If you are planning a trip to Europe, Hungary must be on your list. A fairytale country with rich history, delicious food and a lot of monuments, it promises a memorable trip. But that is just the beginning of what it has to offer.
The capital of Hungary and one of the largest cities in Europe is Budapest. With Danube by his side, this “Little Paris” is full of fun, affordable activities, and lovely people. Although there is a train run by children, it is a completely safe place. After all, Hungarians don’t hold the highest number of Nobel Prize winners per capita for nothing.
With preserved history dating to the second millennium BC, there are many reasons to visit and fall in love with Budapest.
1. Architecture & Art
Mixture of old and modern is the joy for the eyes and soul. One of the most visited sights is Heroes’ Square. It was rebuilt after World War II with five statues which represent the freedom fighters. In addition, it is also a station of the Millennium Underground. Fun fact, it is the oldest underground railway powered by electricity.
The history of the railway can be seen in the Underground Museum, located in the underground passage underneath the Deák Ferenc tér station. If you are lucky to be there on the “Night of the Museums”, you can even check out vintage cars on display.
On the right of the Heroes’ Square is the Hall of Art (Kunsthalle), an exhibition hall which highlights and promotes the latest trends of well-known, as well as young up-and-coming artists. The left side of the square is occupied by the Museum of Fine Arts, with famous paintings and sculptures, the most famous of which is a horseman sculpture by Leonardo da Vinci.
Although it seems a lot for one place, the best is yet to come. Next to all of these amazing sights is the largest park in Budapest. City Park is the first public park in the world. The main attraction is a replica of a Transylvanian castle. Vajdahunyad Castle contains parts of the Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque styles mixed together.
Around the castle is an artificial lake used for ice-skating in the winter and boat rides in the summer. The Amusement park, oldest zoo and Municipal Circus are also within the park, as well as a lot of wooden castles and playgrounds for the children.
Nonetheless, you may be interested in an annual celebration of hundred year old buildings called the Budapest 100. At that period, the doors are open for visitors in over than fifty buildings. Otherwise closed to the public, houses, museums, schools and offices are open for a quick peak.
Hungarians are famous for their love of paprika and goulash, the signature dish associated with Hungry. Culinary influences come from Turkey, Serbia and some central European countries. Meals are traditional and delicious. It might be hard if you are a vegetarian because the pork is always on the menu, but here are a few dishes one must try when traveling to Hungary:
- Gulyás – As the most popular one, it’s no wonder why goulash is first on the list. It is a mix of paprika soup, peppers and beef.
- Kolbász – You have not tried anything until you try this spiced sausage.
- Halászlé – The soup made out of different kinds of fish. For fish lovers, this is a dream.
- Töltött káposzta – The rich flavor of stuffed cabbage guarantees the problem of overeating.
- Jókai bableves – Hungary’s very own magic kidney bean soup.
- Somlói Galuska – And for dessert, rum, vanilla with toppings and whipped cream over a spongy cake tastes even better than it sounds.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a more luxurious experience, visit the legendary restaurant Gundel, located in the City Park.
Fun is usually associated with a drink in the hand, and as far as alcohol goes, Hungarian liquor is funtastic (pun intended). Even though Hungarians don’t like toasting with a beer (it reminds them of defeat from Austria), you are allowed to enjoy in its remarkable taste. Also, they have a variety of fruit brandies and local wines. Louis XIV of France called the Tokaji wine the “wine of kings” and you can find it in most wine shops.
Bars offer an adventure 24/7. From rusty apartments turned into coffee shops to outdoor picnic tables and wild nightclubs, they have it all.
Certainly, this is all very alluring, but what about the costs? There are no downsides when choosing to come here. The list of qualities only rise, and the price adds one more to the list. Everything is affordable and even cheap. Drinks, food, transport, and accommodation can be managed for a low cost. Public transport and Budapest vacation rentals allow you to explore the best option that suits your valet. So pack your bags and explore all the possibilities. Bon voyage!