Situated in the very heart of Europe, Hungary is a nation of just over ten million people. The country has an extraordinary wealth of thermal spas, and a beautiful capital, Budapest.
In the outlying country, gorgeous Baroque towns stand alongside ancient castles and fortresses. Explore the Transdanubia region and visit Lake Balaton, one of central Europe's largest lakes (known as 'the Hungarian Sea').
Equally stunning are the thickly forested Northern Uplands, and the beguiling landscape of the vast Great Plain, not to mention some of the grandest stretches of the romantic Danube River.
A Budapest will give you a chance to experience this wonderful city that is split into two. On the east side of the River Danube there is the largely flat area of Pest and on the west-bank is the hillier region of Buda, both of which were united in 1873 to form the vibrant capital that exists today.
Hungary's music is typified by traditional folk and the classical music of world-renowned composers such as Liszt, Dohnányi, Bartók, Kodály, and Rózsa.
The country also boasts many celebrated contemporary classical composers, including György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Péter Eötvös and Zoltán Jeney.
Throughout history, bathing and spa tourism play a key role in Hungary's culture.
There are around 450 public baths and 1,500 thermal springs in Hungary, and thermal water is found in over 80% of the country. In Budapest, spa culture has a 2,000-year history, with a rich supply of thermal water.
Many baths are modernising facilities and expanding the services offered, and around 50 of Budapest's 160 public baths are qualified as spas, offering healing, balneal and physical therapy.
Food and drink
Food is central to Hungarian culture. Traditional dishes like goulash are often flavoured with paprika, a Hungarian innovation, or a sour cream called tejfölis that's used to soften flavours.
Fisherman's soup, or halászlé, is a mixture of several kinds of poached fish and is a famous dish. Desserts include Dobos cake, strudels and popular pastries such as perec and kifli.
Pálinka is a fruit brandy that's native to Hungary and comes in many flavours, including apricot, cherry and plum (the most popular flavour).
Beer accompanies many Hungarian dishes, from five main breweries: Borsodi, Soproni, Arany Ászok, Kőbányai, and Dreher.
Hungary's territories are ideal for winemaking, and there's a greater choice of excellent wine year upon year. Hungary's main products are elegant, full-bodied dry whites with good acidity.