Top 15 Places to Visit in Hungary (From Buzzing City to Wine County!)
Hungary lies in central Europe and is isolated by the land borders with Slovakia (north), Romania (east), Serbia (south), Croatia (southwest), Slovenia (west), Austria (northwest) and Ukraine (northeast). Hungary has a rich traditional culture that especially reflects on its buildings. Architecturally the country is considered as a real treasure because of the mix of Roman, Turkish and Hungarian cultures that created many interesting places to visit in Hungary. You can find basically everything in the country, starting from Roman ruins, medieval streets, baroque churches, neoclassical grand buildings and Turkish thermal bathhouses. The best thing is that these buildings can be seen and visited in almost all cities of Hungary.
Even though Hungary is a quite small country in the central Europe, it has stunning sceneries that can easily compete with other European countries that are well-known for the most beautiful sceneries. If you travel around Hungary, you will see so many gentle landscapes and grand hills that will make you want to run to the top and enjoy great scenery. Also, Hungary can amaze everyone with its authentic countryside flatlands and woods where you can take stunning photos, enjoy tranquility and nature sounds.
However, travel to Hungary isn’t all about sightseeing. There are lots of other things to do such as taste unique and delicious traditional Hungarian cuisine that can compete with other well-known European countries’ cuisines such as Italian or French. So too can do Hungarian wine: travel to Eger and Villany to taste the best rich of flavor red wine, or visit Badacsony and Tokaj for a honey-sweet white wine.
The last famous thing about Hungary is the countries rich folk culture and its still alive traditions. The best places to experience real Hungarian folk culture are small towns where you can find wooden churches with beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings, traditional houses, and narrow streets. Hungarian folk culture strongly associates with embroidery on the clothes and even shoes that can be seen in the countryside since the majority of people still wear traditional clothes. Of course, Hungarian culture can’t be imagined without dancing and singing, so won’t be surprised when you go to a local pub and there are lots of people dancing and singing. That’s completely normal, even in Budapest.
Hungary is a very dynamic country which offers you tranquility, amazing sights, always delicious food and tasty wine that is definitely worth visiting. Don’t waste your time, take a look what Hungary can offer you.
Top 15 Places to Visit in Hungary (From Buzzing City to Wine County!)
Table of Contents
Budapest is Hungary’s capital city and, also, the largest city in the country. It is said that Budapest reflects the history of the Hungary that can be seen in the city’s buildings. The capital city of Hungary is famous for its wide range of hot water baths – from Turkish era to modern era public bathhouses – that allows visitors to experience the uniqueness of Hungarian culture. Also, Budapest is well known as the best place to taste the most delicious food in Hungary because of it has lots of places where you can try authentic goulash (vegetables and meat soup). If you decide to stay in Budapest for few nights, don’t hesitate to research about hotels in Budapest since their prices are very similar to everywhere in Hungary but some of the hotels are unique because of their extravagant art nouveau design or amazing view to the Danube river. To sum up, Budapest is a stunning place for grand night sights and, probably, the most beautiful city in a whole Hungary.
Debrecen is one of the largest cities in Hungary so if you plan a big and unique Hungary travel, Debrecen can’t be missed out. It is said that Debrecen has the most food in Hungary as medieval aristocrats used to live in the city. Debrecen is famous for its liveliness as it hosts lots of festivals all year round, has many unique coffee shops and pubs that are always filled with students, visitors and businessmen, and its museums are considered more interactive than other museums in Hungary. Due to its lively and cozy culture, Debrecen city can be easily considered as one of the great Hungary attractions. Also, the city’s impressive buildings such as Great Church, Aranybika hotel, and Central Square can’t be easily forgotten while talking about city’s landmarks. If you like strolling around the calm street and crazy pubs culture, it means that Debrecen is just for you.
Szentendre is a small charming town that makes people wonder where this miracle in a Hungary is. Actually, it is just around the north corner of Budapest that makes the town to be easily reached from Budapest. Although not many Hungary’s visitors know about the little town, it is crowded all year round by Hungarians. Szentendre is well known for its cozy streets, little antiquary shops, galleries and a few museums. It is highly recommended to take a tour around seven town’s churches that have unique interesting things to see inside and outside. If you have some time in Szentendre, take a local bus and visit a grand Hungarian Open-Air Museum that has ancient buildings from all over the country. Tip for an awesome trip to Szentendre: try to avoid weekends, especially summer weekends, because it’s a popular day out for Hungarians living in Budapest.
Even if it’s your first visit to Hungary, you should have heard about Badacsony that is a name of a mountain, region and a village which sometimes is called Badacsonytomaj. Badacsony is one of the most popular Hungary destinations since it’s near Lake Balaton, has an impressive volcanic mountain and vineyards everywhere. Badacsony can be easily explored by bike that can be rented for a ridiculously cheap price and is highly recommended to do that instead of driving a car. The biggest tourist attraction is uphill vineyards that offer you to taste delicious local white wine and experience beautiful hikes along numerous vineyards. Badacsony might be small and not unique, but it’s definitely worth visiting because you won’t find any other place where you can enjoy the view to Lake Balaton with a glass of white wine from the great vineyards.
Siofók is one of the Hungary cities that is famous for never-ending parties and being a resort city next to the Lake Balaton south coast. Siofók is usually crowded during summer time and weekends all year round since the city center offers great nightlife for young people. However, there are quite a few peaceful beaches outside the city center where you can enjoy beautiful lake’s landscape. The city is a very popular destination for school trips from many European countries, especially Germany, so you have to be prepared for the crowds of kids. If you wish to avoid crowds, visit Siofók in mid-autumn, spring, and winter. While visiting Siofók, it’s recommended to explore city’s churches, take a look at museums and relax in a Roman thermal bathhouse.
Keszthely is the biggest city around Lake Balaton that is surrounded by forests, hills, and plains. Keszthely takes a big part in a Hungary tourism due its landscape and tranquility even during high peak season. While staying in the city, you can enjoy the lively yet relaxed nightlife, sightsee historical buildings, pop into museums and dip your body into shallow and clear beaches. The most famous place in Keszthely is Festetics Palace that is widely known in a whole Hungary as being the best place to enjoy classical music, so make sure you won’t exclude it from your Hungary places to visit list. Also, there is a saying that if you hadn’t visited the Festetics Palace, you weren’t in a Hungary.
Sopron or Little Prague that is a very charming little town that has traces of Roman past and it’s located on the border of Austria. If you are wondering what you must see in Hungary, Sopron is worth visiting because it’s considered as the most beautiful town in Western Hungary. The town is famous for its medieval inner town (Belvaros) that is a pleasure for leisure strolls during night or daytime and a perfect place to relax at one of its cozy local pubs where you can get a delicious traditional meal and famous wine from Sopron vineyards. It is highly recommended to book a tour at one of Sopron’s vineyards that offer to taste famous white and red wines. It is said that wines from Sopron have different taste and sweetness that can’t be tasted in any other country’s wines.
If you plan to visit Hungary for a few weeks and wonder what to do in Hungary during that time, take a bus or train to the city called Pécs. The city is the fifth largest city in the Hungary and is located on the slopes of Macsek Mountains. Pecs is famous for its colorful streets that are filled with historic monuments and art galleries. The most impressive thing of Pécs is that it has a very mild climate, sometimes called ‘the city of Mediterranean impressions’, that lets people enjoy longer summer. Also, mild climate takes part in shaping the unique scenery – old fig trees and almonds in the gardens and vineyards everywhere. There are people who call Pécs ‘the city of grapes and wine’ referring to the old uphill vineyards and old generation of vine-stockers. Visit Pécs if you want to experience a completely different city of Hungary.
Eger is another wine-producing town that is included in Hungary points of interest list. The town fascinates everyone with its well preserved baroque buildings, Turkish minaret, beautiful castle and thermal baths. And, of course, the main attraction of Eger is its red wine that, according to locals, has the richest taste of all red wines in the whole world. It is recommended to visit all churches of Eger since they are an impressive baroque style relicts. Take in mind that there are fourteen beautiful churches in the town that have their own unique features. You might think that one day in Eger is enough, but, actually, it is mostly recommended to spend minimum three days to understand Eger’s culture and explore the town. So don’t rush and take your time exploring the beautiful town.
While talking about the best places to visit in Hungary, it’s hard not to mention Szeged that is the third largest city in Hungary. The city is well known for its university students, garden-a-like square with beautiful park benches and cozy main street coffee shops. It hosts lots of festivals all year round so no matter what time you are going to visit Szeged, you will have a big chance to ‘catch’ a festival in the city. Don’t forget to visit Szeged thermal bath complex that is widely famous in a whole Hungary. If you have time, visit Szeged churches which are famous for their beautiful and unique inside design. Also, it is recommended to visit the University of Szeged that is one of the oldest universities in the Hungary and has a grand design and sometimes holds expositions about Szeged’s past.
Kecskemét is a city that is located in central part of Hungary and is the 8th largest city in the country. The city is located between two rivers – Danube and Tisza – both of which are popular location for picnics. There are lots of vineyards, green space, and orchards, so sometimes Kecskemét is called a ‘garden city’. Kecskemét is famous for its colorful art nouveau buildings, great museums and apricot brandy that can be bought anywhere in the city for a fairly cheap price. Also, if you are traveling for a long time in Hungary and ran out of the things to do, visit Kecskemét because it offers various outdoor activities such as hiking in the sand covered hills, horse shows or horse riding experience in the horse farms around the city. You definitely won’t be disappointed about the time you will spend in Kecskemét.
Esztergom is a town in northern Hungary that was Hungary’s capital from the 10th till the 13th century. The town fascinates its visitors with its rural areas, beautiful narrow streets and grand buildings. The most famous building Esztergom’s basilica is recognized as one of the most famous Hungary tourist attractions. Also, the town has an incredibly nice view to basilica that is surrounded by Danube River and mountains. Another places to visit are Esztergom’s castle and palace that still attract archeologists to explore them. The town has an impressive Watertown section that still holds monuments from Ottoman Turkish occupation period making it to be another tourist landmark in the town. Since Esztergom is very compact, it’s perfect for a short one day trip from Budapest.
Tihany is a village on the northern coast of Lake Balaton in the Tihany Peninsula that is a historical region. The most famous building in the village is Tihany Abbey that was established in 1055. The abbey is still functioning till these days and attracts lots of tourists because of its historical and artistic significance, and the best view of Lake Balaton. The abbey gets the most tourists during summer, so it is recommended to avoid summer crowds and choose a different time to sightsee the abbey. The village is surrounded by hills and meadows, so it’s perfect for a day out trip. Also, you can visit Inner Lake that is in the center of Tihany Peninsula and can be seen from the village and Outer Lake that is almost dried up and is located on the northwest side of the peninsula. If you decided to travel to Tihany, make sure you travel around the peninsula also, because the whole peninsula is like a big nature reservoir.
Tokaj is a region in the northeastern Hungary and southeastern Slovakia and is one of the largest wine regions in Hungary. Tokaj is also a name of the main town in the wine district that consists of 28 villages and is included in the UNESCO world heritage site list because of historical location. Tokaj town is a small town that offers a scenic view to the vineyards and easy connections between villages in the region, so you can easily visit most of the villages and taste famous Tokaji wine. Actually, wine is the number one tourist attraction in Tokaj because everyone goes there to taste wine for free or book vineyard tours. Also, take in mind that you will probably struggle to find somewhere to stay if you don’t speak Hungarian.
Visegrad is a little castle town in the north of Budapest and was a former Royal town and famous for its medieval ruins. The town is famous for its Royal Palace that was built in the 14th century and in the 15th century was reconstructed using Renaissance style. The palace has its own museum that tells history about Visegrad and Royal Palace. Another well-known building is Solomon Tower that was built in the 11th century and famous for its view from the top to the town. Also, it is recommended to visit Citadel or Upper Castle that was built in the 13th century during Mongol invasions. If you want to know more about Hungary’s history, Visegrad is a perfect place to do that. Also, the town offers great views, so it’s suitable for people who love walking and sightseeing.
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