This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Hungary guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.
Travellers writing diary accounts usually treat Hungary rather cursorily as they make tracks for ‘more exotic’ Romania or places beyond.
Pin this image Between the Woods and the Water (Patrick Leigh Fermor) Describing his 1933 walk through Western and Central Europe to Constantinople as a young man, Fermor wrote the classic account of Hungary.
Pin this image Danube (Claudio Magris) A colourful account of the author’s journey through Central Europe, following the path of the Danube; written a handful of years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Pin this image Hungary & the Hungarians: The Keywords (István Bart) Subtitled ‘A Concise Dictionary of Facts, Beliefs, Customs, Usage & Myths’, this book will prepare you for (and guide you through) just about everything Magyar – from ABC (a kind of greengrocer under the old regime) to Zsolnay.
Stealing from a Deep Place (Brian Hall) Sensitive but never cloying, the author describes his tempered love affair with the still-communist Budapest of the 1980s while completing a two-year cycle tour of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
Pin this image The City of the Magyar or Hungary and Her Institutions in 1839–40 (Julia Pardoe) This three-volume part-travelogue, part-history by a British spinster is priceless for its vivid descriptions of events such as the devastating Danube floods of 1838.
More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.