Taking an Urban Adventures tour supports local communities around the world. Here’s Hungarian super guide Livia on what her and her team at Budapest Urban Adventures have been doing recently to make the world a better place…
With Budapest Urban Adventures we want to create tours that not only show off the many highlights of our city but to offer tours that benefit local people. Every stop, in every tour itinerary is a local place, ensuring that local businesses benefit from tourism in their cities. For example, on our Bites & Sights tour we stop at Csendes Vintage Bar, a quirky former grand coffee house that’s now one of the coolest ruin bars in town. It’s locally owned and the money from the drinks we enjoy here goes back into keeping this cultural icon alive.
It warms our hearts when we can actively participate in a noble process. On our Controversial Budapest: Exploring the Infamous 8th District tour we try to focus on the more challenging issues that face our city. Sometimes we are able to stop in a lovely hidden artist’s garden that is in danger of being shut down. The situation of the place is still undecided but we try our best to save it by bringing visitors here, to a place that they would unlikely find on their own. Our guests who visit the garden always sign the owner’s petition, which will eventually go to the local mayor, to hopefully preserve the garden for future generations. Our visit also benefits them financially too.
We donate EUR3 for every Controversial Budapest: Exploring the Infamous 8th District tour we sell to the Oltalom Charity Society. Oltalom, meaning shelter, is the most well known charity in Hungary. They started their work in the last year of the communist dictatorship in 1989 and in the 30 years that have passed their army of volunteers have given support, shelter and food to homeless people and refugees as well as families and elderly people living below the poverty line. Their base is located in the 8th District and is a big part of everyday life in the neighbourhood.
On our tour we do not visit the centre of Oltalom because we don’t want to encroach on those who are using the facilities, instead we talk about their inspiring work during our tour and donate a EUR3 per tour back to the charity.
Nem Adom Fel Café opened in 2016 as the first one of its kind; a bar employing mainly local people with disabilities. This is another stop on our Controversial Budapest: Exploring the Infamous 8th District. The fact that it was opened in the 8th district might not be a surprise for the locals as this is the neighbourhood with the most varied demography and probably the one with the most exciting new initiatives operating. Their mission is very simple: to bring awareness to all those people living with disabilities of any kind. Hungary still has a llong way to go when it comes to being disability-friendly, initiatives like this one set up by Nem Adom Fel help to bring awareness to the situation. The café organizes lots of events for residents such as gypsy music and movie nights. It also offers a regular daily lunch menu at a very affordable price, making it a popular neighbourhood dining spot. We visit their café for a coffee break on our tour, so that we can help in our own small way, bringing awareness to their work as well as making a financial contribution.
We always like to help our customers be better travellers. So on all our tours, we highlight and stop at fountains or wells so customer’s can refill their bottles with clean water. It may be surprising to hear that for many people, drinking water from the street (or from any restrooms) is actually a big step outside of their comfort zone. We encourage them to make that step as this is what we locals do everyday.