What to do in Hungary: TOP-16 best attractions you need to visit. Description, where are they located, photos. Where to go in Hungary besides Budapest in 2024, a convenient travel route – in the article of good Time for Trip.
Hungary is one of the those countries where you can combine a gastronomic holiday with an inspection of architectural monuments, and at the same time get healthy at thermal baths. Therefore, most of the foreign tourists still come to Hungary just to see famous sights of Budapest. And often they don’t even think about spending time visiting any other cities.
Although there is a lot to do in other regions of Hungary after you visit its capital and all the interesting places nearby Budapest. Equally, this European country hosts many original festivals and celebrations every year. The largest of them, the Sziget festival, regularly gathers an audience of several hundred thousand people.
There are several thousand castles in Hungary, of different levels of preservation. Some of them were built on the site of ancient Roman fortifications, others arose later for protecting the territory from the Ottoman Empire.
There are also beautiful aristocratic and imperial palaces. Well-known: the Festetics residence in Keszthely and Esterhazy Palace in Fertőd.
In addition to visiting beautiful palaces and castles, in Hungary you can do a lot of other interesting things: the country is famous for its lakes, thermal baths and national parks. Hiking and equestrian tourism is developed everywhere, dozens of routes of different levels of complexity are laid.
Obviously, you can’t help but try some of the traditional Hungarian dishes. Very original and tasty ones.
Don’t know where to visit in Hungary after you’ve seen the most interesting places in Budapest? Especially for you, we have compiled a list of iconic sights of this country!
What to See in Hungary First
Once on the shore of Lake Balaton, it is easy to understand why it is called the “Pearl of Hungary”. After driving only about 100 km from the capital, you get to a magical place where there is a vast expanse of water, along which graceful yachts glide like white clouds. Here you can admire flocks of swans, ruins of ancient fortresses, mountains and sandy beaches, greenery of vineyards and gardens.
The uniqueness of Lake Balaton lies in the shallow depth of no more than 3 meters, its surprisingly clean fresh water, warming up to +25-27 ° C in summer. That makes Balaton an ideal place to relax with small kids – extend your vacation by coming here right after visiting in June Budapest.
Numerous thermal and mineral springs on the shores of the lake attract people who want to improve their health from many corners of the world. There are also special resorts for outdoor enthusiasts, where they can practice various types of water sports.
On the shores of Balaton there are tennis courts, football fields, volleyball and basketball courts, riding arenas. In literally each of the local small towns there are interesting places that make up the glory of Hungary.
2. Tihan Peninsula
Tihany is a peninsula located on the Lake Balaton. In the middle of the 20th century, it was officially declared a nature reserve, thanks to the rare species of animals and plants living here.
In the summer, people go to Tihany for sunbathing and swimming. As well as in autumn – just for relaxing and admiring the local landscapes. Which are especially charming when nature is painted in exceptionally bright colors with bright colors of autumn foliage.
Historical monuments on the territory of the island are also interesting – for example, the Benedictine Abbey of St. Agnos or a copy of the holy Mount Calvary.
If you go to Tihany with children, take a look at local museums. The beautiful half of humanity will appreciate the local charming Doll museum immeasurably. The exhibits of the Lapidarium Stone Museum are also of interest.
3. Lake Heviz
This small reservoir enjoys a well-deserved and loud fame far beyond the borders of the country. Therefore, describing the top attractions of Hungary, it is impossible not to mention Lake Heviz, located near the town of the same name next to Lake Balaton.
The uniqueness of Heviz lies in the special composition of water, which includes radon, magnesium, potassium, calcium salts, bicarbonates, iodine. The lake is fed by several underground springs, which completely renew the water every 3 days.
The natural temperature of the reservoir in summer is +38 °C, and in winter it doesn’t fall below +22 ° C. Thanks to this, the resort operates all year round. Clean air also contributes to health improvement, as the lake is surrounded by forest.
People with disorders of the musculoskeletal, nervous and cardiovascular systems come to the resorts of Heviz to be treated. Healing water improves metabolic processes, soothes, restores hormonal balance, rejuvenates the skin. In addition to water treatments, visitors are offered therapeutic drinking water and mud applications.
Note, that for children under 14, bathing in radon springs is associated with an undesirable risk. Therefore, pools with purified water have been specially created for them.
- The official website of the unique place: https://www.heviz.hu/en/lake-heviz
4. Festetics Palace
A two-hour drive from Budapest on the shores of the Balaton is the already mentioned Keszthely. It is worth visiting this place in Hungary at least in order to see the stunning beauty of the historical and architectural complex founded by Krystof Festetic in 1745.
Initially, the palace consisted of only 34 rooms – today there are more than 100 –
over time, new buildings and halls, including a library, appeared here. More than 100 thousand books are stored in the palace, most of them are rare.
During the tour of the ensemble, be sure to pay attention to the luxurious decoration of the halls, frescoes with gilding, antique fireplaces. Take a walk in the magnificent park, where the pride of the estate is located — a fountain in the form of a lion.
Opera evenings are often held in the former palace dining room, turned into a concert hall. And with a little effort, you can get to a performance with the participation of world stars.
- Official website – helikonkastely.hu
5. Bükk National Park (Miskolc)
When choosing what to visit in Hungary first, you should pay attention to the park Bükk, where you can endlessly admire the beauty and quirkiness of plants collected and brought here from different continents. The Miskolc Zoo is also located near, where more than 130 species of animals live.
The park is situated on the hills of the same name, overgrown with oak and letter forests. There are pedestrian and bicycle paths on the slopes, there are many signs and benches for recreation. At the foot of the hills there are gardens and vineyards, from which a wonderful local wine is made.
Due to the fact that the Bükk Mountains mainly consist of limestone rocks, there are numerous caves in them. In some caves, archaeologists have discovered artifacts proving the residence of prehistoric people in this area. Thermal springs are not uncommon here..
Thus, the Bükk National Park occupies an area of 431 km2, it is impossible to get around it entirely on foot. Therefore, visitors are offered to rent bicycles for a small fee.
- Official website: http://en.bnpi.hu/
6. Eger Fortress
To belong to the number of not only the most notable sights of Hungary, but is also a monument to the strength of the national spirit.
The heroic history of the Eger fortress began in 1552, during the attack of thousands of Turkish troops. According to the documents, at that time there were a little more than 2,000 defenders in the fortress, who managed to resist the enemy and did not let him into the city.
But in 1701, the Austrian army managed to get close to the structure and blow up most of it. Restoration of the destroyed began to be carried out only in 1925.
A Military museum has been opened in the castle, gathered objects and documents telling about its history. Art lovers will be interested in an Art museum with a collection of paintings by Austrian, German and Dutch painters.
Tourists with a stable psyche are invited to visit the prison exposition located in the dungeon of the castle. The instruments of torture and murder used in the Middle Ages are on display here.
For everyone else, an excursion to the mint is offered, where everyone can personally mint a coin and take a souvenir home.
As an entertainment program, visitors to the castle can try their hand at archery, attend a stylized jousting tournament. As well as tasting fine wines from local cellars!
7. Aggtelek National Park
For those whose heart freezes at the mere mention of caves, there is not even a question of what else to visit in Hungary. The answer will be unequivocal — Aggtelek National Park, which, like a magnet, attracts speleologists and just lovers of natural beauty.
There are more than 200 karst caves on an area of 199 km2. It took thousands of years for water to dissolve rocks and create cavities in the rocks, which seven centuries ago served as a refuge for scattered tribes and hermits living in this territory.
Many caves are unsafe, so you can only get into them in the company of an experienced guide. But the most famous is the Baradla Cave, where you can see the largest stalactites in Europe.
No less spectacular are the underwater caves, where you can go down in the company of diving cavers. To move underwater, special lamps are used, turning everything around into a fantastic landscape.
People suffering from asthma also know about such sights of Hungary as Aggtelek Park. After all, some caves are equipped with sanatorium halls, as their microclimate has a beneficial effect on the human respiratory system.
- Official website: anp.hu
8. Esterhazy Palace
Looking now at the largest and most beautiful palace in Hungary outside Budapest, it’s hard to even imagine that it has gone through hard times. And its beautiful halls were used as stables and a military hospital. Tourists who decide to visit the Esterhazy Palace in the small town of Fertőd near the Austrian border will be told about this sad page of history.
First, visitors are greeted by a wrought-iron gate. From a distance, it may seem that they are entwined with some kind of bizarre plant. But, coming closer, it becomes clear that each leaf and flower is forged from metal by a talented blacksmith-jeweler.
Once on the territory of the park, the paths of which lead to the main building of the palace, you can see a lot of flower beds and lawns of bizarre shape. As well as fountains and statues, carefully trimmed trees and shrubs.
The main building can be accessed by climbing one of two huge staircases decorated with statues and columns in the Rococo style. There are also several other buildings in the architectural ensemble, they practically close in a ring near the park gates.
There are 126 halls inside the palace, each of which is a work of art. In one wing there are hotel rooms where you can relax on a truly royal scale.
Haydn festivals are held annually in the palace, where classical music is played by a live orchestra. Therefore, connoisseurs of beauty who have not yet decided where exactly they should visit in Hungary should choose this place.
9. Thermal Baths of Miskolc-Tapolca
The thermal baths of Miskolc-Tapolca belong to the sights of Hungary created by nature itself. They are huge caves formed as a result of the leaching of rocks by water. Plus an open warm lake, constantly fed by thermal springs, in the water of which salts of various minerals are dissolved.
Even the air itself around these reservoirs is curative, having a healing effect on those suffering from bronchial asthma and other diseases of the respiratory and immune systems. This is facilitated not only by gases released from the water, but also by the presence of giant beech forests around the resort, saturating the air with oxygen and purifying it from harmful impurities.
The uniqueness of the Mishkolts-Tapolts bath lies in the special density of the water, which allows you to swim in it for a long time. While in other radon sources, the stay time is very limited and most often does not exceed 15-30 minutes.
The thermal baths are open all year round due to the special microclimate of the caves, in which the temperature remains constant. Therefore, even visiting Hungary in December or January, you can safely choose this resort.
10. Royal Palace of Gödöllő
Gödöllő is a small town in the center of Hungary, thirty kilometers from Budapest, it is inhabited by only about 30 thousand people. But it can boast of such a large and unique attraction as the Summer Royal Palace.
The construction of the residence began in the first half of the 18 century, when the local count wanted to impress everyone with magnificent architecture. The construction lasted more than a quarter of a century, resulting in a structure in the style of Hungarian Baroque, around which there is no less luxurious park. At the same time, houses were built around for immigrants from Germany – zealous Catholics.
The palace became the property of the royal family when the ancestral line of the count was suppressed. Emperor Franz Joseph became the owner of this castle in the middle of the 19th century, and often spent the summer months here with his wife, Empress Elizabeth (Sissi).
When the Second World War began, the palace was partially destroyed. Then it housed warehouses, a nursing home, and a military unit. But since 1994, the Hungarian authorities have carried out the restoration of the building and fully completed it by 2007.
- Official website: kiralyikastely.hu
11. St. Adalbert Cathedral
The largest Catholic church in Hungary is located on the high bank of the Danube in Esztergom. The dome of which is visible from anywhere in the city and even from neighboring Slovakia.
The Basilica of St. Adalbert has a traditional layout in the shape of a cross. Behind the white stone altar on the wall there is a huge canvas by Michelangelo Grigoletti dedicated to the Ascension of the Virgin.
It is worth noting that before the basilica there was a much more modest church, but it was destroyed by the Tatar-Mongols. The second temple appeared here in the 16th century, but it was also destroyed by the Turkish conquerors.
During a tour of the basilica, you can visit the crypt, which has become the burial place of famous religious figures. And then climb to the observation deck, where you can see the Danube and many city panoramas.
- Official website: bazilika-esztergom.hu/hu
Szentendre is a nice cozy town perched on the banks of the Danube right next to Budapest. Be sure to include it in your trip plan if you plan to visit Hungary.
Moreover, Sentendre is good not only in the warm season, but also in winter. Especially at Christmas and New Year!
Numerous museums and art galleries are what Szentendre is famous for today. There are also many churches here, and any tourist who has visited this city mentions the beauty of local houses and streets in his reviews.
If you want to bring home original souvenirs from Hungary, the easiest way to buy them is in Szentendre!
You can get to the town by train from Budapest, and regular buses run here.
13. Visegrad Fortress
Visegrad is definitely worth visiting for those who plan to go to Szentendre – these Hungarian attractions are located near Budapest on the banks of the Danube.
The main tourist magnet and business card of the little town (about 2 000 inhabitants) is the Visegrad Fortress, once the residence of the Hungarian king. Only a small powerful fortification of it, the Tower of Solomon, has survived unchanged to this day.
This tower for a long time was used as a prison and famous people were usually imprisoned in it. In particular, it contained Vlad the Impaler, who became the prototype of the vampire Dracula.
Organized tours in Sopron, an ancient Hungarian city with more than two thousand years of history, is popular. The historical heritage of Sopron has been preserved largely due to its location on the western border of the country, in a relatively inaccessible region for invasions from the East.
The first mention of the settlement dates back to the Roman era, when the legendary Amber Trade Route passed here. Merchants carrying amber to Rome stopped to rest in Sopron, then called Scarbantia. It is the center of Skarbantia that is today the main square of Sopron, and it is from here that it is worth starting a walk through the historical center.
Pay attention to the ruins of the ancient Roman forum, there is also an ancient Fire Tower. Also, it is worth visiting the Storno house with a collection of applied art objects.
15. Abbey of Pannonhalma
is oldest Benedictine monastery still operating in the country. At the end of the 10th century, when paganism still reigned in Hungary, Prince Geza began the Christianization of his possessions. And the Benedictines built the Abbey of Pannonhalma on a high hill near the town of Gyor.
The monastery remains active, it is home to about 50 monks. Among its important attractions, which are worth paying attention to, is the Basilica of St. Martin and the huge monastery library. As well as a Baroque refectory, a functioning gymnasium, museums with permanent and temporary expositions, a botanical garden, a wine cellar and a factory.
By the way, Abbey of Pannonhalma now is under UNESCO protection – whc.unesco.org/en/list/758/.
16. Village of Hollókő
Northeast of Budapest is an amazing place – the village of Hollókő. Its inhabitants carefully preserve ancient customs, dress in traditional clothes and communicate in a special dialect of the Palots people.
Therefore, the village of Hollókő today is a unique open–air museum illustrating how provincial Hungary looked a few centuries ago.
Today, along the only rural street there are about 70 houses, where workshops are equipped, introducing visitors to folk crafts. There are also several museums here. And yes, it was also included in the World Heritage List!
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