High season in Lake Balaton is July and August; crowds descend and prices skyrocket. If you're keen to enjoy the water activities but don't want the crowds, try to visit in June or September – the water is still warm (versus a bathtub-like 28 to 29 degrees in the heat of summer) yet everything is still open and it feels summery – without the intense humidity.
It’s hard to name the single thing that makes Szeged such an appealing city. Is it the the shady, gardenlike main square with all the park benches or the the abundant streetside cafe seating in a pedestrian area that seems to stretch on forever? Maybe it’s the interesting architecture of the old-town palaces.
Blessed with a mild climate, an illustrious past and a number of fine museums and monuments, Pécs is one of the most pleasant and interesting cities to visit in Hungary. With a handful of universities, the nearby Mecsek Hills and a lively nightlife, many travellers put it second only to Budapest on their Hungary ‘must-see’ list.
Hungary’s ‘most faithful city’ (a reference to the 1921 referendum when Sopron opted to stay part of Hungary rather than be absorbed into Austria) has been around for a while. First settled by the Celts, then the Romans (as a trading spot along the Amber Route from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic and Byzantium), then a succession of Germans, Avars, Slavs and Magyars.
Kiskunsági Nemzeti Park
Kiskunság National Park consists of nine ‘islands’ of land totalling more than 76,000 hectares. Much of the park’s alkaline ponds, dunes and grassy ‘deserts’ are off-limits to casual visitors. Ask about birding and other tours at the park’s main office in Kecskemét – the so-called House of Nature – or check its useful website.
Blessed with beautifully preserved baroque architecture, Eger is a jewellery box of a town with loads to see and do. Explore the bloody history of Turkish occupation and defeat at the hilltop castle, climb an original Ottoman minaret, listen to an organ performance at the colossal basilica, or relax in a renovated Turkish bath.