First year students become Budapest travel guides

Thirty-four students recently directed their own three-day guided tour of the city of Budapest, visiting historical landmarks, tasting local food and experiencing Hungary’s unique laws.

Planning their own route, the Travel & Tourism and Hospitality & Events students were responsible for researching landmarks and their local significance. This gave the group the opportunity to submerge themselves in local culture and apply their knowledge outside the classroom.

During the trip students visited modern tourist attractions including the Budapest Eye and the city’s thriving fashion district. Stepping back from the bustle of city life, the group took in Hungary’s rural towns. One of these was Szentendre, where the group enjoyed a traditional lunch, explored local museums and took a cruise along the Danube River.

Going from strength to strength, students braved touring food Karavans, using the experience to interact with the local traders. This provided a unique opportunity to grasp the workings of the local currency and how to conduct business in the country. But it wasn’t all business, students spent several hours relaxing in Budapest’s Szechenyi Baths – Europe’s largest healing pool.

Historical landmarks were a key part of the trip, which saw students visit St Stephen’s Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament Building, where they were able to watch the changing of the guards. Students also witnessed the shoe sculpture memorials remembering those killed during World War Two. Students also toured the ‘Heroes’ Square,’ which was laid in 1896 to mark the thousandth anniversary of Hungary – this is the largest and most impressive square of the city.

To round off their trip, students ventured up the country’s heritage chain bridge to the Buda Castle where the group explored the Fisherman’s Bastion, Royal Palace landmarks, while taking in amazing views of Budapest.

Students Ella and Emily say the trip has helped them explore future career options: “In travel there’s so much you can do, but this experience helped us to focus on what it’s like to be a tour guide and decide if this is what we want to do in future.”

Sirun Cury is both a student and of Hungarian nationality: “It was nice to return to my country, but also to share the experience with my friends and classmates. It was fun teaching them about the local food.”

The Travel & Tourism, and Hospitality & Events courses are two-year, Level 3 vocational programmes equivalent to three A-levels. Some students combine these courses with a language A-level.

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