Among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the cities in Hungary offer a unique amalgamation of traditional European culture and modern-day practices. Here, you can take a trip through quaint, rural villages and enjoy a thriving nightlife in Budapest, both within a distance of a few miles. Hungary is home to several World Heritage Sites with a capital city regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world and UNESCO Biosphere reserves and the second largest thermal lake in the world. Hungary also has the largest synagogue in Europe (Great Synagogue) and the third largest church in Europe (Esztergom Basilica). It is an ideal place for a fun and kicked-back vacation. Take a look here in this article about top 12 cities in Hungary.
Hungary City List
Budapest, undoubtedly one of the best cities in Hungary also called the ‘Little Paris’ of Middle Europe, is the largest city in Hungary. Budapest has a diverse range of tourist attractions, from ruin pubs, thermal baths and spas to museums, galleries, churches and synagogues. Budapest has a rich culture and history which makes you want to know more about it. The Danube river divides this magnificent city into sides with buda on the west of the bank and pest to the east. You are more likely to stay on the Pest side of the city as a tourist as this is where most hotels and hostels are. Pest is the eastern flat land, which is where some of the most important structures reside such as the Hungarian Parliament, Heroes’ Square and Andrássy Avenue. The city offers a range of things to do for all kinds of people; from things to do for the history enthusiasts to things to do for the food enthusiasts and party enthusiasts. You might love Budapest for different reasons, but you definitely will love Budapest.
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Eger is located 2 hours away by train from Budapest. There are also buses that go from the central bus station in Budapest as well as from other cities in Hungary. Additionally, there are guided tours that one can join on a day trip. It’s one of the most historical cities in the country, and it has significant importance as it was here where they stopped the Ottoman Empire from invading Hungary and Europe. This is something that the local Egers are very proud of, especially since during the siege, the Hungarians were outnumbered by thousands of Ottomans, but they still prevailed. Wine is something else that Eger is very famous for, and they make some of the best Hungarian wines out there. Egri Bikaver or ‘bulls blood’ is perhaps the most famous variety, although there are plenty to try while visiting. There is a wide range of wine shops where you can go wine tasting, which is one of the best things to do in Eger. The old fortress is a must-visit, but just walking around the city is pleasant as there are lots of beautiful buildings and impressive architecture to admire. The city of Eger also has a great selection of restaurants serving Hungarian food.
Located in the south of this country, Szeged is the third-largest and popular city in Hungary. Its modern university center lies on the banks of the Tisza River, full of charming squares that are some of the most beautiful in Central Europe. In Szeged, you’ll find a lot of spas, but Forras with its wellness center, saunas, open-air swimming pools, and indoor waterpark is the most popular one. That said, this city is packed with beautiful architecture, museums, and shops, so it’s not just a destination for young people looking for fun. The squares are one of the most famous things in Szeged, and one of them stands out from the others. If you ever visit the city, it is a must to see this square rich in statues made of white marble and bronze – the central square called Szechenyi. Another important square is called Aradi, where the famous Bolyai Institute is located. Near the square, you’ll also find the Gate of Heroes and the Music Clock, a symbol of medieval universities.
The historic city of Pecs (population around 140,000) lies in the south-west of Hungary, close to the Croatian border and halfway between Budapest and Zagreb – an ideal place to visit if you are traveling that route, maybe taking a road trip through Hungary.The most important landmark in this ancient city of Hungary is the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs. These underground tombs from the 4th century are part of the cemetery of the ancient Roman town of Sopianae. Other interesting sites in the city include; Zéchenyi Square; surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, the Mosque of Pasha Qasim; right at the top of the square and Bishopric of Pecs; including an impressive cathedral. Alternatively, you can just wander its charming cobbled streets and discover its delights.
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Debrecen takes the title of Hungary’s second city. Located around 2.5 hours from Budapest, it is reached by trains from Nyugati station in Budapest and road links via the M3 motorway. This must see city in Hungary provides an attractive center to appease its visitors and also serves as a gateway to the Hungarian Great Plain. Approaching the city by Piac Utca, the street is lined by several stunning secession age buildings. Kossuth Ter, the broad square at the city’s heart, is overshadowed by the huge neo-classical Great Church. The church is defined by its twin clock towers that can be climbed for exhilarating views. The nearby Deri Museum has as its centerpiece, paintings by Mihály Munkacsy known as the Christ Trilogy, and these are the masterpieces of Hungarian art. Within reach of the city, lies the Great Plain. As a World Heritage Site, it affords visitors a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the cowboys who once roamed here. Much more awaits those who travel to Debrecen. The perfect time to visit the city is around the 20th of August, as on this day, the annual flower festival takes place.
You can easily get to Siofok via a 1.5 train or bus ride from Budapest. Perched right on Lake Balaton, this most beautiful city in Hungary is all about lake life. Here you can enjoy the most amazing views along with tons of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs to choose from. It’s too easy finding good food and drinks here. There are so many options for refreshing drinks containing fresh fruit, so be sure to grab a cocktail. For great food, head to Johnny’s Bistro, and if you’re into salads, get the Denver Salad (be prepared to dream about it every day you have to live without it going forward). Back to the lake – you can engage with so many fun activities like paddleboarding, disco cruises, and the Bebo Waterpark, just to name a few! The cool thing about the lake is that it’s moderately shallow – the average depth of Lake Balaton is only 10 feet (most lakes average around 30 feet)! If you really want to get wild, the city of Zamardi is right next door. Balaton Sound, a five-day EDM (electronic dance music) festival right on Lake Balaton, is held in Zamardi every summer. Expect exciting lineups with big names such as Afrojack and Tiesto
Keszthely is yet another quaint yet vibrant city in Hungary bordering a large body of water. In this case, one of the key things to do in this famous city in Hungary is to take a dip in Lake Balaton, which has many small, shallow beaches where you can relax in peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. After taking a relaxing dip, you can take a stroll around one of the many lavish residences lining the lake, the most iconic one out of all of them being the Festetics Palace, a traditional baroque home with enough ornamentation on its high walls fit for royalty.
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Szentendre is a gorgeous little and beautiful city in Hungary full of colorful buildings, art museums, winding roads, and cozy cafes. Only 40 minutes from Budapest, it is an easy day trip by train or by ferry and a great way to escape the bustle of the big city. There are numerous museums to visit in Szentendre, including a bunch of great art museums, a ceramics museum, a wine museum, and even a museum for Marzipan. The Marzipan Museum is a must-visit, even if you’re not a fan, purely for the quirky experience (and where else are you going to visit a museum dedicated to Marzipan?!). Marzipan was actually born in Szentendre, created by a man named Mátyás Szamos, and visitors to the museum can learn all about how the confection came to be and also see some amazing Marzipan creations. There are also many churches in Szentendre, owing to the variety of the population over the years. A climb to the Roman Catholic church, sitting a little above the town, offers gorgeous views and the building is supposedly the oldest in Szentendre. For foodies, there are many restaurants, cafes and food stalls dotted around the town, particularly around the main square. There are also some along the river if you want a nice view to go with your meal.
Sopron is a well-kept secret and one of the best cities to see in Hungary! So much world history has occurred here, not to mention so much goulash, dumpling-making, and eating. A simple drive from Vienna airport, Sopron lies on the border of Austria and Hungary. Many centuries ago, Sopron was the Roman city of Scarbantia. In the very heart of Sopron adjoining the main square are the remains of Scarbantia’s Forum and its ancient walls. Sopron has endured invading Turks, a devastating fire in 1676, bombing in the Second World War, and occupation by the Red Army. It has been called the most loyal city in Hungary, after voting in 1921 to remain in Hungary rather than be a part of Austria. It is full of Roman ruins and baroque buildings and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful forests in Europe where you can find monasteries and wineries hidden in the surrounding foothills. It was also where the first mass escapes occurred across the Iron Curtain that led to the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall. A beautiful city, full of wonderful food and wine, buildings, overflowing with history and surrounded by natural beauty – Sopron is a memorable ancient town.
Although it’s Hungary’s fourth-largest city, chances are you haven’t heard of Miskolc. This industrial city is a great destination for those who are looking for an alternative European getaway and also want to see some nature and enjoy the countryside. Plus, it’s easily reachable by train from Budapest. Inside this best city to visit in Hungary itself, you can visit the 12th-century Castle of Diosgyor, the unique thermal cave baths, the Pannon Sea Museum dedicated to prehistoric plants and animals, and quite a few beautiful churches. Only a few miles away, you’ll find the enchanting town of Lillafüred. If a combination of a castle-like hotel, a lake, a waterfall, forests, and mountains sounds good to you, you’ll love this place. If you like scenic train rides get to Lillafüred with the Forest Train. If you are into history and the arts, this is your chance to go on a museum crawl. The Otto Herman Museum, Otto Herman Memorial House, Miskolc Gallery, Museum of Theater History and Performing Arts, Metallurgical Museum and the Hungarian Orthodox Museum are all free to enter with the city pass.
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Tapolca is one of the best cities in Hungary to visit outside Budapest, perfect for a day trip from the Hungarian capital or as a stop during a road trip. Located approximately 15 km north of Lake Balaton, it is easy to reach from Budapest in about 3 hours by train or 2 hours by car. With just 15,000 inhabitants, it is very quiet during the winter, and more lively during the sunny months of spring, summer, and autumn. The small city center is all cozied up around the main square Fő Tér and Malom Lake. In the main square, you will certainly recognize the statue of the Little Queen (Kiskirálylány) – the same sculpture is located on the Danube promenade in Budapest! The Malom Lake, surrounded by colorful buildings and a water mill, looks like it popped out of a fairy tale. If you’re a street art lover, look for the stairs ‘Halas Lépcső,’ brightly decorated with fish and nets. The hills around Lake Balaton are famous for the production of Hungarian wine. When having lunch at Hungarian restaurants such as Topart Bistro or Hotel Gabriella, make sure you request some local wine!
From the moment you arrive in Esztergom, the green domes of its famous basilica (the largest one in all central Europe) will be in your line of sight. From the basilica, you can see the Danube river and the surrounding mountains. However, there is more to this city in northern Hungary, which was the capital of the country from the 10th until the 13th century. You can visit the castle, the palace, and Szechenyi Square. If you have enough time, the Watertown district and its Ottoman Empire monuments are also must-sees. You can dine out at Primas Pince, a huge restaurant set in the cellars under the basilica. If you choose to spend the night, book it at the Szent Adalbert Hotel. If you are visiting this important city in Hungary from Budapest, you can take a 90-minute train ride from Nyugati station to Esztergom’s train station, and then catch a local bus to get to the town. Or if you like walking, it’s a 30-minute walk. If you are visiting from Bratislava, Slovakia, you can take a train to Sturovo. From there, you will need to take a taxi to Esztergom.
Hungary City List is letting us know all the best cities in Hungary to visit as it is providing a brief description of the top 10 cities in Hungary to visit and some Hungary major cities. Hope this article would be beneficial for you as it provides the name of cities in Hungary which must not be missed and kindly share your views.
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