Planning a trip to Hungary? Great, because this article will help you discover the most beautiful places in Hungary that you will need to add to your itinerary.
Hungary is located in the heart of Europe and many of you know this country because of the capital city Budapest. Yes, Budapest is hands down the most beautiful city in Hungary, but Hungary has so much more to offer.
You might be wondering, is Hungary a beautiful country? Are there other places to visit in Hungary and what are some of the best day trips from Budapest?
And this article will help you unlock the secrets of Hungary. The most beautiful places in Hungary, famous attractions, cool experiences, reasons to visit, fun historical facts, and other travel tips to make your planning easy and smooth.
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What is Hungary famous for?
Hungary is a small, yet beautiful country located in Central Europe. It is famous for the magnificent architecture of its capital, Budapest, and not only. There are many other things to do in Hungary outside of Budapest.
You will find natural wonders like Puszta, the Tokaj hills, and Balaton Lake. The legendary Danube River cuts the country and the capital in two. It is one of the most famous rivers in Europe with a long and charming history.
Hot springs are also a big thing in Hungary. In fact, you can count more than 1300 with 123 in Budapest alone. And then there is food. In the next chapters I will go deeper into all these topics, so keep reading to discover the best places in Hungary to visit.
How to move around Hungary?
Moving around Hungary is extremely simple. The trains are cheap and efficient, and they will take you everywhere you need. You can even cross the border and arrive in other countries. There are also local buses that serve most of the small towns.
If you don’t want to depend on public transport, renting a car can be a good solution. This way you can tailor and plan your own itinerary.
Or you can just join a group tour or book a private guide that will show you around Hungary.
What to eat in Hungary?
I’m sure most of you have heard about goulash and paprika, but what else there is in Hungarian cuisine?
Hungarian cuisine is based on meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, bread, and dairy products. Hungarian cuisine has been influenced by Ottoman Empire, especially in using spices in the preparation of the dishes.
Goulash is the most famous dish and you will find it in most restaurants. It is a soup, traditionally prepared with beef, vegetables, and spices like paprika and cumin. Kiado Kocsma has one of the best-rated goulashes and it is one of the best restaurants in Budapest. I loved Lánchíd Söröző as well.
Other famous dishes are: Töltött Káposzta, Halászlè, Töltött Paprika, Chicken Paprikash.
If goulash is the king of Hungarian cuisine, Dobos Torte is the queen of Hungarian sweets. It is a chocolate cake and it requires long preparation. My favorite Dobos Torte was in Café Gerbeaud.
Other products to try are Hungarian salami, Kürtőskalács Chimney cake, and Lángos (fried bread dough). Famous drinks are Tokaji Wine, the herbal bitter Unicum, and the Hungarian brandy Palinka.
You will see the famous Hungarian paprika all over Budapest and it’s a perfect souvenir to bring home and keep the flavors of Hungary even when you are back home.
Overview of the most beautiful places in Hungary
I know that planning a trip can be overwhelming, but that’s why I am here. Below you will find a list of the most beautiful places in Hungary and everything else that you need to know before you visit these places. Let’s get to it!
Obviously, the most beautiful city in Hungary is Budapest. The elegance of the palaces, the wonderful bridges, and Hungary’s famous landmarks Parliament building, are only some of the reasons to visit Budapest.
You will need 3-5 days in Budapest to discover the soul of the capital, but the good news is that Budapest is a very affordable city. Just like the rest of Hungary.
I’m sure that during your time in Hungary, you will make a stop in Budapest, so make sure you read about the best things to do in Budapest. It will help you discover the most beautiful attractions, hidden gems, and unique experiences.
Szentendre is a little town you can easily reach from Budapest. Take the metro from Bethany Ter or jump on the boat during the warm season. For this reason, it is considered one of the best day trips from Budapest.
It is located on the Danube river and it’s famous for the umbrella street, the picturesque old town, and the museums. This lively town is one of the best small towns to visit in Hungary.
Here you can find many souvenir shops and one of the cutest restaurants I have seen in Hungary: Rab Ráby Vendéglő. In Rab Ráby Vendéglő you can try all the classics of Hungarian cuisine in a bit hipster-historical environment.
Szentendre has been considered an artistic town since the early 20th century. As soon as you will get there, you will understand the reason for its fame.
In case you want to sleep one night in Szentendre, Bükkös Hotel & Spa could be a good solution. Click here to see the prices and book your stay.
Gödöllő is a small town located northeast of Budapest. It is less than one hour drive away from Budapest, so this is another popular day trip from Budapest.
Here you will find one of Hungary’s famous landmarks: the Royal Palace. This palace is famous for being a favorite place of Queen Elisabeth of Hungary and it is one of the largest monuments of Hungarian palace architecture. In the castle, you will find permanent and temporary exhibitions and some wonderful rooms like The Royal Suites.
The palace is open from Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The admission fee is 3200 HUF (7.75 EUR).
If you want a guided tour from Budapest, book it here.
Székesfehérvár was the most pleasant surprise I had during my Hungarian trip. In fact, I consider this one of the best places in Hungary to visit due to its culture.
The picturesque Bory Castle is located a few kilometers away from the old town and it is one of the cutest castles in Hungary. You can have a relaxing walk in the gardens while you snap some photos of the towers and the statues.
For a breathtaking view, you can climb the tower and see the stunning spiral staircase. It is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The admission fee is 2000 HUF (5 EUR).
Székesfehérvár has also a very picturesque old town that you don’t want to miss. There you will meet the Aunt Kati statue, colorful palaces, and historical churches like the Cathedral Basilica of Székesfehérvár.
The old town is also perfect to see some old boutiques or relax in one of the cafes. My personal favorite was Cafe Frei, which serves all types of coffee from all over the world in a stylish environment. You can find Cafe Frei all around Hungary in case you become a fan of their coffee and I bet you will.
A special mention is for the Óramuzeum Clock Tower – another very picturesque place in Székesfehérvár.
Esztergom is considered the Hungarian city of records and it has to be added to your Hungary bucket list. This city was the first capital of Hungary and it is considered the cradle of the Hungarian state. Many kings of the Hungarian kingdom were born and crowned here.
Here is also the biggest basilica in the country and one of the best places to visit in Hungary outside Budapest: the Esztergom Basilica. The Esztergom Basilica hosts some relevant artworks like paintings and statues and a treasury museum. Entrance to the basilica is free, but if you want to see a museum or artwork, you will need to pay a small fee.
In order to take the best photo of the Basilica, you can cross the bridge that will take you to Slovakia. Yes, it’s directly on the border and you can easily cross it and step your feet in Slovakia.
Other points of interest in Esztergom are the Castle and the old town with some colorful picturesque churches.
When you get hungry, you can get a table at Rózsakert Étterem for a gourmet experience on the water.
Sopron and Eszterháza castle
Sopron is one of the most beautiful towns in Hungary and it is located at the border with Austria. The picturesque old town of Sopron appeared in many old Hungarian films. Also, it is surrounded by old city walls and it offers several points of interest. The most relevant sightseeings are the Fire Tower and the Blessed Mary Benedictine Church.
But it’s right outside Sopron that you will find some of the most unique places to visit in Hungary: The Carmelite Monastery and the Eszterháza Castle.
Carmelite Monastery is nowadays a meditation and retreat center as well as a hotel and it deserves a visit for its splendid architecture, cloisters, and paintings.
Eszterháza Castle is also known as the Hungarian Versailles and it is considered the best example of Rococo art in Hungary. The palace counts more than 120 rooms. The Banquet Room has a painting of Apollo in his Chariot on its ceiling and it’s probably the most important room of the palace. The largest room of the palace is the grotto-like Sala Terrana.
The gardens are perfect to take some epic photos of the palace, they once included a hunting reserve, vineyards, and cultivated camps.
Szeged is the Hungarian sunniest city and it is located in the south of the country, near the Serbian border. It is one of the cities in Hungary that is famous for its iconic cathedral, the Art Nouveau, and the university.
The cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary is not the only outstanding religious building in the city. Its synagogue is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, due to its spectacular architecture and design, typical of Art Nouveau.
It is the world’s fourth-biggest synagogue, and one of the most beautiful places in Hungary.
Szeged is not only a cultural destination, but also a perfect place to relax and enjoy life. Many cafes are built-in liberty style and with fancy decorations.
Virag Patisserie and Cafe Szeged are worth a mention to try some sweet Hungarian delicacies. Régi Híd Vendéglő will give the chance to try some of the local dishes and wines, right in the city center.
Thermal baths are also popular here. Anna Thermal Baths are a wonderful example of Hungarian architecture. It could be a good alternative to the Budapest baths if you are looking for a more intimate atmosphere, but still in style.
Holloko is probably the cutest of all the Hungarian villages and one of the best places to visit in Hungary outside Budapest. It is part of the UNESCO heritage and it is the only Hungarian settlement where the residents still use the built environment as they did in the past century.
There is no better place than Holloko to understand the Hungarian old traditions, folks, and costumes. Visiting Holloko means traveling back in time, so don’t forget your camera to capture the essence of this little town. During your stay, you can visit some museums, like the dolls museum or Guzsalyas. Also don’t miss the old castle.
If you happen to be here during Easter, you will see the inhabitants of the town dressed in old costumes and celebrating in the old fashion way, it’s a unique experience that you can’t miss. On your way to Holloko, you will also see some of the most beautiful nature in Hungary.
Hungary has no sea, so Balaton Lake is a very popular summer destination in Hungary. The Balaton Lake area offers experiences for everyone, from families to young people.
Biking is a popular activity to do on the lake as there are 210-kilometer-long cycle roads, so it’s extremely easy to explore the area on your own.
A few kilometers away from the coast of the lake lies the town of Hévíz – famous for the thermal lake and the surrounding nature. On the Lake, you will also find the picturesque town of Keszthely where you can see one of Hungary’s famous landmarks the Festetics Palace.
Balaton Sound is an event you don’t want to miss if you are passionate about electronic music. It is of the largest open-air electronic music festivals in Europe.
Tihany is one of the best small towns to visit in Hungary, it is a small peninsula in the lake. Here you will have a chance to visit Tihany abbey.
Gyor is known as the city of rivers. The city and its region are rich in natural and cultural treasures like the Szigetköz island and the Pannonhalma Abbey which are some unique places to visit in Hungary. They both are located approximately 30 minutes drive away from the old town of Gyor.
If you are a nature lover, I recommend you stop in Szigetköz island to enjoy the peace of the Danube.
If you are into something more cultural, the Pannonhalma Abbey is a jewel of art and architecture you don’t want to miss when you visit Hungary.
The Gyor city center is the perfect place to discover the best examples of Baroque in Hungary. Speaking of Baroque, in summer there is a large-scale Baroque Wedding in Győr, lasting usually 2-3 days, with a varied program of events.
One of the most important buildings in the city is the Basilica of Gyor. There are other buildings in the old town that are worth to be added to your Hungary travel lists like the castle Püspökvár-Toronykilátó and the City Hall.
Tokaj Region is famous for being the birthplace of the wine of the kings. The first written record mentioning the vineyards of Tokaj-Hegyalja dates from 1251.
The wine route Tokaj-Hegyalja is approximately 62 km long and on this way, you will find several vineyards where you can try the golden liquid of Hungary.
The region offers not only wine tourism but also cultural experiences. The castle of Boldogko is one of the best places in Hungary to visit, so bring your camera.
In the Tokaj region, you will have the chance to see some unique medieval churches, built-in wood, and kept in perfect condition.
Finally, you will have the opportunity to have some adventures on the Tisza river. It is the best place in Hungary for canoeing.
Eger is located in northwest Hungary and it is famous for its castle, wines, and more in general for being a gastronomic capital of Hungary.
This city resisted the Ottoman invasion of Hungary for more than 100 years. But the Ottoman influence is visible due to the several thermal baths and the minaret tower in the center of the city. The Ottoman domination and the following wars devastated the city, and it was rebuilt mainly by archbishops.
As we mentioned, the castle is probably the most famous landmark in the city, but you shouldn’t miss the cathedral.
Just a few kilometers away from the center, you will find the Valley of the Beautiful Woman, which is the perfect place to try some of the best Hungarian wines.
If you want to visit Eger with a guided tour and learn more about wine, make sure you book this tour.
Pecs is one of the most popular cities in Hungary, located near the Croatian border. Just like Eger, Pecs is a city that has strongly been influenced by the Ottoman Empire and this is very visible in the architecture of the city.
The most famous of these buildings is, of course, the Mosque of Pasha Qasim on Széchenyi tér, which was later turned into a Christian church.
The city offers also a UNESCO heritage site: the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs. These tombs are remarkably decorated, and you will be able to see even two underground chapels and a mausoleum.
Other important sights of the city are the cathedral of Pecs, the synagogue, and the Victor Vasarely Museum.
The Pecs region is also known as the hottest and sunniest region of wine. Villany is one of the best small towns to visit and it will welcome you with some nice wineries where you will be able to try some more Hungarian wines.
Further reading for the most beautiful places in Hungary
Other useful tips for visiting Hungary
🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide and Viator have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Greece? Use Rentalcars
✈️ Looking for the best flight deals? Check WayAway
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo
This concludes the most beautiful places in Hungary and I’m sure that in this article you found exactly what you were looking for. Hungary has something for everyone.
Looking for cultural experiences? Want to dive in and discover the history of Hungary? Dying to taste some unique recipes and drinks? Or maybe you want to relax and spend some time in nature? Hungary will take care of any need, you just need to know where to search.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.