Lake Balaton, Hungary

Day Trip from Budapest to Lake Balaton, Hungary
Whether one resides in Budapest or is simply visiting, a trip to beautiful Lake Balaton is a must. Travel time from Budapest to Lake Balatan is only an hour via the M7 motorway, so booking a guided tour is a good option, but those who would like to explore the region unassisted should rent a car. Because Hungary is a landlocked country, Lake Balaton is frequently referred to as the Hungarian Sea. Almost nine miles wide and 48 miles long, it is the largest lake in central Europe.

Lake Balaton at summer, HungaryHistoric Lake Balaton
Settled for centuries, the lake offers many historic sightseeing opportunities, such as the Tihany peninsula, where one can see Tihany Abbey and the tomb of King Andrew I, or the city of Keszthely, where one can take in the beauty of Festetics Palace.

Lake Balaton Wine Regions
Hungary is known for its wine, and the soil around Lake Balaton produces most of it. In fact, one could try to make a day out of exploring the four wine growing regions located around the lake:
Balatonboglár – Chardonnay
Badacsony – Pinot Gris
Csopak – Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon
Balaton Highlands – Sauvignon Blanc
August is a popular month for wine lovers, for that is when vineyards contribute samples for Wine Weeks, which is the harvest celebration that is held at various places around the lake.

Summer Fun
Lake Balaton is very popular in the summer, and the city of Siófok is one of its most famous resort destinations. Located at the southern part of the lake, its sandy beaches and gradual depth increases make this area a favorite for families with small children. Also popular for windsurfing, sailing and fishing, this area hosts the Blue Ribbon Regatta biennially in July.

Dining at Lake Balaton
Because it is plentiful, fish, especially pike perch, is found at almost every restaurant around Lake Balaton, and Hungarian nationals come to the lake to get their fill. However, most restaurants do serve traditional Hungarian dishes like chicken paprikash and goulash.

Lake Balaton in Winter
When temperatures drop, Lake Balaton becomes a popular place for ice skating, sledding and even ice fishing.

Come Back to the Lake
There is much to see and do at Lake Balaton, so a one-day trip will never suffice unless it is repeated many, many times.


Train Stations in Budapest Hungary

If you take a train into Budapest, you will most likely arrive at The Keleti Eastern Railway Station. Considered a destination by itself, the Kaleti railway station was completed in 1884 and was one of the most modern train stations of its time. It is located in a monumental hall, and the elegant façade was renovated in 1990.
Keleti Eastern Railway Station, Budapest Hungary
From Kaleti there are direct train routes to most major cities in central and Eastern Europe. There is also a high-speed train, The Railjet, serving Vienna and Munich.

There are two other main train stations in Budapest. The Deli Southern Railway Station and Nyugati Western Railway Station. The Deli sometimes serves Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia as well as Lake Balaton and the southwest areas of Hungary. The Nyugati Western Railway Station serves domestic trains within Hungary.
Nyugati Railway Station, Budabest Hungary
The stations are all well connected through Budapest’s efficient metro system making travel to and from Budapest apartments and hotels easy. The M2 (red) line runs from the eastern outskirts of the city, stopping at Keleti, crosses under the Danube River, and ends at the Deli Station on the southern outskirts of the city.

The M1 (yellow) line is the first subway system built in Europe. Budapest’s shortest metro line, it runs from downtown to northeast outskirts of the city.

The M3 (blue) line runs from the northern suburbs, through the city, and southward toward the airport.

You can transfer to any line at the Deak ter interchange. If you will be traveling within the city for a day or more, consider buying a Budapest Travel Card. A travel card is economical and provides unlimited access on the entire public transportation network, including the metro, the bus system, the tram, and trolleybus. Tickets are available at newsstands, tobacco shops, and ticket offices.

The bustling Kaleti station is surrounded by plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars. But be careful to avoid tourist traps or you might find yourself getting overcharged. A consistently praised restaurant near the Kaleti Station is Rosenstein, which serves up traditional Hungarian cuisine. For a drink, grab a cocktail at the sleek and trendy Ba Bar.

Coffeehouses are a deep part of Budapest culture. Make sure to soak up some culture while enjoying a cup of coffee. Most coffeehouses also offer a selection of delicious pastries.

The area around the Nyugati Station offers a wide array of restaurants and nightlife, including Tokaji Borozo, a packed underground wine bar. Trofea Grill offers the best all-you—can-eat buffet, which includes alcohol.

No matter where your final destination is, traveling by train to or from apartments in Budapest is efficient and economical.


Szentendre, Hungary

Szentendre, Hungary, is a quaint town named after Saint Andrew. It is renowned for its homes and churches constructed in Balkan design. The Serb refugees established the town. Currently, the town is famous for its artist and their galleries.

Palette of homes in Szentendre, Hungary

Szentendre is easily accessible from Budapest apartments and hotels by railroad, bus, boat and bicycle. The city is not on the railways run by the states so visitors can travel on the HEV Metro Red line, suburban railway of Budapest from Batthyany ter. The HEV leaves frequently, and the trip takes 40 minutes. Buses leave frequently from Upjest-Varoskapu with the trip lasting approximately 30 minutes. Visitors will find bus links with various towns on the Danube. Visegrad is a 45-minute drive, and Esztergom is approximately one hour. During the summer, from May until September, tourists can journey daily by riverboat from Budapest from either the Batthyany or Vigado square. During April and September, boat trips run on Saturday and Sunday. Bicycle rides are 25 km from the center of Budapest. Riders will find little traffic and a variety of topography.

Visitors to Szentendre can spend their time strolling the streets, taking in the homes and art galleries and visiting the historical sites. Some of these attractions include the Blagovestenska Church that has rococo windows and complex icons and the Memorial Cross, dedicated to the town saved from a plague.

Szentendre has a lengthy list of galleries and museums. The Hungarian Open-Air Museum is a large expanse of land displaying old buildings moved in from the country. These include entire villages with buildings with thatched roofs, homes, farm buildings and churches. Many have been restored and have exhibits. Visitors should get the English guidebooks. The Marzipan Museum is a display made entirely out of marzipan. Some exhibits take in Hungarian relics, the Hungarian royal crown and cartoon figures. Other museums in the city are the Kocacs Margit Collection, Kmetty Museum, Ferenczy Museum and Roman Lapidarium Castrum, among many others.

Travelers will enjoy walking on the streets that wind up to the hill that looks out over the town. Visitors can see the roofs of red slate and the blue angel on top of one of the local churches.

The town hosts a variety of shops to visit. Three shops are worthy of a visit. The Belle Epoque or the Family Run Folk Art Shop sells interior home decorations and genuine works of art of local artisans. These include linens and hand woven towels, old crocheted laces and traditional Hungarian folk clothing. The Music shops advertises local music. Szamos Marzipan Edessegbolt sells marzipan.

Travelers wanting to sample local Hungarian fare before returning to thier apartments in Budapest will find three restaurants. Rab Raby, a favorite tourist stop, with the appearance of a Hungarian farmhouse, is famous for its Gulyas soup. Two other local cafes are Uj Muvesz and Langos.


Esztergom, Hungary

While Budapest is probably Hungary’s largest tourist attraction, a visit to the nearby town of Esztergom is definitely a trip worth taking. Located approximately 46 km (or a little under 30 miles) northwest of Budapest, Esztergom was the original capital of Hungary. Not only was it the official capital circa the 10th to mid-13th century, but it also was a seat of the Roman Catholic Church for almost 1000 years in this particular country. Its stunning placement on the bank of the Danube River provides a dazzling atmosphere for travelers.
Esztergom is also home to the largest collection of ecclesiastical art in Hungary, as well as, the largest church in Hungary, the Esztergom Basilica. The Esztergom Basilica is the most prized landmark of the city. Its various buildings house many wonderful sights, such as the largest altarpiece in the world featuring the Ascension of Madonna by Grigoletto. The Basilica offers concerts and conserves many important pieces of the Hungarian Renaissance (such as the Bakócz Chapel). The Basilica does not charge for admission, so this would be a fun and educational, as well as cost-effective, activity.
Basilica, Danube River, Esztergom, HungaryAnother cost-effective tour would be of the Castle Museum, which offers insight to the lifestyles of historic royalty in Hungary. Admission to the Castle Museum is free of cost as well, and just like the Basilica, they also offer musical performances.
If you have difficulty with transportation or walking, no need to fret! Esztergom has a railway that will take you to various sightseeing destinations about the town. A promenade runs alongside the Danube, allowing travelers to walk adjacent to the river comfortably. The Keresztény Museum would also be a worthwhile pit stop. This museum contains many works of the infamous artists of the Renaissance.

Because of the rich historical framework of Esztergom, the architecture throughout the town is quite breathtaking, especially in downtown Esztergom. Szénchenyi Square is home to scores of 18th and 19th century mansions, and the Town Hall once served as the home of a Hungarian military war hero who played a significant role in the Rákóczi War. Don’t forget to stop by the Blibliotheca, a famous library in Hungary that contains a collection of books and prints that happen to be the oldest in the country.
Planning on visiting in the summer? Check out the Esztergom Summer Festival, which runs from the end of July to the last week of August, and showcases a variety of musical genres.

Budapest Hungary

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. This central European country located near Romania, Austria, Serbia, Croatia and Slovakia. Resting on the banks of the Danube, the longest river in Europe, Budapest has a long history that’s been shaped and touched by many civilizations and cultures. Visitors can stare at an assortment of architectural styles, stroll through beautiful parks, take a boat ride along the Danube, shop and explore museums. The city has much to offer those who are interested.

In 2010, Budapest had about 1.7 million residents, a fifth of the entire country’s population. The city has had its sure of turmoil, passing from the hands of the Celts, to the Romans, the Bulgarians and the Ottomans before it became the capital of Austria-Hungary. After World War II and some Soviet attacks, it had to be partially rebuilt. Many religions have left their print on Budapest architecture and history, including Catholicism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Despite all its turmoil and changes, the city continues to prosper.

With its extensive history, Budapest is an architectural jewel. It also has several World Heritage sites, including Heroes Square, the Academy of Music, the Buda Castle Labyrinth and the banks of the Danube. You can take tours by boat or by foot. You can also explore on your own. When you see something that looks interesting, stop by. Other things to see include:

*Széchenyi Chain Bridge: First permanent bridge connecting Buda and Pest
*St. Stephen’s Basilica: Commemorates Hungary’s first Christian King
*State Opera House
*Széchenyi Thermal Bath: One of the largest bathhouses in Europe
*Castle Hill

Any of the things you see as you go that sound interesting warrant a visit. Some others that you may want to stop for include:

*Municipal Circus: Held its first performance in 1891
*Budapest Zoo: Has an elephant house
*Budapest History Museum: Depicts the city’s archaeological finds and the city’s history back to the 13th century
*Dohány utca Grand Synagogue: Europe’s largest synagogue and museum
*Museum of Fine Arts
*Amusement Park: Dates back to the early 1800′s, rides include a wooden roller coaster and a merry go round

Budapest has several places where you can get in some excellent shopping. You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the Central Market Hall. There, you can also find paprika, tablecloths, Russian dolls and other souvenirs. For clothing, visit Fashion Street, located near the heart of the city.

Many people consider Budapest the food capital of the world. For several centuries, even during communist reign, food has been a passion for many of the city’s residents, writers and poets. For some of the best delicacies, consider:

*Csalogány 26
*Belgian Brasserie
*Le Jardin de Paris
*Cafe Kor

With warm summers, cool winters and plenty of interesting things to see and do, a visit to Budapest is worth it.



Hungary is a fascinating and culturally unique country located in Central Europe. The largest city in Hungary is Budapest, which is also the country's capital. Hungary is small in size, but full of interesting things to do, see, and explore. It is also one of Europe's oldest countries, and has a rich historical background.

Western Hungary was a part of the Roman Empire's provinces by 14 B.C. and was also occupied by Asiatic and Germanic people in certain areas. Hungary was eventually invaded by the Magyars in 886, and Christianity was accepted in Hungary some time after. In 1241, nearly half of the Hungarian population was killed off in a sudden invasion by the Mongols. A war with the Turks began to surface in 1389, which caused the Turks to come through the Balkans for more than 100 years. War with the Turks continued until 1699, when a peace treaty was signed.

Parliment Building Danube River Budapest HungaryThe climate in Hungary is Mediterranean and Atlantic in most areas. In many locations in Hungary the summers are hot or very warm, and the winters are frigidly cold, windy, and damp. The months of November, May, and June are the wettest and rainiest months, while April to September are considered the sunniest months. While climate and temperature can vary greatly depending on the area, Hungary is considered one of the sunniest counties in Europe.

Hungary is a culturally diverse country with many different religions and types of people inhabiting the area. Over 50 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, while other religions include Calvinist, Protestant, Lutheran, and other various religions. On the surface, many Hungarians tend to be rather serious, cautious, and reserved. They also tend to be reserved and shy about hugging, kissing, and public displays of affection. Even so, most of the Hungarian population is considered friendly when spoken to.

There are countless things to do and see when visiting Hungary. Exploring the culturally diverse and fascinating land is a must for those who venture to Hungary. The Royal Palace, located in Budapest, is a historical attraction that is one of the most popular Hungarian destinations for sites to see. Fisherman's Bastion is also located in Budapest and is a beautiful medieval castle built in 1905. Hungary is also full of interesting and historically important museums and landmarks, as well as calm parks, lakes, and shopping areas. There is something to do in Hungary for every type of person, whether you prefer to explore history, or you would rather relax at the park and do some shopping and dining.