Must See Sights Around Budapest
If you are one of those lucky people who can spend more than a few nights in Hungary, you’ll realize that this tiny country has a lot more to offer beyond Budapest. The countryside is really diverse in terms of geography and culture. You don’t even have to go far from the city. There are plenty of beautiful places just around Budapest too. So let’s check out some sights around Budapest.
This town is located about 30kms northeast from the outskirts of Budapest. It’s most famous for the Sissi Royal Palace. The palace used to be the favorite summer residence of Elizabeth, the beloved Queen of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The 250-year old building is said to be the second largest Baroque castle in the world. Recently it was beautifully renovated together with its parks and gardens.
The quaint little streets, an almost Mediterranean like chaos of tiled rooftops, colorful houses with a romantic riverbank. Throw in some handicraft shops, busy cobbled main square, historical atmosphere, “lángos”, along with museums, exhibitions, churches and tiny alleyways. That’s what Szentendre is all about. Many refer to it as the “town of art” and it also hosts the so-called “Skanzen”. Skanzen is an open-air ethnographic exhibition with traditional homes, stables, workshops, clothes, mills and different implements. Shows rural architecture and lifestyle of 10 different Hungarian regions. A lovely place for a bike ride.
For the best views of the Danube Bend, don’t miss the Royal Castle and the Citadel in Visegrád. It’s basically a medieval royal residence and fortress. And it also houses a historical exhibition and a panoptikum (wax museum). The lower castle is the Solomon Tower. Here is where you can travel back in time and observe medieval knight tournaments in the performance of the St. George Knight order. Don’t miss the famous Renaissance restaurant at the bottom of the hill! So if you happen to visit Visegrád in July, you’ll also be able to enjoy the International Palace Games.
One of the oldest towns in Hungary lies about 60kms northwest from Budapest, right on the Slovakian border. The largest basilica in the country is here. It’s also the seat of the Hungarian Catholic church. You can also visit the ruins of a 10th century royal palace and tour the Christian Museum. And whilst you’re there, why not cross the Mária Valéria Bridge to say “hello” to our Slovakian neighbors.
The bonus destination of our list is the Etyek wine region. This is the only destination where we do not recommend driving. But please note that Hungary applies zero tolerance towards drunk drivers! Why not visit one of the small, family-owned cellars of this quickly developing wine region. Then sign up for a wine tasting or a cooking course and enjoy the mesmerizing scenery as it starts to lose focus under your drunken eyes!.
All the above recommended destinations are reachable by public transportation as well. Since they are quite close to the capital, you can easily do half or full-day trips to explore these places. So there’s no need to spend the night there. So get ready to enjoy the outstanding Hungarian hospitality!