Hungary is a country of immense beauty. It proudly boasts 10 national parks, 145 minor nature reserves, and 35 landscape protection areas. It’s a country with a fascinating history, as well as a rich natural landscape, but it is arguably one of the most underrated European travel destinations. So it makes sense to list some of the most beautiful places to visit in this stunning, sometimes overlooked, European gem.
1. Lake Balaton
An hour’s drive from Budapest you can find Hungary’s breathtaking Lake Balaton. The largest lake in Central Europe, its shoreline is known for its popular holiday resorts, and the area itself is celebrated for the beauty of its rolling green hills and lavender fields. The lake itself has an area of 231 square miles (598 square kilometres) and extends for 48 miles (77 kilometres) along the southern foothills of the Bakony Mountains. At its widest point, Lake Balaton measures about 9 miles (14 kilometres) across, so it’s easy to understand why it’s often referred to as the ‘Hungarian Sea’. The lake and its vineyards, volcanic mountains and resorts are most appealing in the summer, when its wetlands and hiking trails at Balaton Uplands National Park are at their most beautiful.
Budapest is one of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities, and a paradise for walkers and all those who like to explore. Nestled on the banks of the River Danube, Budapest is celebrated for its beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Buda Castle, the Hungarian Parliament Building, Fisherman’s Bastion, Hősök tere, Great Market Hall, and St. Stephen’s Basilica are just some of the awesome historical sites you can visit in this glorious city.
3. Eger Wine Region
Today Hungary is producing some of the best wine in Europe. Positioned in the foothills of the Bükk Mountains in northeastern Hungary, the Eger Region is one of the most celebrated wine regions and is certainly the most beautiful. The region’s winemaking traditions date all the way back to the 11th century, and the most famous wine produced in Eger is known as Bull’s Blood (Egri Bikavér). Eger Castle, Eger minaret, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle are also wonderful locations to visit within the region.
For those travelling in Hungary who are looking to get off the beaten track, then a trip to Tihany is in order. This wonderfully picturesque and quaint village is perched on the peninsula with the same name, and is home to jaw-dropping views of Lake Balaton. Tihany Abbey is also an excellent historical site that’s sure to keep you busy. The Abbey is a Benedictine monastery that was first established in 1055.
Hollókő is a traditional Hungarian village found 55 miles northeast of Budapest in a valley of the Cserhát mountains. A celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hollókő consists of conservation area of 55 houses that have been rebuilt in the style of the original Palóc rural architecture. The protected areas include a stunning 12th century castle, which although partly in ruins, still stands with pride above the village. Hollókő has won ‘Most Beatiful Village in Hungary’ on many occasions. And with its charm, beauty and picturesque mountains, it’s easy to see why it’s such an incredibly memorable corner of the country.
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