Land of Liszt, imposing palaces, and dramatically charming countryside of valleys and towering mountains, Hungary has always been a very romantic destination at the heart of Europe. Bordered (conveniently) by Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine, Hungary was once part of the mighty Dual Monarchy Austria-Hungary, which dominated European politics for centuries. And as such, Hungary was given pre-eminence in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Much attention was devoted to ensuring it received at least an equal part of the cultural and financial wealth that empires entail to have.
Picture this: you are sitting at a quiet restaurant where you are indulging yourself in the best goulash in town, viewing the tranquil Danube. At the same time, the evocative melody of a Monti czardas plays in the background...Not a postcard idea, but actually what a selfie could do because it is possible! The center of Hungarian culture, replete with imposing buildings, and with a tremendous sense of national pride and vivacity, Budapest is one of the most captivating cities in Central Europe. Considered by many amongst the most beautiful in Europe, Budapest is an Alpha global-city packed with dozens of museums, theatres, beautiful parks, and superb architecture attesting to its pivotal role in being a previous imperial city. Buda Castle dominates the city's landmarks' skyline as it perches above a hill overlooking its splendid reflection on the legendary Danube. Nearby is the city's famed Chain Bridge, very much reminiscent of Brooklyn Bridge, but far more imposing; equally imposing are its cafes—Vienna's arch-rivals: the Gerbeaud and New York Palace are some of the city's finest. And for a delightful afternoon stroll, look no farther than Varosliget, or City Park, and entre through its UNESCO World Heritage gate, Heroes' Gate. With its beautiful lake, magnificent gardens, and Europe's largest thermal medicinal baths, City Park is one of those rare gems hard to find anywhere else.
With beautiful beaches, a delightful lakeside setting, and beating nightlife, Siofok is one of Hungary's most famous holiday destinations among foreigners and locals. Resting on the beach next to Lake Balaton's enticing waters is an excellent way to spend the day to enjoy the beachside bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
The third-largest city in the country has a vital cultural scene; in the summer, it hosts many festivals, with the Open Air Theatre Festival being the highlight of the year. With much lovely architecture in the Old Town – in elegant palaces and several thermal baths – Szeged deserves a visit.