During my recent trip to Hungary last month, I visited Bory Castle in Szekesfehervar and Brunswick Castle in Martonvasar. Both are a short train ride from Budapest and are well worth the trip - a good way to spend a day away from the city. Bory Castle was built by Jeno Bory, an architect, over a period of 40 years - the sculptures and art work displayed inside and out are incredibly interesting. Beethoven composed Moonlight Sonata at the Brunswick estate during one of his stays there. These two locations are close to each other - I highly recommend them.
I haven't bee to either, but its an excellent idea. Thank you. Oh, in Hungary "castle" more often than not refers to a great Manor Home and not a castle in the classic sense.
Since both Martonvasar and Szekesfehervar is on the way to Lake Balaton it might make a great overnight trip; staying maybe in Tihany.
Dnilson, Thank you! We need fresh blood in the forum. Share more......
Nice tip!! Visegrád and the Danube Bend seem like another popular pairing for a day out of the city, and from what I've read Szentendre is gaining more ground for its art scene. I haven't done either of them personally, but they do come recommended by trustworthy friends. Do you think they'd be worth an extra couple of days around Budapest?
RS is reducing my stipend so I don't know how much longer I will be doing this. So we need some more Hungary volunteers.
Szentendre, Visegrad and Esztergom make up the typical Danube Bend tour. Named aptly because it is where the Danube bends to the west. You get three flavors to choose from: "art town", castle ruins or religious center.
Szentendre is an easy reach from Buda on the commuter train. Takes about 30 minutes. A ride back on the river taxi which takes about 45 minutes is well worth it as Budapest is magnificent when entering the city on the river as the buildings rise before you. This can be a half day afternoon trip. I enjoy it and have done it a couple of times.
Beyond Szentendre I think its best to join a tour or hire a guide or rent a car or ...... The full three cities is a long, long day if you want to really get a lot out of it. Pick any two and with transportation you can have a great time. Or spend a night in Esztergom to see all thee without running yourself ragged. There are a couple of hotels, one a 4 star; then for about $35 you can get a transfer back to Szentendre for the boat into Budapest.
What I think is one of the great overlooked trips is Gyor. Gyor is especially convenient if you are coming from, or going to, Vienna. The old Baroque center is enjoyable, the hotel that was once a monastery is nice and the nearby Archabbey at Pannonhalma is well worth the time. This is an overnight trip.
Another good overnight trip is Pecs. This is a pretty magnificent town complete with two old mosques left over from Ottoman occupation. Love Pecs. Going back in September. 3 hours by train from Budapest.
Then there is Eger if you are into wine. Another charming baroque city center with a fortress looking down on it. Great history, great wine. 3 hours by train.
Closer to Budapest by metro and commuter train is the palace at Gödöllő. About a 30 minute trip. Beautiful in the spring.
unboundly, more directly to your question. Budapest is a good 3 full day visit. 1 day in Buda and 2 days in Pest. Then if you have a fourth day consider Szentendre for half of it. Vac is also a popular half day trip if you are into small towns with mummies. Of course if you have any great interests that Budapest speaks to you will need that day in Budapest and not want to be on the road.
Did I mention tank driving??
The village of Boldogkovaralja has a fantastic medieval fortress, which was built in the 13th century. Its location is about 2.5 hours northeast of Budapest by car - very easy drive; no traffic. The views are amazing - this place is awesome. I was there on a beautiful clear sunny day and could barely stop taking photos.
Continuing northeast to the wine region of Tokaj is so worth the trip. The vineyards, hills and small towns within this region rival California's Napa Valley - with no crowds, and even more beautiful. The people there were some of the nicest I have ever met.
That entire north east corner of the country is pretty impressive. You can reach most of it by train through Miskolc if you dont want to drive. Lillafüred is might also be a good stop in that general direction. Great old hotel, forest small gauge train, caverns, fresh water, hills and wilderness.
Yes, my recent trip also included an evening in Lillafured at the Hotel Palota. So beautiful.