Budapest - Masterpiece of Art Nouveau

Prices from £1,690


16 Oct 2019 - 20 Oct 2019
Duration: 4 nights
Ref: 19BUDA
With: Dr Anne Anderson


Prices from £1,690
Single Supplement: £250
Deposit: £200

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Image credit: Pal C. Molnar museum.


Budapest, the Paris of the East or the Pearl of the Danube, enjoyed a renaissance at the close of the 19th century. The Hungarian Millennium celebrations, marking the founding of the nation state in around 896 AD, helped to transform the city into a modern metropolis. The stunning Parliament building, echoing London’s Palace of Westminster, graces the shores of the Danube, the river that divides the city. However, the Hungarian Parliament is but one of many architectural gems.

St Matthias Church is one of the best-known and most impressive landmarks of Buda, while Pest’s Andrássy út, an elegant avenue, two miles long, takes you to the magnificent Heroes’ Square. An Art Pursuits Abroad first, this new tour will begin to untangle the complex history of a fascinating and eclectically beautiful city, with some time for pancakes along the way!


Anne is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster with a background in archaeology, who is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. As an art historian, Anne specialises in art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the Aesthetic movement, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Modernism. She lectures widely for many organiastions including the Arts Society.

DAY 1:

We fly from London City to Budapest. En route to our hotel we will stop at the iconic Heroes’ Square, a huge semi-circular colonnade featuring, amongst other heroes of Hungarian history, the statues of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars — the leaders of the seven tribes of the Hungarians at the time of their arrival to the Carpathian Basin in 895 AD. We continue to our hotel situated on the spectacular Andrássy Avenue, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

DAY 2:

‘Budapest’ is the amalgamation of the cities Buda and Pest, which, together with Óbuda, united in 1873 to form the modern day metropolis. We spend the morning exploring the delights of Buda: from the Church of St Matthias, the site of many important coronations, to the Hungarian National Gallery, which will introduce you to the celebrated national artists, Mihály Munkácsy, József Rippl-Rónai and Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch. In the afternoon, we have arranged for a private visit to the Pál Molnár-C. Studio Museum, and is dedicated to the Magyar visionary Pál Molnár-C, a religious and decorative painter and graphic designer. One of Budapest’s hidden gems, the museum is run by his family. Péter Csillag, the grandson of the late artist and his wife Eva, will guide us through the museum and serve an aperitif after the tour.

DAY 3:

Spend the morning discovering the Hungarian Parliament, the third largest parliament building in the world. Inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Hungary in 1896, the building is a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture. Our tour of the building will also take in the Holy Crown of Hungary; presented by the Byzantine Emperor Michael VII Doukas to King Géza I of Hungary, it is one of only two known Byzantine crowns to survive. Lost and stolen numerous times, then sent to the USA for safekeeping during the Cold War, it was eventually returned to the people of Hungary in 1978. After a coffee and cake break in a beautiful historic café visit the house of Hungarian Art Nouveau/ Secession, dating to 1903 with furniture and artefacts of the period. In the afternoon we have a walking tour of Pest which will focus on the city’s magnificent Secessionist architecture and its star exponent, Ödön Lechner, the ‘Hungarian Gaudí’. Not to be missed is the exterior of Lechner’s Royal Postal Savings Bank — an extravagantly colourful marriage of Art Nouveau style and folkloric motifs considered by many to be the pinnacle of the architect’s output. Our wanderings will also take in St. Stephen’s Basilica and the intriguing tale of ‘The Holy Right’, the holy right hand of St Stephen, first Hungarian king (1000-1038).

DAY 4:

Budapest’s buildings are exceptional thanks to Zsolnay ceramics — roofs and façades glitter with colour and light — and at the Virag Judit Gallery we will learn about the Zsolnay family factory at Pécs in southern Hungary. Another workshop contributing to the decorative buildings of Budapest was that of glass painter Miksa Róth, whose sparkling windows, panels and mosaics are celebrated at the Miksa Róth Memorial House. In the afternoon, these decorative elements are brought together and explored in context: the Franz Liszt Academy of Music features some of the city’s richest Secession interiors, while the Schiffer Villa is a rare survival of a house conceived as a ‘total work of art’. It is worth a visit for its stained glass windows alone. In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner in an elegant Hungarian restaurant.

DAY 5:

The Wekerle Estate in Budapest’s XIX district, also known as Kispest, shows the influence of the English Arts and Crafts style. Interestingly, the area was developed in line with the theories of Sir Ebenezer Howard, English founder of the Garden City movement, to offer Kispest workers and clerks a new way of life in the 20th century that was harmonious with nature. After a short walk through the area we will continue to Budapest Airport for our return flight to London City.


Twin/double share: £1690 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £250
Price of the tour without flights: £1490 per person
Deposit: £200 per person


  • Return flights with LOT airlines from London City to Budapest
  • Private coach transfers in Budapest
  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast in the 4* Hotel Moments
  • Two dinners
  • Guided visits to all sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes & gratuities for coach drivers & waiters

Hotel Moments****

Hotel Moments is an elegant hotel located on the stunning World Heritage site of Andrássy Avenue, only a few steps away from the Hungarian State Opera House, the St. Stephen’s Basilica and several other spectacular sights of Budapest. Rooms feature Free WiFi, air conditioning, telephone, television, minibar and hairdryer.