Hungary’s main selling points are its beautiful buildings, vibrant folk art, relaxing spas, and Europe’s liveliest capital city after dark.
Hungary has peaceful landscapes rather than dramatic ones. The same cannot be said for the constructed environment, though. Regarding architecture, Hungary is a veritable treasure chest, including everything from Roman ruins and medieval palaces to baroque cathedrals, neoclassical public buildings, and art nouveau bathhouses and schools. Not even only the city of Budapest qualifies as an example. You may stroll around Szeged, Kecskemét, Debrecen, or Sopron and find a stunning piece of architecture around every corner. Some individuals may travel quite a distance only to see their favorite landmarks again, such as the Reök Palace in Szeged or the Mosque Church in Pécs.
Since togas were trendy and Aquincum was the Big Smoke, residents of Hot Water, Hungary, have been “taking the waters” from one of the region’s estimated 300 hot springs. They do so for various reasons (including therapeutic, medical, and recreational), but the settings have evolved. You may find everything from art nouveau mansions to clinical sanatoriums out in a Thomas Mann book. Wellness centers providing a variety of therapies are becoming more common, and so too are clear chlorinated waters housed in pools with an organic design that bubble, squirt, and spurt at varying temperatures and tempos.
To eat, drink, and be Magyar
Compared to other Eastern European cuisines, Hungarian is still the most refined. Magyars even go so far as to assert that French, Chinese, and their cuisine are the three most important in the whole globe. That may be an exaggeration, but it’s also true that Hungary has been known as a culinary hub since the late 19th and early 20th centuries and that after a period of stagnation under communism, the country’s food is once again garnering international acclaim. Similar international fame is held by Hungary’s wine production: from the full-bodied reds of Eger and Villány to the crisp, clean whites of Badacsony and the honeyed sweetness of Tokaj.
Authenticity in Folk Art
Hungary is home to some of Europe’s best preserved traditional art and music. The ladies of Hollók are known for their excellent needlework, which is used to adorn smocks, skirts, and even slippers, and the stunning folk paintings seen on the walls and ceilings of the little wooden churches of the Bereg area bring the country’s creative prowess to the fore. Táncházak (‘dance houses’) rural ‘raves’ where you may hear Hungarian folk music and learn to dance are thriving centers of traditional music, performed on a five-tone diatonic scale on a plethora of unique instruments.