Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe with a population of around ten million people. It has its own language, Hungarian, and has been a member of the European Union since 2004. It’s a country with long, varied and, at times, turbulent history dating back over one thousand years. Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until World War One, after World War Two it became a communist country until the collapse of the USSR in 1989. Nowadays, it’s known as a democratic, vibrant country which attracts around ten million tourists a year.
Amongst the many attractions of present-day Hungary are its numerous museums, particularly in Budapest. It’s also known for its rich architecture right across the country which ranges from Gothic to Art Nouveau. Hungary has a widespread spa culture, a result of the country’s Roman and Turkish heritage. You can find Turkish baths in spa towns all over the country, some of which date back to the sixteenth century. Hungary also has over eleven thousand km of tourist paths and as such is a very popular destination for outdoor pursuits such as cycling and hiking.
A great idea when visiting Hungary is to pick up a rental car in Budapest, which is quite centrally located, and either travel in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction around the country. For instance, you can begin by driving east from Budapest to the second city of Hungary, Debrecen. As well as visiting Debrecen itself, you can also explore the nearby Hortobágy National Park. From there you can travel south-west to the cities of Szeged and Pécs. Depending on how much time you have, you can then either drive to the city of Szombathely on the western border or make your way north to spend more time back in Budapest.