Hungary is a classic Eastern European country that oozes history, with its grand architecture from Roman ruins and medieval townhouses. From fun folk art in every different genre, songs to needlepoint, and world-renowned goulash!
Budapest, the capital, claims to be the number one nightlife destination in Europe, and they may well be right. There's a definite cafe culture along with an assortment of unique bars to sample wines, homegrown firewater, and craft beers. In the warmer months, ruin bars pop-up in derelict buildings and kertek (gardens) appear all-over the cities and towns.
There are more than 300 thermal springs across the country to enjoy therapeutic, medicinal, and recreational purposes. Soak in an authentic bathhouse dating from the 16th-century Turkish occupation like the Rudas Baths in Budapest or Szechenyi, which is larger and a favourite with the locals. There's such a large variety from the old to modern-day spas, wellness centres, and waterparks to play in.
It boasts sophisticated Eastern European cuisine and has become world-renowned for its wineries, producing big-bodied reds of Eger and Villany to the dazzling white Olaszrizling from Badacsony.
Travel out into the beautiful countryside. Holl is only two streets but merely stunning with its 67 whitewashed houses constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries. Lake Balaton, continental Europe's largest lake, with its fun-filled beaches, is surrounded by historic waterside towns such as Keszthely, Balaton, and Tihany, which sits on a peninsula jutting into the lake and is home to a stunning abbey church.
The puszta, in the eastern part of Hungary, - the Great Plain - is best seen in the UNESCO-listed Hortobargy National Park, 40 kilometres west of Debrecen. The town of Hortobargy lies almost in the centre. It's the home of Hungarian cowboys, fantastic scenery from the plains to wetlands harbouring rare bird species, gypsy bands, bars with music and conversation constantly flowing as do the drinks. Everyone is welcome in Hungary.
The four seasons vary in Hungry, so all year, you have a flexible array of things to see and do. In summer, July and August are usually the hottest averaging between 15-25°C. It's a pleasant climate for bike riding, hiking, and exploring Hortobargy National Park and Lake Balaton.
Winter, from November to March is low season, and it can get cold with temperatures dipping to -3°C in January, but that does not stop the Hungarians from enjoying their country.
The peak tourist season is from June to August. The shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October are one of the best times to visit with the crowd's thinner, and some good deals offered on accommodation and tours.
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