Like emotions are to a human heart, Hungary is to the continent of Europe. When you are in Hungary, it’s not just Hungarian air you are breathing, but an influence from various parts of Europe. The Hungarian history, or may I recall the local verbatim and call it the dramatic past of Hungary reflects the Turkish invasion and world war epics. The fairy tale castles, the lavish bridges and all the charming buildings at every turn in Hungary represent the architectural marvel the mankind has reached. A prime example of synthetic beauty-the Hungarian yet cosmopolitan Hungary sits at the crossroads of Europe.
The Divine Danube
From North to South, the magnificent river, Danube cuts the entire land of Hungary into two parts. Travellers find the ever-changing river sceneries to be one of the most relaxing experiences during their trip. Freedom Bridge in Budapest offers one of the best sunset views of the river. Savour every moment.
Paris of the East
Budapest, the capital of Hungary is a paradise for photographers and explorers. Start with Buda Castle, the UNESCO World Heritage Site which will take your breath away with its stunning design. Admire the stunning architecture at Royal Palace, Castle Hill and the Great Synagogue and the Parliament and the list goes on and on. Relax at the famous thermal baths and spas of Budapest or sit somewhere peacefully staring at the beautiful and gracious Danube. At night, kick up your adrenaline at the very famous ruin pub, Szimpla Kert. Dance your guts out.
Turkish Spas and Thermal Baths
Once you have a camera with no more space to spare, it’s time to take a chill pill. Dates back 2000 years- the renowned spa towns of Hungary. Head to the historic spa towns of Hungary and relax in a Turkish heaven. With more than a thousand natural springs, Hungary has the biggest chain of thermal bathing complex of Europe. Chill!
House of Terror
The dreaded office of secret police during the World War II is now famed as the “house of terror”. With the spotlight set at the history of Hungary, there are chilling scenes of reconstructed prison cells and a deadly tank in the central courtyard. Be thrilled!
With picturesque churches and spectacular castles, Eger sits comfortably in the northern Hungary with a beautiful landscape. The wine and spas of Eger are world famous and are listed on every tourist’s itinerary. The small-town face of Hungary is best introduced in this gorgeous city. One can easily fall in love with the vibrant colours and great ambience of this town.
A Culture of Diversity
The shape of Hungarian culture is scribbled by a myriad of events in the country’s rich history. There have been losses whose scars are still seen in Hungarian hearts and traditions and there have been great victories whose celebrations reflect in various festivals. Being proud of being the only ones to have conquered Carpathian Basin- the central European territory on horses, the Hungarians have always had a thing for equestrianism.
In terms of language, nine tenths of the population speak Hungarian. A minute part of the population includes ethnic minority groups like Roma, Germans, Slovenians, Serbs, Poles and Slovaks.
Talk about religion, there’s no dominance. A complete one hundred percent support to religious freedom, that’s the spirit of Hungary. Roman Catholics take up a third of the population while the rest is scattered between Lutherans, Reformed, Greek Catholics, Orthodox Christians and other forms of religion.
The way of life in Hungary is very simple yet intriguing. The people have learnt to find a way around almost everything. Acing the tallies of Olympic medals, Hungarians are “sports-fanatics”. The performance of Hungarians in sports like swimming, kayaking, fencing and gymnastics has been fantastic. You can’t miss the exciting vibe with which everyone in Hungary watches the men’s water polo team. Hungarians are smart too, just look at their count of Nobel laureates.
Tons of festivals are celebrated every year. Christmassy part of the year is similar to the European tradition. Traditional designs are used to decorate Easter eggs. Farsang, the pre-Lenten carnival in Hungary is relished with costume parties. There’s even a festival to celebrate the appetizing food of Hungary-the Mangalica festival. The spring festival in March witnesses a series of folk songs and dance performances. Markets are pouring with traditional art and crafts to showcase the Hungarian culture.
Hunger Chewing Cuisine
With Hungarian cuisine, all you get to say is om nom nom. Goulash, the proud national dish of Hungary is stew, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. While the western restaurants serve stew by this name, its actually soup in Hungary. Don’t get shocked just there yet! The paprika that you love soo much is originally from Hungary and is present in almost every kitchen of this flavourful country. A Hungarian meal serving is incomplete without savanyúság, the Hungarian pickle. Not only that, from the Beignet of France to the pizzas of Italy or the chocolate of Switzerland, Hungary has them all.
It’s about time for drinks. The king of Wines, you can easily find Tokaji at almost every twist and turn of Hungary. Measured by its sweetness or mind the semantics, the number of “puttonyos” in it. Ask for Tokaji Aszú and you’ll have to rethink your favourites. Hungarian Beer is such a heavenly delight, just mind the clinking of them glasses. The loss in 1848-49 Revolution and War of Independence led to Hungarians vowing not to clink their beer mugs for another 150 years. Be a part of their customs and clink wine or spirit glasses instead, that’s not frowned upon at all!
With more than a million visitors every year, Hungary is one of the prime travel destinations in Eastern and central Europe. Although the Hungarian premise remains beautiful and vibrant throughout the year, the winters have a unique glow with the festive season witnessing glittering lights spread all across the streets. There is simply no way that you take a tour to Hungary and aren’t awestruck by it’s dazzling beauty. Hungary is all of Europe in one plate and all you have to do is savour your meal. With such diverse dynamics, every phase, every ounce of Hungary has its own uniqueness to it. So, pack your bags, book your flights and get ready for an un[forgettable] experience in the Hungarian wonderland.