Country guides Europe
Hungary Travel Guide
Nestled in the heart of Europe, landlocked Hungary is a picturesque gateway between the western and eastern sides of the continent. Culturally and linguistically distinct among its many neighbours, this tiny, popular destination is blessed with a long and fascinating history, a stunning countryside, and welcoming people.
Hungarians are descended from the Magyars of Russia and the country has, at various points, been ruled by the Mongols, the Austrians, and the Soviet Union. A wealth of historical attractions within the countryside and the cosmopolitan capital, Budapest, are the legacy of these influences.
For its part, Budapest is one of Europe's great city-break destinations, rivalling Paris, Vienna and Prague for sheer elegance. This bohemian metropolis has museums, monuments, and historic buildings aplenty, and comes alive after dark through its riotous and romantic nightlife, and a restaurant scene that offers something for every traveller.
Outside of the capital, Hungary's rolling countryside surrounds charming villages, where medieval squares and splendid castles set the stage for adventure. Travellers can explore the vineyards around Eger, relax in the thermal mineral baths of Balatonfured, or wander the quaint towns of the beautiful Danube Bend for an unforgettable holiday.
Best time to visit Hungary
Summer is the best time to visit Hungary, as the weather is warm and all the restaurants and attractions are open for tourists. The climate is temperate, but winters are cold and the weather in spring and autumn is unpredictable.
What to see in Hungary
-Drive to Eger to tour the heavily-fortified Eger Castle.
-See the monuments of Hungary's Communist history at Memento Park in Budapest.
-Take in the view of Budapest and the Chain Bridge from Fisherman's Bastion.
-Relax and enjoy watersports in the thermal lake at Heviz.
What to do in Hungary
-Stroll around Vac to see the pretty cathedrals and the macabre Memento Mori Crypt.
-Treat the kids to a day riding the rollercoasters at Vidam Park.
-Spend a day walking around the charming riverside town of Esztergom.
-Take a river cruise around the Danube Bend.
Getting to Hungary
Getting to Hungary from the UK is made easy by direct cheap flights to Budapest from London and a handful of other cities by a few budget carriers. Direct flights to Hungary from the US are also available from a number of cities.
Eclipse of the Crescent Moon by Geza Gardonyi.
Franz Liszt and Bela Bartok.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and Sunshine (1999).
Hungarian wine and mineral water.
Goulash soup, strudel and crepes.
What to buy
What to pack
Pack layers, as the weather in Hungary can be unpredictable.
What's on in Hungary
The Christmas markets held each winter in Budapest's Vorosmarty Square are accompanied by organ and choir concerts.
Did you know?
-The Rubik's Cube was invented in Hungary.
-In 1946, Hungary issued a 'one quintillion pengo' note, the highest denomination ever issued by any country.
A final word
Hungary's stunning landscape and fascinating history make it a convenient and delightful stop on any European holiday.