Hungary Holidays – Tour & Adventure Travel Guide
“The tiny country of Hungary has gone through centuries of changing cultures and ruling conflicts to become a prideful nation with much to offer visitors. The interesting landscape alone is a great draw, with many parks and natural springs all over the country. In Hungary, there are many challenging terrains that make it a great place for trekkers, who will also benefit from the moderate climate so well paired with the environment. The captivating city of Budapest is a popular spot, with many cultural attractions that draw in art and architecture lovers alike. In fact, the country boasts many examples of art nouveau. Hungary also offers the opportunity to see where some of the country’s most famous musicians and writers once resided, especially in Budapest. However, one of the best reasons many come to Hungary is to simply relax and enjoy the time there. For this reason, Hungary is an appealing country to visit.”
Hungary Holiday Highlights
Walking & Hiking - Hiking in Hungary can be a lot of fun and is a great way to see the country’s beautiful landscape. There are a variety of terrains, including mountains and hills, which are perfect for hikers to explore. There are also smaller, hilly regions in the country that are great for those looking for a more relaxed hiking experience.
History & Culture - Hungary’s culture is speckled with many influences due to numerous overthrown rulers over several centuries. Thanks to these changes, bits of each culture have been able to remain and mingle, creating an eclectic country full of flavor. The country’s cultural center is Budapest, where you can find many amazing museums, universities, and other cultural spots.
Relaxing - Interestingly enough, one of the biggest draws to Hungary is the country’s ability to support and encourage total relaxation. Relaxing is just a way of life in Hungary, although the country’s people do their share of work. Spas, resorts and other luxury places are very popular in Hungary. Here, events like wine tasting and massages are offered to encourage visitors to be completely relaxed. The country’s natural surroundings even seem to encourage visitors to unwind, with many pristine beaches and thermal springs to calm even the most stressed people.
When To Go
Hungary has four seasons and a good time to visit is in the summer or spring months, especially from June to August. The weather is warmest during these times and makes for good hiking and sightseeing conditions. The winters in Hungary can be cold.
- Hungary is a very traditional country, so be sure to become familiar and respect the customs of the people, especially in the smaller villages.
- Toasting drinks at meals is very popular. A good way to do this is to say “egészségünkre”, which can be pronounced as ay-gash-ay-gun-gre, and means “to your health”.
- When meeting someone for the first time, it is expected to offer your first and last name as well as a handshake.
- Go see the amazing ‘five-in-hand' horse show at the Kiskunság National Park, where visitors enjoy the daring feats of horse-riding performers.
- In the capital Budapest see the archaeological sites of Hercules Villa with its Roman ruins and the Roman Military Amphitheater which could hold up to 15,000 spectators and was larger than the Colosseum in Rome.
- Visit the architectural sights of Budapest including the Opera House, Pater Noster and Statue Park.
- Taste the infamous Bikavér, or “Bull’s Blood”, a unique red wine famous in the Szépasszony Valley.
- Visit the City Zoo and Botanical Gardens and 3,700 animals including big cats, rhinos and hippos.
- Take a trip to the socialist statue graveyard, Statue Park.
- Visit the Greek Catholic Cathedral of Máriapócs, to see the famous Black Madonna.
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.
- Visit the other UNESCO Sites including the Old Village of Hollókö, Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst and the Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma with its Natural Environment.
- UNESCO also lists the Fertö / Neusiedlersee cultural landscape, the Hortobágy National Park - the Puszta, Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae) and the Tokaj Wine Region as of cultural and historical significance.
Hungary Holidays In Focus
Walking and Hiking - Hungary has a diverse range of terrains that make it perfect for hiking. The country has several mountainous areas that offer a challenge for experienced trekkers, as well as easier areas for beginners. Budapest is the most common area for hikers to go to because it has many different trails and mountain ranges for visitors to try.
Kékestetö is the highest peak in Hungary, and is located in the Mátra mountain range. This is the best area for experienced hiker who is looking for a challenge. Some of the other challenging mountain ranges for hikers to try in Budapest are Bükk and Zemplén. Beginners or anyone looking for something less challenging should visit Lake Balaton, which offers many great trails and other hiking options.
History and Culture - Although a small country, Hungary’s culture is rich and unique. Well known for its distinct language and resilient spirit, the country has overcome numerous invasions that have left the country specked with cultures of many civilizations. It is because of this multicultural spirit that Hungary is building a strong and fascinating culture of its own.
Indeed, Hungary’s culture offers a diverse range of cultural experiences, as it has been in the hands of nearly everyone in Eastern Europe. From Russians to Turks, and even Austrians and Mongols, the country was in and out of conflict through several centuries. Yet, Hungarians have emerged a proud people who have helped to build their country and preserve the history and beauty of what has been left behind.
The city has a Paris-like feel, as it is spilt in two by the Danube River; the separate regions are aptly known as Buda and Pest. The Buda area is older, more historic and filled with natural landscape. This area is known for its cobbled stone streets and old-world feel. The Fisherman’s Bastion is a popular spot where good views of the river can be seen. The Pest area is the more commercial and modern area, and has gained popularity among young people. Choice spots to visit are the Hungarian National Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts. There are also several historic buildings such as the Vajdahunyad Castle and the Hungarian Parliament.
Although Budapest is the most cultural area of Hungary, it is not the only place to find these attributes. Sopron is especially full of historic places, with around 240 of the city’s buildings containing gothic, baroque or renaissance architecture. Eger is also a wonderful city that has over 200 historical monuments for visitors to tour, which includes an amazing Minaret that has a rare fourteen sides. The city of Esztergom is full of history, with Hungary’s largest basilicas found here. Visegrád is also a good place to find historic buildings, with many ancient castles and churches from the 15th century around the city. Pécs is a nice region that has many cathedrals, mosques and museums. The Archaeological Museum and the Mosque of Gazi Kasim Pasha are both very worthwhile sites. Hollókő is an exceptionally interesting area, and is one of the oldest and most preserved areas in the country with a 13th century castle still remaining. Other popular areas include Szentendre, which is a very popular artist’s colony and Sopron, both of which have a historic yet delightfully modernized atmosphere.
In addition to the amazing architecture and history that can be found in Hungary, the country also has a great music and art scene, which offers many great nightlife options. The best entertainment in the country is definitely found in Budapest thanks to its large population, and it’s a sought-after locale for artists and musicians. The city is presently bursting with great nightlife options. Best of all, these nightlife establishments are able to coincide with the amazing history of the country, the combination creating a beautifully unified place.
Relaxing - After spending only a few hours in Hungary, it is easy to see why so many travelers come here to relax. There are endless stress-relieving opportunities to take advantage of in Hungary. Budapest is probably the best-known relaxation spot in Hungary. Here, there are many thermal spas and medicinal baths, which offer healing and relaxing properties to guests. Budapest alone has over one hundred of these spas and baths. One of the most popular is the Király Medicinal Baths, which have been around since the Middle Ages, and use ancient methods of healing and relaxation. Other reputable bathhouses include the Rudas Medicinal Baths as well as the soothing outdoor Széchenyi Baths. The region of Hévíz, which is near Lake Balaton, is a good place to find thermal waters. Their thermal lake is usually at a relaxing temperature, rarely slipping below 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another popular way to relax in Hungary is to partake in one of the popular wine tasting offered in many parts of the country. A great place to try are the vineyards in the Szépasszony Valley, where you can find some of the most interesting and rarest wines. The Tokaj region is known for its production of fizzy wines, similar to the French region of Champagne. For those who love red wine, the village of Villány is well known for their large offering of reds.