Hi there, in early July my husband, year old son, and mother will be visiting Hungary for a 4 day conference. During the conference, my mother, son and I will be venturing around during the day and in the evenings I will be attending organized events with my husband for the conference. Once the conference ends, we have about 8 days before we need to return to Canada and I'm wonder what we should do with that time. Some options are to explore more of Budapest/Hungary, or visit a nearby country (but which?), or take a quick flight to a nearby country (again, which?) for the remainder of vacation. I will mention we've been to Croatia so that's not really on the list, even though we absolutely loved it. As for the kind of vacation we're looking for.. I would say more relaxed, perhaps somewhere with beaches and lots of beautiful nature. Thanks in advance! :)
Budapest, if you had five full days without interruption by conferences would make for a good visit. Budapest by nature can be a very laid back place, but no beaches and architectural beauty but not much natural beauty outside of the large City Park or Margaret Island (both beautiful). Throw in a couple of day trips like Szentendre or Vac and you can stretch it longer. Beyond that it comes down to what you would like to do. The interesting spots in Hungary worth the time and effort for a night or two are Lake Balaton (I like Tihany a lot and the other towns have beaches), Eger, Gyor, Pecs. They are all within 1 -3 hours by train and the tickets are dirt cheap.
If you wanted to rent a car then Slovakia is excellent. The High Tatra mountains and the Banska towns among other places. I also know a guide that would come to Budapest and pick you up and return you to a direct train back to Budapest. Beautiful nature, but no beaches.
Further afield there are a lot of options. Wizzair uses Budapest as a hub and now Ryanair is expanding its service as well. For under $75 a ticket and under 1.5 hours on a flight you can get to a number of locations. I use Google Flights for this. Put Budapest as the start and Europe as the destination, then set if for one way and non-stop. Then look at the map and you can see all the possibilities and the costs. You will be amazed at where you can get. We will be fishing in Montenegro later this year (beautiful beaches, beautiful mountains, beautiful nature, cheap) and the non-stop back to Budapest is about $65. Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kyiv (a favorite), Lviv (new connection starting I believe in May), Skopje, Sofia, and the list goes on. Here is a link. But you need to keep changing the day to see everything because the discount flights arent every day of the week. https://www.google.com/flights/?hl=en&ei=NrziWOWqGMeZmQGI9I1A&ved=0EKkuCA0oCQ#search;f=BUD;t=r-Europe-0x46ed8886cfadda85%253A0x72ef99e6b3fcf079;d=2017-07-06;r=2017-07-10;tt=o;s=0;mc=m
I know some, not all, of the region so as you google around and see things that interest you , send me a note and I will tell you what if anything I know about it.
We went to Budapest last year with our girls, ages 12 and 10 and loved it! Here are some highlights:
We took a walking tour with a private guide (Aaron) through Free Budapest Walking Tours for 100 Euros: firstname.lastname@example.org. Aaron gave us an overview of Hungary, the history and the people and also took us around to all the major sites. This was very helpful and the kids were entertained and engaged.
We also spent a day at the Szechenyi Bath as well as the bath at Margaret Island. They were both great but the Szechenyi is definitely a nicer experience (and do get a massage!). Again, the kids loved it.
We took an overnight trip to Lake Balaton which about a 2 hour drive from Budapest. We LOVED that too! Here's our hotel, which I highly recommend: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g274908-d2174032-Reviews-Mala_Garden_Hotel-Siofok_Somogy_County_Southern_Transdanubia.html
We began our trip in Vienna and drove to Hungary via Bratislava, Slovakia. It was a nice town with a castle. We just had lunch in the town (super nice people and great food!) but I wish we had time to see the castle.
Enjoy Hungary... it's a really special country and we look forward to returning!
Thank you, thank you!! :)