Hungary was our Destination Showcase at our July 3, 2018 meetup. One of our members is from Hungary, and she gave us her insider tips about the country. Hungary, although a land bordered by other countries on all ends, stands out as a hub for amazing architecture, art, and their famous thermal spas.
Traveling in Hungary can be quite overwhelming. With an area of about 93,0000 square meters, where do you even begin to explore?
From marveling at the architecture of old castles at day — down to exploring the night scene by the Danube — there are countless sights to see in Hungary. So, if you’re planning to visit, here are the five things you should never miss out when in Hungary.
Dip in one of the Famous Thermal Baths
Budapest is home to over a hundred of thermal springs. These springs can be traced as far back as the Roman times, with a splash of influence from Turkish invasion. These springs vary from warm to hot — including spa amenities.
The most popular of these baths include the Rudas baths, which is an octagonal pool generally only open for men on weekdays and allow women on weekends.
Be sure to check on the bathing schedules on the Thermal Bath you are planning to visit ahead of time.
This bath is famous for having a complex physiotherapeutic section, a drinking hall and drinking “cures” from three different springs.
Other popular baths include The Gellert Baths, Szechenyi Baths, Veli Bej Baths, and the Kiraly Baths.
Take in the Beauty of the Buda Castle
Now home to the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum, the historical Buda castle used to be home to the Kings of Hungary. Ever since its completion back in 1265, it has remained a prominent structure in the Hungarian landscape.
Walk down the medieval paths paved with centuries-old cobblestones, marvel at the Gothic arches, and Baroque-style houses. Be sure to take your time because there’s plenty of ground to cover. Exploring the entire castle could take you the whole day.
Some of the must-see places include: visit Trinity Square, Matthias Church(Mátyás templom) and Fishermen’s Bastion (Halászbástya).
Go on a Countryside Trip to Eger
Indulge yourself in the rich history of Northern Hungary’s second largest city. It is one of the best places to get to know Hungary outside of Budapest. With beautiful baroque buildings that adorn the town, it is a treasure filled with sights that are uniquely Hungarian.
When in Eger, be sure to take a trip to the castle and the basilica, then go further to the Valley of Women — which is a series of wine cellars and restaurants with a magnificent view of the hills that surround it.
Then, you can make your way to the Torok Kori Minaret, a part of a mosque (typically part of a mosque, with a balcony from which a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer) which has a 150-step climb. But, once you get to the top, the view is worth it!
Grab a drink in The Szimpla Kert
See a whole different side to the Hungarian landscape, and learn the secrets of the city’s hidden culture. That’s what you get when you pay a visit to the famous Szimpla Kert.
The Szimpla Kert is a place best known for drinking tourists. It is a big complex, filled with surprises around its corners and live music in the background. Here, you’ll find some of the best graffiti art, quirky bars, and people who just want to have fun.
Bonus factor is that here, the drinks are cheap! You can get a glass of wine and delicious food for £1.30.
Visit the Parliament Building
Looking beautiful in every angle, the Hungarian Parliament Building is designed with a Gothic flare. It stands as one of the largest buildings in entire Hungary.
Inside, are parliament offices so there are only certain parts of the building you are allowed to enter.
It has a total of 691 rooms inside all eccentrically designed by Imre Stendl in 1902. Unfortunately, you will be able to appreciate the beauty of some selected rooms. Most tours will take you on a guided tour of the Northwing area.
Sights you can see include The Golden Staircase, the Domed Hall, the Crown of St. Stephen (a very important and prominent Hungarian symbol) and the Grand Staircase.
Food to Try: Chicken paprikash, Goulash, Fish Soup, Langosch
Festivals: August 20th is Independence day, May 1st is workers day and March 15th is the anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.
Public Art to See: There is a haunting sculpture of shoes along the Danube (in memory of those who were executed there during WWII). There is also a statue of the Anonymous Poet.
Visiting Hungary is just one of the many places where you can experience an eye-opening travel experience.