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HUNGARY

Think More Than Expected

Situated at the heart of Europe, Hungary deserves the nickname "land of waters", as it holds the largest lake in Europe and is crossed by mighty rivers which divide and define its regions. Despite its relatively small size, Hungary has numerous World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves and more than thousand thermal water springs ideal for bathing and relaxing. Architecturally it’s a treasure trove, with everything from Roman ruins and medieval townhouses to baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and art nouveau bathhouses and schools.

Top Places in Hungary

Budapest, Hungary’s capital and largest city, is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. One of the best places to visit in Hungary, Budapest is home to the world’s largest thermal water cave system as well as the world’s second largest synagogue and third largest Parliament building, the city’s top attraction. You’ll find spectacular views of the Danube and the city from Fishermen’s Bastion, originally part of the city wall. A poignant memorial to Jews killed in World War II can be found at Shoes of the Danube, where Jews removed their shoes before being shot and washed away by the river.
When relaxing at a resort becomes more appealing to you than walking another cobblestone street to see another medieval building, head to Lake Balaton. Europe’s largest freshwater lake is also Hungary’s most popular summer resort. Grass covers many of the beaches, though some resorts have created artificial sandy beaches. Siofok is the lake’s party capital, while ferries at Fonyod take passengers to Badacsony, a major wine-growing region. The north shore offers more wineries, the historical bathing town of Balatonfured and the baroque Festetics Castle.
Pécs is a multicultural city where different ethnic groups co-exist peacefully together, where refugees are enfolded into the bosom of the city, making it one of UNESCO’s Cities of Peace. Home to the first university in Hungary, founded in 1367, Pecs has been ruled over by Romans, Christians, and Ottomans. A mild climate, magnificent museums, medieval buildings and fine wines make Pécs a popular travel destination. Historic religious buildings are a big draw, including Pecs Cathedral, Szchenyi Ter, Pécs Synagogue and Mosque of Pasha Gazzi Kassim.
The spectacular Danube River flows through Hungary from north to south, and as it passes through Budapest splits the city in two. One of the best sunset views of both Buda and Pest is from the lovely Freedom Bridge, a favorite spot among locals. Other great place from which to view this majestic river is at the Danube Bend, one of the country's most popular recreational and excursion spots. This is where the river winds its way through the heavily wooded Visegrád Mountains before turning sharply south (the river's "knee") towards Budapest. The area is popular with hikers and nature-lovers, and is included in the many excellent river cruises that travel the Danube from as far as neighboring Austria.
Debrecen, which served as Hungary’s capital various times over the century, is an important cultural center. Heavily destroyed during World War II, it’s considered the intellectual center of the country, starting with the founding of Calvinist College in 1538. The city has a thriving music scene and is home to the Bela Bartok International Choir competition. Top attractions include the Reformed Great Church, the largest Protestant church in Hungary; the Deri Museum with its collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, and the annual Flower Carnival.
Located in northern Hungary, the park is home to the largest stalactite cave in Europe. Guided tours, geared to physical capabilities, are available. A special cave experience is listening to concerts inside Baradla. The park is a protected area, with some parts off-limits to tourists, while visitors must remain on marked hiking trails in others. Aggtelek National Park is a good place to see flora and fauna, and visit quaint villages within its boundaries.
Eger, northern Hungary’s second largest city, is known for several things. Founded by Hungary’s first Christian king, Saint Stephen, in the 10th century, the city is famous for its magnificent baroque buildings. The king founded an Episcopal cathedral, with Eger remaining an important religious center today. The cathedral was built on Castle Hill, with the city growing around it. The castle and basilica remain the city’s top sights, followed by the Valley of the Women, a series of wine cellars and restaurants built into surrounding hills.

10 Reasons Why To Visit Hungary

01
Central Location With seven countries at its borders, Hungary is the perfect launch pad to your Eastern explorations.
02
Budapest Fascinating, beautiful and vibrant capital city where there are virtually endless things to see and do.
03
Spa break Thanks to its natural thermal springs, more people are travelling here to relax their bodies and relieve stress.
04
Hungarian Perhaps one of the most difficult languages to learn but just for this reason one of the most interesting.
05
Wine Winemaking has been an old tradition in the country. Bikaver or “Bull’s Blood” and Tokaji wines are two of the best.
06
Danube The river flows gracefully, caressing the two souls of the city, Buda and Pest, offering suggestive panoramas.
07
Festivals Whether you want to party like a rock star or sip wine while watching traditional folk dancing, Hungary is the right place where to be.
08
Goulash The national dish of Hungary, it's particularly enjoyable in winter, as it warms you inwardly, perfect for keeping off the cold while travelling.
09
People Be sure that even if they cannot speak a word of English, they will happily keep chatting to you and help you in any way they can.
10
Desserts Leave your pain au chocolat at home, because Hungarian desserts leave all other sweets in their dust.

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