Hungary has been getting a lot of attention from travelers lately and with good reason. Its location in the center of Central Europe is easy to reach from a variety of places and it offers Western-style luxuries and mostly Eastern-style prices. That won’t last forever though so it would be best to put Hungary on your list before the Western prices catch up as they are in some surrounding countries.
What To Do
Budapest is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world and its location between East and West makes for some fascinating architecture. With almost 2 million residents, Budapest couldn’t be considered a small town, but the old section of town is compact and easy to explore on foot. The Danube River divides the western half known as Buda from the eastern half known as Pest (seriously). In the Buda side the most popular attractions are on Castle Hill and include the Royal Palace and the National Gallery. The downtown is on the Pest side and there you’ll find the old town and its stunning architecture.
Pécs is a 2,000-year-old town established by the Romans. It’s become popular with travelers recently as a very pleasant small and traditional city, but its university insures that culture and nightlife are there too. The city has many churches and mosques scattered throughout and is known for its porcelain production, but the most important sight is an early Christian cemetery that is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Train connections are easy to Budapest so it’s a great stop for Eurail Pass holders and other train lovers. Long distance bus services are also available, but most people will book a flight into Budapest Ferihegy International Airport. It’s now served by several low-cost carriers so that competition means good deals are often available. Plans are to extend the Metro system to the airport, but for now there are buses and shuttles that can take you directly into the city center.
Where To Stay
Nearly every trip to Hungary will include a stay in Budapest and it’s the highlight of the country for many people. There are several hostels in Budapest and many hotels to choose from as well. Prices tend to be reasonable for now, but the better places will fill up well ahead of time in peak season so plan ahead. There are also accommodations in Pécs as well as hostels throughout Hungary.