Country 61/196: Hungary
Hungary is an intriguing country known for its wonderful architecture, rich cultural history, tasty cuisine, spectacular spas, and difficult language – one of the few non-Indo-European languages spoken in Europe. The country’s most popular attractions include Lake Balaton – the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Hévíz – the largest thermal lake in the world available to bath, Hortobágy National Park – the largest natural grasslands in Europe, charming historical cities like Szentendre, Eger, and, of course, Budapest.
Things to see and things to do
The capital of Hungary is truly mesmerizing. In fact, with its beauty, spirit, and rich history it has earned the nicknames the “Pearl of the Danube,” the “Heart of Europe”. It is the country’s most popular tourist destination. As Hungary is our neighboring country, we have already had the pleasure to explore some of its most beautiful places. This time around, we decided to take a few days to explore the streets of Budapest. The weather was pretty bad, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time. During our 5-day visit, we managed to see all of the city’s main attractions, including:
- The Buda Castle – the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings, which now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum.
- Matthias Church – a well-known Roman Catholic church, which was built in the second half of the 14th century.
- The Hungarian Parliament Building, situated on the banks of the Danube (in the Pest side of the city) is the largest building in Hungary and one of the most prominent buildings in the city. It was designed in neo-Gothic style and opened in 1902.
- Fisherman’s Bastion – a 19th-century fortress offering panoramic views over the city.
- Shoes on the Danube Bank – a memorial located on the east bank of the Danube River in honor of the Jews who were killed in Budapest during World War II.
- Széchenyi Chain Bridge – a suspension bridge over the Danube river, connecting Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of the city.
- St. Stephen’s Basilica – a Roman Catholic basilica named after Stephen – the first King of Hungary.
- The Citadella – a famous citadel located on the top of Gellért Hill, which offers wonderful views of the city and the river.
- Margaret Island – a rather small island in the middle of the Danube is a popular recreational area. It features a Japanese Garden and a Musical Fountain.
- Heroes’ Square – one of the major squares in Budapest, located at the entrance of the City Park.
- The City Park – a public park close to the center of the city.
- Széchenyi thermal bath – the largest medicinal bath in Europe, located in the City Park, which is known for its extraordinary Neo-Baroque style architecture. The complex includes indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, steam, and various spa treatments. The Széchenyi thermal bath is fun, relaxing, and definitely the most romantic place in the city. 😉
Where to stay
Budapest is a big tourist-friendly city. There are many luxurious, mid-range, and budget accommodation options available for all kinds of travelers.
Are you planning a trip to Hungary? Here you can get a room with a 10% discount! 🙂
Like many tourist destinations in Europe, Budapest can be a rather expensive place to visit. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can save lots of money by staying in simple hostels, guesthouses, or Airbnbs. Couchsurfing is also an option here. Consider preparing your meals or eating in inexpensive restaurants (you can find lots of cheap places that serve delicious food on Google and TripAdvisor). Explore the city on foot or use public transportation. A single ticket costs 350 HUF (1.14 USD/0.96 EUR). You can also save a lot of money by avoiding attractions and activities for which you have to pay an expensive entrance fee.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Hungary is during the shoulder seasons (from March to May and from September until November). The weather tends to be quite nice this time of year, even though there are more rainy days than during the summer, and the cities aren’t overrun by tourists.
Some of Hungary’s biggest environmental problems include soil, water, and air pollution caused by rapid industrialization. Electric power plants and transportation emissions are to blame for most of the air pollution. Air pollution results in acid rain, which damages forest and reduces their growth. The majority of water pollution is caused by untreated industrial wastewater and insufficiently treated sewage. As a result, Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe, is severely polluted. The loss of biodiversity also presents a major challenge to Hungary. On the bright side, numerous reforestation initiatives have resulted in a slow, yet steady forest expansion. Also, Hungary is an important part of international treaties concerning air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, and other environmental efforts.
Found lots of LOVE in Hungary. 😉 ♥
Romance and adventure
Honeymoon rating of the visited destinations: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♡♡
Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It offers numerous adventures, wonderful views, and romantic sights. It is the perfect honeymoon destination for those who appreciate art, architecture, history, and good food. We loved the romantic strolls through the city center, the hike to the top of Gellért Hill, where we found many private corners with secluded benches that offer a stunning view over the city, sitting in cozy restaurants while trying out local delicacies, and of course, relaxing in the fairytale Széchenyi spa. ♥
* Note: This is NOT a general rating of the country, it is merely our personal opinion of the mentioned site(s) as honeymoon destinations, based on the level of tourism development, the number and quality of romantic and adventurous activities and sites it offers, and safety. We strongly believe that every country is beautiful in its own way, they may simply be more or less honeymoon oriented/friendly.
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