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Hungarians have contributed some of the world's best musicians, world class cuisine and a glorious medieval legacy. Budapest is a cosmopolitan city of old lanes and flashy people and has a lot to offer to everyone. The surrounding countryside is dotted with castles, fortresses, monasteries and beautiful villages and towns that hark back to the days when Hungary was... [Read the full story]
Our Insider's Articles about Hungary
Hungarian cuisine merges flavorful spices, such as paprika, with hearty stews and meat dishes, and a trip to Hungary... [Read the full story]
One of the most visited countries in the world, Hungary owes much of its acclaim to its stunning capital, Budapest, but its rich history and cultural heritage are countrywide. Today, the country’s historical buildings are some of the most important in the world, including the Parliament House, which rivals London’s Palace of Westminster in scale and ornamental beauty, providing visitors with a uniquely grand tour of eastern European architecture. Lakes, plains, and rivers make for excellent tromping, and the country’s famous thermal spas provide a luxurious way to sooth muscles afterward.
Here are some tips to help guide you on your trip to Hungary. Budapest is definitely the place to begin, whether you’re traveling within Hungary or throughout central or eastern Europe. Hungary’s rail lines all begin or end in Budapest, making day trips particularly easy. Rental car and bus are other options for escaping the city, but driving in downtown Budapest should be avoided at all costs. Consider taking a boat tour of the Danube River, the river that divides the two west back of Buda and east bank of Pest.
Highlights outside of Budapest include Lake Balaton, which is the largest lake in central Europe, the Aggtelek National Park, where visitors can tour a network of caves, the Szechenyi spa, which is fun for families, the unspoiled village of Holloko, and the city of Pecs, home to the largest Christian Necropolis outside of Italy.
As of May 2011, U.S. travelers do not need a visa to enter the country when staying for fewer than 90 days. Hungary is landlocked and borders Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Austria. It is part of the European Union but the official currency is the Hungarian Forint (if you really want to use euros, some major hotels will accept them). The dollar has done well against in the Forint in recent years, making Hungary an inexpensive travel destination. The official language is Hungarian, and English is common in large cities. Where you might run into trouble are the smaller villages.