Have you already seen everything in Budapest? Explore the wonderful sights of the old times in Hungary. There are several castles, palaces, museums, breath-taking spots which impress everybody.
Why is it recommended to explore the countryside attractions of Hungary?
The main tourist attractions of the country are mostly concentrated, in Budapest. It is obvious that if you visit Hungary, you head for Budapest, since it really boasts of such attractions which are a sin to skip, however, it is for sure that if you really want to get to know Hungary, you must visit the countryside.
You won’t regret that, believe me!
Hardly known, unprecedented sights in Budapest which are not included in any guide books.
Intactness and tidiness characterize the small towns of the countryside, and each of them is pervaded by a unique atmosphere. Rural mansions, palaces, and castles are abundant in the evergreen nature amid the well-cared fields.
The hospitality of the Hungarian people, the gastronomical specialties typical of certain regions, the Hungarian customs which may be strange to foreigners: these are the features that can be experienced much more in the countryside.
It is only the icing on the cake that foreigners may have more communication difficulties in the countryside because fewer people speak foreign languages. All these make rural Hungary more unique and interesting. Compared to Budapest, the countryside provides visitors with an incomparable impression that is completely amazing to them.
Rural tourism is booming
There is no doubt about the fact that human society is getting more and more alienated from nature. As a result of this, however, we not only destroy our surroundings but also harm ourselves.
According to some psychologists, the above-mentioned phenomenon can be blamed for most of the emotional and physical problems because this process leads to depression, increased stress level, and anxiety.
This may be the reason why rural tourism is becoming more and more popular in Hungary. This form of holiday provides a great opportunity to relax and recharge your batteries. This way, the people traveling to Hungary can explore a less-known side of the country which is only rarely mentioned in guide books and magazines.
What are the best places to visit in Hungary?
Rural tourism, which has a kind of rehabilitation effect, provides an opportunity for us to „taste” the hospitality of the rural people, get to know the life and culture of the given region, rebuild our connection with nature and get back to our roots for a short while.
Great opportunities to relax
Hungary is rich in both historical and natural values, wherever you go, you meet a small piece of the past which is sometimes terrible, but it may also commemorate great times.
Several castles recall the Turkish or the Tatar times, but, besides the 1000-year-old past, we can go back even more millions of years in time, for example, when it comes to the „tanúhegyek” (Witness Mountains) at Lake Balaton.
By the way, if we are speaking about Balaton, we must mention that the biggest lake in Central-Europe can be found in Hungary, just like another lake, called Lake Tisza, which has become famous for its fabulous wildlife.
Castles and abbeys bring up the memories of the old times, while the wine regions make the excursionists cheerful. All in all, Hungary provides unique values and great opportunities for everybody to relax.
So, let’s see the long-awaited list of the best rural attractions. I ranked the attractions, however, it reflects only a subjective opinion of mine.
Table of Contents
(1-40) The best rural attractions in Hungary
Castle Hotel of Lillafüred and Lake Hámori
Szentendre-Skanzen and the Danube-bank
Hortobágy and the Kilenclyukú híd (The 9-hole-Bridge)
Nagycenk – Széchenyi Palace and Mausoleum
The Witness Mountains of Balaton Uplands
The Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma
The early Christian tombs in Pécs
The cave bath of Miskolctapolca
Öreg-tó (Old Lake) – the Castle of Tata
Hegyestű (Sharp Needle Mountain) of Monoszló
Károlyi Castle – Fehérvárcsurgó
Kis-Balaton (Little Balaton) and the Lookout of Kányavár
The Castle of Sümeg and the Castle Games
(41-75) Further exciting sights in the countryside
The Episcopal Cathedral of Győr
The Kinizsi Castle of Nagyvázsony
Hungaroring – Hungarian Grand Prix
The forest railway of Szilvásvárad
The Anna Cave and Saint Stephen Cave in Lillafüred
The Waterfalls of Ilona Valley
The Castle of Somoskő and the basalt organs
Vác Kálvária Hill (Calvary Hill)
The Brunszvik Castle of Martonvásár
The tarn of the Megyer Mountain
The Nádasdy Castle – Nádasdladány
The Andrássy Castle – Tiszadob
The Animal Park of Nyíregyháza
The De la Motte Castle – Noszvaj
The Teleki-Dégenfeld-Castle, Szirák
Gemenc and Gyulaj – the realm of red deers and fallow deers
The city wildlife park of Miskolc
The Flower Carnival of Debrecen
(76-100) Less known sights in Hungary
Írottkő (Captioned Stone Mountain)
The chairlift and small railway of Lillafüred
The healing stones of Bükkszentkereszt
The Castle and Castle Bath of Gyula
Kápolnapuszta – Buffalo Reserve
The Wildlife Park of Budakeszi
The Water Reservoir of Lázbérc
The Rákóczi Castle of Sárospatak
The Julianus Lookout Tower of Nagymaros
The best rural attractions in Hungary
One of the most beautiful areas in Hungary is the Danube-bend, which is the part of the river that can be found between Esztergom and Budapest. This is the place where the flow of the water changes direction, from western-eastern to northern-southern.
The area, which is about 60 km long and is surrounded by mountains, offers a wide variety of natural treasures and historical sights to visitors coming here.
Rám-szakadék (A precipice called „Rám”) is one of the most popular excursion targets of the Pilis and Visegrádi Mountains belonging to the Duna-Ipoly National Park, which is worth visiting only if one is in a great, physically fit condition, since getting up to the top is possible only on steep slopes supported by chains.
Visegrád and Esztergom, which emerge from between the mountains, are two of the most beautiful historical cities of the country. The former has achieved this title by having an amazing royal castle to visit, while the latter can boast about the biggest basilica of the country and so many other attractions to see. The settlements hiding in the mountains are also worth visiting, among others, Szentendre.
2. Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton, otherwise known as the Hungarian Sea, is known by everyone, as it is not only the biggest lake in Hungary but also the biggest lake in Central-Europe. The „water pool” taking up an area of 59.800 hectares is the most important holiday resort in Hungary, where more and more people come from abroad as well.
It is about 77 km long and 1,3-14 km wide. The quality of the water is excellent, in the middle, it is so clear that we can even drink from it. About 179 settlements, which welcome people wishing to have a good holiday, can be found around the lake.
Besides swimming, one can make great excursions as well at the Balaton Felvidék (Balaton Uplands), which is rich in natural and historical treasures.
The Blue Ribbon International Sailing Race, the race going around the lake, is organized on the lake every year, furthermore, the Cross-lake swimming competition between Révfülöp and Balatonboglár, as well as the Cross-rowing competition on the strip Fonyód-Badacsony-Fonyód also take place on this lake.
Not many people are aware of the fact, but during the communist Kádár regime, it arose that the whole lake would be filled, buried, and planted with corn. However, this “great idea” couldn’t be fulfilled even in Hungary.
The highest point of the country can be found in Mátra, it is called Kékes-tető with its height of 1014 meters. On the top of the mountain is the Kékestető TV tower which is a lookout tower as well.
The building, which is 180 meters high, is undoubtedly the top of the country. The lookout itself is 45 meters high, and it provides a great view of the surroundings. What is more, if we are lucky and the weather is clear, we can see even to the line of Tatra.
Besides being suitable for winter sports, the place welcomes excursionists as well, since several amazing excursion tracks are available in the neighborhood. With a bit of luck, we can even come across the ruins of a castle, too. At the top, we can find a playground, a restaurant, even a ski rental, so those arriving without equipment can also ski.
4. The Castle of Boldogkő
On the western side of the Zemplén Mountain, the castle of Boldogkő has been emerging, on a bare and quite steep rock, for more than 700 years. It was built at the instance of the Tomaj clan in order to defend the valley of Hernád, sometime after the Tatar invasion which killed half of the country.
During the centuries, the castle had got several owners, it was in the possession of György Rákóczi, the Péchy and Zichy families, and certainly, whenever the castle got another possessor, it was not without fights. Currently, the castle is a popular excursion target where more permanent exhibitions welcome the visitors within the walls.
Among others, you can find here the tin-soldier exhibition consisting of 1000 figures. This is the biggest exhibition of this kind in Central-Europe, and it brings to life such famous battles as the Muhi Battle of 1241.
However, more of smaller exhibitions can also be seen here, like local history-, mineral-, badge- and flag exhibitions, just to mention a few, and certainly, it is worth watching the prison of the castle and the torture chamber as well, if we come here.
5. The Citadel in Visegrád
One of the most famous and most visited castles of Hungary can also boast of a long past history. At the place of today’s castle, there used to be another castle already at the time of ancient Rome, however, it was completely destroyed during the Tartar invasion.
Visegrád – A popular city on the Danube Bend for thousands of years
After that, King Béla IV got a castle built here and it was later extended and strengthened by Károly Róbert and Sigismund of Luxembourg. It started to degrade during the Turkish rule because it was under siege several times, and it was almost completely destroyed in 1685.
The Citadel in Visegrád: The most interesting sight of the Danube Bend
Currently, several exhibitions can be visited within the walls, among others, a weapon exhibition and a medieval panoptic, which revive a royal gathering and feast. Since a really exceptional panorama can be enjoyed from its top over the Danube-bend, it is one more reason to visit this place.
6. Lake Tisza
Maybe, this is the lake of ours, which is the richest in birds and wildlife, and for sure it provides a lifelong memory if we boat on it. Just to mention a few rare species of the amazing birds living here, we can find the great egret, the gray heron, the dwarf heron, the cormorant, and the beautiful kingfisher.
The lake, which was artificially made here, is the second biggest contiguous water surface of the country and is perfect as an excursion, sport and swimming target as well.
You can find here a Bird Reserve, an Ecocentre, the biggest sweet water aquarium of Europe and a sunken village, too. A bike-lane goes around the lake, so great bike tours can also be organized here.
The lake has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as the showcase of the Hortobágy National Park since 1999. It is interesting, however, that filling the lake was completed only in 1990.
7. The Basilica of Esztergom
Based on its size and dimensions, the Basilica of Esztergom is the biggest religious building in Hungary. It is 100 meters high from the crypt to the globe of the dome, and by having this size it can possess the title of „the highest building of the country” as well.
On the place of the current basilica, several churches were standing from the State Foundation, the Saint Adalbert Cathedral was already mentioned in 1010 in historical records.
The today’s basilica, which was interestingly built in ancient Eqyptian style, was finished in 1856, however, not without difficulties, because the imperials tried to prevent the construction several times, not wanting that the biggest church of the Habsburg Empire would be built in Hungary.
They took it so seriously that they even simply killed the leader of the construction, János Packh. For the inauguration of the church, which took place in 1856, Ferenc Liszt himself composed a piece of music, with the title of „Esztergomi mise” (Mass of Esztergom).
Among its treasures, we can find the biggest picture being the only one painted on canvas, Mária mennybevitele (The Assumption of the Virgin Mary) by Grigoletti. Here lies Cardinal József Mindszenty, for whose spiritual salvation Pope John Paul II also prayed.
8. The Royal Palace of Gödöllő (Grassalkovich Castle)
One of the most beautiful Baroque-style castles of Hungary, which is the second biggest Baroque style castle in the world, was built at the instance of Antal Grassalkovich in the 1730s, based on the designs of András Mayerhoffer.
During the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, it was the beloved holiday resort of Sisi, the favorite queen of the Hungarian people, however, earlier, Mária Terézia had also loved spending time here.
Besides the beautiful building, we can admire the amazing English park as well which surrounds the castle, and it is worth watching both in winter and summer.
The castle served as the summer residence of the governor, Miklós Horthy, between the two world wars, but after the world war, it was converted into a Soviet barack and the condition of the building started to deteriorate. Fortunately, the building has got back its former grandeur again by today.
9. Fertőd – Esterházy Palace
The predecessor of the today’s Baroque-style palace was built at the instance of József Esterházy in 1720, with the purpose of having a hunting castle, after that, it was completely rebuilt and converted by Miklós Esterházy in 1763, this way it got its beautiful current form.
In the construction work, three great architects of the period took part: Miklós Jacoby, Johann Ferdinand Mödlhammer and Menyhért Hefele. The castle, which has 126 rooms, got rich Rococo decorations and equipment.
The central part of the building is the banquet-or music hall, where Joseph Haydn, the world-wide famous musician also held concerts, and the room with special acoustics still provides an opportunity to organize significant concerts.
The castle is free to visit, so everybody can admire the frescos, Flemish, French tapestries and Venetian wall arms. A French garden of 300 hectares surrounds the castle which was modeled by the creators on the park of Versailles Castle.
10. Castle Hotel of Lillafüred and Lake Hámori
It is one of my favorite places! Lillafüred is listed as one of the most beautiful settlements of Hungary, and the Castle Hotel built next to Lake Hámori couldn’t have a nicer setting.
It was Earl András Bethlen who decided at the end of the 1890s to make a holiday resort at this beautiful place, and he named it after his niece, Erzsébet Vay, whose nickname was Lilla.
We can find here the highest waterfall in Hungary, too, which was also made at the construction of the Castle Hotel. It was also here that one of the biggest Hungarian poets, Attila József was sitting here on the glittering cliff while writing „Óda”, which is maybe the most beautiful love poem of the Hungarian poetry.
The hotel itself was built based on the designs of Kálmán Lux openly in a style, which revives the past. Its most important rooms are the Renaissance Room, the Anjou Room, the Beatrix Room, the Room of Louis the Great and the Hunyadi Room. Outside, wonderful hanging gardens enhance the atmosphere and beauty of the building.
11. Tihany Abbey
The Tihany Abbey is the history itself. It was established in 1055 by King András I to the honor of Saint Ányos and the Virgin Mary, and its deed of foundation is the oldest surviving Hungarian record and memory, as more Hungarian words can be found in the Latin text.
The abbey luckily survived the Tatar invasion, but during the Turkish rule, the abbots living here were evicted and the building was converted into a fortress which became an important link in the Fortress system around Lake Balaton.
Unfortunately, the closter was destroyed in the fire of 1683, but its reconstruction was started in 1719. Currently, 10 monks live in the monastery, who carry out pastoral service, maintain the local school and deal with hospitality as well as organize cultural programs.
12. Szentendre-Skanzen and the Danube-bank
Szentendre, which can be found on the Danube-bank, is perhaps the most peculiar settlement of the country, due to the fact that the South Slavic peoples escaped here from the Turkish, and they established the unique style of the town.
The Skanzen, or as it is officially called, the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum of Szentendre, presents the folk architecture of 10 domestic regions in such a detailed way that to see it can be a whole day program. Its undeniable value is that the folk culture of the Hungarian nation can be acquainted at one place.
You can find here in the exhibition several cemeteries, churches, residential houses with craftsmen in them, but also original chandlery, gingerbread-makers, bakeries and so many others.
13. Hortobágy and the Kilenclyukú híd (The 9-hole-Bridge)
Hortobágy, as landscape, is one of the symbols of the Hungarian nation. The great heather has already inspired several poets, and it is still a popular tourist attraction.
If you come here, you will be part of a kind of time-travel as well, since not many places exist nowadays where shepherds still herd their gray cattle, racka sheep, mangalica and where the horsemen still sleep under the open air with their horses.
Maybe the most known attraction of the landscape is a Kilenclyukú híd (The 9-hole-Bridge) which overarches the River Hortobágy. A wooden bridge was standing here already in the Middle Ages, but it was not until 1827 that the construction of a permanent stone bridge was decided.
It has been the longest bridge of this kind of Hungary since then. According to a folk legend, it has 9 holes because when Sándor Rózsa, the legendary outlaw escaped from the pandals, his 9 lovers were standing in the river and he jumped on their backs to reach the other side of the river. In fact, the emblematic creation is the work of the architect, Ferenc Povolny.
14. The Wine Region of Tokaj
The wine of Tokaj is world-wide known and is drunk with pleasure by wine-lovers. The wine of Tokaj was first mentioned in 1251, in the deed of foundation of the Turóczi prepostery, and with the date of 1731, it is regarded as the first closed wine region of the world.
Currently, grape growing takes place in an area of 6200 hectares, and the exceptional taste is due to the unique climate surrounded by the mountains as well as due to the volcanic soil which is rich in minerals.
The quality ranking of the wines of Tokaj are the followings: the ordinary table wine is followed by the main wine which was named „Szamorodni”, and it is followed by „Aszú”, finally the „Eszencia”.
The beautiful scenery is a great excursion place in itself, but in the villages, atmospheric wine cellars and wineries found here welcome visitors all year round. We can participate in organized wine tours as well.
15. Nagycenk – Széchenyi Palace and Mausoleum
The Széchenyi family is, even if not the most famous, but one of the most famous noble families, therefore, the Palace of Nagycenk is one of the most important historical pilgrimage places.
The building, which was originally built in Baroque style had been rebuilt several times until finally, it got its final state during the time of the „most famous Hungarian”, Earl István Széchenyi.
Unfortunately, this building was also destroyed by the world war and the communist regime, but it was completely renovated between 1969 and 1973, and it got back its former grandeur, just like the surrounding park.
The Széchenyi István Memorial Museum can also be seen in the castle. Near the castle, we can find the Mausoleum of the Széchenyi family, where more thousand people go on pilgrimage every year to pay their respect to the memory of the most famous Hungarian.
Hollókő, which can be found in Nógrád county, is the only village in Hungary which is on the list of the World Heritage Sites, therefore, it is world-wide known.
The honorable title was given to the village due to the fact that it has been able to preserve the 17-18th century rural features in its original style up to now, including its unique folk culture as well.
It is important to highlight that the village did not become a museum, the local people live here the same way as they did 200 years ago.
The settlement itself wasn’t born in the 17th century but in the 13th one, and its biggest attraction is the Hollókő Castle next to the village which was built at the instance of the Kacsics clan, and it was already mentioned in records in 1310.
17. Tanúhegyek of Balatonfelvidék (the Witness Mountains of Balaton Uplands)
The most beautiful natural values of the Balaton Uplands are the so-called „tanúhegyek” (Witness Mountains) which were given this name because they are witnesses to the pre-historic times.
Several million years ago, the mountains didn’t create a chain but stood alone out of the Pannon-sea. 20 million years ago, when the majority of the area of the country was covered by salty water, a significant volcanic activity took place here, due to which the shapes and forms of today were created.
Dry at the Lake Balaton: Tours at the Balaton Uplands
The so-called basalt lava armor is so strong that it resisted any erosion, whether it was ice, water or wind, so the formations are witnesses to the height of the original surface. The most important Witness Mountains are the Szent György Mountain, Csobánc, Gulács, Tóti Mountain and Haláp.
18. The Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma
The Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma has also earned the merit of becoming part of the World Heritage Sites. It was yet Prince Géza, who settled monks here, more exactly, on the Saint Mountain of Pannonia before the state foundation in 996.
Later on, the Monastery of Saint Marton of Tours was also built here, and this was the place that the founder of our state, St. Stephen the First, also visited many times.
The monks living here survived the Tatar invasion, but not the Turkish conquest. They had to escape from the building of that time because it was mostly destroyed and the reconstruction happened only in the 1700s, mainly in Baroque style.
The abbey has a library of more hundred volumes which is regarded significant even in European terms, and such priceless values are preserved here as the deed of foundation of the Abbey of Tihany from 1055.
The arboretum and herb garden found next to the thousand-year-old abbey also offers several curiosities to the visitors, just like the wine cellars of the vicinity.
19. The early Christian tombs in Pécs
The early Christian tombs in Pécs are one of the most exciting archeological findings of Hungary. The archeological treasure, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, originates from the 4th century, and it helps us to get acquainted with the early Christian funeral customs of the Roman Empire.
All over the world, there is only one thing, the necropolis excavated in Italy that precedes the size and richness of the cemetery memorial. For those who like history, it must be a remarkable experience to see the early Christian symbols on the walls of the crypts.
The graves preserve such curiosities as the Christ-monograms or many biblical scenes. Walking through the exhibition, it turns out how people imagined Adam and Eve, or when prophet Daniel goes into the cave of the lions, in the 4th century.
20. Balatonfüred Promenade Tagore
Promenade Tagore is one of the most imposing parts of the shore of Lake Balaton, especially when it comes to promenades. However, what is even more exciting than its beauty, is the origin of the trees emerging here.
The first one was planted by Rabindranath Tagore, the Noble Prize winner Indian poet, in 1926, to commemorate his healing in the sanatorium and being able to go home healthily. Thanks to the Indian government, his bust can still be seen here next to the tree planted by him.
What is worth watching in Balatonfüred
The first famous tree, however, was followed by several other ones, since such Noble Prize winner celebrities planted their trees along the promenade as Salvatore Quasimodo, poet, Jenő Wigner, physician, György Marx physician, Miklós Kürti physician, György Oláh, chemist, Ede Teller, nuclear physician, or even Bertalan Farkas, our famous astronaut also have a tree here.
All in all, it is by all means worth walking along the promenade and spending some time under the shadows of the trees.
21. Lake Velence
Lake Velence is the third biggest lake in Hungary, and as it is near the capital city, it is extremely popular with visitors during the summer season.
The water surface of 26 km² is quite shallow, its average depth is 1,5 meters, due to this it is listed among the warmest water lakes of Europe. As its water is rich in both sodium and magnesium, swimming in it has a beneficial effect on our health, it can cure rheumatic pains very efficiently.
The settlements around the lake, like Agárd, Dinnyés, Pákozd, etc, are also great excursion targets, where several exciting attractions await tourists, and the villages lack neither great restaurants nor inns.
According to experts, the lake has reached half of its natural life cycle, and it will be buried within a few thousand years, so, until that time you should visit it.
22. The Castle of Eger
The history of the castle goes back to the age of the Árpád House, the first episcopate was established here, but it was destroyed during the Tatar invasion.
Following this, in the second part of the 13th century, the reconstruction of the castle was undertaken, and it served as a knight castle for a long time, later becoming the „protective shield of Europe”.
Blooded, burgundy stars: the legendary town of Eger
The legendary Turkish siege of 1552 also took place here, when István Dobó, the captain of the fortress, led a 2000-people defense army against the Turkish one which consisted of 30 times more people, and they managed to defend the castle, this way blocking the Turkish from going on to Europe.
The cruel siege which lasted for a month was made known worldwide by the novel of Géza Gárdonyi, titled „Egri csillagok” (The stars of Eger).
Currently, you can visit the building in the Dobó István Castle Museum, too, where you can see an archeological, folklore and literary-history collection.
In the wax museum (panopticon), we can meet the players and participants of Egri Csillagok, too, however, the dungeons and the castle prison can also make a great impression on the visitors.
23. The lavender field of Tihany
The lavender field of Tihany which can be found on the Tihany Península is the first industrial lavender plantation in Hungary, established by Gyula Bittera, herb expert, in the 1920s.
Earlier, the plant had been found with us only in closter gardens. The planting, which happened based on the French model, was very successful and soon the growing started on an area of 100 hectares, and due to its high oil essence content, it was recognized worldwide.
Afterward, during the communist regime, as everything else in the country, it was also destroyed, eradicated and grapes were planted in its former place. In the area, replanting started in 1986, at the initiative of Zsigmond Zátonyi and Szilárd Zátonyi.
By now the production has returned to its former grandeur and has become known in the whole country, due to the Lavender Pick-it-Yourself and the Lavender Festival.
24. The cave bath of Miskolctapolca
The cave bath of Miskolctapolca is regarded as a curiosity not only in Hungary but also in the whole of Europe, mainly due to the unique natural setting, which can be boldly said to be beautiful and breath-taking, on the other hand, due to the water found here.
There is no other thermal bath in Europe that has such a high temperature in the karst, what is more, its salt content doesn’t reach even 1000 milligrams/liter, so you can stay in that for an unlimited period of time.
The first written record of the bath originates from 1743 when only the monks of the abbey of this place healed their worn joints in the water.
Its rapid development started in the 20th century, and today a bath said to be modern in every respect awaits guests. In the cave, we can find 2 thermal pools, the Roman Room, The Star Room, the Old Cave Pool, and the Bath Hall. Outside the cave, six more adventure pools welcome the visitors.
25. Öreg-tó (Old Lake) – the Castle of Tata
The Öreg-tó (Old Lake) of Tata got its name with a good reason, it is useful to know that this is the oldest artificially created lake in Hungary, which was made before the Conquest by swelling the Által-stream.
Around the lake, great excursions can be made on foot and by bike as well, and if we get hungry, we can find plenty of restaurants. On the lakeshore, we can see the Castle of Tata emerging, which is the biggest attraction of the town.
The castle, which is also mentioned as water fortress, was built at the instance of King Sigismund of Luxembourg sometime between 1397 and 1409. Unlike the most Hungarian fortresses, it did not serve defense purposes, it was rather a hunting and resting castle.
Unfortunately, in the 19th century, a fire spread through the town, and the fortress also fell victim to that, it was the time that the castle, which was once of Renaissance style, was rebuilt in the Romantic style.
Currently, the fortress can be seen as a museum, in the rooms the 18th and 19th centuries revive, but there is a knight room of Sigismund age and a Roman Room in the building, which is decorated by reconstructed wall pictures and Roman debris.
26. Festetics Palace – Keszthely
The Festetics Palace in Keszthely is the third biggest and most visited castle of Hungary. The family of Earl Festetics, who settled here from Croatia, got it built in the middle of the 1700s in Baroque style, and today it is a museum and an exhibition room.
In the palace, 20 rooms display how the nobles and aristocrats lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the biggest attractions is the Helikon Library, which was completed by 1801, consisting of a 90.000 piece-collection and knowledge of 5 centuries, in the form of codes, preprints, scholarly works, and literary works.
Sights of Keszthely and its surroundings – where you will be shot by the sight
In the so-called Mirror Room, concerts of national significance are held even until today, which is also worth visiting. The English Park of 42 hectares surrounds the castle, with its oldest tree being 400 years old.
27. Hegyestű (Sharp Needle Mountain) of Monoszló
Hegyestű (Sharp Needle), which can be found between Monoszló and Zánka, in the Káli Basin, provides a unique sight in Hungary, but the natural formation is regarded as a curiosity even in the whole Europe.
Due to the raw material extraction, which took place earlier in the 1930s, the inside of the 338 meter-high mountain became visible, and it proved to have been a volcano crater once, while the fossilized lava created vertical basalt formations here.
The blistering shapes on the rock wall prove that once a simmering volcano used to work here. Besides its geological curiosity, the excellent panorama from the top of the mountain over the lake Balaton can also be enjoyed.
28. Károlyi Castle – Fehérvárcsurgó
The Károlyi Castle in Fehérvárcsurgó was earlier in the possession of the famous Perényi family, and the Baroque style building of 20 rooms was bought by Károlyi from them and converted into its today’s form, which is a unique U-shape.
The construction work was carried out under the supervision of the famous architect, Miklós Ybl, to whom we can be grateful for several wonderful buildings.
During the Second World War, it served as a barack, later, after the war, just like everything else in the country, it was also nationalized, and the condition of the castle deteriorated.
The complete reconstruction was finished only by 2011, and currently, it is operating as a hotel, however, the history of the castle is presented by a permanent exhibition to the public, furthermore, temporary exhibitions can also be visited.
29. Szalajka Valley
The Szalajka Valley, which can be found next to Szilvásvárad, is one of the most popular excursion targets in Hungary for a good reason.
Besides the beautiful scenery found here, it has a fantastic infrastructure and is easily accessible. For example, you can come here with a pram, because the excursion route is completely free of barriers and accessible.
It is worth traveling by the small railway to the terminus, to the Fátyol Waterfalls plunging down on tufa stairs, and after admiring that, we can make a tour backward.
In the meantime, it is useful to visit the pre-historic man’s cave of Istállós-kő, the Erdei Múzeum (Forest Museum), the Felső-tó (Upper Lake) and the great Gloriette clearing, where we can comfortably make a picnic.
During the whole day-excursion, we shouldn’t miss tasting the fried trout either since this species of fish is native here in the waters, certainly not in its fried form.
30. The Wine Region of Badacsony
On the Wine Region of Badacsony, which can be found on the Balaton Uplands, grapes were grown already in the Roman times due to its sub-mediterranean climate and the great quality volcanic soil.
In the Middle Ages, the Church put its hands on it and priests were working with grape growing, while in the 18th and 19th centuries the ürmös of Badacsony (Wormwood of Badacsony) was as famous as the Aszú of Tokaj.
Currently, its most known wine is Olaszrizling (Italian Riesling) the acid of which is mild and its taste is bitter, reminding of almond, but Szürkebarát (Grey Monk) of French origin is also popular.
Besides these above-mentioned ones, you can find here Cserszegi fűszeres (Cserszeg Spicy), Furmint, Hárslevelű, Irsai Olivér and several other types of grapes as well as the wines produced from them. Certainly, several atmospheric wine houses and wine cellars welcome the wine-lovers all year around.
31. Rám Szakadék (Rám Precipice)
Those who love challenges must visit the Danube bend and find the Rám Szakadék (Rám Precipice) which is romantic, rocky, spotted with narrow gorges.
As it is listed among the most popular tour targets, even weekend congestion can occur due to the narrow place, so, if you can, you had better visit this during the weekdays. Rám Szakadék (Rám Precipice) is listed among the most difficult hiking trails of Hungary, where bars, handrails and artificially built stair-like hollows facilitate crossing the steep rocks.
Overcoming the level difference of more hundred meters is made easier for the ones touring here by the ladders placed here. The area was renovated and made safer in 2013, but even so, it is important to pay attention and be cautious while you are embarking on the tour.
32. The Castle of Szigliget
The Castle of Szigliget, which is also mentioned as the castle of Balaton, is a really popular excursion target due to the beautiful setting and the exhibitions found here.
Its earliest elements were built by the Benedictines of Pannonhalma between 1260 and 1262, which drew the attention of King Béla the Fourth and obtained it for himself in order to continue its construction. Over the years, it had got several owners, and its most famous captain was Bálint Magyar.
Szigliget Castle – The most beautiful castle in the Balaton Uplands
Due to its advantageous location, the most important military routes avoided it, therefore, it could happen to escape both the Tatar invasion and Turkish times.
It is the twist of the fate that despite all these facts, it did not remain unspoiled, as at the end of the 17th century, a lighting struck it, which had originally hit a powder barrel, and following the explosion, almost the whole building burnt down.
What remained safe was made to explode by the Habsburg emperor in 1702. Currently, more exhibitions can be seen in the fortress, such as the Baroque kitchen, the Weapon exhibition, the Fortress Chapel or the Fortress Gallery, furthermore, exciting Medieval Games can also be found here.
33. The National Park of Aggtelek
The National Park of Aggtelek, which was established in 1985, is the first protected area in the country which got under protection with the explicit purpose of preserving its unique geological values, and along with that, several species of plants and animals living here.
The national park takes up an area of 20.170 hectares of land, divided into two main entities: the Aggtelek Karst and the Gömör-Tornai Karst, where caves and other karst formations, which are worldwide unique were created mainly from limestone.
In the area, we can find 1200 caves out of which 273 are in Hungarian territory. Its variety is also exceptional, there are active stream, vertical and cavern shafts.
Just to mention two of them, you can visit here the 25-km-long active stream cave which is the longest one of the temperate zone, as well as the Ice cave of Szilice, which is at a height of 503 meters and is the lowest-lying ice-cave of the world.
The caves of the Aggtelek Karst and the Slovak Karst were declared as part of the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 1995.
34. Kis-Balaton (Little Balaton) and the Lookout of Kányavár
Its name was given because the area belongs to Lake Balaton until the end of the 19th century, however, it was separated from that, thanks to the infrastructure built at that time.
The Kis-Balaton (Little Balaton), which is under special protection, is famous mainly for its exceptionally rich bird-animal- and plant species. On the 1403-hectare land lives the nature conservation coat of arms, the great egret, furthermore, the red heron as well as the ferruginous, and we could still continue listing the protected birds.
The loach or European mudminnow, which can be found in a large number in the water here, can almost be found nowhere else. The Kányavári Island is the only area at Kis-Balaton (Little Balaton) which can be visited all year round without a guide.
The study route consisting of 15 stops can be walked along within about an hour, and it is for sure that you will see some rare bird species if you come here.
35. The Castle of Sümeg and the Castle Games
The construction of the quite safely remained medieval castle was started in the 1260s at the order of King Béla the Fourth, then, in the hands of its different owners, it was further extended all the time.
During the Turkish Times, its significance grew a lot, as the episcopate in the vicinity escaped here. After the death of King Mátyás, the castle got into the hands of Habsburg Miksa, the German-Roman emperor, however, not for a long time, because Pál Kinizsi, the general of legendary strength reoccupied it from him.
After the Rákóczi War of Independence, it was set ablaze in 1713 and it was not reconstructed until the 1960s. At the bottom of the castle, the first domestic Historical Adventure Park was established which presents the life and military strategy of the medieval fortresses truthfully and in an exciting way.
By today, the Historical Equestrian Games of Sümeg taking place here have become famous all over Europe, providing unprecedented joy and entertainment for every generation.
The Bory Castle is not really a fortress in the literal meaning of the word since it does not serve defense or military purposes, it is rather an exceptional artistic work.
Jenő Bory (1879-1959), sculptor and architect built it himself almost alone in the course of 40 summers, commemorating the marriage love and his love of art. In the building complex, he created several ateliers, where besides his own and his wife’s masterpieces, the works of other famous artists can also be seen.
The arches feature our historic grandstands, made of concrete, and the back chapel features a statue of love. By today, the Bory Fortress has become known all over Europe, and it is mentioned as the Taj Mahal of Székesfehérvár.
37. The salt hills of Egerszalók
The thermal water coming up in Egerszalók is a unique attraction in the whole of Europe, just like the salt hills created by the hydro carbonated water which is rich in calcium and magnesium.
The water which has a temperature of about 65-68 degrees Celsius and comes up from a depth of 410 meters has formed an amazing limestone deposit on an area of 1200 m2 which can be admired by anyone, as there is a constructed walking path to the salt hill.
Although due to the high temperature, it cannot be completely accessed, you can admire from a distance of a few hundred meters the exceptional attraction which has the colors of a rainbow in the evening hours. You can see similar phenomena only in Turkey and in the USA, in the Yosemite National Park.
At the bottom of the hill slope, a modern bath was made with 17 outside and inside pools. Medicinal water seating pools, jacuzzis and adventure pools await guests, who can also participate in unforgettable, icy, beer and honey sauna seances as well.
38. Lake Hévíz
Lake Hévíz is the biggest medicinal effect warm-water lake in Europe, which is a protected nature area at the same time. A similar natural thermal water lake can be found in New-Zealand, but its water is of such high temperature that bathing is impossible, so we can say that Lake Hévíz is uncoupled in the whole world.
According to archeological findings, it was already visited 2000 years ago, so it is easily imaginable that it is the oldest medicinal bath as well.
The lake is fed by a source of sulfur, radium, and minerals content, which has such a huge amount of water that the lake water of 4.4 hectares is completely changed every 72 hours.
The erupting water is suitable for treating all the rheumatic- and locomotor diseases. In the modern bath building constructed on the lake, guests can use several medical services.
39. Mayflies on the Tisza
Tiszavirág (which would be translated into English as Tisza-flower) is not a plant as its name would suggest, but the biggest European mayfly which lives only for a day.
It spends this day mating and laying new eggs, quite passionately, which provides a unique phenomenon at some parts of the River Tisza.
During the main swarming after the pre-swarming, which is a certain day of the year between 6 and 9 p.m., millions of mayflies fly over the water, which is an unprecedented phenomenon in the world of insects.
Mayflies were present in several rivers of Europe in the 1800s, but in the next century they died out, and today this unique, mass phenomenon can be watched only once a year at the River Tisza.
40. Ópusztaszer-National Historical Memorial Park
The open-air folklore museum, or as it is called, Skanzen, was established in Ópusztaszer in 1982, where besides many other things you can see the monumental painting of Árpád Feszty, titled „The Entering of the Hungarians”.
The round panorama picture, which is 120 meters long, 15 meters high and 38 meters in diagonal, revives the Conquest of the 9th century.
The origin of Hungarians from the Hungarian conquest to Christianity
The masterpiece was being prepared for 2 years from 1892, and more people contributed, among others László Mednyánszky, who helped with the sceneries, and Pál Vágó, who prepared the horse battle scenes.
Besides the Feszty Panorama Picture, more interactive exhibitions can also be seen in the memorial park, but the Nomad-Park and the Csete-Yurts also provide an unforgettable experience. Beyond the permanent exhibitions, exciting temporary exhibitions also welcome visitors.
Further exciting sights in the countryside
41. The Episcopal Cathedral of Győr
Where the river Rába and the Danube meet at Káptalandomb, we can see the Nagyboldogasszony-Cathedral (Assumption Cathedral) of Győr emerging.
Its history goes back to the State Foundation. The Episcopate of Győr was once established by our State Founder, St. Stephen, sometime between 1000 and 1010.
However, the written sources of the church from the end of the 11th century already mention a three-nave temple with a raised sanctuary, so we can conclude the fact that its construction was making quick progress.
Unfortunately, this building did not survive the destructive force of the history either: it was destroyed during the Tatar invasion as well, and during the Turkish times both of its towers collapsed, while its interior was used as a stable.
It got its Baroque style of today during its renovation between 1639 and 1645, which was done based on the designs of the Italian architect, Giovanni Battista Rava. The cathedral was granted the rank of small basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
42. Lake Fertő
Lake Fertő, which is part of the World Heritage Sites, is the third biggest still water in Central Europe. Its name means a swampy, clayey, muddy place.
Although it is not completely true, this is a fact that the biggest part of it is covered by reeds, and this is the reason for its rich wildlife. Several species of animals live here, such as the sedge warbler, the bluethroat (luscinia svecica), the Savi’s Warbler (locustella luscinioides) and purple heron, too.
The lake offers study pathways as well to the hikers coming here, which can be visited with a guide. Better beaches can be found on the Austrian side, but there are popular swimming parts on the Hungarian side, too.
However, the main reason why a lot of people visit this place is the bike road surrounding the lake, which is of great quality and offers excellent entertainment to lovers of the sport both in winter and summer since they can ride all along beautiful scenery.
43. The Castle of Füzér
In the most Eastern part of the Zemplén Mountain, in beautiful natural surroundings, on the top of a volcanic peak emerges the Castle of Füzér proudly, which is regarded as one of the 7 wonders of Hungary.
According to some historians, the castle was already there at the time of the Conquest as well, however, it seems to be more likely to have been built sometime in the 13th century. Its name was first mentioned in 1264, and it is also certainly known that this was the place where the Hungarian Crown was placed to be safe after the Battle of Mohács.
Due to its exceptional location, it was nearly impossible to invade, still, at the end of the 1600s, the building was made uninhabitable by the destruction of the imperial forces.
Its full renovation finished in 2016, so currently, it is a great excursion target for everyone. The castle had several owners in the course of its 1000-year-long history, and there is an exciting interactive exhibition here about this for those who visit the place.
44. Máriapócs – Könnyező Szűzanya (Weeping Virgin Mary)
Every year, thousands of pilgrims go to Máriapócs in order to see the Shrine of Weeping Virgin Mary. According to its history, the judge of Pócs, László Csigri, got it made to express his gratitude to God for setting him free from Turkish captivity in 1676. That time, the picture was inaugurated and placed in the wooden church.
On 4th November 1696, while a holy liturgy was being held, Mihály Eöry, a ploughman of Pócs noticed that Virgin Mary’s tears were falling. It lasted until 8th December, and, according to the records, on the last day, it was so cold that the wine and water got frozen in the chalice, but the tears of the Virgin Mary were still falling.
A few days later, an inspection was ordered in the case and people belonging to 300 different denominations testified the tears flow. The second miracle happened on 1st August 1715, which also lasted for more days and more witnesses testified the tears flow again.
It was after all these happenings that Pócs was declared to be a Place of Worship of the Virgin Mary, and this was the time when the village took the name of Mária (Mary). The third tears flow of the picture started on 3rd December 1905, and it lasted for two weeks.
45. The Kinizsi Castle of Nagyvázsony
The Kinizsi Castle, or as it is also known, the Castle of Nagyvázsony was built at the instance of László Vezsenyi in the first half of the 15th century. However, unfortunately, the noble family died out and the castle remained empty, therefore, it was donated by King Mátyás Hunyadi to its general, Pál Kinizsi, who became legendary later.
Thanks to his heroic acts, Kinizsi is still one of the most known Hungarian figures, but the castle, got into the possession of the Zichy family in the 16th century.
During the time of the Rákóczi War of Independence, there were several battles taking place here, and later the building was used as a prison. In the chapel of the castle, we can still see the tomb of Pál Kinizsi, who was famous for defeating the Turks.
Another curiosity to be found here is the abundant spring running in the moat, which provides water to the reservoir to be found in the inside court. Furthermore, the medieval prison, a guard room, a knight’s room, and even a privy can be seen here.
46. Hungaroring – Hungarian Grand Prix
It is an attraction in rural Hungary, both worth seeing and trying out. Of course, only if you like motor sports and are not afraid of several-hundred horsepower cars. It doesn’t take too long to get there either, as Mogyoród is less than 30 kilometres from Budapest.
There’s no need to worry about a police officer stopping you. With a trained instructor, you can see what you and the special sports cars are capable of. Only physical forces and your courage can put a limit to this experience.
Hungaroring has been hosting the Formula 1 World Championship and other technical sports since 1986. The highly technical, winding, 4381 meter circuit with scarcely any straight parts is not a favourite among most drivers.
Want to see how professional Formula 1 drivers speeding on the circuit? Come and see the race organized between 31st July and 2nd August 2020.
47. The forest railway of Szilvásvárad
The forest railway of Szilvásvárad possesses more „the most”, or in other words, „superlative” titles since, in Hungary, this railway line is the shortest, the steepest and the busiest.
And what is the reason for the last „superlative”? The reason is the wonderful surrounding, which is provided by the Szalajka Valley where the railway runs.
The small railway overcomes the level difference of 100 meters, sometimes it is only an arm-length from the streams trickling here or the sharp rock walls.
The railway is 4,5 km long and its track runs from the equestrian track to the Fátyolvízesés (Veil Waterfalls) from where beautiful excursions can be made in the surroundings.
48. The Jurisics Castle
The town of Kőszeg with its medieval atmosphere and narrow streets is a great excursion target in itself as well, and its main ornament is the Jurisics Castle which may well be the oldest castle in the country.
It was first mentioned well before the Conquest, The Chronicle of Einhard wrote about it with the name of Castellum Guntionis in 802. What we know about it from the early times is that at the end of the 13th century, it was owned by the Héder clan, and it was occupied and taken from them by King Róbert Károly in 1327.
It was named after the captain of the fortress, Miklós Jurisics, who was the one fighting the biggest battle taking place here against the Turks. He was able to protect the castle with his army of 1000 people for 25 days against the Turkish army consisting of several thousands people.
The last owner of the castle was the Esterházy family. In the renovated castle currently, permanent exhibitions can be visited, and with the help of interactive devices, it presents the history of the castle from the very beginning to the end of the Esterházy period.
In the room of weapons, we can see military devices and outfits, while in the golden room we can get acquainted with the most valuable objects of art related to Kőszeg.
49. The Arboretum of Zirc
The Arboretum of Zirc, which is at a height of 400 meters, is the highest-lying living tree collection of our country, which was started to be established by the Cistercian monks settling down here at around 1780.
More of the first trees planted here can still be seen today. At the entrance there is a fishpond, which has an even older history, it is said to have been made in 1720 for the fasting monks.
In the park, we can find lilies of the magnolia species, nearly 30 kinds of maples, but the birch-, linden-, and ash wood collection are also rich, just to mention a few of the special plants to be seen here.
The park which is similar in its style to an English park is divided into two parts by the Cuha stream, which is arched by two medieval stone bridges of Baroque style.
50. The busójárás (Buso Festival) of Mohács
Those who see the Busójárás (Buso Festival) of Mohács will take part in an unforgettable experience for sure. The festivities celebrating the end of the winter season and welcoming the spring are part of several traditions, however, in Mohács it is strongly connected to the expulsion of the Turks.
The village people, who got fed up with the Turkish suppression and escaped to the swamp of Mohács Island, put on frightening masks and costumes one night and by making noise with the help of different tools they tried to frighten away the invading enemy in order to make them leave.
Whether the legend is true or not, we don’t know, however, it is a fact that today’s Busó people are not only funny but really scary as well. At the last weekend of Farsang (the Carnival Period), the streets of the town are flooded by the figures wearing carved masks, typical moccasin, boots, inside-out short fur coat and white linen trousers stuffed with straw.
However, this time, you can easily run into frightening witches as well, during the Carnival Period we can experience here a perfect medieval carnival atmosphere. The programs are made unforgettable by excellent Hungarian dishes and drinks.
51. The Anna Cave and Saint Stephen Cave in Lillafüred
The Saint Stephen Cave is one of the 5 medieval caves found in Hungary. Its honorable title was granted in 1988, and that was the time when a separate part was formed here for the people suffering from respiratory diseases, as the air of the cave is really clear, completely pollen-free and of nearly 100% humidity.
The cave, which can be found in Lillafüred, impresses everybody with its unparalleled beauty, besides the special stalactite and stalagmite formations, it is ornamented by spectacular solution forms as well (e.g. Mamut-fogsor (Mammoth Dentures in English), Anyóstorok (Mother Throat in English).
If you go there, you must visit the Anna Cave next to the Waterfalls of Lillafüred, among others, for the very reason that all over the world, there are only six similar natural formations altogether.
Its curiosity is that it wasn’t created in marine limestone but in travertine precipitated by the spring water of Szinva, 150.000-200.000 years ago. Besides the plant fossils to be seen here, we can encounter small and big rhinolophidaes as well.
Somogyvár, which is located between Kaposvár and Fonyód, provided accommodation first, at the dawn of our history, to Chief Koppány, who besieged the town of Veszprém from here in 997.
Later, in 1091, King St. Ladislaus got a monastery built here in order to settle down the Benedictine monks invited from France. Maybe this is the reason why Somogyvár was the intellectual and administrative center of this part of the country for 500 years.
Our first, completely Hungarian written record of our language, the Halotti beszéd (Funeral Oration) was worded here. The convent lived here until the end of the 16th century, but after the Battle of Mohács, the building was converted into a fortress.
Unfortunately, the Turkish forces invaded and occupied it in 1543, and the castle started to degrade. The ruin castle, which is called St. Ladislaus National Memorial Site, can be visited today, it is worth seeing.
53. The Castle of Diósgyőr
Anonymus, the anonymous chronicler, mentioned it first, and he wrote that even before the Conquest, there had been a kind of fortress made of soil here, which was probably destroyed during the Tatar invasion.
After that, it was donated by King Béla IV to one of his advocates, Ban Ernye, who started to build a stone castle in Gothic style. Its heyday was during the rule of Louis the Great.
According to the chronicles of that time, the knight room established here was the biggest in the whole of Europe. Later, the castle became the engagement gift of the Hungarian queens until the Turkish times when in 1544 the magnificent structure was looted and burnt down.
In the castle today, several permanent historical exhibitions can be seen, but in the vicinity of the castle, the Equestrian Tournament Field also offers excellent programs all year round.
54. The Waterfalls of Ilona Valley
The wonderful waterfalls found in the Mátra Mountain is the highest natural waterfalls of Hungary. The 10-meter high waterfalls can be approached on a forest path bordered by a beautiful row of chestnut trees, which can be anyway a great excursion target during the whole year, if for no other reason but the Ilona stream trickling here.
The steep part in front of the waterfalls is more difficult to be approached, therefore, it is highly recommended to wear hiking shoes for the excursion.
55. The Castle of Szigetvár
According to archeological findings, the construction of the castle was initiated by a landowner called Oszvald around 1420, and it continuously grew in size. Its core part could be a high old tower bordered by strong stone walls, and after losing the Battle of Mohács, it was strengthened even more.
It looked to be a successful effort for a while because with his handful army, Márk Horváth managed to make the Turkish army of 10.000 soldiers flee from here in 1556.
Miklós Zrínyi became the captain of the castle in 1561 and fought here one of the most heroic battles of the Hungarian history in 1566. He managed to keep the castle safe for 34 days with only 2500 people against Sultan Suleiman and his more than 10.000 people who were heading for Vienna.
After the Turks set fire to the castle, he burst out of the flaming castle with his remaining 200 soldiers and instead of succumbing they died as heroes in the battle. Suleiman did not survive to invade the fortress either.
The legendary battle was sung by the grandchild of Zrínyi, Miklós Zrínyi in one of the most beautiful Hungarian epics, called „Szigeti veszedelem” (in English: The loss of Szigetvár)
56. The Zoo of Veszprém
Only 15 kilometers far from Lake Balaton, we can find the Zoo of Veszprém, which was built in only 5 months with the help of huge social cooperation, on an old waste deposit site.
It opened its gates to the public on 1st August 1958 and since then, it is still one of the most visited rural zoos of the country. The zoo can be found in a picturesque surrounding in the Fejes Valley and on the Gulya Hill opposite that, and it provides a home for several unique animals ranging from domestic species to exotic animals.
Just to mention a few, we can find here king python, alligator tortoise, lion, Asian elephant, papal penguin and nandu. To everyone’s pleasure, there are 50 life-size dinosaur statues as well to be seen here.
57. The Castle of Somoskő and the basalt organs
At the Slovakian-Hungarian border, on a volcanic mountain peak is the Castle of Somoskő proudly emerging, which could be admired by the locals only from afar for a long time due to the Peace Agreement of Trianon.
As for its history, we know that it was built at the instance of the Kacsics clan in the second part of the 13th century, then, it got into the hands of the Csáks, and King Róbert Károly took it back from them in 1320.
The hard times affected the Castle of Somoskő during the Turks, because in 1544 the army of Ali Bey, Turkish governor, invaded the whole surrounding area, but couldn’t struggle with the castle located at a height of 500 meters. So it remained safe for 20 more years.
The real destruction came in 1682 when the horsemen attacking and looting people here set fire to the building. Its renovation was started only in the 1970s.
With a short walk from the castle, another attraction can be approached, which is the basalt organs of Somoskő, which are the beautiful organ-like witnesses of the volcanic activity once taking place here.
58. Vác Kálvária Hill (Calvary Hill)
The fortress-like building standing at the top of the hill was built in 1726, giving a home to the Szent Sír Chapel (Saint Grave Chapel).
Departing from here, going upstairs, the 14 stations symbolizing the sufferings of Christ can be seen. On the upper balcony, which is the final station, we can see the Calvary group, including Mary, St. John and Mária Magdolna kneeling at the bottom of the cross.
In the middle, we can see the life-size crucified Jesus with the two rogues. What is interesting is that the names of the authors did not remain known, but it rather magnifies than diminishes their art. From the top of the hill, a beautiful panorama opens up to the town and the curving Danube.
59. The Lake of Rudabánya
The lake of Rudabánya is, although not the biggest, but undoubtedly the deepest lake of Hungary. However, the place is made unique not only by the depth of 60 meters but also by the blue-green water surface and the brown, yellow and red rock walls surrounding it.
The lake was created around 1985 when the iron ore mine operating here ceased to function, and nature lured back the area in a unique way.
Many people are not happy about it, but swimming in the lake is forbidden due to the rocks hiding under the water, and because it is cold and becomes deep suddenly.
60. The Brunszvik Castle of Martonvásár
Approaching the Brunszvik Castle, which was built in the English-Neo-Gothic style, so far many people have felt that they are approaching one of the count residences of England. Count Antal Brunszvik was the one who got it built between 1873 and 1785, and this is the biggest castle of Hungary.
However, about 100 years later, in 1898, it got into the possession of a brewery owner, Antal Dreher, along with the beautiful land as well where even a bigger pond can be found with an island and huge, shady trees and open-air stage as well.
The English park, which is 70 acres, is undoubtedly included in the most beautiful parks in the country. It is made even more impressive by special trees and a trickling stream. In the castle, several permanent exhibitions can be seen, among others, the most interesting is the Beethoven Memorial Museum, as the composer was often here in the castle as a guest, because he had a soft spot in his heart for one of the Brunszvik sisters, Jozefin.
61. The Nádasdy Castle of Sárvár
The construction of the Nádasdy Castle found in Sárvár was started at the end of the 13th century, but it got its Renaissance style of today during the time of Tamás Nádasdy, between 1549 and 1562.
It was one of the lucky castles which managed to survive the stormy centuries of history in a more or less intact condition.
Because of the Wesselényi-conspiracy, the castle was seized from the family in 1670, and later it got into the possession of the Habsburg family and the Wittelsbach Bavarian royal family. Currently, a castle museum functions in the building, where permanent and temporary exhibitions can be seen.
Its most known attraction is the ornamental room where the ceiling is decorated with seven big-size, swirling baroque battle scenes. Besides this, visitors can see a glass- and furniture exhibition, a printing exhibition, a hussar (cavalrymen) exhibition, and a map collection as well.
Szigetköz occupies an area of 375 km2. It is 52,5 km long and 7km wide. With these dimensions, it is far the biggest island in Hungary.
Its fauna is really special since 80% of the fish species living in our country can be found here, but it has unique birds and flora as well, it is enough to take, for example, the black storks nesting here.
The wetlands and swamps, which are also regarded as rarities, can mainly be accessed by boat or canoe. Those who love rowing tours can have a lifetime experience here, and they may as well encounter even an otter, as this rare animal species still appears in quite a big number in this romantic aquatic area. The biggest settlements of the region are Győr and Mosonmagyaróvár.
63. The tarn of the Megyer Mountain
The Tarn (a small, sweet-water lake formed in the mountains) can be found near Sárospatak and it is a unique sight. Its formation is due to an abandoned millstone-mine, where the extraction work was going on from the 15th century until 1907.
The lake coming into existence here was made artificially by removing the water that accumulated in the mine, its average depth is about 6,5 meters. The 70—meter high Megyer Mountain emerges around the lake, offering exceptional sight for the visitors coming here.
Besides this natural phenomenon, another curiosity offering unparalleled sight is the bányaőr cave (mine guard cave), the former blacksmith workroom carved into the rock, and the millstones once mined here. The area and its surroundings were declared a nature reserve area in 1977.
64. The Nádasdy Castle – Nádasdladány
The romantic castle which was built in a so-called Tudor-style was built at the instance of the Nádasdy family in the 19th century.
The architectural curiosity was built by using the biggest technical achievements of that time because it was supplied with water and electricity, and as a result of that, it was certainly one of the buildings of this kind in the country, while its rooms were equipped with a speak-tube network which can be called the predecessor of the telephone.
The castle is a museum today, and besides its huge and beautiful library, the most interesting thing to see is the Hall of Ancestors, where the full-size portraits of the most famous family members are displayed. Around the park, there is a 20-hectare English park.
65. Lake Bokodi
Lake Bokodi, which can be found at the foot of Vértes, is a real curiosity, which makes mainly the anglers coming here happy. However, the place became famous under the name of the „swimming village” is visited with pleasure by hikers as well, which doesn’t make the anglers very happy.
The lake was made artificially in 1961, when at the establishment of the thermal power plant of Oroszlány the swelling of the Által Stream flowing here happened.
The original purpose of the lake was to cool the power plant, but it turned out that the temperature of the water is ideal for the fish all year round, so the area soon became a paradise for anglers. Its curiosity is provided by the fishing houses on stilts, which can be accessed on wooden piers standing on stilts.
66. The Andrássy Castle – Tiszadob
The Andrássy Castle of Tiszadob is also nicknamed the most beautiful and most romantic castle of ours which was built at the instance of the First Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Gyula Andrássy the Elder, to the honor of the Hungarian Queen, Erzsébet, as the gossip goes.
When building the historic style castle, knight castles were modeled, and this sight still impresses the visitors. Unfortunately, during the Revolution of 1918, the building was broken into and the angry mobs destroyed all of the furniture and the majority of the furnishings.
An even bigger disaster stroke the castle when the nationalization following the Second World War took place because that time a children’s home was established here and the condition of the castle went on deteriorating.
The renovation work was started after the turn of the millennium, and since 2015, the castle has been open to the visitors. The permanent exhibition, which is currently here, presents the everyday life of the Andrássy family.
Its most interesting sight is the black dining room which was designed by the famous painter, József Rippl-Rónai, in Art Nouveau style.
67. The Animal Park of Nyíregyháza
The Animal Park of Nyíregyháza, which can be found in the recreation area of Sóstó, is also called the Zoo of „the most” or „superlatives”.
The biggest curiosity of the animal park, which is in an oak forest of 30 hectares, is its arrangement, as where possible the animals are not kept away from the visitors with bars, but dry-and water ditches were created instead, and as a result of this everybody could feel as if they participated in a safari, walking among the animals.
Such special species can be admired here as the Sumatran tiger, Komodo varanus or the Indian rhinoceros. Certainly, the Ócenárium (Oceanry) is also a great sight, where a glass tunnel of sharks of 500.000 liters was created.
The Animal Park won the prize of The Best Zoo of Europe in the category of fewer than 500.000 visitors both in 2015 and 2018.
68. The De la Motte Castle – Noszvaj
The Castle, which was built in late Baroque, so-called „plait” style, was constructed by Baron Sámuel Szepessy between 1774 and 1778, however, the special name does not originate from him.
The castle had several owners and got into the hands of Baroness Anna Vécsey, whose second husband was called Colonel De la Motte, who served Mária Terézia by the way. The tiny castle is located in a park of 20 acres, which revives the style of English parks with several unique plant species.
The reason why it is really worth visiting Noszvaj and seeing the castle is the antique-themed, often piquant, rococo murals decorating the walls. We can meet here Aurora, the goddess of dawn, and the amused Dionysus as well.
69. The cave lake of Tapolca
Many people may not even guess while walking among the streets and houses of Tapolca that under the town there is a cave system. The cave lake is made special not by the spectacular stalactites, but the opportunity of boating under the ground, or more exactly, under the town.
Tapolca Lake Cave – Sail deep underground!
The cave system formed by the karst water is 270 meters long and can be visited on foot, while boating is possible on a 150 meter-long area.
In the cave, the temperature is 20 degrees Celsius both in winter and summer and after the walk or boating, an interactive exhibition can be seen about how the cave came into existence and how it was explored. Its discovery happened by accident, by the way, it was found while digging a well in 1903.
70. The Teleki-Dégenfeld-Castle, Szirák
The building known as the Sziráki Castle was made to be built by Tamás Roth and his wife, Borbála Wattay in the middle of the 1700s, as the Latin script above the entrance says.
Later it was inhabited by the Teleki family, then, after the Second World War, it got into the possession of the State Farm of Szirák and was severely destroyed.
Its renovation was started at the end of the 1970s, and since 1998 it has been operating as a 4-star hotel. The castle is surrounded by a 5-hectare ancient forest area. It is a curiosity that on the site of today’s castle the Johannita Knights Hospital used to be. It was mentioned in written records already in 1219.
71. Gemenc and Gyulaj – the realm of red deers and fallow deers
The Gemenc Forest is special for many reasons, but mainly because this is not a forest in the real meaning of the word, it is rather the backwater of the Danube, and at the same time, the biggest floodplain covered by forest in the country.
The game population of the nature reserve area is world-wide known, this is the very reason why it is usually called the realm of red deers and fallow deers as well.
Although this is the natural habitat of a huge number of wild boars, roe deer, foxes, badgers, and wild cats, Gemenc is the home of the biggest black stork population of Hungary, too.
On the Reserve of Gyulaj, which can be found on the former Esterházy estate, we can see the most famous fallow deer population of Europe. Snow-white, jet black and dotted fallow deers also live here, and the trophies shot here hold four world records.
The area can be discovered by walking along study pathways, and it is worth approaching that by a small railway. If you are a nature-lover, you mustn’t skip that!
72. The city wildlife park of Miskolc
In the Wildlife Park of Miskolc, we can see nearly 700 animals of the 120 species living in 5 continents, just to take some examples, the two brown bears Forgó Dorka and Füles Borka, who have been the favorites of the visitors for many years.
The wildlife park is in a woody area, and walking along the canopies of the trees, we can take pleasure in such big cats as the Persian leopard, tiger, wolf or lynx. As the zoo lies next to the National Park of Bükk, we can get acquainted with the animals which are native here.
The nature conservation sculpture park, which is unique even from a European perspective, can also be found here, where the life-size statues of those animals can be seen which unfortunately have died out. The purpose of the exhibition is to draw attention to the importance of protecting nature.
73. The Flower Carnival of Debrecen
The Flower Carnival of Debrecen has been organized for more than 50 years, and it is one of the most visited and known cultural events.
The peak of the one-week-long event is the procession, which takes place on 20th August every year, which is the day of the canonization of King St. Stephen and the day of „új kenyér” (New Bread Festival).
The carnival, which is unique even in European terms, must be once seen by everybody. Just to make you feel its grandeur: more millions of flowers are used for the carnival, the decoration of each carriage consists of 150-250.000 pieces of flowers.
The flower compositions, which are often 5 meters high and 12 meters long, are accompanied by dancers and traditionalist groups in a great atmosphere.
74. The mountains of Budaörs
The mountain region of Budaörs is a regularly visited excursion place for many reasons, among others, because it is near the capital city. This can be a challenge to hike here because the length of the hiking track is more than 8 kilometers.
Roaming through the track, we can visit the specially protected Csiki Mountain, the Huszonnégyökrös Mountain (the Mountain of twenty-four Oxen) which provides a beautiful panorama, the Út Mountain (the Road Mountain) and the unparalleled Odvas Mountain.
While hiking, we can admire several other sights as well besides the panorama, if we just think of the Kálvária Hill (the Calvary Hill), the Törökugrató (a rock a Turkish leader fell off with his horse and died) or Sorrento on Farkas Mountain. Certainly, it is not obligatory to walk all along the distance of 8 kilometers, you can choose another, shorter route as well which suits your fitness more.
Even the name of the historical and ethnographic landscape is interesting, it is said to come from the fact that during the Conquest, the Hungarians settled watchmen here so that they would protect the western „gate” of the country from the enemy.
The region, which is also regarded as one of the most intact parts of Hungary, is located in a hilly area, and the surroundings dotted with forests hide wonderful villages, which offer great relaxation opportunities for everybody. Its major part is under the care of the National Park of Őrség, and Őriszentpéter is regarded to be its center.
Besides the beauty of nature and its special animal- and plant species, it is worth visiting its historical attractions as well, as we can find here churches and memorials from the Age of Árpád. Several museums can make us learn about the thousand-year-long history of Őrség.
Less known sights in Hungary
76. Kiskunság – Bugac
Bugac puszta, which is a lowland plain area being part of the National Park of Kiskunság, belongs to those few places where time has stopped, that is, the deserted areas where keeping the indigenous Hungarian animals is still in practice just like it was several hundred years ago.
In the saline area, which is dotted by sandy dunes and forests, we can meet huge herds, but keeping gray cattle, racka and mangalica is also the same as it used to be.
You can get to know in detail the wildlife of Bugac as well as the herdsmen’s lives along with their traditions and objective memories in the Pásztormúzeum (Shepherd’s Museum) found here.
In Hungary, this is almost the only place where you can still see iris humilis, colchicum arenarium and vipera ursinii rakosiensis, which is an internationally protected species of animal. If you come here, you must try, by all means, the carriage ride on the plain and see a horse show where the horsemen sit on bareback horse.
77. Írottkő (Captioned Stone Mountain)
Írott-kő, which is a mountain of 883 meters, is the highest point of the Transdanubia. The origin of the special name is still unclear, but probably it comes from the captioned border stone of the Batthyány-Esterházy border crossing there.
In a written record, when it was first mentioned in the 14th century, it was still called Felsőhegyes. Its most famous sight is the Írottkő lookout tower, as the Austrian-Hungarian border goes across the middle of the lookout, so half of it belongs to Austria and the other half belongs to Hungary.
From its top, you can see the wire fence built during the time of the so-called „Vasfüggöny” (Iron Courtain, a kind of boundary) which separated the two countries. Fortunately, on the site of that, there is only an area of birches today.
Great walking and biking tours can be made in the surroundings, just to take an example, it is worth watching the Szent Vid Chapel (Saint Vid Chapel) nearby, which is one of the emblematic symbols of the Kőszeg Mountain.
Dobogókő with its 700 meters height is the highest point of the Visegrád Mountain, where you can get a great panorama over the Danube-bend and its vicinity.
If you like hiking, you must visit the mountain which is easily accessible from Budapest as well. It is recommended to head for the peak from the northern side, where the huge rocks provide a unique attraction as they border the pathway going up.
Dobogókő has always been a popular tourist target, and it is proved by the fact as well that in 1898 the first mountain shelter house of Hungary was built here. Those who like winter sports can visit this place, even in the cold season, as if it snows, the mountain slope at some parts provides a great opportunity for skiing.
79. The chairlift and small railway of Lillafüred
The cableway chairlift transports its passengers for a distance of 1 km between Lillafüred and Jávorhegy, which is a great program for both children and adults.
The chairlift departs from a height of 333 meters and arrives at 606 meters, providing all along, a great panorama for its passengers. Besides the chairlift, we can find here a scooter path and a hiking pathway called Oxigén, furthermore, the small railway is also a great alternative to traveling here.
The railway, which used to be used for transporting coal, goes along the mountainsides through special valley bridges and tunnels, and we can enjoy the beautiful scenery, including Garadna Valley or Lake Hámori.
The railway, which departs from the proximity of the Castle of Diósgyőr, transports its passengers to the Castle Hotel of Lillafüred, and for sure it provides a great opportunity for everyone to switch off.
80. Holdvilág-árok (Moon Ditch)
One of the most popular excursion targets of the Visegrád Mountain is the Holdvilág-árok (Holdvilág Ditch), however, the narrow, canyon-like gorge is unique not only because of its romantic nature but due to the myth associated with it.
There are 2 legends connected to this place. One of them says that the town of Attila, the dreaded Hun conqueror, used to be here, while the other gossip says that Prince Árpád, the conqueror, was buried at this place.
The legends originate from the Gesta Hungarorum of Anonymus, where the anonymous writer mentions this place as the scene of the above-mentioned events, however, his assumptions haven’t been proved by archeological findings.
The hiking pathway does not belong to the easiest ones, as it goes across stones, wooden stairs and bridges, and at the end of the gorge, the hikers need to cope with a metal ladder as well.
81. The healing stones of Bükkszentkereszt
Bükkszentkereszt is not unknown for the domestic hikers, as this little village is the second highest-lying settlement of the country. However, what makes it even more attractive is the stories of different healing processes or miracles, which are connected to this place and are deemed to be due to the special, healing stones called „Boldogasszony kövek” (Assumption stones).
According to a legend, Mary, in her sorrow after the death of Jesus, headed for the place where these stones were and rested on them, and since then, the stones have had healing power.
However, there is a rational explanation to the healing stones which is at least as interesting as the legend: a uranium ridge goes across the Bükk Mountain which radiates radium and it can have a healing effect on many things, for example, people suffering from cancer used to be treated with that.
This assumption is backed up by the fact that more plant species grow in the forest here which can stay alive only in a radium-rich environment.
82. Károlyi Castle – Nagymágócs
The castle was built between 1896 and 1897 in eclectic neo-baroque style at the instance of Imre Károlyi, and it was partly based on the designs of Miklós Ybl.
It is a miracle that the castle survived the two world wars and the communist era, so it remained for the future generations nearly in its original form. Quite a big English park of 41 hectares also belongs to the castle, where there is a 10 hectare-pond as well, thus providing a great surrounding for the visitors.
We can also see among the ancient oaks and pines, a neo roman style, Roman catholic church, which was built in 1883.
83. The ruin church of Zsámbék
The ruin church of Zsámbék, or as it is called, the Premontrei Monastery, can be easily accessed from Budapest. It was built between 1220 and 1234 in the late Romanesque and early Gothic styles.
The building which used to be a monastery was not destroyed by any of the wars but an earthquake in 1763, and for some reasons, it hasn’t been renovated since then, only conservation work was done. The deterioration of the church shocked the local people, as they attributed miracles to the place.
The reason is that the plague epidemic, which spread through the country not much earlier, killed half of the village (828 people), but the local monks survived it.
Later, it turned out that the reason was that the antidote to the disease was in the grape grown and the wine produced by the priests. In the room of the ruins, which used to be a monastery, we can see a lapidary today, but in the summertime, the church provides scene to theatre performances and other art-related events.
84. The Castle of Siklós
The first elements of the castle were built after the Tatar invasion, sometime around 1260, and it is first mentioned in written records in 1296. The castle got out of the hands of the Siklós family quite soon, because King Sigismund seized it from them in 1387 and from that time on it had several owners.
Its golden age was during the Garai family when it got its Gothic castle feature in the 1400s. In 1543, it got into the hands of the Turkish, then it became a Habsburg Imperial estate, and, in the meantime, due to some kind of miracle, it was never destroyed up until the Second World War.
It was renovated at the end of the 1950s and later after the turn of the millennium as well. Currently, several permanent exhibitions await you there, including the castle prison with its dark prison cells and torturing tools.
In the course of an exciting exhibition, the history of the castle can also be seen, but besides this, we can find here a medieval weapon- and military history exhibition, a furniture exhibition, what is more, a wine museum, too. One thing is for sure: nobody will visit the Castle of Siklós and be bored.
85. Krishna Valley -Somogyvámos
The Krishna Valley Indian Cultural Centre and Biofarm can be found 30 kilometers from Lake Balaton, which is the biggest eco-community of Central-Europe.
There is no electricity network in the valley, energy is provided for the people living here from sun collectors and windmills, water is provided by the wells.
Furthermore, growing plants and keeping animals happens completely naturally, free of chemicals. The community can be visited individually and also as part of an organized group, and besides eco-farming, we can get to know the religious life of the people living here, which is an essential part of their everyday lives.
We can admire the central building, the Krisna Church, which is 1500 m², and it is not much different from the western architectural styles. However, entering the building, we are welcomed by a huge piece of India, with richly-ornamented columns, arches, reliefs and murals.
86. The Castle and Castle Bath of Gyula
It is still unknown when one of our most important medieval castles was built, however, it is certain that it was already standing in 1445, as it was mentioned in written records at that time.
Although the Turks invaded it in 1566, the massive walls survived the 13-day-long siege. Later, it got an important role in the Rákóczi War of Independence, and after the suppression of the war of independence, 9 out of the 13 martyrs of Arad were caught here.
Currently, a historical exhibition can be seen in 24 display rooms, and the building hosts the performances of the Castle Theatre of Gyula. The Turkish conquest had positive results as well since the Castle Bath of Gyula was built that time.
It is true, however, that the construction of the castle bath of today started only in the 1940s, and extension work was continuously carried out, the last big investment took place in 2013.
Currently, there are 9 open-air and 14 inside pools, the adults are welcomed by the water bar, while the children can enjoy several slides. Certainly, besides the entertainment facilities, aquatic medicinal treatments are also offered by the bath.
87. The Castle of Sirok
The castle which is located in Mátra and has recently been renovated may be the most romantic castle ruin in Hungary. Its past has faded, just like the dark tunnel system under the castle which can be visited by people.
It was already mentioned in 1320 as an important element of the fortress system, it was in the possession of Máté Csák, later Róbert Károly, and during the Rákóczi War of Independence, it was possessed by the Kuruc (the soldiers in the insurrectionist armies of Imre Thököly and Ferenc Rákóczi fighting against Habsburg oppression at the turn of the 17th century).
Later, it lost its military significance and its condition started to deteriorate, which eventually led to its current state. However, under the ruins that are emerging in picturesque surroundings, the narrow dungeon system still provides an amazing experience.
Furthermore, in the frame of a permanent exhibition, weapons and everyday objects from the Turkish times can still be seen. From the upper castle, we can enjoy an astonishing panorama, which is an unforgettable experience.
88. Kápolnapuszta – Buffalo Reserve
In the Buffalo Reserve of Kápolnapuszta, you can see the largest domestic herds of buffalos, which used to be indigenous, but nowadays, it occurs only sporadically.
The 250 buffalos living in the reserve can be accessed through artificially built study pathways, but because of the huge area, the grazing and wallowing animals can be watched with a telescope as well.
Besides the buffalos, a populous gray cattle herd also lives here, and to the children’s pleasure, a petting zoo has also been established. In the entrance building, an interactive exhibition presents the wildlife of the Kis-Balaton (Little Balaton).
At the beginning of every July, the Buffalo Festival is organized here, which is also a great entertainment for the whole family.
89. The Synagogue of Pécs
The biggest synagogue of the Transdanubia was built between 1868 and 1869 based on the designs of three architects, namely Frigyes Feszl, Károly Gerster and Lipót Kauser. The building was nearly destroyed during the Second World War, its renovation was done in the 1980s to be restored to its original condition and style.
On the facade under the double stone table of Moses, we can see the following script: „”Mert házam, az imádság házának neveztessék minden nép számára.” (in English it means: „Because my house be called the house of prayer for all peoples.”).
The building is divided into three parts and has a neolog style. We can enter the inside of the building through a hall covered with the boards of martyrs.
The prayer room or chapel is richly ornamented where blue, brown and red are the dominant colors. The organ was made by the famous Angster Organ Factory of Pécs, and it is a curiosity that this was their first piece of work.
90. The Wildlife Park of Budakeszi
The purpose of the Wildlife Park of Budakeszi, which can be accessed within 20 minutes from the capital city, is to present the animals living in Hungary and to draw attention to the natural values of the country.
In the 30 hectare-park, which can be found in a forest area, we can see animals, which used to be indigenous, such as the bear or the wolf. Petting animals is also possible here, but obviously not in the case of the above-mentioned two species.
It is a nice idea that adoption is also possible for a symbolic amount if you like any of the animals. The park was opened in 1979, on the occasion of the International Children’s Year.
Thanks to the continuous developments, an adventure park, where visitors can try themselves on five different tracks, has also been attached to the wildlife park. To the children’s pleasure, the institute was extended with a Dino Park in 2017.
91. The Water Reservoir of Lázbérc
The Water Reservoir of Lázbérc was made by closing the valley of the Bán Stream in the 60s, and the purpose of that was to supply the settlements of the Sajó Valley with drinking water.
The huge water pool (6,2 millió m³) which can be found at a height of 200 meters in a picturesque surrounding is nowadays a popular place for excursion and having a rest, and last but not least, it is a fishing paradise.
It is true, however, that fishing is allowed only under strict rules, as the area is highly protected. On the shore, where we can find resting and open fireplaces as well, several study pathways welcome the hikers.
92. The Bear Farm of Veresegyház
The Bear Farm of Veresegyház is the only facility in Central Europe, which serves as a bear shelter, and the history of its evolution is also interesting.
The number of the first bears getting here was 21 and they were so-called „discarded actors”, in other words, bears once playing roles in films but being not suitable for that anymore.
After giving up on filming, they lived here peacefully with their adopting owners, then, at public demand, the shelter was officially established in 2002 and became a popular excursion target.
In the 5,5 hectare-area, the number of bears was continuously increasing, and today there are raccoons and brown-nosed coatis as well, what is more, the area is a home for 29 wolves too, one of which is a white wolf.
At the weekends, there are crafts activities, pony riding, face painting, and bouncy castle, which welcome the children, but the biggest success is feeding bears with honey!
93. The Rákóczi Castle of Sárospatak
The Rákóczi Castle of Sárospatak is one of the most significant monuments of Hungary from the Renaissance Age, which is a place of worship at the same time. The building was constructed at the instance of Péter Perényi after losing the Battle of Mohács, between 1534 and 1542.
The estate got into the possession of the Rákóczy family in 1616 when György Rákóczy I married Zsuzsanna Lórántffy.
In the next 100 years, the castle was continuously extended and it was the time when the Lórántffy-loggia, the unique Renaissance monument, was prepared.
The castle, being strong and stable, was always avoided by the Turks, the famous serf-liberation assembly of the Rákóczi War of Independence was held among its walls in 1708.
Currently, the Rákóczi Exhibition can be seen here, which won the prize of „The Museum of the Year” in 2003.
94. Hétforrás (Seven Springs)
One of the most popular excursion places of the Kőszeg Mountain is Hétforrás (Seven Springs) which was named after the seven conquesting tribal chiefs. On the stone boards, the names can still be read clearly: Álmos, Előd, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, and Töhötöm.
The spring itself, as it has crystal clear water, is an excellent thirst quencher for the hikers, but the Old Castle emerging over the spring is also supplied with this water. It was already drunk in the 17th century by the people living here, but that time, it was called the Well of Brunnengraben, that is, the Well of Kútvölgye in Hungarian (The Well of Fountain Valley in English).
95. The fossils of Ipolytarnóc
The area, which is also mentioned as the „Ancient Pompei” is a unique natural formation even in international terms, which evolved over the course of a volcanic catastrophe 20 million years ago.
In the area, which is 510 hectares, several ancient findings can be seen from the prehistoric past. Besides the footprints of the ancient living creatures, we can see such rare curiosities as the huge fossilized trees of subtropical forests or the shark hook sandstone, in which, besides the teeth, we can discover the bones of rajas, dolphins, sirenias, and crocodiles.
Nature Reserve of Ipolytarnóc Fossils
It is a unique scientific discovery that in the rather small area, the scientists have been able to identify 25 different species of sharks so far, which used to exist.
Those who are attracted by geological curiosities must visit this place. Due to its scientific and natural significance, the Council of Europe awarded the place the European Diploma for Protected Areas in 1965.
96. The Castle of Drégely
It is still unknown when exactly it was built, but it is already mentioned in a deed in 1285. During the Turkish times, one of the most heroic battles of the history of the country took place here, with the leadership of György Szondy.
Ali, Pasha of Buda, with his army of more than 10.000 soldiers started to besiege the castle on 6th July 1552, and it was protected only by a handful of Hungarian soldiers.
They did not succumb after more warnings and calls, and finally, everybody died in the battle, except for the two henchmen of Szondy, called Libárdy and Sebestyén, who were put in charge of the Pasha of Buda by Szondy.
The story was sung by János Arany in his poet titled „Szondy két apródja” (in English: „The two henchmen of Szondy”). The ruins can be visited freely today, and just to put you in the mood, let me quote the poet:
“Felhőbe hanyatlott a drégeli rom, / Rá visszasüt a nap, ádáz tusa napja; / Szemközt vele nyájas, szép zöld hegy-orom, / Tetején lobogós hadi kopja.” in English: “The ruins of Dregely have fallen into the cloud, / The sun shines back at that, the day of the fierce siege; / In front of him is a lovely, beautiful green mountain-peak, / At the top is a flag of war and a military lance.”
97. The Julianus Lookout Tower of Nagymaros
On the peak of 482 meters of the Hegyes-tető (Hegyes Peak), the Julianus Lookout Tower provides a beautiful panorama for us over the Danube, the Visegrád Mountain as well as Börzsöny.
In the middle story of the building, a covered area was built, so the establishment can be visited even in bad weather conditions. The bastion-like lookout tower was built at the instance of the Encián Tourist Association in 1939. After a visit to the lookout tower, we can walk along great hiking pathways in the surroundings.
98. The Snowdrops Field of Alcsút
The Arboretum of Alcsút, which takes up an area of 40 hectares, is a nature reserve area and at the same time the oldest English park in the country.
The park, which borders the ruins of the Habsburg-castle, has an unprecedented tree collection, which includes more than 540 species of trees.
Besides the protected trees, the arboretum gives home to the legendary snowdrops field of 2,5 hectares: 24 kinds of the 7 species of snowdrops can be seen here, which comprise the biggest contiguous snowdrops carpet of the country every spring.
As the arboretum is only 40 km far from the capital city, it can be easily accessed at any time. What is more, besides the natural curiosity, an adventure park, which provides great entertainment for the whole family, has also been built here.
Sástó is the highest-lying lake in the country, which is at a height of 507 meters in the Mátra Mountain. On the lake, boating and water-biking are also possible.
Furthermore, the lovers of fishing can also devote time to their passion here. In the middle of the water, there is an island, which can be accessed through a wooden bridge.
As the depth of the water is one meter on average, it gets frozen easily in wintertime and it is suitable for skating as well. Behind the lake, there is a 50-meter high lookout tower, too, which offers a great panorama over the surrounding, and if the weather is good, you can see even the River Tisza.
100. Basa-kert (Basa Garden) Daffodil Field
In the area of the Duna-Dráva National Park, we can find Babócsa, which is a little village inhabited by a total of 1800 people, still, there is something that makes this place special. It is the 13-hectare area next to the village, full of daffodils, which is the biggest, contiguous daffodil-field of Europe.
According to a legend, the reason why there are so many daffodils here is that during the Turkish rule the local pasha planted them all over the surroundings in order to please the ladies in his harem.
Whether it is true or not, we cannot say. However, it is a fact that in spring it offers a unique sight, as it looks like a white, waving field, where under the ground even ruins from the Turkish times can be found. The local people organize Daffodil Day every year, in order that everybody can take pleasure in the flowers.