Budapest, the charming capital of Hungary is one of the most beautiful, delightful and hospitable cities of Central Europe. Attractions in Budapest are divided by the River Danube between the ‘Buda’ side with a medieval heritage of Castle Hill and ‘Pest’ with wide 19th century boulevards and parks. Budapest is an easy city to fall in…
Whilst history has given Hungary its stunning face in the form of Roman ruins, baroque churches, and medieval townhouses, its soul lies in the rich folk traditions that are still an integral part of its culture. Exquisite folk art traditions in pottery, embroidery that varies from one region to the next, and graphic woven cloth have been passed down through generations. Likewise, traditional dances and Hungarian folk music.
Another standout feature about Hungary is its spa culture, a tradition that dates back to the Roman era. With over 1000 thermal springs bubbling around the country it comes as no surprise. When the Turks invaded Hungary in the 16th century, they too capitalized on this natural resource and built many Turkish Baths that are still in use today. The capital Budapest is blessed with an abundance of thermal waters and predictably, some of the best spas are found here.
Apart from its healing waters, the beautiful capital city is also renowned for its pulsating nightlife and glorious architecture. It is home to the largest synagogue in Europe, and one of the largest basilicas in the continent. The grandeur of Hungary’s past, however, is not limited to the capital but is visible in other cities too such as Sopron, Szeged or Debrecen. A popular destination is the spa town of Eger notable for its baroque architecture and castle.
Rural Hungary is also a treat for the eyes with its quaint villages holding fast to age-old traditions surrounded by pastoral scenery. The small village of Hollókő stands out for its authentic folk architecture. Equally evocative is the well-kept artistic town of Szentendre and the resort town of Tihany. For something a bit more touristy but rural, head to Lake Balaton to enjoy the rustic with some modern comforts. Hungary’s natural side can be truly experienced in the grasslands of Hortobágy National Park. Home to some unique animals like the Racka sheep and the Hungarian Grey Cattle, this UNESCO listed park is worth exploring. The tiny village at its center was once the bastion of sturdy cowboys and Gypsy bands, long gone now. However, you can still get a feel for what the area once was by watching a staged recreation of a bygone era.