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Hungary

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Landlocked into its own glorious world Hungary is bordered by seven countries and lands itself as an excellent hub for a doorway between the Eastern and Western worlds of Europe. Not yet using Euro as it's currency the Hungarian Forint poses a competitive currency for a budget friendly trip. Thermal springs are a huge draw for tourists to Hungary these traditional health giving springs are within easy reach of all towns and cities. For hundreds of years the health concious have flocked in to revitalise and retain youthfulness.

Principal city Budapest is divided into picturesque, hilly Buda the older part of town with winding streets and a slow endearing pace and newer Pest the financial and cultural hub spanning night life, museums and fine dining. Budapest own famous Turkish baths Széchenyi situated in the central park and next to the zoo is a wonderful experience year round.

Budapest itself, or more truthfully the twin towns of Buda and Pest , is not to be missed. The ‘ Pearl of the Danube ' is nowhere better appreciated than on Castle Hill, where a succession of kings have built their palaces on the imposing plateau. Go early to avoid the crowds, and try the century old funicular for a touch of style. The old town areas on both banks are crammed with ornate, impressive, historic buildings, best seen as you amble around the ancient streets. Take time to try one of the many superb restaurants, and sample the Hungarian national dish of Goulash, or local speciality cherry soup. If you can be in the city for Constitution Day in August, the river area comes alive with celebrations culminating in a huge firework display.

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Budapest night life has a buzz unmatched by any other capital city in the ex eastern block. Its reputation as a haven for artisans is reflected in day to day living. At the end of August Budapest opens its doors to the thousands of revellers arriving to take part in Sziget, an open air music festival hosted on the islands.

Out from the city The Danube bend serves up a much required oasis away from the summer heat. Small towns on the bend Szentendre, Visegrad and Esztergom are utilized to the utmost through July and August. Hungary is also home to Europe's largest unbroken body of water Lake Balaton where each year a curious multi genre festival is held throughout the summer.  

From lake Balaton to the prairie of Puszta Hungary has been making its name as a competitive producer of new world wines and ordering a Tokaji region wine to wash down a paprika flavoured Goulash is unmissable.

 
 
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