet we are cruising around the city on a two-wheeled people transporter with the wind in our hair.
Budapest nicknamed the “Paris of the East” has to be one of our best Segway tours yet. It’s a spectacular destination, with some great sites to see on two wheels.
Fun fact: Did you know Budapest is actually the merging of 2 cities? Buda and Pest, with the Danube River dividing the two areas. Well, we didn’t and like I always say, traveling is an education.
First…What’s A Segway?
If for some reason you are one of the few humans on the planet that doesn’t know what a Segway is—-it’s a two-wheeled self-balancing personal transporter.
I mean who hasn’t seen Paul Blart the Mall Cop…
Is it hard to ride?
“Is it hard to ride?” That’s always the first question we get. The short answer is no.
The long answer is if I can ride one—you can. It’s all about balance. If you can stand on an escalator without a handrail, you can ride a Segway.
Here’s Why You Should Tour Budapest by Segway:
1. In 2-3 hours you get a great overview of the city without all the walking
What you can see in 2 hours on a Segway, would probably take you almost 8 hours or more if you walked it and it’s infinitely more fun!
(via Best Way Segway Tour)
2. You get to ride on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge–and avoid all the traffic
The most exciting part of our tour was riding on the chain bridge. There’s something exhilarating about navigating your Segway across the bridge and feeling the wind in your face. Since the bridge is a cultural icon and a symbol of the city it can get lots of car traffic, but you miss all that on a segway.
By the way, it’s called a chain bridge not because of any vertical chains you see. The ‘chain’ comes from the large horizontal plates at the top that is ‘linked’ together by metal rivets. This beautiful suspension bridge connects Buda to Pest and was the first of its kind in the 19th century.
There are two lions on both sides of the bridge by sculptorJános Marschalkó. Legend has it that the lions have no tongues because János forgot. Supposedly it caused him great embarrassment and he jumped to his death from the bridge.
The fact is the lions were placed on the bridge in 1852 and János died in 1877, so I don’t think he waited 25 years to jump. Also, the lions do have tongues but you’d have to climb on their heads to see them. Of course, you would be arrested by then but like all good legends, it makes a good story.
3. You get to skip the funicular crowd and Segway up Castle Hill instead
If your tour includes Castle Hill, your guide will take you up the roads to the top in no time. Along the way, you will have great views of Budapest.
Depending on your tour, you will ride around the Castle Hill area and see the beautiful castle. Of course, you have to get your required selfie at Fisherman’s Bastion because if you didn’t –did you really see Budapest?
4. No stuffy Hop-on Hop-Off bus or big groups to worry about
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just can’t handle buses full of people. Especially in the heat. When we took our Segway tour it was a hot day, and I barely noticed it. You go fast enough to feel a breeze and it’s great.
5. More flexibility and interaction with the guides
With Segway tours, it’s usually a guide and no more than 8 people. We got lucky with ours, it was just the two of us. Regardless whether it’s one or eight people, it’s so much more hands-on and interactive.
The guides have a generalized format they follow, but they are always happy to alter and do something different if everyone agrees.
The tours are usually narrated, some with microphones, some just shout, some stop, it really depends. But asking questions is easy and because you are in a small group not intimidating at all.
I can safely say we have been on enough Segway tours to give you a few tips:
- Wear shoes with good support–You are balancing on the Segway, so by the end of 2-3 hours your feet hurt.
- Wear a hat, beanie, bandana–You have to wear a helmet and they are only sanitized with spray. I have a fear of head ‘cooties’ (a medical term), so I always wear something on my head that the helmet can go over.
- Leave the backpack, purses behind–Some places have lockers, or you have to carry them and it’s just a pain
- Sometimes you will be in traffic and with pedestrians–I just wanted to give you a heads up that sometimes you will be on city streets, and on the sidewalks. So you may have to do some maneuvering. If that bothers you check your route first.
- It’s not the cheapest way to go–Obviously, walking and public transport is the cheapest way to go. Segway tours cost about the same as a tour bus.
Budapest Segway Tours
There are many Segway companies in Budapest. Prices can range from $38 for 1 hour, to private tours for $140, it just depends on what you are looking for and your budget.