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Hungary

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Hungary has become a favorite vacation and travel destination. Hungary has the luxury and culture of Western Europe at about half the cost. As a vacation destination, Hungary offers thermal spas, rich wines, and a lively arts, cafe and music scene. In the countryside, travelers find majestic plains, Baroque towns, resort lined lake, horse markets and rustic villages. Hungary has a long and rich cultural history, with significant sites.

Budapest

Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, looks the most beautiful at dawn. As the sun slowly rises over the eastern plains, bathing Pest in soft pastel hues, it radiates back from the buildings of Buda as if they were a giant mirror; the windows on Castle Hill positively glisten in golden jubilation.

But Budapest is also spectacularly appealing at night. The Chain Bridge is festooned with white lights, and the main public buildings like the Parliament, the Opera and the Royal Palace, as well as the entire panorama of the Castle District, are imaginatively and sensitively floodlit.

It’s easy for Budapest to play with light in the manner of an elegant lady trying on her jewels, for everything looks good. This is a vibrant city: it throbs with life morning, noon and night; visitors arriving from other countries get the feeling that something interesting is happening round every corner.

There are plenty of other capital cities built on the banks of a river, and in many cases the river runs through the historic centre. But such a wide and majestic river, as is the Danube at Budapest, is more of a rarity. Even more exceptional is the perfect contrast between the right and left banks. Buda is built upon hills, the feet of two of them - Castle Hill and Gellért Hill - almost stand in the water. Facing it is Pest, as flat as a pancake (or, as a Hungarian might say, as flat as a "lángos", apita-type bread popular for many centuries).

It’s no exaggeration to say that Budapest is one of the finest capital cities in Europe, and also one of the best situated. Among the several places in Hungary that have been afforded the classification of UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first were the Danube panorama (on the Buda side from the Gellért Hotel all along Castle Hill to Margaret Bridge, and on the Pest side from the Parliament back down to Petőfi Bridge), and Andrássy út (along its entire length from the centre of Pest to Heroes’ Square, where the Millenary Monument stands on the edge of the City Park).

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