Discovering My Hungary with Madelaine Bullwinkel

Budapest, Hungary

Global Gourmands LLC
  • Facebook verified
1 review
Sep 2 - 12, 2023
Group size: 10 - 14
Discovering My Hungary with Madelaine Bullwinkel
Budapest, Hungary

Global Gourmands LLC
  • Facebook verified
1 review

Sep 2 - 12, 2023
Group size: 10 - 14

About this trip

In September, 2023, I’m traveling to Hungary in search of answers to questions I wish I had asked my father about his homeland. How did Hungary become the principle producer of paprika?  Exactly why is Budapest called the Paris of Eastern Europe?  How did Hungary's culture contribute to its many 20th century Nobel Laureates, artists and composers?

We have planned an ambitious eleven-day itinerary that criss crosses this impressive country and includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites, hands-on cooking opportunities and meals at wineries throughout the country. We will travel by coach from museums to farmers’ markets, from a funky bar in Budapest’s bombed-out Jewish quarter to a theraputic thermal spa near Lake Balaton.

My partner on this quest is Claudia Royston, owner of Global Gourmands, and a fellow member of the Chicago Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an organization that funds women seeking careers in the hospitality industry.  

Our ten day journey of discovery is limited to a group of twelve travelers.  A nonrefundable deposit of $1000 will secure a place. In the event of cancellation by a traveler, the deposit will be refunded if a replacement is found.

I look forward to your company on this exciting adventure of unique experiences and discovery!


Delicious Highlights:

  • Learn to prepare traditional Hungarian dishes in two hands-on cooking classes
  • Meet an artisanal paprika producer, discover how paprika is made and sample some different kinds
  • Learn to make apple strudel as part of a lunchtime cooking class
  •  Visit wineries in Tokaj, Neszmély, and Lake Balaton
  • Tour a pálinka distillery and learn where its smoldering flavor comes from 
  • Take a culinary walking tour of Budapest's main market and learn about the history and production of traditional Hungarian ingredients
  • Lunch in an old Budapest wine cellar, hosted by Carolyn Bánfalvi, author of Food, Wine, Budapest
  • Enjoy a curated visit to the annual Budapest Wine Festival 
  • Dinners in some of Budapest's most exciting restaurants
  • Two paired wine meals at wineries in Tokaj and Lake Balaton

Sightseeing Highlights:

  • Get to know Budapest through various museum visits and walking tours, including a private guided tour of Buda Castle
  • Take a day trip to Szeged by train and a walking tour of the city
  • Explore the unique Matyó culture and its beautiful embroidery, designated by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; watch a demonstration and try your hand at it
  • Private guided walking tour of Budapest's famed Art Nouveau architecture
  • See the UNESCO World Heritage–listed riverbank of Budapest during a sunset cruise on the Danube
  • Relax in Europe's largest thermal lake during an afternoon visit at Hevíz spa
  • Visit Pannonhalma Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the Benedictine Monks wrote the first document in Hungarian

Travel Insurance

It is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance for the trip in case your are unable to participate in the trip . Global Gourmands works exclusively with Arch Roamright. For a travel insurance quote, please click here

Flights - Arrival Day

Please Note: The tour starts in the afternoon of September 2, so if your flight arrives after mid-morning, please consider arriving on September 1st (departing the US on August 31st). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Claudia Royston at

What’s included

  • Meals
    Nine breakfasts, 8 lunches, 5 dinners
  • All transportation
    Comfortable Mercedes Sprinter
  • 4* Hotel Accommodations
    7 nights in Budapest, 1 night in Tokaj, and 2 nights at Lake Balaton
  • Dedicated local guide
  • Museums entrance fees
  • Group airport transfers
    One at arrival and one at departure.
  • Cooking classes
  • Wine tastings
  • International airfare
  • Trip insurance
  • Meals not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Brunch on Day 2

Available Packages

Shared Accommodation - Per Person
Available until May 31, 2023Sold Out

Please indicate either twin beds or a double bed. If you are traveling with a friend, please provide your travel partner in the note at the end of your reservation. 

Deposit: $1,000
Single Room
Available until May 31, 2023only 1 left

Payment due in full at time of booking.


Available options


Day 1 - September 2
Arrival in Budapest

Over the course of ten days, learn about both traditional and contemporary Hungarian wine and cuisine, experience the vitality and love of life that makes Hungarians so endearing, and let our private guide reveal the authentic Hungarian culture and  cuisine that hide behind the mysterious Magyar language.

Upon arrival at the Ferenc Liszt International Airport Budapest, meet your guide and be transferred to the four-star Zenit Budapest Palace Hotel and check in. (There is one group transfer from the airport to the city. Separate transfers can be arranged for those arriving early.) After some free time and a light lunch, take a drive around Pest - the Andrássy Quarter St Stephen’s Basilica, Ráth György Villa, Széchenyi Spa, City Park, etc. This will help with orientation and provide an overview of this bank of the Danube. This evening, sit down to a welcome dinner at a unique restaurant!

Your Organizer

Global Gourmands LLC
1 review
Specializing in experiential travel, Global Gourmands organizes independent travel and exceptional group tours. You tell us where you want to go and we do the rest – from finding your ideal accommodations, unique experiences and excellent guides to helping you deal with set-backs and ensuring you are treated like special clients along the way.


The food and wine were delicious, and the portions were generous. The hosts and producers who welcomed us were pleasant and informative. Our local guide was knowledgeable, kept us on schedule with gentle nudging, and had a wonderful sense of humor. We certainly got to sample the cuisine and also many aspects of the culture.
By Kathleen B for Discovering My Hungary with Madelaine Bullwinkel on Sep 15, 2023