If you constantly catch glimpses of the mesmerizing low-lying mountains, sparkling lakes, stunning river scenic shots and the incredible Danube running through the country, chances are, you are in Hungary. This Central European country is lined up with well-maintained castles, good old wines, luscious oak forests and ancient thermal springs. Owing to its vibrant and colourful cultural legacy, wonderful natural wonders and extraordinary historical gems, it's not a surprise that Hungary is successful in being a top tourist hotspot.
Kick-start the trip by heading out to its dynamic capital - Budapest. In the past, Budapest was 3 separate cities - Buda and Pest housed on either side of the Danube and Obuda (Old Buda) residing in the north. The three together came to be known as Budapest. Some of the attractions that are must-see are: 18th-century Buda Castle, 19th-century Fisherman's Bastion and the spectacular Matthias Church with neo-romanesque towers. When you're in Budapest, one of the absolute must-see attraction is the incredible Danube River that flows through Hungary from north to south, as it passes through Budapest and divides the city into two. Head over to the amazing Freedom Bridge to view fine sunset views of both Buda and Pest.
Hungary is known for its hot springs and baths that date as far back as the 2,000 years to the Romans. Most of Budapest's medicinal springs are situated along the 235-metre Gelert Hill. The mineral-rich waters from the thermal baths are therapeutic in nature, so do take a dip. Not just in Budapest, there are several medicinal spas throughout the country and one of them is the popular Lake Heviz with its 25?C yearly average water temperature. Another famous spa destination in the country is Lillafured in the Bukk Mountains. Its also home to several splendid caves. Some of them are: Istvan Cave (stalactite formations), Petofi Cave (impressions of extinct plant species left in the limestone walls) and the Szeleta Cave (relics from the Ice Age).
Do take a trip to the west to explore the medieval cities of Sopron and K?szeg. Sopron is home to around 240 listed buildings, including the 12th-century Firewatch Tower, Storno House and the Gothic Goat Church, while K?szeg encompasses a treasure-trove of gems featuring baroque, renaissance and Gothic architecture. Housing around 300 clinics, it is for no reason that Sopron is said to be the 'dental capital of the world'. Perched just above the gorgeous old town of Visegrad in the Danube Bend, the ruins of Visegrad Royal Palace and the old citadel make up the 'must-see' list for they are a spectacular sight. It offers incredible vistas over the Danube and the surrounding area.
Take a trip to northern Hungary to explore Eger, one of the nation's most ancient and colourful city out there. It is home to around 200 historical structures, including a castle, a 14-sided Ottoman minaret and a classically-finished basilica, featuring stunning frecos, domed ceiling and columned entrance. Nature lovers ought to spend some time at Hortobagy National Park, an extensive area of rassland in eastern Hungary. Declared as a World Heritage Site in 1999, about 350 species can be glimpsed there including storks, warblers, eagles, herons and rare great bustards.
When it comes to shopping, be sure to be on the look-out for local embroideries, Herend and Zsolnay porcelain, wooden toys and national dolls. As for cuisine, it would be a shame to not dig into their local delicacies while visiting the country. Gorge on mouth-watering dishes such as Halaszle (a spicy soup made with freshwater fish and paprika) or Gundel palacsinta (pancake served with walnuts, raisins, lemon rind, chocolate sauce and rum).
The stay options in Hungary are abundant with the best luxury hotels, rental apartments and cheap accommodations available for tourists to decide which kind they prefer based on their budget and taste.
Hungary experiences mild continental climate. The best time to visit would be during the spring and autumn for the temperatures are balmy.