Why we love it: Hungary

This is the next installment in our series of "Why we love it" blogs. Each blog was written by a Peregrine staffer feels a special connection with that destination. Today's inspirational piece is about Hungary:

Hungary is a fantastic place to visit for short or longer stays. There is so much to discover while you’re there: rich history, including the recent soviet heritage, picturesque and well-preserved countryside, to the great atmosphere you get from the Budapest nightlife. 

First, spend some time in UNESCO World Heritage Listed Budapest and make sure you really immerse yourself in its nostalgic ambience. Budapest is made up of Buda, the quaint half of the city located on a hill overlooking the Danube, and Pest, the commercial hub.

Jump on a bike or take a walk to following the beautiful Danube, dotted with equally impressive bridges. From the river, you get the best views of some of Budapest’s major landmarks – the Parliament, Buda Castle, Mathias Church and Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

A riverside wander leads you to Margitsziget (Margaret Island), a charming little island consisting of a huge green park and a pool for swimming – great for relaxing by day, and at night, you can enjoy a glass of wine and outdoor concerts here, while taking in the views of the city lights reflecting in the Danube. But for me, the Fisherman’s Bastion on Buda hill beats even Margaret Island as the city’s most romantic spot. The panoramic views over Pest from the neo-Romanesque towers are just mind-blowing – heaven for photographers.

Around Budapest, I would recommend checking out two magnificent riverside towns in particular: Szentendre and Esztergom – and explore by boat if you can. Szentendre’s architecture is unbelievably colourful. A stroll through its old-world streets, stumbling upon art galleries and shops selling handicraft and intricate embroidery, is an unbeatable way of spending an afternoon.

When you reach Esztergom, you are instantly in awe of its imposing basilica, Hungary’s largest, and the country’s finest Renaissance building. The nearby Víziváros (Watertown) neighbourhood, with its Turkish Ottoman legacy and hot springs is definitely worth exploring as well.

The list of sights worth seeing goes on and on, but for me Hungary’s main asset is definitely its people. So friendly and generous, there’s a great energy here, an infectious enthusiasm which comes across in the day-to-day street-life, the varied nightlife, and the country’s rich artistic culture.

Have you visited Hungary? What were some of your highlights? Tell us about it in the comments section below. We love seeing travel images, so head to Twitter and Facebook to share yours with the rest of the Peregrine community.

Take a look through all our trips to Hungary, and see this fascinating place for yourself. Request a FREE brochure to find out more. 

SALE: See Europe your way, with 10% off group and self-guided tours, departing up until 30 September 2012! But hurry, you must book by 30 November 2011 to take advantage. Find out more about this exciting sale.

Follow Peregrine Adventures