Land-locked Hungary has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Visitors love the friendly atmosphere of cities such as Budapest, the varied natural landscape of the country's ten national parks, and the lively nightlife of clubs and restaurants. Ruins bars have become major attractions. They blend perfectly with the derelict buildings where they are installed.
The Great Plain of Hungary lies across the south and west, covering more than half the country. The extensive grasslands include lakes and marshes where migratory birds descend every autumn. The region is home to wild horses, water buffaloes and brown bears. The Hortobagy National Park is only a two-hour drive to the east of Budapest. It has many hiking trails and a Shepherd Museum that catalogues the agricultural history of the Great Plain.
Hungary is noted for its mineral-rich spas and thermal baths. There are more than 1,300 scattered around the country with each one varying in its composition depending on the local minerals. The city of Budapest has more than 120 thermal baths where locals and tourists enjoy relaxing in the water while playing floating board games such as chess.
Visitors love to dine on traditional Hungarian cuisine such as beef and vegetable goulash that's heavily spiced with paprika. It's a favourite dish at Budapest's cafes and restaurants. The most well-known ingredients in Hungarian desserts are marzipan and chocolate. They are so popular, they each have a museum dedicated to them in the centre of Budapest.
Budapest has something for every kind of traveler – from dramatic history, majestic architecture to thermal springs and a lively nightlife. The city is an architectural marvel with numerous Roman, neo-Gothic, and Renaissance styled structures, and still has the same kind of appeal as that in the late 19th century, often called its golden age.
Budapest is not just the political capital but also a cultural and commercial centre. The city is divided into three regions, Pest, Buda and Óbuda with the Danube River flowing calmly sideways. It combines modern amenities with ancient architecture and lovely landscaped gardens. Whether you want to explore ancient structures, go shopping or taste local cuisine, Budapest offers plenty of options to choose from. Budapest is also blessed with abundant hot spring and an array of bathhouses to choose from, Turkish-era, art nouveau and modern ones.
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Currency: You’ll be spending Hungarian Forints.
Local Time: Ahead by one hour BST, two hours GMT.
Flight time from the UK: Two hours, thirty minutes.
Tourist Information: Visit the official Hungarian tourist information site for lots of helpful information regarding upcoming events, where to go, what to do, and how to get around.
Health/Travel Restrictions:To travel to Hungary, British citizens need a valid passport. A visa is not required. For up to date travel advice and health recommendations visit the government’s travel advice for Hungary.
A: Currently no restrictions.
A: May or September when tourism's limited.
A: Swimming costumes must be worn.
A: It's regarded as inexpensive.
Thirteenth-century Buda Castle includes additional Baroque embellishment. The interior charts the splendour of the nineteenth-century Austro-Hungarian Empire. Fisherman's Bastion, a fortified tower on Castle Hill, provides amazing views of the city. Saint Stephen's Basilica is an impressive neoclassical cathedral completed in 1905. It features symmetrical towers, a domed roof and relics of Hungary's first king.
Liberty Square has impressive architecture, green spaces and cosy cafes. It includes many historic monuments and statues. Budapest has many thermal baths including the atmospheric Rudas Turkish Baths that date from the seventeenth century. At weekends, Lukacs Thermal Bathe becomes a steamy party venue. Other entertainments include opera, theatres, nightclubs and outdoor events such as the Sziget Music Festival.
River cruises on the Danube are always popular for sightseeing. Many operate at night when local attractions are illuminated. There are also cruises for fishing enthusiasts. Paddleboarding and kayaking are some of the watersports on the Danube. Visit Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube for a wonderful day out. It has beautiful gardens and woodlands, a ruined monastery, mini zoo and adventure playgrounds. There's also a relaxing thermal spa and a tower built in 1911 that provides panoramic views of Budapest.
The temperature during the summer is around 20°C (69°F) with heatwaves of up to 30°C (86°F) in July. The winter usually has an average temperature of -1°C (29°F). January is the coldest month when temperatures occasionally fall to -25°C (-14°F). There is often snowfall of at least 2" (5 cm). The wettest month of the year is May with an average of nine rainy days.
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