Old World is the way of life in Hungary: small hamlets, rustic churches, soaring castles, and small cafés. The countryside is out of a storybook, and its national heroes are poets and writers. The food, culture, and lifestyle are as much shaped by Western Europe as Eastern Europe. Budapest, the country’s capital, is often called the “Paris of Eastern Europe” because of its broad avenues and graceful architecture. Outside of Budapest, the countryside is beautiful, ranging from the peaceful shores of Lake Balaton to the small yet vibrant city of Pécs west of the Danube.
The country has some of the finest folk traditions in Europe, and artisans produce excellent embroidery, pottery, and carvings. Its musical contributions are just as rich, and range from rhapsodies to operas to Gypsy and folk music. Traditional Hungarian dances are energetic and fun.
If you are looking for a rich cultural experience and you enjoy the water, then Hungary is the place that will suit you best. The ancient Romans had a very developed bath culture in Hungary more than 2000 years ago. They highly valued the healing effects of Hungarian thermal waters. In the 16th century, the Turks built beautiful Turkish Baths which are still in use today. The biggest indoor water theme park in Central Europe is located in the outskirts of Budapest, while the largest spa complex is located in Hajdúszoboszló.