• Currency – HUF (Forint)
• No Visas required for most visitors, Schengen Area
• Good bus, train and air links
OK – So it might not truly be in South East Europe… but it’s certainly one of the gateways to it. A visit to this part of the European continent invariably contains a visit to Budapest…and Hungary’s good infrastructure and links to the surrounding countries make it an easy and hassle-free place to visit. With one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, and the large but tranquil Lake Balaton. It needs to be firmly in your travel plans.
While no real street food exists in Hungary, it is still easy to find good value meals in budget restaurants. In Budapest there are a number of Turkish cafes – a basic three course meal costing around €5. Fast food joints sell pizza slices and fried foods cheaply too. Markets are in all the main towns and cities, and are a good way to get healthy fresh food supplies at a discount.
There is a wide range of accommodation across the main tourist areas, ranging from budget to luxury.Hotels and guesthouses have good prices, with many starting from €25 for a double/twin room. Hostels are everywhere in Budapest and well supplied in Pecs and Balaton too. The average cost is around €9 in a dormitory, twin rooms are from €13 per person.
The country has a good transport system with buses and trains as the backbone. In Budapest there is an efficient tram service and an underground Metro. A day ticket for use on all forms of transport in the city costs around €5. Trains are often cheaper than buses but can be slower – the train from Budapest to Pecs costs around €8 while Budapest to Balaton is €7.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT
Contantly voted one the the best cities in the world, Budapest has a long list of outstanding buildings, monuments and places to visit. The inspired architecture seems to go on for miles, and both sides to the city have some unique attractions. The spa baths, Margaret island, the parliament building, and ruin pubs are just a few of its many gems
Lake Balaton is Hungary’s main tourist area outside of Budapest. Villages and towns are scattered along the shoreline, each having their own character. Whether it’s lively or tranquil your after, there’s a place to stay. Balaton is part of a wider National Park, so it makes a great base for day excursions too.
A good stop off en route to Croatia – Pecs is a pretty and historic town. Its history is mixed ,and buildings of both Muslim and Christian origin can be found. Pecs has recently been a European capital of culture and you can see why. Museums and the National Theatre have a base here, but it is just as easy to spend time in the numerous cafes and bars that line the streets.
Explore Eger – The northern city makes a great stop off point for a couple of days. It has a Roman Basilica to visit, and the Szepasszony valley is renowned for its quality wines. Aggtelek National Park is a bus journey away, where you can check out the Baradla Caves – a World Heritage site.
Relax in Miskolc – Known for the Lillafured waterfall and the cave baths. Miskolc is a nice place to wind down for a day.
Lake Tisza – If your into Lake bagging, and Balaton has been ticked off, take a journey to Lake Tisza. Quieter than its more famous sister, and popular with Hungarians on vacation, Tisza is rich in wildlife and the pace of life here is slow.
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