When visiting Hungary, it is easy to fall in love with Budapest and never venture beyond the city. If this happens, you’ll rue the day you missed a chance to visit Lake Balaton, Visegrad and Szentendre.
Lake Balaton is located in the wine-growing region of Hungary. It just so happens the Lake is also populated with a number of thermal mineral springs. Hmm…wine and hot tubs! On top of this, the lake is relatively shallow resulting in water temperatures in the seventies in the summer. All and all, it is nearly impossible to get stressed out at Lake Balaton.
Lake Balaton is located about an hour an half to the west of Budapest by minivan. While minivan travel can be aggravating, this trip is definitely worth it. There are plenty of hotels and resorts in the area, although summer weekends can get packed.
Visegrad is a tower castle that has seen better days. In its heyday, Visegrad was a major outpost for the Roman Empire. The history of Visegrad is interesting, but you will want to visit for a different reason. Visegrad is a great place to parasail. Located approximately 1,000 feet above a river, the terrain and air currents are ideal if you’re interested in flying like a bird. In fact, you can literally float for hours.
Szentendre is a little town located about 20 minutes north of Budapest. The town has an old feel with cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes. Perhaps the biggest reason to go, however, is the vibe of the town. Szentendre is the artist center of Hungary. Walk down the streets and you will start seeing art you recognize from shops in Budapest. There are literally hundreds of galleries and artist sketching in the sun. If art is your thing, Szentendre is worth a visit.
Budapest is definitely the must see location of Hungary, but Lake Balaton, Visegrad and Szentendre are definitely worth a look.