Summer in Hungary means visiting the “Hungarian Sea”, Lake Balaton. The biggest sweet water lake of Central-Europe has the water surface of 600 km2 and offers a wide variety of cultural, culinary and leisure adventures for all ages. You can hike the volcanic hills on the northern shore, enjoy wine cellars, visit the zoo of Veszprém and hear your own voice echo back from the walls of the old abbey of Tihany. With ferries going back and forth around the narrow parts of Balaton, you can also discover the southern shores, where you can also hike (e.g. to the “Gömbkilátó” viewpoint in Balatonboglár), enjoy water sports and swimming in the shallow parts of the lake, eat great food, relax or dance until the sun comes up on the promenade of Siófok. For the most adventurous, it is also possible to bike around the lake on the bike lanes with a length of 203 km.
North Hungarian Mountains
If you prefer crispy, fresh air and the shadows of centuries-old trees, your favourite destination might be somewhere in the North Hungarian Mountains. Running alongside the borders of Hungary and Slovakia, the area is the “in the mountains” in Hungary. With incredible natural wonders like the stalactite caves of Aggtelek or Tapolca, the springs of Bükk, the highest point of Hungary (Kékes) and the travertine of Egerszalók called “Salt hill” it is truly an area worth discovering. With historical towns like Eger, Hollókő or Szilvásvárad, it is also a great way to get closer to Hungarian history through castles and traditional cultural events.
Southern parts of the Great Hungarian Plain
The Great Hungarian Plain covers the majority of Hungary, and it holds many secrets of our culture, way of living, our agriculture and history. For a weekend we would advise you to visit the southern parts of it if you are looking for an authentic way of relaxing and immersing in Hungary. You could visit medieval castles and enjoy thermal baths in many of the towns around the area, like Gyula, where you can also find a 100-year-old confectionary or the botanical garden of Szarvas, where you can even see some members of the largest living beings on Earth – mammoth trees, also known as sequoias. Going further south you can visit Szeged, famous for the most hours of sunlight in Hungary and the best fish dishes in the country. Next to thermal bathes, rivers and so much sunlight, the area is also famous for growing spices (like the paprika of Szeged) and vegetables (like the onion of Makó). To immerse in the old ways of living, you can visit the open-air museum of Ópusztaszer, where you can experience authentically, how it was back in the days.
Close to the capital, Budapest, lies a popular weekend getaway destination area – the Danube Bend. Here, with a spectacular view, runs the second-longest river of Europe, the Danube shaping a “U” between the Transdanubian Mountains and the North Hungarian Mountains. The unique landscape and the leisure activities offered by the river attract many people – you can hike up here to one of the most important castles of Hungary, located above Visegrád, or enjoy a stroll down the promenade of Szentendre, an exquisitely preserved historical town. With the cathedral, the “Sharpened Tower” (that was part of the original town wall) and the only Arch of Triumph in Hungary, Vác is also a beautiful town worth visiting, located on the right bank of the river.
The list is far from being complete, as Hungary is full of hidden natural and man-made wonders. The good news is that there are always a few long weekends during the year. We invite you to definitely discover the history of the neighbouring area of your university but also dare to take on adventures – meet with the living history of Hungary.