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  • Hungary: Travel Planner

    One of Budapest's many baths

    One of Budapest’s many baths

    Regardless of the destination, every journey has its charms. When it comes to Hungary, the traveler is about to discover an unrivalled culture, situated at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe which boast of history-soaked monuments, a buzzing capital city divided in two parts by the Danube, matchless puszta (Hungarian plains) dotted with rare species of plants and the mouth-watering, yet spicy goulash. And the list filled with surprises doesn’t stop here. A trip to Hungary can impress even the most pretentious, cold-hearted travelers with the country’s natural scenery braided with impressive architecture and glossy shops. If you were to visit this kidney-shaped land, there are some places you cannot miss out in order to capture the Hungarian spirit, their lifestyle and the culture they built.

    Budapest

    Every trip to Hungary should start with a long stop in its capital city, Budapest because it houses countless luring monuments, bridges, a modern zoo, clubs, elegant cafés and everything a tourist could possibly seek for. The first thing you should know when landing here is that this world-class capital is composed of two parts, separated by the Danube: Buda also called the Old City and Pesta reckoned as the New City. On the one hand, the Old City hosts the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Buda Castle (or the Royal Castle), the impressive building which served as the Hungarian Kings’ residence for centuries and which nowadays functions as a museum. In addition, it harbours the National Széchényi Library and it’s fenced with colorful gardens. On the other hand, the left bank of Danube, Pesta is marked by the spirit-stirring, neo-Gothic Parliament building where the Hungarian Crown Jewels can be admired. In this part of the city the Andrássy út with the sensational Hungarian State Opera Hose stretches over.

    If you book your trip in advance, make sure you also schedule a one-day cruise on the Danube River with a guide providing you with all the information connected to the impressive buildings that line up on each bank of the Danube and which can be easily spotted when savoring a glass of champagne and a tasty portion of paprika-drenched goulash on the deck of your cozy ship. Apart from having quite a reasonable price, about ten Euros per person with the food included in the sum, this apparently trifling cruise will offer you the most amazing city panorama both by night and by day. Another interesting fact about the Hungarian capital is that none less than ten massive bridges, real works of art spanning over the Danube River and linking Buda and Pesta among which Árpád Bridge, Lágymányosi Bridge, Liberty Bridge, Margaret Bridge (leading to the Margaret Island), Pet?fi Bridge, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, are arguably the most beautiful.

    Provided you’re in the mood for shopping or you just want to unwind by lounging at a café, Vaci Uta is the perfect match. It’s a modern, hustling, paved street crowded with sparkling-window shops, book shops and souvenirs shops with pedestrians having exclusive access.

    Lake Balaton

    Lake Balaton is often referred to as the Hungarian’s seaside. Therefore, in order to enjoy a complete journey in this country, include in your itinerary this worth-seeing sight. As a matter of fact, the region is divided in two major, different parts.

    Firstly, the southern coast, described as a ring of resorts is dotted by new-fangled hotels with golden beaches and taverns selling the traditional lángos (either salty or seet donuts). The resorts here are renowned for housing bustling parties that last until dawn and that are held by famous DJs.

    Secondly, the northern coast, features five-star hotels, generally populated by tourist sunbathing and longing for relaxation. Do pay a visit to Tihany, an overwhelming peninsula with white, powdery-beaches, located right in the heart of the lake. Moreover, if you intend to spend a lot of time in Hungary, visit Hévíz and swim in the thermal lake.

    As tourists claim, the lake changes its color constantly, but when summer is in full swing and umbrella and warm water is all you need.

    Sopron

    Another notable tourist draw in Hungary is Sopron, a unique medieval city, located closely to the Austrian borders. The fairy-like buildings, designed mainly in Gothic and early Baroque architecture, wrap up the city in a magic cover. You should gaze at the Fire Tower and take a walk in the City Center. When here, taste either the white or the red wine as this region is particularly renowned for the refined wine production.

    In conclusion, you might be surprised by the amount of treasures this country has to offer to the wistful tourists and if the opportunity arises, book a flight and go to Hungary!

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    Comments on Hungary: Travel Planner

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    Lifecruiser Travel Blog wrote on June 5, 2009:

    We have yet to go to Budapest some day. We almost regret that we didn’t go there last year, when we went to Bratislava & from there on the Danube to Vienna. Ah, well, now we have another trip to look forward too :-)

    tudi wrote on June 5, 2009:

    Budapest is incredible, I didn’t expect it to be such a multi-cultural city before visiting it last year. There’s just something about Eastern European capitals that I really enjoy, I’m not sure if it’s the down to Earth spirit of the people here, or the speed with which things evolve round this part. If one would have visited Budapest or Bucharest 5 years ago and came back in 2009 the difference would be striking.

     
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