Hungary’s scenery is more gentle than striking, more pretty than stunning. But you can’t say the same thing about the built environment across the land. Architecturally Hungary is a treasure trove, with everything from Roman ruins and medieval town houses to baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and Art Nouveau bathhouses and schools. And we're not just talking about Budapest here; walk through Szeged or Kecskemét, Debrecen or Sopron and you’ll discover an architectural gem at virtually every turn. Some people (ourselves included) go out of their way for another glimpse of their 'hidden' favourites like the Reök Palace in Szeged, the buildings of Kőszeg’s Jurisics tér or the Mosque Church in Pécs. It is almost as if they're afraid these delightful structures will crumble and disappear unless they are regularly drenched in admiring glances.
In Hot Water
Hungarians have been 'taking the waters’ supplied by an estimated 300 thermal springs since togas were all the rage and Aquincum was the big Smoke. They still do – for therapeutic, medicinal and recreational purposes – but the venues have changed somewhat. Today they range from authentic bathhouses dating from the Turkish occupation and Art Nouveau palaces to clinical sanatoriums straight out of a Thomas Mann novel. This is where the older generation like to rejuvenate and catch up on the local gossip. More and more though, you'll see clear chlorinated waters in organically-shaped pools that bubble, squirt and spurt at different rhythms and temperatures alongside the requisite wellness centre offering a myriad of treatments. Good for the kids, good for the grown-ups, good for the whole family.
Eat, Drink & Be Magyar
There is a lot more to Hungarian food than goulash and it remains one of the most sophisticated styles of cooking in Europe. Magyars even go so far as to say there are three essential world cuisines: French, Chinese and their own. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but Hungary's reputation as a food centre dates largely from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th and, despite a fallow period during the chilly days of communism, is once again commanding attention. So too are the nation's world-renowned wines – from the big-bodied reds of Villány and white Olazrizling from Badacsony to honey-gold Tokaj.
Best places to stay in Hungary
Hungary travel guide
Stunning architecture, piquant cuisine, vital folk art and steaming thermal spas are Hungary’s major attractions, but it’s the uniqueness of the people, their culture and language that makes it so mysterious.
Exploring the 'ruin pubs' of Budapest's seventh district
Budapest’s seventh district, once home to a flourishing Jewish community before World War II but which languished for decades after, has emerged as one of the best bar-hopping 'hoods on the busy Pest side of the Danube...
Central Europe travel guide
From the Gothic alleyways of Prague to the steamy thermal baths of Budapest, Central Europe is characterised by an old-world élan. Sip beers in Munich, climb every mountain in Switzerland then party until dawn in Kraków and Berlin.
Budapest & Around
Brutal buildings: the architecture of Eastern Europe
Ugly or visionary? An architectural period to forget, or a legacy worth preserving? Few building styles have made an impact on a region, or caused as much controversy, as brutalist architecture in the former Communist Bloc...
Eastern Europe travel guide
Head to Eastern Europe for guaranteed adventure: from hidden gems in Russia, Ukraine and Montenegro to the classic charms of the Czech Republic, Croatia and Hungary, you’ll find a region that’s surreal, exciting and endlessly surprising.
Budapest Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
With a half day to discover Budapest, the Grand City Sightseeing Tour makes the perfect introduction for the first time visitor. With hotel pickup included and the option of a morning or afternoon departure, see all the key sites from the comfort of your motor coach.
Budapest Airport Private Arrival Transfer
Travel from Budapest International Airport to your Budapest City hotel or Budapest river cruise port. Transfer services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Beginner's guide to Hungarian wine
Budapesters love their wine and take it seriously, but in summer spritzers of red or white wine and mineral water are consumed in large quantities. Knowing the hierarchy and the art of mixing a spritzer to taste is important and will definitely win you the badge of 'honorary local'. A kisfröccs (small spritzer) is 100ml (3...
Hungary - Northern Uplands (Chapter)
Forested hiking trails, superb wine regions, traditional folk culture and hilltop castle ruins beckon you to the Northern Uplands. Explore Bükk National Park, caving in Lillafüred, and sample the red wines of Eger or the honey-sweet whites of...
Sights in Hungary
Activities in Hungary
Tours in Hungary
Restaurants in Hungary
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Straddling the Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west and the Great Plain to the east, Budapest is a gem of a city.