Leisure activities in Hungary
shutterstock.com
Published last year

Hungary may be a small country, but its abundance of culture, history and natural offerings is bound to impress you. There are no less than 8 UNESCO World Heritage sites spread across the country from cultural and historical landmarks to marvels of nature. And with Hungarys capital city, Budapest, being a vibrant and fascinating metropolis where theres always something going on, your leisure time in Hungary is going to be well spent.

Experience the nature

If you love hiking and exploring beautiful sceneries, Hungary's got you covered. There are ten national parks and nine nature parks all across the country, as well as 22 forest areas and thousands of kilometres of hiking and biking trails. Here you can find the first long-distance hiking tail in Europe, the National Blue Trail in the north, which offers enchanting vistas.

In the western part of the country, you'll find Lake FertÅ, one of Hungary's UNESCO sites. There are several water sports opportunities there, as well as a beautiful bike-path that goes around the lake. Nearby, you'll find the FertÅ-Hanság National Park. Another important watery destination is Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe ' where you can also ice-skate in the winter. And in the East, the Hortobágy region is the largest natural grassland in Europe, where you'll have the opportunity to meet grazing animals, ride horses and spend the night in traditional inns.

Good to know: You don't have to go everywhere by foot, especially if you're accompanied by small children. There are narrow-gauge railways that pass through breathtaking forest routes, that will help you maintain that feeling of being surrounded by nature.

Experience culture

Hungary has played a fascinating role in European history since the Roman times. That fact is evident in the various museums and landmarks all around the country, mostly in the capital city of Budapest. Countless museums and Ancient Roman ruins, exhibition spaces and venues for classical music await you, as well as many cultural festivals throughout the year. There are several museums dedicated to composer Franz Liszt, as well as the prominent Franz Liszt Academy of Music which the composer helped establish. Music lovers should also flock to the Budapest Opera House, which has been touted 'the most beautiful building in the world' by the famous Spanish tenor Placido Domingo. If you love art, in the Buda Castle you'll find the Hungarian National Gallery which hosts the largest collection of art in the country.

Experience everyday life

You may have heard that Hungary has a rich bath and spa tradition, thanks to the combined influence of Roman and Ottoman rule and the fact that the country is uniquely blessed with the world's largest thermal water cave system (and the second largest thermal lake). In fact, beneath the ground in 80% of the country's territory, you can find some form of thermal water with a unique composition and healing properties. Because of that, Hungary is a big destination for health tourism ' and as an expat there, perhaps you'll have the chance to enjoy at least some of its 34 certified health resorts.

Hungarian gastronomy is also on the rise. Budapest has four Michelin starred restaurants and the country has recently been host to several prestigious international gastronomy competitions like the Bocuse d'Or. But apart from fine dining, the traditional, hearty dishes you can find here are definitely worth sampling. Try the 'töltött káposzta' (stuffed cabbage with sour cream) or the iconic chimney cake dessert that's now becoming famous outside Hungary. Also worth mentioning are Hungary's outstanding local wines, with the Tokaji Aszú being perhaps the most famous.

Useful link:

Hello Hungary: Experiences

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.