Located in the heart of central Europe, Hungary is a country with a rich and varied past, and vibrant modern culture. Throughout Hungarian history, the country has been inhabited by various peoples, from the Celts and Romans, and later as part of the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From its iconic capital to the beautiful landscapes of its countryside, it’s easy to have an unforgettable holiday experience in this exciting country, especially when gliding along the Danube on one of our .
The country’s long and varied history is evident in its culture and architecture, with plenty on offer for anyone considering holidays to Hungary. Head to Budapest to see the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, known for its stunning architecture, beautiful waterfront and vibrant nightlife. Budapest really is one of Europe’s finest cities, representing the country’s varied past and bright future. You’ll find equally incredible destinations elsewhere in Hungary, including Esztergom, one of the county’s oldest towns, and Kalocsa, a city with fine buildings and palaces, and the centre of the paprika industry.
Hungary is an intriguing mix of old and new, with traditions sitting side-by-side with modern values and a spirit for adventure. Our range of Hungary holidays offer a taste of everything this eclectic country has to offer.
There’s a good reason why Budapest is often referred to as the Pearl of the Danube. The magnificent Hungarian capital is a captivating city, a beautiful river cruise destination and historically significant too – much of it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Divided by the majestic river Danube, the capital of Hungary is made up of two cities: Buda and Pest, which sit on the banks either side of the river. Budapest is known as the ‘City of Spas’, and visitors are drawn to the city’s many thermal baths, including the stunning architecture of Széchenyi. Budapest boasts a wide array of amazing architecture including the Hungarian State Opera House, considered one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, and the Hungarian Parliament building. Keep an eye out for one of the city’s ruin pubs - bars and restaurants that have emerged in derelict spaces to offer a unique experience. Finally, the Chain Bridge was the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest, with this imposing structure linking the .
Many legends surround this historic city, from heroes and villains to marauding invading forces, but it’s also famous as being the centre of the paprika industry, an essential part of Hungarian cuisine. Visit the Paprika Museum to find out more about the fascinating history of ‘red gold’ and its cultural and economic importance. The city is also home to an impressive baroque cathedral and an elegant palace that was once home to archbishops.
This beautiful medieval town nestling on the banks of the Danube is renowned for its historic citadel and the remains of the Early Renaissance royal palace of Matthias Corvinus. The 14th Century palace has been beautifully restored, giving visitors an insight into this incredible period in the country’s history. The castle sits high on a hill overlooking the town and the river, and was once the centre of the royal court, ruling over the medieval kingdom of Hungary. You can also see the remains of a 4th Century Roman camp, once part the frontier of the vast Roman Empire.
Running through much of Central and Eastern Europe, the river Danube spans 10 countries and four capital cities - more than any other river in the world. is a great way to experience Hungary, connecting the capital of Budapest with other major cities in Europe while touring the gorgeous castles encountered along the way. The river connects Hungary’s cities to the country, offering a full taste of this nation’s history and scenery, from Budapest and Szentendre to the beautiful countryside on the famous Danube Bend.
Heralded as one of Queen Elisabeth of Hungary’s favourite places, the Royal Palace of Gödöllő is an important piece of Hungarian architecture. The palace was designed in the Baroque style by András Mayerhoffer and became the designated resident for the Hungarian royal family upon their coronation. Having been carefully renovated and restored over the years, its regal charm is a treat to all who visit the grounds and the ornate halls of the palace.
Held every August in northern Budapest, Sziget festival is one of Europe’s largest music and cultural festivals, attracting over 500,000 visitors annually. Starting off as a way to provide arts programming to students after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the festival now takes over the entirety of the 266-acre Óbuda Island, hosting over 1,000 performances. As well as international artists like Ed Sheeran, the festival also features many smaller venues including circus acts, theatre, and art. Not for the faint-hearted, Sziget festival has become one of the major cultural events in the European calendar.
As with the culture and architecture of the country, Hungarian cuisine is a blend of different flavours and backgrounds. Perhaps the country’s most significant contribution to food is paprika, with the Hungarians bringing the spice to the new world in the 1500s. Hungary is also famous for goulash, a rich stew that varies significantly across regions, while its other national dish, Halászlé, is lesser-known, with this fish soup made from mixed river fish and hot paprika.
The mouth-watering Lángos is a must-try for anyone visiting Hungary, with this deep-fried flat bread served with various toppings. Try it with the Hungarian sour cream called tejföl, which makes just about everything taste delicious. Hungary is also well-known for its sweet treats, including kürtös kalács the beloved ‘Chimney cake’, somlói galuska - a sponge layered with chocolate cream, walnuts and rum - and the Dobos torte, which features thin layers of sponge cake, chocolate buttercream and caramel.
In terms of drink, Hungary has been making wine since the Roman Empire, and has a wide range of excellent red and white wines. For the more adventurous, try Hungary’s signature fruit brandy, Pálinka, made from plums, apricots and cherries.
Just to let you know that we returned yesterday from our California and the Golden West tour having had a fantastic time. A special vote of thanks to our guide, Marcus Philpott. He was extremely helpful and added enormously to the...
Mike and Linda Otley
We travelled on the Oscar Wilde and the whole experience was superb - from start to finish. The crew - and by that we mean everybody - were exceptional and frankly, those crew-members that provided the waiter service could show so...