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Hungary is an architectural, cultural and historical stunner in Central Europe, with a delightful mix of Roman and Turkish influences. The country is known for its fascinating folk traditions, art and music, outstanding food and wine and thermal spas.
Hungary’s capital Budapest is an aesthetic delight bisected by the Danube river along which lies its impressive cityline. An ideal Budapest experience is heading over for a relaxing bath in one of the city’s popular bathhouses after a satisfying day of exploring its numerous historical wonders. Buda and Pest are actually two different areas in the city and are connected by eight bridges. In contrast to Buda’s rugged and hilly terrain, Pest is mostly flat. Budapest’s major highlights include its Parliament Building, Buda Castle, Szechenyi Chain Bridge – the first-ever bridge to connect Buda and Pest, Great Synagogue – Europe’s largest synagogue and Castle Hill – a UNESCO world heritage listed limestone plateau with many medieval monuments and museums.
Esztergom is a historic city located near the capital, which has the tallest building in Hungary – Esztergom Basilica. The lovely little town of Szentendre, en-route to Esztergom has numerous art museums, galleries and churches, and is another great destination near the capital.
One of Hungary’s historical gems, Eger is dotted with well-preserved baroque buildings and has an unpleasant history of Turkish occupation. Its cityscape is dominated by the medieval Eger Castle and encompassed by a lush wine region. The UNESCO listed picturesque village of Holloko houses an impressive 13th-century castle, which will take you back in time with its ancient vibe. It is also a Paloc settlement, a race of ethnic Hungarians with Turkish connections.
Tokaj (or Tokaj-Hegyalja) is a picturesque wine region located in northeastern Hungary and renowned for its own sweet wine brand – Tokaj. The region is a cluster of villages and towns spanning across 70-sq-km. Another notable wine town is Sopron – a historic city in the country’s western region that boasts a beautiful natural setting.
In southern Hungary lies the country’s third-largest city – Szeged, with a lovely Old Town. It is a university town and its lively streets are filled with youth and lined with cafes and bars. The city of Pecs offers a surprisingly pleasant climate and offers some of the country’s most stunning sights, which makes Pecs the second choice of any traveller to Hungary after Budapest. The Szent István Square with the Pecs Cathedral, the Early Christian Mausoleum, the 16th century Mosque of Pasha Gazi Kasim and streets lined with baroque architecture are some of the highlights of this ancient city.
Central Europe’s largest lake – Lake Balaton is home to some of the best resort towns in western Hungary, like Keszthely and Tihany. Tihany is a small village, while Keszthely is the largest town in the Lake Balaton region and is known for the 18th-century Festetics Palace and its lovely lakeside beaches.
Hungary is packed with impressive architectural landmarks, making it one of the most photogenic countries in Europe. Adding to this, its vibrant nightlife, rich folk traditions, delectable cuisine and refreshing hot springs offer a distinct experience.
Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe.