Major Tourist Attractions: Lake Balaton, Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, Chain Bridge, Hungarian State Opera House, Szechenyi Thermal Bath
You can’t visit Hungary without visiting the capital, Budapest – and you certainly shouldn’t miss out on it. While Budapest is a must and easily ranking among the most beautiful cities in the world, Hungary has more to offer for the curious visitors. Certainly, dedicating enough time for absorbing the beauty and charm of the capital is where you should start. The great Danube river is held dearly by Hungarians. By dividing the capital into two distinct halves it gives the city a unique character. While it’s a divided city, it also feels strongly united, where the two different halves beautifully complement each other.
The Pest side of the capital is flat and offers a lot from a cultural point of view, while the hilly side of the city, Buda, is the part offering the great views, greenery and traces of Hungary’s rich history. For the culturally interested visitor Budapest is a dream destination, where museums, architecture and music take a central role. For instance, experiencing a live performance of the fabulous National Opera is unforgettable.
Hungarian culture is unique, and history made the country a proud and strong unifier. There’s no easier way of experiencing the culture then by enjoying a hearty Hungarian meal, with so many delicacies on offer that you’ll feel satisfied for a long-long time (just remember to save some place for the unique desserts). Another must if you’re in the capital is to relax in one of the city’ great bath houses, like the Széchenyi or Gellért, two magnificent places both aesthetically speaking and for the pleasures offered.
While Budapest will do its best to hold a firm grip on the visitor, there are plenty of reasons for venturing further out from the capital. It’s a small country and all parts are quickly reachable via an efficient infrastructure. Just north of the capital is one of the most interesting parts of the country: in the Danube Bend – by most considered the most beautiful part of the greatest European river – the towns of Esztergom and Visegrád can be found. Esztergom used to be the old capital of Hungary until the 13th century and it presents some unique architectural beauty. Among the other interesting cities around the country, the Ottoman-influenced Pécs and Szeged are great spots to visit. In the east of the country is Hungary's second biggest city, Debrecen.
In the east of the country is also the famous Hortobágy National Park, a part of the country with a cultural significance, still cherishing the horsemanship and herding past of the Hungarian nation. Not far from there is the town and wine region of Eger, a fantastic region for one of the most unique wines in the world, the Egri Bull Blood.
In summertime the biggest holiday destination of the country is the Balaton Lake to the west of the Danube River, which splits the country in two halves. Balaton offers great swimming, sailing and general relaxation possibilities, while the northern part offers great nature and a fantastic cultural offering. Hungary is certainly more than “just” Budapest.
- Admire the Buda Castle Hill in Budapest from the river bank on the Pest side, or by climbing the Buda Hill and see it from up close; it will amaze you however you do it.
- The Chain Bridge and the other ten bridges across the Danube River in Budapest.
- Hot thermal baths in Budapest – and further afield.
- Visit the Ruin Bars in the capital, some truly exceptional establishments for a nice night out.
- Enjoy summer on the Balaton Lake, Central Europe’s biggest lake, offering recreation and culture.
- Visit the unique Tokaj wine district and taste the delicious Tokaji Aszu sweet wines – and more.
- The Danube Bend just an hour from Budapest is considered as one of the most beautiful spots on Europe’s grandest river.
- Visit the castle of Visegrád, the old medieval fortification that played an important role in Hungarian history.
- Visit Esztergom in the Danube Bend, the old capital of Hungary with its splendid views and architecture.
- Pay a visit to picturesque Eger and its castle, and especially the surrounding vineyards.
- Visit the Ottoman-influenced southern city of Pécs, a photogenic beauty and former European Capital of Culture.
- Visit the culturally active southern city of Szeged.
- Visit the country’s second biggest city Debrecen, an important university town with lush parks and nice architecture, on your way to or from the Hortobágy National Park.
- Pay your tribute to Kecskemét, the city on the Tisza plain with a very characteristic Hungarian Art Nouveau architecture.
- Go horseback-riding in the Hortobágy National Park and enjoy a piece of true Hungarian culture, where the nation’s horseman and shepherd-past is the most obvious.
- Visit the colourful Bükk Mountains in autumn with its splendid nature.
- Eat and enjoy all the Hungarian food you can get served: goulash (gulyás), palacsinta, pörkölt stew, cakes, pálinka and much-much more.
Address: Embassy of the
United States of America
Szabadság tér 12
Phone: (061) 475-4164;
After hours: (061) 475-4400