Visiting Hungary might seem like a surprising choice to people who have never been here, but those who have, know why it is one of the top countries for travelers. From a multicultural city to charming villages and picturesque nature, there is plenty to fall in love with.
Hungary is rightfully called the Hearth of Europe as it sits at a crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe. Yet, it still retains its own character that can't be found anywhere else. So whether you come for the Christmas season or summer vacation, a solo adventure, or a family trip, it will be a blast.
Delicious Food & Local Wines
Hungarian culture is deep-rooted in its culinary traditions, and the best example is a piping hot bowl of Goulash, a hearty stew packed with meat and vegetables. Goulash can trace its origins back thousands of years to a soup made by Hungarian shepherds and is just one of Hungary's nationally prized dishes.
It's easy to find a locally grown wine to pair with your meal, as Hungary boasts seven wine-growing regions. In addition, many vineyards offer tours complete with tastings that make Hungary an appealing destination for wine enthusiasts and couples.
Culture in Budapest (including folk culture)
Budapest is a hub of culture and offers all the amenities of a European capital city with the charm of a small town. Chic pubs and trendy stores dot the streets of this architectural wonderland. Everyone is sure to find something of interest. Hungary's rich folk culture is still going strong, too, with many museums and local artisans keeping alive craft techniques that have been passed down through the generations.
Hungary is a top destination for budget travelers, with Budapest ranking among the most budget-friendly holiday destinations in Europe. Popular among college students and backpackers for this reason, Hungary's capital city offers a wide range of economical eats and even free admission to some attractions, such as the Fisherman's Bastion, a scenic viewing terrace located in the Buda Castle.
It is also one of the best cities to splurge on 5-star luxury hotels.
Filled with beautiful nature
The Hungarian countryside is a picturesque postcard, complete with rolling hills and idyllic farmhouses. Hortobágy National Park in eastern Hungary is a World Heritage Site located in a steppe environment. Habitat to cattle, sheep, horses and a few hundred species of birds, unspoiled expanses like these are Hungary's claim to fame among nature-lovers.
In summer, Lake Balaton opens its waters to those wanting to soak in the sun or participate in water sports. The largest lake in the region, Balaton, is just a short drive to the nearby vineyards. Because of its size, the lake offers a little something for everybody -- the north shore provides a quiet family getaway, while the south coast is more well-known for its nightlife.
THINKING OF A RIVER CRUISE?
Hungary draws in thousands of visitors each year with its thermal waters, and various thermal spas are located throughout the country. Besides providing bathers with a relaxing dip, thermal baths also possess numerous health benefits. They can minimize muscular pains, improve metabolism, and reduce stress -- not to mention all those essential minerals! Baths can be found in all locales, from Budapest's City Park (Széchenyi Baths) to the world's second-largest thermal lake, situated in a volcanic crater (Hévíz Thermal Lake).
With the right itinerary, time spent in Hungary will leave you full of life-long memories. A great thing about Hungary's central location is that you can also quite easily reach the capitals of surrounding countries or make it part of your river cruise vacation.
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