10 THINGS TO SEE IN HUNGARY
What to see in Hungary ? Just put things in order Hungary’s highest point is 1015m, so no Alps and big hills here. Hungary situated in the Kárpát basin surrounded by the hills of Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania. The country has 2 bigger rivers: the Danube and the Tisza. Most of Hungary’s area is plain or called ‘puszta’ in hungarian with two lines of smaller hills on the North and Middle West, or if we want to think of them that way one continuous line of hills. Lots of lakes here: the biggest ones is the Balaton with an area of app. 590km2, Fertő lake (309km2, together with the Austrian area, Hungarian area is smaller: 75km2), and Lake Tisza water reservoir. (127km2)
What is to be expected in Hungary that there are lots of hot water spas everywhere in the country. In Hévíz there is a hot water lake. The most famous, or popular spa cities are the following: Hajdúszoboszló, Hévíz, Harkány, Gyula, Zalakaros, Bük, Sárvár, Balf, Berekfürdő. You can find lots of lakes, fishing opportunities everywhere in Hungary.
The most beautiful places situated in Hungary are situated around the blue tour line (Országos kéktúra in Hungarian). This line basically follow the hills line mentioned in the introduction.
Hungary is rich in natural beauty: You can find big forests, (smaller) hills, caves, lakes, rivers, backwaters, hot water lakes, cave lakes. You can easily see lots of birds, and animals here. There are approximately 400 species of birds has been recorded in Hungary: in my gallery in the main menu you can find around 110 of them. Other usual mammals in Hungary are: roe deer, red deer, european hare, red fox, boar, moufflon (Northern hills), more rare animals are: bobcat, golden jackal, wild cat.
At the aspect of cities Budapest is much bigger than any other city here with a mass of 1,7-2,5 million people, true metropolis with heavy traffic, lots of multicultural events, second biggest Debrecen has around 208 000 inhabitants.
The weather in Hungary
originally consisted of 4 seasons, with long cold winters up -10,-25 celsius degrees, hot summers up to 30-35 celsius, and spring, and autumn between. Recently seems not so much seaparation between seasons, basically seems like two main seasons: summer and winter: sometimes mild winters barely under -10 celsius, hot summers not rarely with a maximum temperature of 35-42 celsius. Majority of the rains falls in autumn and winter.
The list below you can find the 10 things I suggest to see here.
I thought I put the places in packages by regions.
– summertime – my absolute number 1.
You can check everything around, see my separate article about Balaton here Balaton
next to Budapest, Danube bend, and Pilis hills (Szentendre, Visegrád, Esztergom, Dobogókő, Verőce, Nagymaros, Zebegény) and Budapest see my article here 100 things to do in Budapest – extreme amount of program possibilites. In Visegrad can be found the castle of the famous Hungarian king Mathias, they have annual festival with sword fighting, costumes, etc. Szentendre is very close to Budapest, it is a beautiful Danube bank city with restaurants, narrow streets, and a village museum. Esztergom is also very popular tourist target with the Danube, huge cathedral, a bridge towards Slovakia with museum, spa and good athmosphere.
or Bük, or Balf and Fertő lake: very nice friedly arranged places just next to Austrian borders. Sopron is very popular among hungarians and foreigners alike. Nice nature, lovely athmosphere, quality food.
Szilvásvárad, Kékestető, Mátrafüred or Egerand Northern hills
Lillafüred the most beautiful place in Hungary I have ever seen. Beautiful hills, waterfall, lake, 2 caves, castle hotel, natural beauty. In Aggtelek you can find one of the biggest cave system in Hungary. Mátra is the highest hill in Hungary with lots of creeks, forest and several beautiful lakes. Next to Szilvásvárad Szalajka valley is a popular tourist target with beautiful waterfall, hills, forests, creek. Egerszalók, Demjén and Bogács are popular spa places nearby. Eger is also a famous historical city with his castle ruin, friendly athmosphere, and vine cellars.
5. Pecs and Mecsek hills
Pécs is a beautiful historical city with world heritage sites, with a zoo at the top of the hill, nice athmosphere. The city has been greatly influenced by Turkish invasion. Lots of buildings shows that in the city. The city surrounded by beautiful hills, lakes, valleys.
– pure nature, forests, hills, small villages between the dominant green area, north from Balaton in few days we spent there saw 3 foxes, roe deer, deer, several birds, including an eagle. We were in Csesznek, beautiful scenery, horse riding possibility.
nature, forests and lovely villages at the bottom of the Alps, next to Austrian and Slovenian border, see my article here: :Őrség
8. Hortobagy and Hajdúszoboszló, or Debrecen, Lake Tisza at Abadszalok, Poroszlo or Tiszafured and Berekfürdő.
Hortobágy is a famous ‘puszta’ world heritage site in Hungary, great plain with a famous 9 hole bridge, vast plain area, a bird hospital, with a famous hungarian grey cattle, Hungary’s first National Park in 1980. The area with the fishing lakes and marshes gives home one of Europe’s richest wildlife including unique species like Blue Kestrel, Great Bustard, Crane, Pygmy cormorant, Roller, Bee eater, etc.
9. Szeged or Gyula and South East Hungary:
Szeged is beautiful sunny university city at the bank of the Tisza river with lots of social activites and their usual outside summer Stage (Szabadtéri Színpad in hungarian), with beautiful buildings, several lakes, including the famous Canoe Kayak course Maty-ér and the famous Fehér tó (white lake) with their winter Crane migration. Gyula is unique spa city with a brick castle and lovely athmosphere.
10. Kiskunság and Kecskemét or Kiskunhalas:
Kiskunság area is situated between the two big rivers (Danube, Tisza) of Hungary, lots of its area protected because of their natural treasures. The land is sandy, with shallow lakes, marshes and forests. Good abandoned athmosphere with horse riding possibilities everywhere. See my gallery in the main menu.
The above is my preference upon the idea what an average tourist prefer, the idea is to visit the city and a region by car, but these are beautiful places, if you come without a car you not going to lose anything.
According to statistical datas the following is the list of Hungarian cities (2010 datas) among Hungarians and forign tourists:
1. Budapest 2.Hajdúszoboszló 3. Sopron 4. Hévíz 5. Zalakaros 6. Siófok 7. Bük 8. Balatonfüred 9. Eger 10. Gyula
1. Budapest 2.Hévíz 3. Bük 4. Hajdúszoboszló 5. Balatonfüred 6. Sárvár 7. Siófok 8. Győr 9. Debrecen 10. Zalakaros
More info about Hungarywww.abouthungary.net