Hungary in Six Days

Day 1: Visit the Parliament, the largest building in Hungary, which is the center of the Hungarian political life and houses the Hungarian Holy Crown. See St. Stepen’s Basilica where the relics of Hungary’s founding king are kept. Andrássy Avenue and Heroes’ Square with the Millenium Monument commemorating the Hungarian Conquest of 896 AD. Have a walk at the City Park and see its charmig lake and the fairy-tale castle next to it. Up to the Castle District where you’ll be amazed by the Royal Palace, now housing the National Gallery, and enjoy the breathtaking view of the city from Fishermen’s Bastion.

Day 2: Take a tour to the Northern outskirts of Budapest where three small towns, or I should say three gemstones lay. Szentendre is quiet and tranquil with churches and museums everywhere, a truly unique mediterranian-style town, and a good place to buy folk art items. The next is Visegrád, the political center of the medieval Hungary, where the Danube river turns South with a spectacular scenery, hence the name of the area “Danube Bend”. You can visit the Roman era ruins and the ancient Royal Castle and have a lunch at a local restaurant with traditional Hungarian food. The last town is Esztergom, royal seat a thousand years ago, with the biggest church in Hungary and a nice baroque main square. Back to Budapest for dinner.

Day 3: We take a trip just some 30 kms east of Budapest to a lovely small town, Gödöllő, to the summer palace of the much beloved Hungarian Queen Sissy. Visit the horse farm of the famous Lázár Brothers (world champions in cart racing), watch their astonishing equestrian performance and have a lunch in their restaurant. Back to Budapest for dinner and an evening walk.

Day 4: We visit the “hero city” of ancient Eger, where in the 16th century soldiers and civilians, men and women fought together a heroic fight against the invading Ottoman army. Upon arrival we visit the castle and the Islamic Minaret, and after lunch we go to the “Valley of Beautiful Women” to taste the famous local red wine they call Cattle Blood. After dinner return to Budapest.

Day 5: We go to Székesfehérvár (or Fehérvár for short) which is another ancient capital of Hungary, some 37 kings were crowned here. See the ruins of the medieval coronation church and the National Memorial. On to Hévíz, a tiny little town with the world famous thermal lake, the biggest one in Europe. Water temperature is around 30°C all year round and it’s rich in minerals that’s very good to your health. You can swim outdoors even in the coldest winter in tghe lotus covered lake. Stay in a local hotel.

Day 6: Visit the most beautiful baroque building in Hungary, the Festetics castle. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin also visited the estate in 1995 and planted a tree there. On to the largest lake in Central Europe, lake Balaton, to the thousand years old monastery of Tihany penninsula, where waters meet the sky, and enjoy the scenic view and the tranquility of the place.