Exotic Hungary is a country of immense diversity. With snowy mountains, great plains, vast lakes, graceful rivers, and everything from quaint villages to cosmopolitan cities, it’s not hard to see why the country is one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Though relatively small in geographic size, Hungary is now home to almost 10 million people. The national language, Hungarian, is very distinct and aside from Finnish, is considered one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn.
Thankfully for most visitors, English is widely spoken and most young Hungarians have a very good grasp of the language thanks to its emphasis in schools. Still it's a good idea to get your hands on a Hungary travel guide that contains a few phrases so you can try out a few tongue twisters.
Explore the beauty of Budapest
Situated in the Carpathian Basin, Hungary shares its borders with Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and perhaps most distinctly, Austria, with whom it once formed the great Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Though this union finished at the end if World War I, the Habsburg era is still very present in the grand Hungarian architecture. Lovers of luxury will find comfort at the many heritage hotels, while hearty Hungarian fare such as goulash and langos will delight the senses.
Beautiful Budapest is the first destination for most visitors and major attractions there include the awe-inspiring Buda Castle, picturesque Danube Promenade and monumental Heroes’ Square, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Budapest is also home to the Great Synagogue, which is the largest synagogue in Europe, and Esztergom Basilica, the continent's third largest church.
Excitement is abounding at the ‘ruin bars’, a recent craze of reclaiming disused buildings and turning them into fashionable watering holes. The famous medicinal baths and thermal spas are just a couple more reasons why Budapest is a hard to beat European destination.
See historic Hungarian highlights
Outside Budapest some Hungarian highlights include historic towns Holloko and Aggtelek, both also UNESCO World Heritage sites. Medieval cities Sopron and Gyor are two more places to add to your touring itinerary and are filled with charming churches and historic monuments.
The vast plains and wetlands at Hortobagy National Park and the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton, make great destinations for nature lovers. Wine lovers, you can't deny a visit to the Tokaj area, Hungary’s leading wine growing region.
Going on a Hungary tour is very easy, thanks mainly to the country's small size and the fact that many major sites and destinations are within a few short hours travel of each other.
Hungary has a developed road and rail network, making domestic flights largely unnecessary. For inner city travel, Budapest’s underground train is the second oldest in the world, newer only than London’s.
Tram is also a popular way to travel when in Hungary and all four major Hungarian cities; Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc and Szeged, have networks.
International visitors will most likely fly directly into Budapest, which is Hungary’s largest international airport and offers the most extensive international connections.