Hungary offers a wide range of experiences for the traveller - fascinating history and culture in the capital Budapest, excellent cuisine, spas, quaint villages and beautiful scenery. And Hungary is centrally located in Europe, which makes it a good starting point for exploring the rest of the continent.
A historical gem in modern form
Hungary is Europe's historic gem, a place where the traditions from Eastern Europe meet the modern West. Although it's a fairly small country, it's very popular among backpackers in Europe and home to several historical treasures. There are many reasons why travellers and backpackers love Hungary. One of them is that the price level is still low - even if economic growth and the last 10-15 years of modernisation is evident in the streets, especially in the capital Budapest. The rural areas of Hungary also offer plenty of places to be explore, from small rustic villages to welcoming wineries and spas, with excellent trekking opportunities.
The Hungarian cuisine
The food here is generally spicy and rather different. The national dish is goulash and it's available in many exciting and delicious flavours. You should also try fish soup and the pancake variants palacsinta and samlói galuska. Try the local liqueur Unicum or Palinka as well as the wine Tokaji Aszú produced in the Tokaji region.
Budapest and its surroundings
Hungary's beautiful capital, Budapest, lies on the banks of the river Danube. The city is full of exciting culture, wonderful restaurants, a vibrant pub culture and nice spas. The general atmosphere is more relaxed than in most other European cities, and Budapest is a city you quickly fall in love with.
It's a good idea to rent a car and take a drive out to the countryside. Here you will see a completely different side of the Hungarian culture and lifestyle. Visit the famous lake Balaton, with clear water and beautiful beaches. On the way you pass the wine district Badasoony and university town of Debrecen with lots of young people.
If you have a taste for a dose of calm Mediterranean atmosphere, visit Eger. There is much to see in this cobblestone town, such as the astronomical museum, historic churches and basilicas, and not least, Eger Castle. From here there is an excellent view of the city. Eger is a 2.5 hours bus ride from Budapest.
Pécs is a very interesting city located in Southern Transdanubia. The city's museums are fantastic and there is also plenty of historic churches and a well-kept fortress from the 15th century. Just so you don't get bored after a long cultural day, there are also a good selection of pubs and nightclubs.
Other attractions in Hungary
Check out the architecturally interesting Esterházy Palace, located in the small town of Fertőd near the Austrian border. Also Visetrád Citadel is impressive - a fort on Castle Hill built in 1259 and once the country's royal centre. The view from here is phenomenal.
Transportation in Hungary
Hungary has a cheap and efficient transport system with good buses and trains, and trams in a number of major cities - and even a metro system in Budapest.