FROM its famed thermal baths to its ‘city of lights’ to an abundance of history, Hungary is your new ‘must visit’ destination.
The Szechenyi Spa Baths in Budapest is one of the best places to relax in Europe
2. Just two hours from Budapest is the ‘geological curiosity’ that is Lake Heviz – the largest biologically active thermal lake in Europe.
The town of Heviz is surrounded by hills and enjoys an inviting year-round Mediterranean climate, while the lake also maintains a toasty temperature and is surrounded by a beautiful nature conservation area. (lakeheviz.com)
3. While Hungary might not be the first country that springs to mind when it comes to fine wine, the dessert wine produced in the Tokaj wine region is actually called the ‘wine of kings’.
The microclimate of these low-lying hills provides the ideal conditions to create world-class wine. (tokaj.hu)
4. The stunning city of Budapest is often referred to as ‘Paris on the Danube’.
Packed with cultural gems, one of the best is undoubtedly Buda Castle.
A World Heritage site, this spectacular palace was built during the 18th Century and is topped off by a 61-metre high central dome.
There’s also plenty of exciting renovation work currently going on in the city, including the proposed new museum district.
5. The spectacular ‘blue’ Danube has long been a mecca for river cruise enthusiasts, and this iconic waterway flows through Hungary from north to south, splitting Budapest in two.
The Danube Panorama itself is a World Heritage site, and the eight famous bridges of the capital offer stunning views of the river. (bridgesofbudapest.com)
6. Aggtelek National Park lies near Hungary’s border with Slovakia, with which country it shares the protected Caves of Aggtelek Karst.
Today more than a thousand caves are known about making it the largest cave system in Central Europe. (anp.nemzetipark.gov.hu)
7. The northeast spa town of Eger is one of the most popular in Hungary, and also home to the imposing Eger Castle.
Eger is also famed for its wine, medicinal waters and is considered a food-lover’s paradise.
Hungarian strudel called ‘retes’ comes highly recommended. (egrivar.hu)
8. Siófok sits on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, and is now considered to give Ibiza a run for its money in the summer party stakes.
It boasts a busy port, 17km long beach and an exciting mix of night life and adventure sports. (hungary-tourist-guide.com)
9. The Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden is located right in the heart of the city and will celebrate its 150th birthday in 2016 with plans to expand.
From its gorgeous butterfly garden to the ‘America Tropicana’ there’s a wealth of animals to see and plenty to do. (zoobudapest.com)
10. Hungary has survived many periods of oppression in the past, and there are now several moving memorials to this in Budapest.
The fascinating House of Terror museum is located in the former headquarters of both the Nazi and Communist regimes where hundreds died.
The moving Shoes on the Danube sculpture on the banks of the river is a tribute to the many Jews who died there. (terrorhaza.hu)