Hungary Holidays Guide
The big question isn't whether Hungary is worth a visit, but why relatively few Western tourists travel there… a thought you may ponder as you sip an ice-cold beer while soaking in a hot tub in the brilliant sunshine. Hungary is possibly the best destination in Europe for affordable spa tourism – or even spa tourism generally. Practically every town has a natural thermal bath; whether it's a relatively small pool full of locals, an enormous pool shared with workers from across Eastern Europe, or the magnificent Szenchenyi Baths, you should definitely visit at least one spa during your trip. Another definite highlight is wine. Hungarian wine tasting is done more in smallholdings and bunker-style cellars than in picturesque vineyards, but the quality and price are superb.
Hungary Holidays Planner
The big year round draw of Hungary is the capital, Budapest. Actually comprised of two cities, Buda offers breathtaking views across the city, and enormous and moving monuments. Pest is the place to go for shopping, drinking and eating, and to visit sights like the Parliament, the zoo and Heroes' Square. On both sides of the Danube, there are reminders of both the pride and sorrow of Hungary's turbulent past; the former Jewish ghetto, the Hungarian National Museum and the House of Terror are all essentials for those interested in the history of the region. For those with refined tastes, Budapest is a great place to enjoy opera, classical music and elegant restaurants. Outside Budapest, the main attraction is Lake Balaton – the largest freshwater lake in Europe, Balaton is relatively shallow and an excellent place for sunbathing, swimming and water sports.
Outside the two major destinations, there is much to explore. Eger has an impressive castle and is the best place to try Bulls' Blood. Tokaj is another famous name in the wine trade, and the town holds a number of events and festivals throughout the year. Lake Tisza is a smaller and quieter alternative to Balaton. Szentendre, Gyor, and Kecskemet are picturesque towns with amazing architecture. Hajduszoboszlo is worth visiting for the experience of visiting a post-communist holiday camp – far more fun than it sounds! One final, rewarding thing about travelling around Hungary is that every region has some sort of speciality food, whether its cured ham, sausage, cheese or a particular version of palinka, the potent Hungarian spirit.