There are so many interesting places to go and attractions to see in Hungary definitely worth exploring as either a tourist or a resident like me.
Hungary has numerous epic castles, volcanic mountains, spectacular lakes and fragrant lavender fields. The amazing countryside is scattered with attractive blossoming fruit trees in the spring through to the autumn when classic sunflower fields and abundant grape filled vineyards burst into life. The air is exhilarating, the hiking is legendary and the famous thermal waters are full of healing properties.
I asked my Hungarian friends to recommend places to go that they thought were worth visiting. I have listed a variety of interesting places and a little about each one. Hopefully there is something for everyone.
I shall follow this up with more posts detailing my next 7 unique places, to visit, as recommended by the people of Hungary.
My first seven recommendations for places to visit in Hungary
Veresegyházi Bear Home
Benedictine Tihany Abbey
The Waterfalls of Miskolc
Beautiful Colourful Town
Szentendre is a picturesque art-filled Hungarian town on the Danube River, north of the capital, Budapest. It’s known for its baroque architecture, churches, colourful houses and narrow cobbled streets. The main square Fő Tér, and the alleyways around it are lined with art galleries, museums and shops.
Szentendre Skanzen Village Museum: The Hungarian Open Air Museum is Hungary’s largest outdoor collection, founded in 1967. The open-air museum shows Carpathian folk architecture and life in various areas of Hungary.
Retro Design Center: Lots of old cars you would find in Hungary in the 70’s and also household items from the same period.
ArtMill: A nice exhibition space in a former industrial building, offering an insightful view of Szentendre’s magnificent art scene.
The Kovács Margit Ceramics Museum: Regarded as the most popular museum in Szentendre. Opened in 1973, presents the lifework of Kossuth Prize-laureate ceramic artist Margit Kovács (1902–1977). The collection was donated in 1972 by the artist, who is considered to be the innovator of Hungarian ceramic art.
Lots more information about this beautiful city here: https://www.offbeatbudapest.com/budapest-city-guide/best-things-to-do-in-szentendre-hungary/
Veresegyházi Bear Home
The Veresegyházi Bear Home is the only bear shelter in central Europe that opened in 1998.
Located in Veresegyház, just some 25km from Budapest, this 5.5-hectare farm and petting zoo features bears, tame wolves, reindeer and raccoons. The bears live in a large enclosure, with 3.5 acres of continuous runways and have access to a lake, can roam a huge forest with open ground and numerous caves. Visitors are able to feed the bears with honey from long handled spoons. There is also a convenient car park close by.
Ticket prices valid from 1 January 2020
Adult: 1500 HUF / person,
Child (3-14 years old): 1000 HUF / person
Student (between 15-18 years) 1200 HUF / person
Family (2 children, 1 adult): 1000 HUF / person
Pensioner: 1000 HUF / person
Children (under 3 years): FREE
Parking (valid for the whole day): car: 300 HUF, bus: 1000 HUF
Top tip: Bring your own honey!
This is the link for their site – in Hungarian http://www.medveotthon.hu/hirek/
Approximate location details.
Benedictine Tihany Abbey
Tihany is a beautiful village on the northern shore of Lake Balaton on the Tihany Peninsula. The whole peninsula is a historical district with the Benedictine Tihany Abbey in the centre, founded in 1055 AD by András I, who is buried in the crypt. Opposite the Abbey, you can visit where the monks cultivate herbs in the enclosed gardens. The calendar-inspired views are staggering across the stunning Lake Balaton. A beautiful area to visit, in fact Tihany in 2014, was the recipient of the most beautiful renovated village in Europe award.
Opening Hours for the Abbey:
May – Sept : 9am-6pm Mon-Sat, 11.15am-6pm Sun
Oct – April: 10am-5pm Mon-Sat, 11.15am-5pm Sun,
Nov: 10am-4pm Mon-Sat, 11.15am-4pm Sun
Price: Adult/Concession/Family incl abbey museum 1200/700/3200Ft
Link for more information about Tihany and the Abbey http://www.tihanyinfo.com/en/Tihany.html
Top Tip: Visit out of season for a more peaceful visit.
Beautiful Scenic Town
Lillafüred, is surrounded by one of the most beautiful natural environments in Hungary, in the Eastern part of Bükk Mountains next to Hámori Lake, often referred to as “Pearl of Bükk”.
Chairlifts Park in Lillafüred
If you are keen to get some spectacular aerial sights then a ride on a chairlift is a must. The chairlift starts the route from 333 metres above sea level and ends at 606 metres high. The travelling time takes 11-12 minutes.
Opening times 10 am – 6.00 pm
Ticket prices: One way ticket/adult:1100 Forints
Return ticket/adult:1400 Forints
One way ticket/child, student: 900 Forints
Return ticket/child, student: 1200 Forints
The Palace Hotel Terraced Gardens, Lillafüred
The stunning Palace Hotel was built between 1927 and 1930. The building is a spectacular piece of Hungarian architectural art. The hillside below the hotel was designed as a replica of the hanging gardens. The interesting terraced walkway system leads to the entrance of Anna Cave, which is a sinter cave. Open to the public. The history of the large-scale construction works of the buildings and gardens are reflected in the reports from the period.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 0-24
If you fancy a luxurious treat here is the link to the hotel itself https://hotelpalota.hu/en
The Waterfalls of Miskolc
Szinva stream, which originates from Lillafüred, and is almost twenty kilometers long, crosses Miskolc from east to west and falls into the Sajó river. More than 70 bridges are built over the stream, and in parts of the city centre it flows underground. The highest waterfalls of the country (20 metres high) can be found on the Szinva stream. The waterfalls are beautiful in the summer months and in winter too, the icicles form on the frozen waterfall providing a perfect photographic setting.
This is a beautiful spot with lots of interesting and relaxing areas to explore. Easy to get around on foot, suitable for all the family.
Top Tip: Bring your walking boots and visit after the rains.
Lake Hévíz is located in Hévíz, Hungary, near the western end of Lake Balaton, 8 km from Keszthely. It is the largest thermal lake in the world with biologically active, natural medicinal water which is available for the public to bathe in. Its temperature is affected by the combination of cold and hot spring waters coming from underground. The medicinal water breaks out from the spring cave on the surface at the rate of approximately 410 litres per second and with a temperature of up too 40°C. The water in the lake changes every three and a half days and keeps uniformly clean.
The thermal lake is absolutely magical and a must visit for anybody, you bathe in healing waters amongst ancient flowering water lilies in gorgeous surroundings.
Top Tip: Bring your own slippers
Opening Times: 9am – 6pm
Link to their website with more detailed information on pricing and facilities : https://www.heviz.hu/en/lake-heviz/lake-bath-heviz/lake-bath-opening-hours-prices
Lake ticket (3 hours) – 3200 Forints
Lake ticket (4 hours) – 3900 Forints
Daily ticket – 5500 Forints
Senior ticket (over 60) – 2700 Forints
Child ticket (6-14) – 1800
Architecturally Beautiful Town
Sopron is a significant wine producing region, one of the few in Hungary to make both red and white wine.
The architecture of the old section of town reflects its long history, walls and foundations from the Roman Empire are still common, together with a wealth of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque structures, often artistically decorated, showing centuries of stability and prosperity.
You will find lovely old buildings, narrow cobbled streets and beautiful churches in Town. The old town is well preserved and feels very medieval. It offers a labyrinth of beautifully coloured streets and interesting pretty squares. Medieval historical buildings include The Fire Tower, The Goat Church and lots of ancient ruins. The Trinity statue in the middle of the old town is the crown of this beautiful Baroque town.
Top Tip: Bring your camera.
This post is my first of several, detailing the many recommendations I received from the people of Hungary. So a BIG thank you to them for making this series possible.
If you have any places that you think are worth visiting in Hungary please let me know in the comments. Very much appreciated. 💚