Hungary

Budapest2Stunning architecture -  architecturally Hungary is a treasure trove, with everything from Roman ruins and medieval townhouses to baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and art nouveau bathhouses and schools. Hungary is one of the most important tourist destinations in Central and Eastern Europe welcoming more than 1 million visitors each year. The considerable rise in domestic guest nights continued in Budapest6Budapest and the Lake Balaton region, where the latter received 20 percent more guests, which helps to prove that Balaton is not just a seasonal vacation spot. All in all, Hungary has 10 national parks, 35 landscape protection areas, 145 minor nature reserves, and 22 designated wine regions. 

A must-try for the traveler to this quaint country are its hot water baths. There is hardly a city or town in Hungary that doesn't have its own thermal spa. Altogether, Hungary has about 1 300 sources of thermal water, many of which are natural hot springs which have been used as places of healing since Roman times. There are more than 150 thermal spa resorts, of which 36 have been declared "medicinal spas" because of the water's proven curative effects. Medicinal waters can be found in almost all regions of Hungary, and about three-quarters of the wells are located in the Great Hungarian Plain. For decades, Budapest has been enjoying the name "the world's spa capital". Some of its baths had already been operating during the Turkish occupation (16th-17th centuries). There are some two dozen baths and 13 spas in the capital.

budapest folk festival6In Hungary, occupations related to folk arts and crafts are highly respected. The diversity of Hungarian folk crafts is reflected in a wide array of materials, tools, and technologies. Every year, Buda Castle plays host to a folk art extravaganza as this established festival celebrating Hungary’s traditional art forms takes over the grounds. Artists from across the country. Food and drink come in the form of traditional Hungarian specialties such as Pálinka and goulash, which can be enjoyed while watching a live dance show or music performance. In the Danube-side town of Szentendre, located just over 20 kilometers north of central Budapest, an elaborately recreated village preserves and presents Hungarian life from centuries ago, with varied cottages showcasing customary architectural styles of different regions. This fairy-tale hamlet is not a residential area, but it’s populated with actors in colorful period costumes going about their daily business, including making handicrafts like baskets, horseshoes, and candles.