Where To Go on Holiday in Hungary: the 8 Most Beautiful Places that you absolutely must visit

Romantic architecture, postcard scenery, and numerous thermal baths are just some of the things that make Hungary a very attractive destination. Its unique identity has been shaped by a diverse range of influences, from Ottoman invaders to Italian Renaissance designers, meaning there is a lot to see in the country.

The main protagonist of the country is Budapest, also called “Paris of the East” for its incredible architecture, history, and atmosphere. Of course, Budapest is a fascinating city, one of the most beautiful metropolises in Europe, but the list of amazing places to visit in Hungary is considerably longer. Therefore, be inspired by our tips on where to go on vacation in Hungary.

1: Balaton

With a length of 77 km and a total area of ​​600 km2, Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, and its shallow depth (especially on the southern side) – only two to three meters on average – means that it is family-friendly and that its waters the sun heats up quickly. The beautiful lake promises relaxation, exciting sights, and varied leisure opportunities.

Balaton largest lake in Central Europe

In the summer, refresh yourself by jumping into the turquoise water on the paradise beaches of Siófok and visiting the discotheques of this famous party town. Admire the historical monuments on the Tihany Peninsula or walk in the footsteps of the Romans in the small town of Balatonfüred.

Climb the Badacsony Table Mountain on the north bank and enjoy the magnificent view. In winter, you can skate on the frozen lake and then warm up in one of the many thermal baths.

2: Budapest

Budapest is one of the must-visit cities in Hungary to understand the country’s history and modern-day progress Historic and ancient buildings rise majestically alongside modern architectural marvels. It’s no wonder that the Danube embankment, the Royal Castle Quarter, and Andrassy Square were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List!

Budapest beautiful places in Hungary

Budapest is one of the most beautiful places in Hungary! It was founded in 1000 AD as a city of one of the largest countries in Europe for hundreds of years. It boasts a rich history and many amazing sights.

You should start the tour with a visit to the castle on top of the hill, from where you can also admire the fairytale Fisherman’s Bastion and Matyáš’s Church. If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the excavation of the Roman ruins under the Buda Castle.

Go to Heroes’ Square to the statues of the founders of Hungary and the most important Hungarian kings. Behind the square, you will find Vajdahunyad Castle, a beautiful castle surrounded by a lake.

3: Bükfürdő and other Hungarian spas

We don’t need to explain why you shouldn’t miss the spa when visiting a spa town, but this is especially true in the case of Bükfürdő. Few people know that the healing effect of Bükfürdő water is much more effective than most Hungarian healing waters, as its mineral content reaches 15,000 mg/liter.

Bükfürdő and other Hungarian spas

That is why it is not recommended to spend more than twenty minutes in the water, and children under the age of 14 are not even allowed to enter the therapeutic pools. But there are so many different pools in the spa that even children will not be bored there.

If you like to try new things, visit the outdoor Kneipp and yoga park. The essence of the Kneipp treatment, which was originally developed by the German Sebastian Kneipp, is that different stimuli can be induced in the body through the skin using water of different temperatures. In the park, you can try a dry version of this method on a half-kilometer track, where you walk over small and large pebbles, conifers, and cones.

If you have always been interested in golf but have never had the opportunity to try it, you can take your first steps at the 18-hole golf course at Greenfield Golf Academy. There are courses for both beginners and advanced students.

In Hungary, there are more than 100 therapeutic and recreational spas operated by underground hot springs – which ones are still worth visiting?

  • In the southeastern corner of the country lies the historic spa town of Gyula. The city is famous for its medieval castle and wonderful thermal baths, which attract thousands of visitors every year. The spa is located in the magical park of the Almasy Palace in the heart of the city.
  • The Miskolctapolca cave baths are unique in Europe. The cave and the lake bath have been known since ancient times. The area first belonged to the Greek Orthodox abbey, which ordered the construction of the baths after the doctors’ opinion on the remarkable properties of the hot springs. The city municipality acquired the spa in the early 1930s and has expanded it several times since then. The thermal swimming pool has a lower salt content than other popular spas. Visitors can swim in the warm waters for an unlimited time.
  • The town of Egerszalók in the northeast of the country, known for its remarkable “salt hill”, offers a unique experience – the only one in Europe. Thermal water with a temperature of 65-68 C° is ranked among the best in the category of sulfur medicinal waters. Before entering the pool, the steaming spring water flows down a series of cascades, and its sparkling mineral content crystallizes as it interacts with the air, creating a picturesque travertine, often referred to by locals as the “salt hill”.

4: Tokaj wine region

The legendary wine region in northeastern Hungary is named after the city of Tokaj, its former commercial center. It is a relatively small region with approximately 5,500 hectares of vineyards, which includes 27 towns and villages, and has been known for centuries for its noble sweet Tokaji Aszú wine.

Tokaj wine region

Just a sip of this golden nectar can transport you to another world. This is probably why it inspired so many artists, writers and composers and was enjoyed by members of royal families. The wine culture and traditions of the area were recognized by inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

For the past thirty years, fresh energy has been pulsating in the veins of the region. This dynamism results in exciting wines – both sweet and dry – from the six permitted grape varieties, especially Furmint and Hárselvelű, bursting with minerality from the volcanic soils or excelling with finesse from the loess. And they deservedly attract more and more attention from the outside world.

However, the region is not only about wine. It offers local artisanal food and friendly country houses, but also luxurious five-star hotels. What to do here? Visit cultural events and festivals, spas and thermal pools, castles and museums, or adventure parks. It’s alive in Tokaj!

5: Debrecen

The second-largest city in Hungary, located in the eastern part of the country, near the Hortobágy National Park, is known as the “capital of the Great Hungarian Plain” or “Calvinian Rome”. And indeed, the biggest attraction of the city is the large Calvinist Great Church with the largest bell in Hungary. Thanks to its religious, political and economic power, historic Debrecen gained city-state status and twice served as the country’s capital.

Debrecen second-largest city in Hungary

Debrecen is a charming city, known for its rich history and vibrant cultural scene. It boasts iconic landmarks that make it a true treasure waiting to be discovered. If the question “What to visit in Hungary” is still bothering you, Debrecen may be the answer.

What do you need to enjoy a 21st century city vacation? Attractive monuments, modern shopping centers, exciting cultural and sports events. Debrecen is by no means lacking in activities of this kind. Trendy cafes and bistros are multiplying, the popularity of street food is increasing, and countless cozy terraces.

Your leisurely walk in the center of Debrecen – called the “ promenade ” by the locals – will be interrupted by shady green squares and refreshing fountains. A slightly eclectic arrangement of architectural styles, as well as streets and alleys, each of which hides its own story, creates a charming atmosphere, and the city itself certainly does not disgrace the original meaning of its name “let it live and move”.

6: Pécs

Pécs, the fifth-largest city in Hungary, is approximately 2000 years old. Famous for its Zsolnay pottery and Turkish ruins, this city is a popular destination for visitors interested in history and culture. In Hungary, which was ruled by the Romans and later by the Turks, there is no city with a more Mediterranean feel.

Pécs, fifth-largest city in Hungary, 2000 years old

City of Museums, University City, Gateway to the Balkans – Pécs has many nicknames. The main reason to visit it is the amazing monuments, including the ancient necropolis listed on the UNESCO list, one of the most remarkable cathedrals in Hungary or the former mosque converted into a Catholic church. The city has a long and tumultuous history (it was founded in the 2nd century under the name Sopianæ ) and remnants of Pécs’ centuries-old importance can be seen everywhere.

However, Pécs offers much more than just its monuments. It has a great, vibrant, yet relaxed atmosphere that you can easily get used to. And even if you will most likely take half a day to see the city, it is worth spending more time here, just to enjoy it.

7: Hortobágy National Park

There are many reasons why Hortobágy is a national park and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – not natural, but cultural. This vast area of ​​plains and wetlands in eastern Hungary is called Puszta in Hungarian, and the official UNESCO site also calls it “Puszta” because it’s so Hungarian it’s not even worth translating.

Hortobágy National Park

This is a place where everyone finds refuge from the monotony of modern human existence. A feeling of unfettered freedom, encapsulated in the spectacle of an endless horizon. Mirages, grazing herds of cattle and horses, and wells with poles will capture your imagination and soul during a horse and carriage ride or “puszta” safari.

A picturesque trip to the ponds on a small narrow-gauge train combined with bird watching will provide unrepeatable experiences for young and old adventurers. The breeze carries the scent of chamomile, mint and artemisia from the wild fields and gently touches your nose like ocean waves rhythmically splashing on the shore. It is a place where you will reinterpret the meaning of silence.

In Hungary’s oldest and largest national park, awarded with the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) award , centuries-old pastoral traditions are still part of people’s livelihood and not just an advertising gimmick.

8: Sopron

The town of Sopron is located in the westernmost part of Hungary near Lake Fertő (Nezider Lake), only 75 kilometers south of Vienna.

It is a charming medieval town with unique theater ensembles, a fire tower, Hungarian gnocchi, goulash and excellent Sopron wine served in the unique wineries Buschenschank and Poncichter.

Sopron, westernmost part of Hungary near Lake Fertő

Sopron is one of those magical hidden places in Europe that we don’t even know much about. Its history dates back to the Roman Empire, when it was known as the fortified city of Scarbantia. And Scarbantia still exists – its Forum and the old Roman city walls have been discovered, excavated, and are located right next to the main square in the old city.

In the Middle Ages, the city was among the seven most important free royal cities in the country; it was both a coronation and a border city, which, due to its geographical location, always played an important role as a cultural mediator. The buildings located here house a number of museums: Fabricius House, Apothecary Museum, Scarbantia Forum, Old and New Synagogue, Eggenberg House, Labas House and Caesar House, which can be reached during a walk through the city center.

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