How do you prefer spending your vacation? Relaxing at a lakeside resort, hiking in the woods, or discovering historical monuments? If you live in Budapest, you can do all these things without moving too far from home, but why not explore other regions while you are on vacation in Hungary?
Waterfront resorts and spas
Since the dawn of time, waterfronts are the most popular places for recharging, and not just in summer. Lake Balaton, lovingly mocked “the Hungarian Sea” has resorts, beaches and ports all around it, and beside swimming, you can also sail or bathe in the sun. Siófok, Keszthely, and Balatonfüred are just a few of the prominent destinations. However, on every waterfront in Hungary, you will find some kind of resort, whether you are around Lake Velence, Lake Bánk, or Lake Tisza.
Hungary also has a rich spa culture, thanks to the immense number of thermal springs. Whether you prefer a fashionable resort in a busy area, like Hévíz or Hajdúszoboszló, or a more hidden gem out in the countryside, you will surely find something to your liking.
Hiking in nature
Are you looking for something more active? If you are into hiking, there are more than 150 official hiking trails in Hungary. The National Blue Trail is one of the oldest trails of Europe, visiting several natural and man-made sites in Hungary. Moreover, there are ten national parks in Hungary and countless smaller natural reserves, with various guided tours and educational trails.
Among the more spectacular natural formations, you will find limestone caves in some of the oldest mountains of Hungary. The Baradla-Domica cave system is among the most extended in Europe, and you can get a taste of it if you visit Aggtelek and book a tour.
Zoos and wildlife parks
If you want to check out wildlife in a more controlled environment, there are many zoos and wildlife parks in Hungary. Both focus on the reservation of wild species and about how and why coexisting with wildlife is in the best interest of everyone. Zoos like that in Veszprém or Nyíregyháza usually focus on displaying more species while welcoming guests with more advanced facilities, while in wildlife parks such as the one in Budakeszi or Felsőlajos, most space is taken up by the spacious enclosures.
Do you want to see the monuments of historic Hungary? Many of the old castles or fortresses operate as museums, and are open for visitors. Check out the royal palace and its gardens in Gödöllő, the magnificent Festetics estate in Keszthely, or the “humble” Andrássy palace in Tiszadob (of course, it is still amazing). If you are more interested in fortresses, take a look around the Dunakanyar from the citadel of Visegrád, or visit the dungeon of the fortress in Eger.
Over thousand years of history, several Hungarian cities gained historical significance, and while they are usually among the biggest cities around, they are also beautiful and full of captivating sites. Székesfehérvár used to be the place where kings were crowned. Debrecen has one of the oldest universities in Hungary, and for some time it was also home to the Parliament of Hungary. Pécs became one of the “capitals of culture” in Europe in 2010, and it attracts many tourists with its Mediterranean atmosphere. Esztergom sports the biggest and tallest cathedral in Hungary, which is also among the top tier in Europe. Tokaj is the center of the most famous wine region in Hungary, where the Aszú of Tokaj, “the king of wines, the wine of kings” is made.
Get to know Hungary better
Connect with Hungarian tradition, get out of Budapest, and visit another region when you are on vacation in Hungary. If you have Hungarian ancestors, this is an excellent way of connecting with your own heritage at the same time.
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