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With its glorious capital Budapest on the banks of the mighty Danube, and mountains, forests, vast plains and lakes forming its diverse landscapes, Hungary has something for everyone. Dine out, relax in thermal baths, visit World Heritage sites, explore the wilderness and discover one of Europe’s hidden gems.
Budapest attracts visitors all year round, but summer is the best time of year to visit more rural attractions like Lake Balaton or the Tanya Vilag plains. There are events throughout the country and visitors flock to the countryside.
Spring and autumn are less crowded, but the countryside is at its most spectacular as it wakes from its winter slumber in spring and the colours change in autumn, when there are plenty of festivals.
Winters are cold, with temperatures dropping to well below zero in many places. This is the quietest time of the year to visit, with many out of town attractions closed for the season, but still much to marvel at.
There is always demand for flights to the capital but with a little planning and some flexibility in your itinerary it’s possible to find a cheap flight to Hungary at any time of the year.
There are flights to Budapest and many other airports in Hungry from many different UK cities, and using the ‘Nearby airports’ option when searching will unlock fares to and from alternative departure and arrival points depending on which part of the country you want to visit.
The ‘Show flexible dates’ option compares routes on different days of the week and is a good way to unearth a bargain.
You can order search results by price, airline, duration or ticket type and other criteria using the ‘Show options’ drop down and the buttons on the left of the screen.
The modern and well-appointed Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport in the capital is the busiest airport in the country with 13 million passengers a year – but budget carriers offer flights to alternative destinations.
Debrecen Airport in the east of Hungary has grown in recent years thanks to budget airline Wizz, which has opened several routes to the city. The airport has basic facilities but good ground transportation including car hire options.
The only other airport with international flights is Hévíz-Balaton Airport in the west, which has some international flights in the summer.
From Budapest it is easy to get to most places in the country by road or rail. There are also flights to cities in neighbouring countries including Croatia, Austria and Slovakia.
There is a comprehensive bus service around the country, which is often quicker than travelling by rail. Trains head east, west and south from Budapest and offer a romantic way to explore the country.
Towns and cities have good bus services and plenty of taxis, Budapest has an underground system and ferries. There are also ferries on Lake Balaton.
For complete freedom hire a car, the road system is well maintained although the cities can be confusing and other drivers are not especially considerate.
Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe and is a huge draw in the summer months. Visit the pretty villages around the lake, take a boat trip, relax on the beaches and swim in the water or explore the glorious countryside.
Visit historic Eger Castle, which dates back to the days of the Mongol invasion and boasts a camera obscura. The pretty town of Eger is also home to the Hungarian wine Bull’s Blood.
Debrecen, Hungary’s second city in the east of the country, is overshadowed by the delights of Budapest, but has excellent museums and churches. It was once the capital and is the home of Protestantism in the country.
Be sure to visit a spa when you are in Hungary. The country has more than 1,000 thermal springs and Budapest has the biggest spa in Europe, but there are hundreds of others around the country.
Hungary’s wine industry is growing in popularity, you may have heard of Tokaji and Bulls Blood but there plenty of other varieties to try.