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7 Things To Do During Your Hungarian Holiday

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John and Tina Reid via Getty Images
John and Tina Reid via Getty Images

Hungary is rich with culture and the Turkish influences make it one of the most exotic European countries. It's capital city -- Budapest -- boasts beautiful skylines, rich cuisine and a vibrant nightlife, while still being budget-friendly. Thus, a traveller's dream.

1. Goulash: You haven't had goulash until you've had it in central Europe. A bowl of this hearty Hungarian soup sees warm chunks of beef fall apart in your mouth, after sizzling in a broth of garlic infused onions with a dollop of sour cream on top.

2. Gozsdu Udvar: Speaking of food, go here. The Gozsdu Udvar strip is patio heaven in the summer months -- the perfect place to sip on palinka under a sea of hanging lanterns. Night vibes here are not to be missed. In this stretch of restaurants you'll find some classic Hungarian dishes and some classic Hungarian men. Enjoy both.

3. The Churches: There are dozens of captivating churches in Budapest but the largest in the capital is St. Stephen's Basilica. There is so much visible architectural diversity because it was worked on by three different artists -- two of whom died before the work was complete. The most unusual design component of this church is the 12 zodiac signs built at the main entrance.

Crossing the Chain Bridge to get to Pest will bring you to both a panoramic view of the city, and Matthias Church. This neo-gothic creation features seven colorful towers and was once converted into a mosque when the Turks invaded. They charge you to enter, but if you go after sunset you can roam the grounds for free.

4. Vintage Shopping: Hungary is hipster heaven. Sift through old Turkish jewellery and floral tapestries at the many boutiques lined on the east side of the Danube. Near Fashion Street, Retrock is a two-storey home to everything from Hungarian designer labels to fanny packs and old movie posters. A must-visit if you're in District V.

5. The ruin bars: This nightlife trend is unique to Budapest and originated from the Nazi occupation which left many old buildings abandoned, too expensive to restore. Many still have worn facades, but the interiors have been redecorated with vintage findings -- art on the walls and furniture hanging from the ceilings. Located in the Old Jewish Quarter, Szimpla Kert was once named the third best bar in the world by Lonely Planet. Entrance is always free at ruin bars.

6. Famous baths: Known as the City of Baths, Budapest remains one of the only places to offer traditional Turkish baths. The country itself sits on hundreds of thermal springs that feed the bathhouses in Budapest. Szechenyi is the largest medicinal bath, while Rudas is historically rich as one of the oldest constructed. If you go in the evening, the Lukacs bath would give you a view of the sunset off the Danube.

7. Deak Square: Every traveller needs some downtime and this is the place to find it. The three main metro lines converge here, and you can lay in the grass with a good book in the afternoon or enjoy some wine and charcuterie during sunset while being serenaded by local violinists. You may tip them in wine.

Mummies In Budapest, Hungary
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