Bordering seven countries (Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Austria) in the heart of Central Europe is the eternally beautiful country of Hungary.

It's capital city of Budapest is two cities, Buda and Pest, with its cobblestone streets and thermal springs. Dominating the cityscape is Buda Castle, one of the largest in Europe. So imposing this castle was the city was spared many medieval attacks. Medieval marauders probably just didn't want to hike up the hundreds of steps it takes to get to it.

Hungary isn't full of castle, just about a hundred or so, but the ones it does have are delightful. Another castle in Budapest is the Vajdahunyad Castle, built over a thousand years ago.

And Diósgyőr Castle might be in ruins, but that doesn't stop it from hosting all kinds of events like theater performances and concerts. Gyula has one of the best castles (rated as one of the Top 15), a Gothic design with a lake, a museum, prison, and garden.

It is little towns in Hungary that really give the country its unique flair. Towns like Göyr (just 90 minutes from Budapest) has all sorts of wonderful Baroque architecture; and Szeged's got amazing churches. Its market square doubles as a fantastic outdoor theater in the summer.

Beyond Hungary's towns and villages, its countryside is serene and pristine. UNESCO has given its designation to the Caves of Aggtelek, all 260 of them.

Hiking through the Carpathian Mountains might not be an easy task, but well worth the effort you have to put in. Treat yourself to a trip to Lake Balaton afterwards; and who cares if you can't swim there in the winter, it then becomes a winter sporting area.

It isn't just winter or summer in Hungary, the country experieces four distinct season. However, it can get quite cold here during the winter, and summertime temps can reach into the 90s-F.

For some that might be too hot to eat, but if you didn't munch your way through Hungary you'd be missing out. Their specialites are sausage, salami, and caviar; and some 20 different types of wine are made locally.

Pair one up with some egg dumplings or stuffed cabbage, and much of what is served uses paprika--a mighty big spice around these parts. Don't like wine? It's OK, try the brandy, beer, or fizzy mineral water instead.

Hungary is a cultured country with Opera and Ballet performances, but it is also a fun-loving place with nightclubs, bars, discos, and casinos for a night out on the town.

Shopping is just a good time as any, and you can't go wrong if all you buy is some embroidery or porcelain products. Think of all the fantastic stuff you get to bring back home.

Before you can buy and see all that Hungary has to offer, you gotta get here first. All that's needed is nothing more than either a passport or European Union ID Car; no visa or onward ticket required. But, it is always best to double check with the consulate, just in case.

You don't want anything to keep you from Hungary's history, or its extreme sports, like wakeboarding and skydiving, do you?

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