Hungary is a country at the heart of Europe, but it is certainly different too in so many ways!
While not large in terms of population (it has only 10 million inhabitants) Hungary has a wealth of culture and history, complemented by a language so completely different from its neighbours that almost no shared words exist! It can be said that ours is a land of great contrasts:
Hungary is landlocked like its neighbours Austria, Slovakia and Serbia though it still deserves the nickname "land of waters", as it holds the largest lake in Europe (Lake Balaton) and is crossed by mighty rivers which divide and define its regions. Even its capital city is split by the Danube River, with Buda on the Western side and Pest on the Eastern bank. As well as water to cool off in, Hungary can be the perfect place to keep warm, as it is located over a very active geo-thermic area and has over a thousand thermal water springs and the second largest thermal Lake in the world for bathing (Lake Hévíz). "Taking the waters" for relaxation or as clinical treatments, is an important part of the Hungarian culture.
Hungary is situated in the low, flat area of the Carpathian Basin, with a gently undulating landscape of hills and plains, and it features one of the largest continuous grasslands in Europe. Perhaps equaling these sights, are the wonders awaiting intrepid adventurers in the depths below the country. The very same elemental forces that brought about its thermal springs, also created hundreds of kilometres of limestone caves through erosion, a portion of which are navigable with guides and an even smaller portion that have been fitted with paving and steps for organised tours.
Not only the landscape, but also the culture and the people of Hungary also show great variety Traditions and regional customs have developed in all aspects of everyday life from food to music and dance, and from clothing to decor. These lifestyles have been kept alive through the ages, though of course the modern world and all innovations in communication and conveniences are not lacking here. Larger cities and especially the capital, are powerhouses of new ideas in all aspects of business and even leisure .One example of this is the phenomenon of the wave of ruin bars that have brought vibrant youthful stylish nightlife out of urban stagnation.
Finally, while Hungary may seem so far from our everyday life, it is actually closer to the rest of Europe than one might think and can be reached in a variety of ways! Most international flights of conventional and budget airlines come to Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport, just 30 minutes' drive from the capital. It is also just 3 hours' drive from Vienna, and even less by train. Budapest can even be visited as part of a Danube river cruise. As a member of the European Union since 2004, no specific visas are required for those arriving from within Shengen countries. It really is so easy to experience the Hungarians' love for life!
Main Regions of Hungary:
Budapest and Central Danubion Region:
The metropolis of two million people is cut in two by the mighty stream of the Danube, with the hills and valleys of Buda on one side and the flat, low-lying Pest on the other. This riverside panorama was made a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and those who have seen it illuminated at night will understand why.
Budapest Panorama-Széchényi Bath-Gellért Bath-Fisherman's Bastion-Heroes Square
Cultural Programs in Hungary
Opera House of Budapest-Folklore dance shows-Festivals-Gastronomy-Programs for families: Zoo-Childrens Railway-Margaret Island
Other attractions in the region:
Visegrád Castle-Esztergom Cathedral-Szentendre city of Arts
With a length of 77km and a surface area of 600km2, the Balaton is Europe’s largest natural lake. During the summer months the water temperature rises to a pleasant 20-26 °C, making it one of the country’s most valuable natural assets and by far the most popular holiday destination. It offers excellent opportunities for lovers of aquatic sports, hikers and all those simply wishing to relax.
Water sports- Good quality wines-Benedictine Abbey in Tihany-Hévíz Thermal Lake
The north of Hungary is home to the country's highest peak, miles and miles of hiking trails, vast cave complexes, lakes, waterfalls, sweet golden and robust red wines, UNESCO world heritage sights and old industrial towns where time has stopped.
Tokaj wine region-Eger Castle-Hollókő Skanzen
West of the Danube and east of Austria is the most versatile part of Hungary, the land of some of the biggest attractions the country has to offer. From fine wine through to pretty lakes to timetravel, nothing's impossible here.
Pannonhalma Benedictine Arch Abbey-Eszterházy Castle in Fertőd-Őrség Nature Park-Pécs Zsolnay Cultural Quarter
Puszta and Lake Tisza:
East of the Danube and south of the mountains lies the flattest and quietest land of Hungary, and the largest continuous grassland in Europe,called the Great Plain. Rivers run through it, national parks divide it, Hungarian cowboys and herds of animals roam it, and spas fill it with life. This is the land where life is hassle-free and where horizons are endless.
Hortobágy-Lake Tisza-Flower Carneval Debrecen-Fish Soup Festival Szeged