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Touring Hungary

Toronto, Canada
1 post
1 review
Touring Hungary

I was wondering if anyone could please give me some advice.... We are arriving in Hungary for two weeks this summer.... We definately want to stay in Budapest for a few days... but then want to explore small towns/cities.... Do we have enough time to explore other countries while we are there or would it be too rushed.... I have been to Austria (Vienna) however, not to the other 6 counties that surround hungary. I am trying to put together a FLEXIBLE itinerary.... Any thoughts?

Budapest, Hungary
Level Contributor
3,141 posts
1. Re: Touring Hungary

You will have time for the things you want to do and see.

If you want to go a bit "outside", Kosice in Slovakia, Oradea, Arad and TImisoara in Romania, Novi Sad in Serbia are not far.

Doylestown...
Level Contributor
1,800 posts
553 reviews
2. Re: Touring Hungary

A good exploration of Budapest will involve anywhere from 3-6 days - it all depends on what you want to see. I would say that 4 days is ideal and then some day trips from the options below (not all of them, just choose what works for you):

- Vac & Visegrad

- The Royal Palace at Godollo

- Szentendre/Skanszen

- Esztergom

For the remaining 7 or 8 days, I would encourage you to explore some other parts of Hungary. Why? The food and wine of Hungary is often much nicer than its neighbours, Hungary remains relatively unexplored outside of Budapest, and it will be generally much cheaper than other places. Places I would consider are as follows:

- Eger and surrounds

- Pecs and Villanyi

- Veszprem, Tihany and Balatonfured

- Sopron, Koszeg and Eszterhazy Palace

Renting a car will be a good option to help you visit a number of places over the period of a week.

If you feel that you must explore another country, then I recommend that you fly from Budapest to Targu Mures in Romania, rent a car and explore Transylvania - Sighisoara, Brasov, Bran, Rasnov, Sibiu and the small Saxon villages with fortified churches.

Budapest
Level Contributor
57 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: Touring Hungary

Hi,

I would go to Sopron, at the Austrian border, spend a couple of days there (beautiful old town to walk around, cafés, museums, forest, nature park with birdwatching etc., but not much of a night life if you are interested in that), then maybe the near Koszeg (it also has a very old castle) or Veszprem and then to the Balaton, but only to the Northern shore of the Balaton, because there are hills, wineyards and sights, the Southern shore is a bit boring (sorry, but it really is).

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
3,706 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: Touring Hungary

One of my favorite road trips is to Eger, about 2 hours on the M3 freeway from Budapest. Eger is a great walking city with a huge cathedral, a giant castle with many neat museums (the torture chamber is super). One special sight that is frequently overlooked is the Camera Obscura" (dark room) located just across the street from the cathedral in the bishop's palace. There are only a handful of these rooms in the entire world, so it is a real treat to be inside one. It is a darkened room with a rotating pinhole in the wall that projects the entire city live onto a reflecting dish. Kids love this thing!

Caution: you must walk up several flights of stairs to see it so it is only for the fit and young. Buy tickets at the main door before you go up.

Shopping is surprisingly good here with many boutiques carrying trendy clothes and shoes you will never see in America...all without the Vaci Utca prices and crowds!

Very fine wines are another bargain, but you might want to hold off buying them until you go over the hill to the Valley of the Beautiful Women (szep lanyok). After a short drive outside to city, you will find the valley riddled with caves full of the famous reds of Eger. The whites are consistantly good, but the reds are what you will want to take home. Take a designated driver for this tour of the wine country.

Another great attraction, especially for the kids, is the largest water park in Europe. It is only a short drive in the country over rolling hills to this wet and cool extravaganza. Ask in town for directions.

If you are staying in Eger for a few days (recommended) you might want to take a drive north for a day trip.

About 45 minutes out of the city, you will see what looks like a little hut on the side the hill off to your right. This is actually a very large 12th century monestary that is still used today (although there are no residents) Stop at the little town on the main road just below the hills and ask anyone for the "reggi templom kulc" (coolch) the old church key. They know who to call and the little old man in the little old car will meet you at the monestary with a gigantic ancient key to let you in. The man will give you written guides in your preferred language and then let you wander around on the 900 year old stone slab floor.

Remember it is still a working church so it is polite to leave a few coins or some folding money in the poor box. It is also good taste to give a few coins to the old man for his time and petrol. As you leave there is a little wooden gift shop on your right. If it is open, stop in to see the interesting wood carvings as well as the usual postcards and religeous trinkets.

Back on the main road, continue north to the town of

Szilvasvarad. At the south end of town you will see a set of railroad tracks and a little train station. This is where you can board the narrow gauge open-air train for a short run up into the cool forest covered hills. After this, a stop at any of the riding stables might be in order. Here you can actually ride one of the famous Lippenzzaner horses. The stable will give you a prance and dance show if you don't want to ride. And, you can even get a coach ride.

For the brave, they will give you a coach driving lesson (get out the camera, Mom!)

If you are getting hungry, there is no better place on earth to eat fresh trout than here. The trout (pisztrang) are caught fresh daily in the many fast-flowing creeks and streams that run through the town.

There is still one last adventure waiting. Continue north on the main road until it ends at a new highway. Turn left and continue until you see the sign for Aggtellek...you literally can't miss it. Turn right and drive throught the rolling hills and open countryside. Stop at any of the little villages for an espresso, a soda or any number of the rich pastries they all have. Continue until you reach Aggtelek. This is a World Heritage Site. I have been in many caves, and I must say this is the best one I have ever seen. Buy your tickets for the proper language tour and put your sweater or light jacket on when they say it is time to enter the iron door to the cave. It is always 50 degrees in there and you will be down there for an hour. Everybody loves this tour. It is everything you expect the cave to be. When you enter the large cavern, try to get a seat up front for the light and sound show. It is heart stopping.

There are many ways back to Eger, but if this is your first trip it is best just to retrace the morning route back to Eger.

Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Pecs, Budapest
Level Contributor
4,802 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Touring Hungary

In addition to Eger (mentioned above), and Sopron (ditto), Pecs is worth a visit as well. It's more 'Mediterranean' than othe places I've been to in Hungary. It has a long history. The Roman Christian Cemetery is fascinating; there are several remnants of the Ottoman occupation, the Austro-Hungarian buildings are excellent. (It's near the center of another wine region also.)

6. Re: Touring Hungary

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