When it comes to Central Europe, Hungary is a crossroads of the continent. It combines old and new Europe with rich history and a fantastic culture life, which, together with myth of the nomadic warriors Magyars are the key to Hungary’s national pride and its attractiveness to foreigners. In comparison to Western Europe, the country is affordable, especially during the fall and spring. If you’re looking for a new adventure, follow our plan and have a wonderful Hungary round trip!
This time the capital opens the treasure box. Budapest is one of the most historic places on Earth. Situated right on the Danube, it has been a home to many people since the Stone Age. The river itself, together with the Buda Castle, are UNESCO World Heritage sites. There’s one other advantage of the city – all best attractions are free to see, so check out the traces of Roman, Turkish and Gothic styles and city’s landmarks like Fisherman’s Bastion or Great Synagogue. Witness the shrapnel pockmarks and bullet holes on buildings from the WWII and the Uprising of 1956 or poignant Shoes on the Danube memorial. All in all, with all the architecture, storic sites and Hungarian mentality, you’ll see why people keep coming back to Budapest.
Accommodation: Comebackpackers (€7), Westend Hostel (€7), Andrassy Palace Residence (€8), Day and Night (€8), Opera (€8), Marco Polo (€9), Casa de la Musica (€9)
Food: Caviar and Bull, Comme Chez Soi, Eat&Meet, Mazi, Baraka, Hungarikum Bisztro, Tuning Bar&Burger, Don Pepe Menyecske, Kollazs, Mandragora, Varosliget
- Plane: Budapest Airport
Can it be boring in a city pronounced ‘egg-air’? It is a place with loads to see and do, from exploring the history of Turkish occupation and seeing an original Ottoman minaret to spending time in the Valley of Beautiful Women and tasting the famous Eger Bull’s Blood (Egri Bikavér) and other local wines. With northern Hungary’s most tempting range of hills, the Bükk, the city also provides many opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities. You can also visit a nearby Aggtelek National Park, one of the really breathtaking places in Hungary and ideal getaway for nature enthusiasts.
Accommodation: Ifjúsági Segítőház (€10), Lokomotiv Motel (€12), Ananda (€15), Agria Retur Vendégház (€17), Ráchegy (€19), Vincze Vendégház (€20), Szilvia Apartmanház (€20)
Food: Fehérszarvas Vadásztanya Étterem, Ködmön Csárda, Kulács Csárda, Senator Ház, Macok Bistro, Zuzmo, Elefanto, Bar Italia, Király Pizza
From Budapest to Eger:
- Train: Trains leave every hour between 06:30 a.m. until 08:30 p.m. from Keleti station. One way fare is about €10. Journey takes 1 hour 55 minutes.
- Bus: Buses also depart from Keleti station every 30-55 minutes. The journey lasts approximately 2 hours.
Szeged is, after Budapest, probably the most beloved Hungarian city. We guess it is because of the shady, reminding-of-a-garden main square with beautiful benches and cafes along the pedestrian area, but it can be for the appealing architecture characterizing the Old town palaces and buildings as well. Szeged is also a popular university town with plenty of cultural performances amusing both locals and newcomers. The city sits astride the Tisza River and has a thermal bath complex too, which is another reason to go there. Also, don’t be surprised if you don’t understand a word they’re saying even if you speak Hungarian, they have a typical, unusual Szeged accent.
Accommodation: Lotus (€20), OKSZI Vendégház (€20), Pacsirta (€20), Mars tér 8. (€21), Pilóta Panzió (€22), Szegedi Partfürdő (€22), Tattoo (€23), Palma Panzió (€23)
Food: Tiszavirág Szeged, Malata Beer and Grill, Jobb Mint Otthon Kisvendéglő, Kiskőrössy Halászcsárda, Pizza e Pasta, Oldies, Szeged Étterem, Cirmi Gastropub, Taj Mahal Étterem, Vendéglő A Régi Hídhoz
From Eger to Szeged:
- Bus: There are only two direct buses a day on this route, at 05:35 and 14:30. If you don’t take them, you can take one of the buses going to Budapest or Cegled and there switch to train. The journey takes 4 – 6 hours.
As a city with a mild climate, interesting past and numerous monuments and museums, Pécs is one of the musts in Hungary. You can see its handful of universities and Mecsek Hills and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife. Lying on a plain between Danube and Drava rivers, the city enjoys a perfect environment for viticulture and fruit production, especially almonds. The recommended time to visit is during a warm indián nyár (Indian summer), when the light takes on a special quality and the city expires a unique atmosphere, which justifies the title of the 2010’s European City of Culture.
Accommodation: Köves Vendégház (€9), Nap (€9), Joker (€12), Arató Vendégház (€14), Szamárkút Panzió (€20), Valcsics Villa Panzió (€22), Serendipity (€24), Retro Panzió (€25), Fehérház Alkalmi Szálló (€26)
Food: Addo, Aranygaluska, Bellagio Steak House, Crystal, Flekken 1, Flekken 2, Cellárium Étterem, Almalomb, Jókai Bisztró, Aranykacsa Étterem, Pezsgöház Étterem, Tuke Borhaz
From Szeged to Pécs:
- Bus: Buses depart every hour from the station at the Mars square. The journey takes about 3 hours.
5) Lake Balaton
Anyone who has heard of Hungary, must have heard of Lake Balaton as well. It is considered the Hungarian inner sea and a home to picturesque landscapes surrounded by ancient fortresses, vineyards, historic towns and underwater cave galleries. On the lake’s northern shores you’ll find the splendid town of Szigliget, a home to one of the mightiest castles in the country rising more than 240 metres and including a medieval Benedictine fortress from the 13th century. Also, don’t forget to check out the Héviz Spa where Romans used to bathe more than 2 000 years ago since when it became a hotspot for mineral treatments and relaxation across Central Europe.
Accommodation: Müller’s Hostel (€14), King23 (€15), Krisztina Panzió (€15), Muller’s Inn (€15), Boglárka Vendégház (€15), Joy Guesthouse (€16), Siófok Dock (€18), Gödöllő Város Balatonlellei Üdülője (€20), Unio Guesthouse (€20), Bodó Ház (€22)
Food: Papok Borozoja, Lakoma, Bistro Sparhelt, Muskatli, Ferenc Pince Csárda, Balatoni Haz, Romai Pince, Várcsárda, Paprika Csarda, Mala Garden
From Pécs to Lake Balaton:
- Bus: There is no direct line on this route, so the best option is to visit the lake from Budapest or Eger (also the two changes if you’re taking the bus in Pécs). The journey time depends on the place from which you depart, but from Pécs it will take 8 hours.
For its position, Sopron was declared Hungary’s ‘most faithful city’, since it decided to stay part of Hungary instead of being added to Austrian territory. It was settled by the Celts, then the Romans, Germans, Slavs and finally Magyars. On the main square you’ll see the Firewatch Tower, the symbol of the city. Today it is the most beautiful place in western Hungary, showing off with its medieval Old town (Belváros) where you can enjoy wandering intact, cobbled streets. Also, it’s famous for wine, due to its environment characterized by flourishing vineyards. It is perfect for nature lovers as well, thanks to the mountain springs and proximity of Lake Fertő.
Accommodation: Randevu Apartmanház (€13), Pihenőkereszt Panzió (€25), Soproni Szakképzési Centrum Kollégiuma (€30), Pátria Nyomda Üdülője (€30), Rácz Vendégház (€30), Virágvölgyi Pihenő (€32)
Food: The Forum, Cezar Pince, Corso, Erhardt, Fehér Rózsa, Hotel Sopron, Borostyán, Aranyfácán, Hunting Horn, Ice-Pit Inn
From Lake Balaton to Sopron:
- Bus: There’s one daily bus on this route, check out the time at the bus station. The journey takes 3 h 15 min.