It’s no wonder singer George Ezra compared his house in Budapest to the likes of a hidden treasure chest – this capital city is filled with so much charm and is certainly the star of the show.
With a dreamy stretch of the Danube river on full display, Budapest is easily one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. Boasting a spectacular skyline framing 19th century architectural wonders, you won’t be short of stunning spots to stop and take a selfie in front of.
A visit to Szechenyi Thermal Bath should be high up on your itinerary – it’s the largest spa in Europe. These 100 year old baths are supplied with water from two thermal springs, with 15 fabulous indoor pools to test out as well as three gigantic outdoor ones. You’ll come away feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated than ever!
And make sure to adventure out for a tipple or two at one of the city’s many rustic ruin bars. These quirky courtyards are the perfect place to enjoy cheap drinks in unusual surroundings.
Food, Glorious Food
One thing’s for sure – you’ll never go hungry in Hungary. Typical Hungarian food goes heavy on meat, dairy and cheese – all the good stuff! Get stuck into hearty Hungarian dishes like traditional Goulash, a marvelous meaty stew usually made up of succulent steak and veg, seasoned with tasty spices like paprika. It’s packed with flavour!
If you’re more of a sweet tooth, you’ll be pleased to know that just like Austria, Hungary is big on cakes. Traditional cakes here are filled with ground walnuts and ground poppy seeds, and you can visit specialised pastry shops known as cukrászdas to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Hungarians are generally more partial to a glass of wine than a pint of beer, with the northeast region of Tokaj being the country’s top wine region. If you take a trip there you’ll find a new generation of ambitious up-and-coming winemakers experimenting with various flavours – make sure to do a bit of tasting to see what you think!
Hungary is certainly unique when it comes to the past – prepare to unravel a rich history of folk traditions and awe-inspiring dance heritage.
Visit in February and you’ll experience the Buso festivities in the Hungarian town of Mohács – a festival filled with mayhem and celebration that brings the locals together in a way never seen before. Its origins are steeped in history, and as you learn you’ll be able to take part in all kinds of activities from falconry to Matyó embroidery.
In the sixties the first folk dance halls were opened in Budapest, also known as ‘dance houses’, and you can still visit authentic versions of these today. You’ll find folk pubs at the centre of Budapest’s folk art scene, with dance house events going on from sunset ‘til sunrise – so make sure to pack your dancing shoes!
Bathe in Beauty
It’s no secret that the Turkish and Roman influence on Hungarian culture includes the popularity of mineral spas. Hungary’s thermal waters are known across the world as some of the best, with an abundance of spas dotted across the country. Head to the world’s largest thermal lake – Lake Héviz – or Europe’s largest spa – Szechenyi Thermal Bath. That’s without mentioning the thermal baths hidden inside a series of caves!
With so many to choose from, you’ll have no problems finding a secluded spot to relax and unwind in soothing waters. Perfect after a busy day of exploring!