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About Hungary

Hungary, this relatively small country with its over ten million citizens, lies in the Carpatian Basin, in the heart of Europe.

The surrounding countries and the conqueror nations had had big cultural effect on Hungary over the decades and still have effect on Hungarians - both in everyday life and cultural heritage.

Facts, details:

  • Name: Republic of Hungary (Magyar Köztársaság)
  • Founded in: December, 1000
  • EU Member since: May, 2004
  • Population: 10,198,315 (2006 July)
  • Territory: 93,030 km² / 35,919 sq miles
  • Official language: Hungarian (Magyar)
  • Capital city: Budapest

Landscape of variety
Northern, western and southern Hungary are different worlds:

Northern Hungary

The most obvious attraction close to Budapest is the magnificent Danube Bend, which offers some of the country's finest landscapes. The historic towns and ruins of Szentendre, Esztergom and Visegrád on the west bank can be seen on a long day-trip from Budapest, but it would be a shame not to visit the quieter east side too: the sedate town of Vác, as well as the neighbouring Pilis and Börzsöny highlands, with opportunities for hiking or horse-riding.

In the north are the uplands and their wide, forested hills of the Northern Uplands, spreading eastwards from Budapest, offer good opportunities for leisurely pursuits including hiking, cycling and even skiing. The region is also home to the country's most fantastic natural wonder, the Aggtelek Caves, and Zemplén range, appeal to castle enthusiasts and those seeking to get off the beaten track. Not to mention the old village of Hollókő and Palóc region, inviting to a fascinating travel to the world of Hungarian traditions and customs.

In this region, thermal baths in Bükkszék, Eger and Miskolctapolca offer refreshing holidays.

The Tokaj and Eger vineyards produce famous „Aszú" of Tokaj and Bull's Blood wine.

Western Hungary

Southwest of Budapest, Lake Balaton, styles itself as the 'Hungarian Sea'. The southern shores are ideal for small children because of the shallow water. Here the beach is an uninterrupted line of large and small resorts with bustling life, a paradise for worshippers of sun and water.

Siófok is the largest town on the southern side, as it is said: "Siófok is the capital of Lake Balaton". The town 106 km far from Budapest can be easily reached by rail (from Déli Railway Station), road (route M7) or air from every direction.

Between Balatonakarattya and Keszthely on the northern shore there are approximately 25 lakeside resorts surrounded by hills. Tihany is a gem of not only Lake Balaton but of Hungary itself, offering interesting sights in every season. Its major attractions are the historical and cultural memories and acitivities connected to the abbey, as well as its unique natural surroundings combined with the recreational possibilities offered by the lake.

Encircling Balaton and encompassing the area west of the Danube, Transdanubia has the country's most varied topography, from the flat, rather monotonous landscape of the northern Kisalföld to the forested Őrség in the southwest. The region also claims some of the country's finest towns and cities, Sopron with its athmospheric Belváros (inner town), and the vibrant city of Pécs, notable for its superb museums and Islamic architecture - preserving many relics of Turkish rule. Further south, the vineyards around Villány and Siklós - Hungary's first wine road - yield some of the country's finest wines.

Eastern Hungary

In the south the landscape changes completely. The area south of the Upland is dominated by the vast flat known as the Great Plain, divided in two by Hungary's other great river, the Tisza.

Szeged, close to the Serbian border, is the area's centre with delightful architecture and a beautiful synagogue. Further east, its rival city Debrecen with its magnificent symbol, the Classicist Great Calvinist Church, the largest Calvinist church in the country.

Continuing the explore of the country, you can stumble upon Hortobágy puszta, home to a fantastic array of wildlife.

Although Budapest is the centre of the country in many ways, the country boasts much more beyond its beautiful and very hip capital city. It is worth seeing more in Hungary to have a complete, colourful picture of it: gorgeous Baroque towns, ancient castles and fortresses, natural wonders also offer memorable holiday.

Aside from the country's extraordinary concentration of thermal spas, there is also a wealth of other activities, including a range of watersports, horse-riding, cycling and hiking, while nearly two dozen wine regions offer the chance to sample quality wines.

Debrecen Eger Aszú wine
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