Since escaping the shadow of Soviet occupation, Hungary resembles a long dormant orchard that has burst into bloom. 17th and 18th century baroque architecture looms like sturdy tree trunks supporting branches laden with newly blossoming art, music, fashion and film. Hungary offers the thrifty traveler an abundance of experiences without shelling out an abundance of cash.
The capital city of Budapest sprawls across the Danube, its two regions, Buda and Pest, linked by a total of 8 bridges. Hungary’s capital holds its own against any Eastern European city in terms of its wealth of historical sites, museums and world class dining and lodging establishments. Outside of Budapest Hungary offers the artists colony of Szentendre, and Europe’s largest thermal lake (and its attendant spate of spas). The plains of southern Hungary are the nation’s agricultural heartland. Hilly northeastern Hungary is the source of regional wines and the city of Eger, where women warriors defended the castle in a 16th century battle. Vacationers flock to Lake Balaton, which is circled with party towns to the south and villages to the north. Kiskunság National Park hosts demonstrations of equestrian acrobatics, a legacy of Hungary’s Magyar heritage.