Bad News for Budapest

by Shlomit Grossman & Boaz Grosman, 2009

Shlomit Grossman, Israel, Editor of tne "Olim Together," newsletter submitted this warning about her visit to the Ludwig Museum Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Hungary, with her husband, Boaz.

This is to report a huge disappointment in Budapest and a warning:

As culture-loving tourists, we counted the visit in your museum as one of our Budapest August '09 visit highlights, especially in regard to the Capa exhibition. My husband, Boaz Grosman, is a paraplegic and is confined to a wheelchair since the 1967 six days war, in which he was injured. We did not telephone the museum prior to arrival to ask if it is accessible for wheelchairs as it is quite a new building, and we assumed, mistakenly.  that being new it is facilitated to give access to disabled visitors. We also planned to have our breakfast in their cafeteria.

Boaz Grosman surveys the museum entrance.


Museum staff lifts Boaz Grosman in his wheelchair.


Once inside the museum, more steps await Boaz.

Boaz Grosman surveys the museum entrance.

  Museum staff lifts Boaz Grosman  in his wheelchair.   Once inside the museum, more steps await the Boaz.

You cannot imagine our disappointment when we arrived and made our way through the construction area after parking our car in the parking lot. We saw no ramp to the entrance and no sign of a wheelchair. We approached the staff and were told that until the new entrance is complete, there is no wheelchair access  from the entrance other then carrying the wheelchair, which is of course quite humiliating for my husband. He was carried to the entrance. We wanted to sit in the cafeteria and were stunned to find out there were only stairs to the cafeteria! No access to a wheelchair in a very modern building! We arranged for a lonely table below the cafeteria as we were very hungry...

After finishing, my husband had to be carried out. We saw the building across, where you could climb to see the Danube and it was not  accessible.

When we went to the parking, someone with the staff told us there was a lift, but it could not be activated. There was a lift from within the covered parking but no sign directed us there...

We think the museum officials should give it a serious thought and change their whole attitude. It does not comply with a museum that is so modern and distinguished, and it is quite shameful for the cultural face of Budapest.

I am enclosing some photos so you can envision our path.

On a brighter note, the couple stayed at  Le Meridien in Budapest which they found superb, but a little expensive.

Shlomit writes: We got reduced rates in all the hotels by making the reservation through the very nice people of VENERE

We found a way to do it cheaply and reliably: We called them by phone, asked them to call us back as it might be a long talk, and stated our special needs. We insisted that  they call the hotel to find out if the disabled facilities room would be available, and take the reception phone to confirm personally. The payment is only when you check out for most of the cases. It worked wonderfully for Bled- Slovenia, Zagreb - Croatia and Budapest, Hungary..

Another warning: We reserved a car with hand controls from Hertz, to be taken in Munich. We reserved, we rarely do it that way, through Hertz Israel, and the mediation caused a failure to get the car. I had to drive all the way (not recommended at all).

 I want to recommend a wonderful hotel in Bled, Slovenia, which has one accessible room for a disabled person. It is a new superb, modernly renovated and faces the lake. The manager, a very nice young woman, Marcela Klofutar, does everything she can to make your stay as cozy as possible. The hotel name is Triglav Hotel in Bled, and their site is:

View from the triglav Hotel in Bled, Slovenia.

View  from the Triglav Hotel
in Bled, Slovenia.

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