City break holidays to Hungary team thermal spas with sprawling palaces – all soaked in the country's traditional fruit brandy.

Europe's centre piece

Land-locked Hungary takes its place in central Europe. It's penned in by a different country on every corner – Slovakia covers its north border, Ukraine in the north east. Then, from east to west its border meets up with Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. Despite its penned in status, its water-scene is thriving, thanks to the River Danube and a huge collection of thermal baths. Budapest, the country's capital is split into two by the river. Out west there's Buda which plays host to big-name sights like Buda Castle and the Fisherman's Bastion. And, heading east there's Pest – it's twice the size of its counterpart and it's known for its late nights and buzzing bar scene.

Flavours of Hungary

Spicy dishes headline Hungary's culinary scene. At the top of the list there's goulash, the country's national dish – it's somewhere between a soup and a stew, and it's filled with beef, carrot, potato and plenty of spices. Then there's fisherman's soup, it's also cooked in a kettle and made with mixed river fish and spicy paprika. And, you won't be left out if you've got a sweet tooth – marzipan’s a Hungarian delicacy, dating back to the 1930s. Made from ground almonds and sugar, this sweet treat can be found all over the country. Head to the Marzipan Museum in Budapest, and you can watch it being made, and see a 160-centimetre-tall marzipan model of the Hungarian Parliament building.

Spa city

Hungary's home to the most thermal baths of anywhere in the world.And, there's more than 1,300 of them in Budapest alone. It's famous for its spa parties, hosted in thermal bath houses around the city. During the day, you’ll find a relaxing atmosphere and locals gathered around floating chess boards, but after dark, the vibe gets altogether more electric. A the Lukacs Bath, it’s a mix of laser beams, trance music and steaming hot mineral-rich waters, while over at Aquaworld, you can try a wave pool and 11 waterslides on for size.

At a Glance

  • Cruise along the Danube River
  • Have a night out in one of Budapest's ruin bars
  • Take a dip in the famous Gellert Baths

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