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Hungary, Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake of Central Europe.
Hungary, Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake of Central Europe.

Hungary travel guide

Hungary is home to historic urban centres and evocative landscapes, not to mention quality wines, rejuvenating thermal springs, and a thriving arts and music scene

This oft-overlooked country lies at the heart of central Europe.

Its capital Budapest – all fairytale turrets, spas and hip nightlife – has the romance of Prague with a little more edge. Rapid redevelopment is giving it a tourist-friendly facelift but the shiny new eateries are juxtaposed with Jewish cemeteries, bullet-studded buildings and clapped out Trabants, a reminder of a rich and fascinating history.

Outside the capital you will find pretty towns brimming with baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture and a rural landscape of rivers, thatched houses and castles. Whatever takes your fancy, be it hiking, horse riding, mountain biking or bird watching, the Hungarian countryside will oblige.

Wanderlust Recommends

  1. Soothe your limbs in one of Budapest’s piping hot thermal spas. Simply sit and daydream or give your grey matter a workout with a game of floating chess.  
  2. Visit Sopron, an alluring medieval city with great architecture, wine cellars and access to the Lövér Hills.
  3. Step back in time at the World Heritage Sight of Hollókö in the Cserháat Hills. This museum village of traditional dwellings overlooked by a castle gives an absorbing insight into the village life and folk traditions of a bygone era.
  4. Get back to nature on The Great Plain. The romanticised region features ramshackle farms, wandering shepherds, horse riding and birds galore – every autumn over 10,000 cranes make their grand entrance, a sight guaranteed to make a budding ornithologist out of anyone.
  5. Dangle your toes in Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe. This aquatic playground is the perfect spot for a refreshing summer swim, not to mention a host of watersports. 

Wanderlust tips

Swot up on the country’s history for a richer experience.   

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