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Day Trips from Budapest

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The Hungarian capital is one of the most popular city in Europe attracting millions of people every year. With the dreamy River Danube running through the town, you’ll find the hills of Buda on one side and the flat cobblestone streets of Pest on the other. Here are some amazing day trips you can take from Budapest:

Esztergom

Esztergom
Source: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/

Located just across the river from Slovakia, Esztergom is a picturesque town packed with historical sights. It was the capital city of Hungary until the 13th century and is known today for the exquisite Esztergom Basilica – the home of the Hungarian Catholic Church. Perched high above the town and the Danube river, the Esztergom Basilica is a sight to behold. With a dome reaching over 230ft, it’s the largest Basilica in all of Central Europe, and a sight that will stay with you throughout your entire trip.

The ruins of the Hungarian Royal Palace, now part of the Castle Museum, is another noteworthy stop, showcasing Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Ottoman architecture. The palace chapel itself is impressive with frescoes dating back as far as the 1100s. The vintage arena, cathedrals, beautiful square and other charming places of this city will definitely give you a reason to stay.  You may be tempted to spend even longer than a day in Esztergom as there’s so much to do. A great option is to get out and explore some of the surrounding natural beauty, which includes the Duna-Ipoly National Park and the Pilis Mountains. Here, you can hike among chalk cliffs and oak and beech forests.

Distance from Budapest: 50 km

How to get there: You can take a bus or train from Budapest and reach Esztergom in around 1.5 hours. You can also take the more scenic way and travel to Esztergom by boat.

Eger

Eger
Source: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/

Eger is a beautiful small village in the northeastern part of Hungary. This city was founded by Saint Stephen, the first catholic king in the country. He also made sure to build a large cathedral on the castle hill of Eger which should be your first stop here. Relive its incredible history, notably the 1552 defeat of the Turkish army, with a tour around the grounds. Inside, you’ll find a history museum, an ancient dungeon, a cathedral, a labyrinth of underground casements and an art gallery. But best of all is the panoramic view of Eger from the castle walls.

Next, you can make your way into the heart of the city, Dobó Square, sure to impress with its beautiful baroque architecture. Eger is also widely known for its thermal baths, dating back to the Turkish occupation, if a day of relaxation is more your thing.

The only thing that Eger is potentially more famous for than the baths and the hilltop castle is its wine. The region’s winemaking traditions date back almost 1000 years with some cellars over 400 years old. In fact, the town has a fascinating network of underground cellars, most of them carved from solid tufa rock. Spend some time strolling from cellar to cellar in the Valley of Beautiful Women, tasting the celebrated ‘Bull’s Blood’ varietal, which takes its name from a 16th Century legend (the Turkish invaders believed the fortitude of the Hungarian soldiers was due to their mixing of actual bull’s blood with their wine.)

Distance from Budapest: 130 km, less than 2 hours by train or bus

How to get there: There are regular buses and trains which take around 2 hours from Budapest.

Click here to check out five best day trips from Bucharest!

Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton
Source: https://treknova.com/

Lake Balaton is the biggest sweet water lake in Europe. The 77km long lake is a popular holiday destination for both locals and tourists. The lake is situated in a beautiful surroundings with volcanic mountains and vineyards forming the perfect backdrop. Depending on your interests, there’s an itinerary to suit anyone’s fancy. In the summer, the lake is a great sailing destination, and cyclists will want to check out the 93-mile bike trail encircling the coastline.

The Káli Basin is known as the Hungarian Tuscany, thanks to its stunning landscape but even more importantly – its wine production! This is the best part of Lake Balaton to visit if you’re interested in the regions wine producing credentials, where you can visit cellars and of course, try a couple of glasses for yourself. The Balaton Uplands are the best place if you’re an outdoor enthusiast – trails criss-cross the hills and occasionally give way to gorgeous panoramic views. For those looking for a little less action, the many towns around the lake offer plenty to explore. Check out the thermal lake in Heviz, Festetics Palace, the lake caves, the vineyards of Badacsony, or the stunning fortress in Szigliget.

Distance from Budapest: 136 km

How to get there: The scenic train ride from Budapest to Lake Balaton is the perfect way to travel.

Visegrad

Visegrad

Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/

Close to Budapest in a turn of the Danube called the Danube bend lies the  beautiful town  of Visegrad. This city is on the best refreshment gateway. The perfect architectural designs of buildings and castles will give you a feeling of rejuvenating.

Although the town itself is pretty darn small these days, Visegrad was once the capital of Hungary, thanks to the fortress which was built on a very high hill above it. You can spot it as you approach by train, perched right up on the top of a steep, almost sheer hill, with the Danube winding below it. Head to the top of Visegrád Hill for views of the famous Danube Bend. You can also take a cruise to enjoy the views.

Distance from Budapest: 44 km

How to get there: You can catch the train up from Budapest, which takes around an hour and a half, or the bus, but the most scenic way to travel is by boat.

Holloko

holloko
Source: https://www.justapack.com/

Under an hour away from Budapest by car, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Holloko is a small village which is still inhabited while being an open-air museum at the same time. The traditionally preserved village dates back to the 17th and 18th century, and it’s here that you can see how life was before the agricultural revolution of the 20th century! You can also see the ruins of a 13th-century castle and learn about how the locals live off the vineyards, orchards, and woods which surround the village.

There are multiple small museums located in some of the buildings, each of which can be visited for a small fee. It’s also recommended to walk up to the hill above to visit the castle next to the village. It dates to at least the 13th-century, with control alternating between the Hungarians and Ottomans during the period of Ottoman invasions. The charming village is lined with fairytale like houses. Sauntering about the village, walking by the washing ponds and white-washed Paloc houses and sampling some Paloc flavours is an experience in itself.

Distance from Budapest: 97 km

How to get there: A quick 1 hour drive from Budapest will have you in Holloko. You can also take a 2.5-hour bus from Puskás Ferenc Stadion.

Click here to check out five best day trips from Munich!

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