Explore Hungary's diverse countryside from the mountainous north to the southern plains. Or discover relics of the country's history from Roman ruins to communist-era architecture in its villages, cities and fortified castles. Relax in curative spa baths and sample traditional goulash - beef stew with paprika.
Hungary was originally inhabited by nomadic Magyar tribes and you can still experience their equestrian traditions in the southern plains around Kecskemet. Located near the northern border with Slovakia, the capital Budapest was once three separate cities. Today they are areas within the city: the castle district of Buda, commercial Pest and Roman Obuda. To the south-west of the capital you'll find Lake Balaton, popular for thermal springs and summer holidays. The mountainous north-east of the country is renowned for skiing, regional Tokaj wines and the UNESCO-listed Aggtelek National Park and its stalactite caves.
Start your trip in Budapest, where the ground slopes dramatically down from Buda's Castle Hill, on one side of the River Danube, across to bustling Pest. Take time out to relax at one of the city's many luxurious spa baths before journeying south. Here you'll discover the UNESCO-listed, attractive town of Pecs, full of Roman, Early Christian and Turkish remains. Eger in Hungary's north is one of the country's oldest towns and boasts Baroque architecture, a Turkish minaret and Bull's Blood wine, said to make you strong and fierce.
Gasp at traditional csikosok cowboys' prowess and their bareback riding skills in the southern Puszta plains around Kecskemet city. Discover old Hungary in the eastern, UNESCO-listed Hortobgy National Park, where village crafts are preserved in its wetlands, also home to incredible bird life. You can hike and ski in the northern Matra and Bukk Mountains, and join holidaying Hungarians at Lake Balaton for swimming, partying and spa life. Even the capital, Budapest, has rural pockets, from the caves in the Buda Hills to Esztergom along the Danube Bend, where King Stephen was born.