10 reasons to visit Hungary

In South-Hungary
I am pretty sure that you have heard about Hungary. You might also be able to locate it on a map. But did you know that the Hungarian statehood is 1,000 years old? That there is a close link between the old and new, between the past and the present-day in this country? That you use Hungarian words every day? I have already written about the Top 10 Budapest attractions for first-time visitors, however Hungary offers much more than that. Here are the 10 reasons why to visit my country.

State Opera House
1. Architecture
Hungary is well known and beloved for its architecture which includes roman ruins, gothic churches, Art Nouveau houses and palaces from the last century as well as modern buildings standing next to each other. It’s a travel back in time where you can still feel the “Blissful peacetime” of the 19th century.

You will find here the largest synagogue in Europe (Great Synagogue), the largest thermal bath in Europe (Széchenyi Bath), one of the largest basilicas in Europe (Esztergom Basilica), the second largest territorial abbeys in the world (Pannonhalma Archabbey), and the second largest Early Christina Necropolis in Europe (Pécs).

2. Rich culture
Hungary is undoubtedly a culturally bustling country, representing a great variety of folkloric festivals even in the smallest villages, as well as Europe’s largest music events. You can experience both a folkloric Easter in Hollókő, a “matyó” wedding in Szentistván, the horse-riding traditions in Nemzeti Vágta (Budapest), as well as chilling in Lake Balaton at the Balaton Sound festival, jumping for the concerts in Sziget festival or partying in one of the thermal baths at night.

3. Thermal baths
We have around 1300 thermal springs which makes us the country with one of the biggest thermal capacities of the world. Thermal water has been used for relaxation and therapy for almost 2000 years in the region and is still one of the most popular free-time activities in the country. You can find most of the thermal baths in Budapest, but also the one in Hévíz, which is the largest natural thermal lake in Europe.

Fisherman's Bastian

4. World heritage
We count with rich cultural and natural heritage and it is also acknowledged by the UNESCO. Currently we have 8 world heritage sites.

5. Wine regions
Hungarian is one of the only countries in Europe which has its own word for wine (bor) that is not derived from the Latin language. This means that Hungarians already had contact with wine back 1000 years ago. The warm climate and the volcanic soil is perfect for wine-making. We count with 22 wine regions, which all have different micro-climate producing a great variety of taste and style. Try the wine tasting tours in the wine cellars of the hilly lands. I just love tasting them!

Sunset on Balaton
 6. Balaton
We call it as the Hungarian Sea. Balaton is the largest sweet water lake in Central-Europe and is our primary summer holiday destination. The surrounding of the lake offers a great variety of free-time activities. While the more shallow southern part is mainly furnished for relaxing and partying, the northern and hillier part invites us to excursions to Badacsony vine-yards and the villages with a great view on the lake.

7. Hungaricum
Hungaricum is something typical Hungarian, which can be a finding, and invention or a living creature. Typical Hungaricums are for example the Unicum (aperitif), pálinka (shot), Rubik cube, Puli (dog breed) or the paprika. These are the perfect souvenirs because they truly represent Hungary. (Sometimes I can see gas masks and Matryoshka dolls sold as souvenirs. Please, they have nothing to do with the Hungarian culture!)

Me eating 'lángos'
8. Gastronomy
First of all, we love to eat meat and use a lot of spices, mainly paprika. (I am maybe the only exception to that.) In addition we eat bread for almost everything. So well, we do not have the healthiest food ever, but the mixture of the food cooked in our special cooking pot (bogrács) has a rich taste of meat, vegetables and spices, such as the Gulash soup (gulyás), the chicken stew (pörkölt) and the fish soup (halászlé).

Did you know that we eat pasta with sweet cottage cheese? That we are fond of the vegetable stew (főzelék)? Or that we eat cold and sweet fruit soup as a starter? If not, it’s time to try them out!

9. Good prices
Our official currency is the Hungarian Forint. We do not have Euro, which makes it easier to keep the prices down. Budapest is also called the 'Paris of the East', but definitely you will spend half or even third of what you would spend in any Western European country. Do not forget the tips, though. :)

10. Film industry
Lately we have been hosting the biggest Hollywood stars in Hungary, and so Budapest became the hunting place for fans who are walking around to catch the celebrities. Predictably you will see the streets of Budapest in many Hollywood films in the near future. In the last two years we hosted Robert Pattinson, Bruce Willis (currently), Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Hopkins and we are expecting Johnny Depp and Jude Law. Fans, be prepared! :)

+1. Girls
It is a well-known fact that the Hungarian girls are among the most beautiful in the world. No matter if you go to a club or just walking on the streets, you will see pretty girls everywhere. Check it out with your own eyes during your next trip. :) 

This entry is dedicated to my Brasilian friend, Mauricio, hoping that he can make the most out of his trip in Hungary :) 

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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  1. I agree with the last one.

    1. so sweet, Daniel #2 :)) what a pity we did not meet in Hungary, then hopefully i could have been able to contribute to this experience :)