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Straddling the crossroads of Central Europe, Hungary steps up its charm one church at a time — from the Gothic Matthias Church in Budapest to the St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral Basilica in Pecs. Then there are its thermal spas, like the famous cave bath of Miskolctapolca and Mako's architecturally dazzling Hagymatikum Bath, stunning lake towns, and vineyards that produce Hungary’s finest wines. From relaxing in a bath and cycling around Lake Velence to tasting Villany’s excellent wines and hiking in Bukk National Park, you’ll love the unique experiences that this country has to offer to its visitors. Here is our list of the 10 best places to visit in Hungary. Read on to find out more about our trips to Hungary.

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1. Budapest

The Fisherman's Bastion is one of the top places to visit in Hungary.
The Fisherman's Bastion is a neo-Gothic masquerade that looks medieval and offers some of the best views in Budapest.

Stretching for a kilometer over the Danube River, Castle Hill is a gateway to many of Budapest’s finest monuments and museums and a fascinating walk through history. Among the unique places to visit in Budapest is Memento Park, which has dozens of busts and statues of famous historical personalities. The city will soon work its quiet magic on you. See the beautiful Hungarian Parliament, admire works by Renaissance masters like Raphael and Titian in the Museum of Fine Arts, relax in the city’s most popular bath, Szechenyi, and enjoy a night of opera at the elegant Hungarian State Opera House. Check out our trips to Budapest.


  • Take the charming tram ride along the Pest embankment to see monuments like Matthias Church, Buda Castle, and the Liberty Monument.
  • Have a picnic at Margaret Island, which has everything from a big park and medieval ruins to live music and a petting zoo.

Good to know: Climb the terrace of Buda Castle, which was first built in the 13th century, for the best views of the city.

2. Gyor

The Town Hall at Gyor during sunset.
You can walk on beautiful cobbled streets and head to restaurants and cafe's in the city of Gyor while also seeing amazing sites like the Town Hall.

Gyor in northwestern Hungary is situated in the ‘triangle’ between Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna. Walk in the cobbled streets of the old town, home to elegant squares, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops and medieval houses. Take a tour of the Town Hall, an impressive Neo-Gothic building in downtown Gyor. Explore the buildings around the historic Szechenyi Square, such as the Benedictine Church of St. Ignatius, the Iron Stock House and the Column of St. Mary.


  • See the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, the city’s most significant monument and home to relics of Saint Laszlo.
  • Catch a play or musical at the National Theatre of Gyor, one of Hungary’s most popular theaters.

Good to know: If you’re looking to take photographs, Kossuth Bridge offers excellent views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

3. Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Hungary.
The region around Lake Balaton is perfect for viticulture, so you will find some amazing wine during your trip.

Stretching across 80 kilometers, Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, lined with holiday resorts to its south and vineyards to its north. While its shallow waters are not exactly a swimmer’s paradise, there are some popular spots where you can take a dip. See the 100-room Festetics Palace, the neo-Gothic church, and the synagogue at Keszthely, an old town by the lake. Tihany, a town north of Lake Balaton, is best known for the Benedictine Abbey Church with its beautifully carved altars and pulpits. Check out our trips to Lake Balaton.


  • On the lake's northern shores is Szigliget, the site of an imposing castle that rises over 240 meters.
  • Go cycling on the 200 km-long path circling Lake Balaton; if you start at dawn, you can complete the journey by sundown.

Good to know: Siofok on the lake’s southern coast is where the best parties happen.

4. Eger

A view of a Catholic church from the waterfront at dawn in Eger.
Eger is an old tribal city home to many castles and thermal baths.

Eger is full of well-preserved historic buildings, including the Basilica (also called the Saint Michael and Saint John Cathedral), Hungary's second-largest religious structure. Don’t miss the Baroque Archbishop’s Palace Cultural, Tourist and Visitor Centre and its Church Arts exhibition, which gives a glimpse into the lives of church leaders and how they supported fine arts through the ages. The 18th-century Minorite Church of St. Anthony of Padua near the main square is a triumph of the Baroque style.


  • Explore the 13th-century Eger Castle, which contains the foundations of the 12th-century St John’s Cathedral, a dungeon and two museums.
  • Check out the priceless collection of manuscripts at the lovely wooden Lyceum Library.

Good to know: Egri Bikaver, a full-bodied red wine, is the most popular variety of Eger wine.

5. Esztergom

Esztergom Castle perched on top of a hill on a sunny day.
Esztergom, located on the banks of the River Danube, was the old capital of Hungary.
A view of Esztergom during sunset.
The top sights of Esztergom include the Basilica and Maria Valeria Bridge.

Esztergom is a city by the Danube where the first king of Hungary, Stephen I was crowned. Admire the mix of Renaissance and Medieval styles in the architecture of Esztergom Castle and see the archeological finds housed in the Castle Museum. To the right of the Danube are the winding streets and the two-towered church of the delightful Baroque quarter of Vízivaros (Watertown), the kind of place where you’d want to stroll aimlessly.


  • Visit Esztergom’s neoclassical basilica, Hungary’s largest church with a central dome that is 72 meters high.
  • See the medieval religious art collection at the Christian Museum, including Gothic works from the 15th and 16th centuries.

Good to know: From the Turkish roundels of the castle, you can see Slovakia on the other side of the Danube.

6. Debrecen

The main square of Debrecen city on a sunny day.
From national parks to historical museums, a tour of Debrecen is bound to be memorable.

Debrecen, Hungary’s second-largest city after Budapest, is a key cultural center, which is apparent when you visit the Deri Museum, with its Egyptian and Asian artifacts and local finds (the museum’s main attractions, however, are the Christ paintings by Mihaly Munkacsy). Symbolically, the most important building in Debrecen is the Reformed Church, from where the Declaration of Independence was read out on April 14, 1849. Climb the top of the church’s towers for beautiful views of the city. The city’s central Kossuth square is a pleasant space for strolling and people-watching.


  • Visit the Debrecen Reformed College, which has served continuously as an academic institution since 1538 and is regarded as the cradle of Hungarian civilization.
  • See around 200 species, including kangaroos, flamingos, and native wildlife, at the Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park.

Good to know: You can club your trip with a detour to Hortobagy National Park, 49 miles away, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves the delicate balance between humans and the local ecology.

7. Sopron

Colorful buildings with a tower in the background in Sopron.
Sopron gives old-times vibe with remnants of the Roman Empire present in the city.

Explore the old Castle district of Sopron, one of the prettiest places to visit in Hungary. The city’s main square has cobbled streets, renaissance architecture and lovely medieval-era houses. At the center of the square is the Holy Trinity Column commemorating the end of the devastating plague. Look out for the Eggenberg House, Storno-haz and Fabricius-haz. Dating back to the 15th century, the grand Storno-haz (Storno House) is now a museum where you can admire the treasures collected by Ferenc Storno and his family.


  • Climb the 60m-high Firewatch Tower, from where warnings of fire would be delivered in the Middle Ages.
  • See artifacts like a goblet from the first millennium and Roman sarcophagi at the Fabricius House.

Good to know: Sopron has many courtyards and arcades scattered around the old town, but you may need to cut through buildings to access some of them.

8. Aggtelek National Park

View of otherworldly rock formations in Baradle Cave in Aggtelek.
Aggtelek National Park is known for its stalactite caverns.

The Aggtelek National Park is best known for the Baradla Cave, a limestone cave complex stretching over 24 kilometers. A tour of the cave is an incredible journey into a subterranean world with an underground river, otherworldly geological formations and unusual acoustics. Apart from the caves, you can go on one of the many exciting trails in the park and discover the area’s plant and animal life. Sightings may include the gray wolf, red deer, wild boar, eastern imperial eagle, northern goshawk and saker falcon.


  • From the 51 meters high wall above the Baradla cave, you can enjoy excellent views of Aggtelek National Park’s southern side.
  • Josvafo, a popular hiking site in the park, stands out for its natural beauty and charming lake.

Good to know: The temperature inside Baradla Cave is about 10°C, so you may need a sweater or a light jacket.

9. Tokaj

Grapes in the Tokaj region, a UNESCO site.
Tokaj is popular for sweet dessert wines made with botrytized grapes.

Tasting one of the world’s oldest sweet wines and touring Tokaj’s vineyards and wine cellars are the main reasons tourists come to this northeastern Hungarian region. After sipping the legendary Tokaji Aszu you can climb up a rooftop in the center of the town and gaze at the meeting point of the rivers Tisza and Bodrog and the mysterious Slovakian mountains. Also, visit the Wine and World Heritage Museum, which explains the region’s winemaking history and traditions, and the Tokaj Museum, with its folk art collection.


  • Sign up for wine tastings and vineyard tours of winemakers like Disznoko, Royal Tokaji and Tokaj-Oremus.
  • Visit the renovated synagogue, visitors’ center and Jewish cemetery in Mad, a town in the Tokaj region.

Good to know: Tokaji Kaveporkolo Manufaktura es Kavehaz (Tokaj Coffee Roasting Company) is the go-to place for the best coffee in town.

10. Pecs

Church at Pecs with a red sky above.
The city of Pecs is popular for its festivals and cultural events.
A bird's eye view of the city of Pecs at night.
You will find a mix of early Christianity and Turkish rule in Pecs.

Pecs is a small but ancient city that punches above its weight thanks to museums like the Victor Vasarely Museum, which showcases works by the Hungarian-French artist who spearheaded the Op art movement, and the charming Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, ideal for a stroll and exploring its collection of Zsolnay pieces. The city's most important building is Pecs Cathedral, with its four neo-Romanesque towers. First constructed in the 11th century, it was destroyed several times and used as a mosque during Turkish rule. The current look is based on a plan by the architect Friedrich von Schmidt.


  • Look out for Islamic motifs and elements like geometric frescoes and a mihrab in the Inner Town Parish Church, which was converted into a mosque during Ottoman times.
  • See works by artists like Simon Hollosy and Odon Marffy in the Gallery of Modern Hungarian Art.

Good to know: To get a feel of the contemporary city and enjoy its shops, cafes, and restaurants, spend some time at the buzzy Kiraly Street in the heart of Pecs.

So, there you have it — the best things to do and top-rated places to visit in Hungary! Whether it’s tasting world-famous wines, going on a delightful river cruise, digging into the art and history of Hungary, or walking on cobbled streets of quaint little towns, you’ll love this enchanting part of Central Europe. Our travel experts will help you plan a customized trip to Hungary to meet your requirements. For a seasonal overview, check out our guide on the best time to visit Hungary.

Published by Tim Green, updated on January 21, 2024
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