The guides at Insight Cities are professors, doctoral students, historians, journalists, art critics, and published authors. Sharing our cities with people from all over the world is an extension of the curiosity and commitment that led us to academic research, teaching, and journalism. As brainy guides, we look for the crucial detail, the vital, quirky fact that illuminates local cultures for you while also revealing global contexts. We care passionately about good storytelling and good hosting and we take pride in having helped thousands of travelers of all backgrounds to get the most from their time in our great cities.
András is a senior lecturer at ELTE University in Budapest, focusing on contemporary political history. He holds a PhD in International Relations (2006, Corvinus University of Budapest). Besides his alma mater, he took courses on the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studied contemporary Hungarian history at the Eszterházy Károly Főiskola (Eger) and East-Central European history at the Central European University (CEU). He worked for 17 years at HVG, Hungary’s leading political-financial-cultural weekly magazine (“The Economist of Hungary”), as a journalist and section editor, producing and editing features and news stories, interviews, and reportage, award-winning ones among them. He covered a wide array of topics in- and outside of Hungary at conferences from Boston through Copenhagen and Nové Zámky to Seoul. His most recent articles appeared in The Guardian, in Hungarian Spectrum, in Intersections – East European Journal of Society and Politics, in The Hungarian Quarterly. He is also a vice-chairman of the Hungarian Europe Society.
Zoltán was born and raised in Los Angeles. After starting his PhD in History at the University of Liverpool in 2006, he moved to Budapest in 2007 for his research, where he has lived ever since. Zoltán’s research focused specifically on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and collective memory, with a wider interest in the Cold War. He formerly lectured at Eötvös Loránd University and the Balassi Institute, having also been a senior editor at the All Hungary Media Group, where he focused on Hungarian politics and Budapest nightlife. He can frequently be found wandering the streets of Budapest with his camera as he indulges in his hobby of cityscape photography or providing impromptu history lessons at a table with friends in one of the city’s cafés or ruin pubs.
Izabella is a PhD candidate in Modern History at the University of Szeged. Her dissertation focuses on the implementation of anti-Jewish decrees in the northwestern counties of Hungary in 1944. She worked as a guide at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest from 2010 to 2012, where she had the chance to guide groups from all over the world at its exhibitions. She lives in Budapest and enjoys offering small-group and private walking tours of modern Budapest’s social and political history, and its Jewish Quarter. She is a researcher at the Hungarian Research Team of Yad Vashem Archives and a guest lecturer at the University of Szeged. She teaches courses on the history of Hungary from 1867 to 1990 and the history of antisemitism to BA students.
Eszter earned her Master’s degree in Nationalism Studies at Central European University in Budapest. She is a part-time journalist at an online news portal focusing on social issues in Hungary. Academically, her main field of interest is Hungarian Jewish history, within which, she focuses on the relation of the Hungarian state vis-á-vis the different Jewish communities during the Dualist period (between 1867 and 1918). She also studies that percolating period in a wider sense, as a time when Budapest was coming into its own as a new Imperial Capital, along with the flowering of the signature turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau buildings and cafés that are iconic of the city’s rising commercial classes. Having also taken degrees in Communication and Media Studies on BA and MA levels at the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, Eszter Neuberger has a firm background in sociology and cultural studies, which has given her a steadfast interest in contemporary understandings of national identity. She leads a wonderful tour through Budapest’s trendy ruin bar scene.
Marianna graduated from Corvinus University, Budapest with a Master’s in International Relations. She holds a PhD in Modern and Contemporary History from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, where she is a regular guest lecturer. She has several years of experience working as a certified tour guide and interpreter throughout Europe. Her language skills include fluent English, German, Hungarian, Portuguese and Spanish. She has a passion for Budapest’s history, theaters, and art. Marianna shows a special interest in authoritarian regimes of the modern age and the economic history of developing countries. In her free time, she parents a two-year-old son, swims, and paints in acrylics.
Veronika was born in Budapest, but spent most of her childhood abroad, in Nairobi, Kenya and Finland. She studied at the University of Economics in Hungary and received her Master’s degree in International Relations. Both her BA and MA thesis are about international development. Due to her love of traveling and international experience, she has been working as a tour guide for 8 years. During her tours, she always tries to explain history in a way that everyone easily understands and enjoys, often by showing pictures and encouraging in-depth questions. She enjoys art and general city tours, but specializes in Jewish tours, being a licensed tour guide of the Grand Synagogue in Budapest. She also does Hungarian gastronomic tours, where she introduces special Hungarian delicacies or Hungarian wines (often as part of a visit to a local winery in the countryside).
Hélène is a photojournalist, travel-writer and documentary filmmaker based in Budapest. She focuses on telling about the unknown and the little known in Central Europe and Eastern Europe, sometimes even stretching to Detroit, MI (where she produced a documentary). Though born French, next to Paris in 1985, she moved to Budapest in 2010 on a guidebook writing mission to Hungary for a French publisher, following her instinct and passion for tricky languages. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations as well as a BA in Hungarian Culture and Language. She also speaks Polish but despite her love for Warsaw, she couldn’t resist Budapest’s calling. Passionate about the city’s “Age d’Or”, Hélène relishes in Budapest’s contemporary underground, hip, and alternative cultures. She’s a four-season urban biker in the Hungarian capital, all too happy to check out new ruin bars and alternative theaters, try out the latest Hungarian cuisine or barista’s achievements, and dance to the sound of a traditional Táncház orchestra. She blogs and tweets all about it on Spotted By Locals Budapest.
Bálint was born in communist Budapest in a family of teachers and linguists, and he vividly remembers living through the political, economical, and social changes in the 1990s as a child. He grew up in a family full of stories about the pre-WWII era of prosperity and peace, and the Nazi occupation that destroyed it, while his grandparents hid in caves and many of their friends disappeared in the Holocaust. During the communist takeover and the 1956 anti-communist revolution, four of Bálint’s great-uncles escaped the regime and fled to the West. Such stories provoked his passionate interest in 20th-century history deeply woven into his family history. Bálint studied sociology at ELTE University in Budapest and also learned English, German, Dutch, and Turkish. In 2005, he also became a licensed tour guide to help visitors explore his beautiful and complex homeland. More recently, Bálint earned his license as a Jewish Heritage guide. He considers himself very fortunate to be doing work that he loves, meeting new people from all over the world, and seeing his world through their eyes, as well as sharing world-views with others, and having inspiring conversations about history, people and life.
Kata has been guiding travelers through her native city of Budapest for 11 years and becomes not less but more passionate about her city and its history every year. She earned her BA in Cultural Program Management and her MA in Environmental Studies. A voluminous reader, she is fascinated by urban history, political history, and the development of local architecture, especially the art nouveau that gilded the Hungarian capital at the turn-of-the-century, becoming a symbol of its successful commercial classes. She is also an expert in local gastronomy and Budapest’s urban legends. Kata considers it a joy to introduce Budapest’s elegance and complexity to visitors from all over the world.