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MAIN Travel Europe Eastern Europe Hungary


Fisherman Bastion, Budapest
Climb the steps up to Fisherman's
Bastion for spectacular views of
Budapest and the Danube.

 

Nestled in between Austria and Romania in central Eastern Europe, Hungary is another new member of the EU that has shaken off 40 years of communist rule to emerge as one of the region's top tourist destinations.

Boasting cultured cities, quaint villages, and breathtakingly beautiful countryside offering grassy plains, mountains, rivers, legendary Hungarian wineries and vineyards, and the largest lake (Balaton) in Central Europe, Hungary should be on anyone's list of must-sees.


Budapest attractions

Lying along the Danube River, the world famous capital Budapest s usually the first stop on any visit to Hungary, offering an Old World cosmopolitan feel and flavor in its gorgeous city parks, world class museums, and architectural treasures, as well as charming cafes, elegant restaurants, and buzzing nightlife.

Useful Hungarian travel phrases:

GOOD DAY - jó napot (yo na-pot)
GOODBYE - viszontlátásra (vee-sont-laa-taash-ra)
HELLO or GOODBYE (akin to 'ciao" in Italian) - szia (see-ah)
YES - igen (ee-gen)
NO - nem
THANK YOU - köszönöm (kur-sur-nurm)
DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? - beszélsz angolul? (bes-ells an-go-lul)
I DON'T SPEAK HUNGARIAN - nem beszélek magyarul (nem bes-el-ek modge-or-ul)

Although officially divided into 23 districts, Budapest is actually comprised of two cities, Buda and Pest, with the former holding most of the major attractions most visitors come to see.

Some of the most popular of Budapest's attractions include the Museum of Fine Arts, the very scenic Castle Hill and Royal Palace, pleasant walks around nearby Fisherman's Bastion (offering sweeping views of the city and the Danube), as well as a trip to Budapest's backyard - to green and beautiful Margaret Island - which also serves as welcome break even for Budapestis especially on the weekends.

Of course, no walk around Budapest would be complete without frequent stops at the city's many cafes and coffee houses. On par with many Viennese cafes, (and often much more affordable) these Budapest institutions feature a welcome break for many visitors throughout a hectic sightseeing schedule.

Later, settle down for the main meal of the day by sampling authentic Hungarian cuisine in one of hundreds of neighborhood restaurants offering full menus of traditional favorites including halaszle (fisherman's soup) and of course porkolt or, more familiarly, Hungarian goulash.


DID YOU KNOW? Hungary Travel Fun Facts

Fonyód
Lake Balaton, "The Hungarian Sea".

• Hungary was one of the first communist-era countries to oppose the Soviet regime during the Cold War, resulting in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. More than 30 years later, in 1989, Hungary was the first communist-block country to open its borders with Western Europe.

Lake Balaton is so large it's known as the "Magyar tenger" or the Hungarian Sea. 50 miles long, it covers an area of almost 230 square miles and is a favorite summer family destination.

• Hungarians love their paprika. It is used to spice up almost every dish, including Hungarian goulash.


More about Hungary travel & tourism around the Web:

 

Hungary Travel - Lonely Planet World Guide - Fast facts, feature attractions, when to go, how to get there plus maps, typical travel costs, photo galleries and overviews of Budapest, Sopron, Esztergom, and attractions in Visegrád.

Budapest Tourism - The official city travel site offering general information, tips and advice on major and nearby attractions, spas, restaurants, cafes and more.

 

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