Hungary is a large and diverse country in Central Europe.
Aside from the immense popular capital Budapest, there are quite a few cool cities to visit in Hungary. We listed some of the very best and authentic places to visit in Hungary in this extensive list.
Some of these highlights are not actually cities, but most of them are. You should definitely include some of these when you travel to Hungary!
Within this list of top places to visit, we also added the main attractions per destinations and we offer you a great recommendation for accommodation.
At the bottom of this post, you can find a map where you can locate these top cities in Hungary.
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. I don’t believe we need to convince anyone to visit this beautiful city with its many different districts. Over the last few years, Budapest has grown out to become one of the most popular capitals in Europe. Travelers enjoy Budapest a lot as a European City trip destination.
Located on the banks of the Danube River, Budapest offers magnificent views over the river. In Budapest, you’ll also find many cool and interesting ruin bars to visit. The capital of Europe has been the cultural capital of the area. Budapest has something for every type of traveler. There’s tons of culture, history, thermal baths, and beautiful sights. The nightlife is pretty awesome as well! You can easily plan an epic ruin bar pub crawl during your visit.
Where to stay in Budapest
The Continental Hotel Budapest offers luxury for an affordable price tag. They have a roof top swimming pool and a wellness center.
Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge Hotel sits in one of the best locations in town. This place is all about luxury and being pampered.
For budget travelers, we recommend the super cool and popular Activity Hostel where you can get cheap dorm beds in a relaxed atmosphere.
The Maverick City Lodge is a very cool hostel which has dorm beds, as well as, private rooms.
This slightly smaller city in the North-East of Hungary is also a popular tourist destination in Hungary. Eger is a beautiful and ancient town where you can stroll the old streets for hours. Or sit in the town square, looking out over the city castle.
When visiting Eger, make sure to visit the sturdy fortress ‘Eger castle‘ and the ’City under the city’ cellar of Eger.
Where to stay in Eger
The Senator House in Eger is perfectly located in the most charming street of the entire town. It sits in an 18th century building and guests absolutely love it! This is, by far, the best accommodation in Eger.
Pécs is one of the largest cities to visit in Hungary, located not too far from the Croatian border. This city is one of the most ancient and historic cities in Hungary. It was a settlement during Celtic times and officially founded during the Roman empire. The city offers a lot of interesting things to see and do.
With a location on a few hours from Budapest, you can easily visit Pécs as a day trip from the capital. In Pécs, you can visit the castle, mosque, cathedral, and other historic buildings.
Things to see in Pécs
- Check out the impressive Pécs Cathedral
- Visit the beautiful National Theatre
- Walk through the lively Kiraly Street
- Visit the ruin baths of Pasha Memi
- Look out over the entire region from the TV tower
Where to stay in Pécs
In Pécs, the Hotel Palatinus City Center is an absolute traveler favourite! It’s unbelievable that you can sleep in a place like this for so little money! It’s set in an ancient building in the heart of the city.
Adele Boutique Hotel is just a little more expensive, but it’s also more modern and airy.
In the North West of Hungary, you can visit the beautiful city of Győr, which is one of the most important cities in the country. Győr is a great stop along the way between cities like Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna. If you like exploring castles and historic buildings, Győr is one of the most interesting cities to visit in Hungary.
Győr is also called ‘The city of Rivers’ because of the rivers meeting each other near the city. This medieval town is charming and fun to be in. Aside from the dozens of cultural sites, the Old Town of Győr is an interesting and beautiful sight.
Things to see in Gyor
- Explore the castle of Győr
- Wander through the old town
- Visit Eszterhazy Palace
- Look out over Győr from the Püspökvár-Toronykilátó tower
A little further away from the capital, Gyula is an amazing place to visit in the Hungarian grasslands. Be prepared to see wildlife and tons of different bird species on the ‘puszta’. Gyula is a smaller Hungarian city located in the South East of the country, next to the border with Romania.
Explore the wide open plains or enjoy some chill time in the thermal baths in town. Gyula is a great getaway from the busier and larger places in Hungary., It is, however, one of the highlights of Hungary. Did I mention Gyula also has an awesome castle/stronghold?
Things to see in Gyula
- Soak in Gyula thermal baths
- Explore the medieval castle
- Book a wellness hotel and relax!
Where to stay in Gyula
When visiting Gyula, you should not skip the thermal baths, so why not stay in the Wellness Hotel Gyula? This hotel is super close to the castle and on top of that… it has a huge wellness area, which is included in the room price.
Komlo Hotel Gyula is your top pick for a romantic getaway with your lover. This hotel is cozy, romantic, and it also has a wellness area.
Balatonfüred / Siofok / Tihany
Siofok, Balatonfüred, and Tihany are three perfect holiday destinations in Hungary. All are located on the banks of Lake Balaton, which is stunning all year round. These Hungarian cities thrive in summer, when campings and hotels are heavily visited by families visiting the lake. The cities are obviously great to visit with kids.
During the summertime, loads of water activities can be done, but you can also find culture and beautiful sights. Lake Balaton isn’t far from Budapest.
Choosing between these towns at Lake Balaton can be difficult.
Siofok also has loads of stuff to see and we chose Siofok over Balatonfüred, because of the stunning sunsets!
Balatonfüred is more touristy and busy. It also offers more activities. It’s know as a spa town and there is also a big aqua park in town.
Tihany is located on a peninsula in the lake and it lies side to side with Balatonfüred. It’s mostly known for its great views over the lake and for the Tihany Abbey
Things to see at Lake Balaton
- Paddle a small boat through the Lake Cave Tapolca
- Look out over the lake from Tihany Abbey
- Visit the lively city center of Siofok
- Spend a day by the water and watch the sunset over the lake!
Lake Balaton accommodation
When looking for Lake Balaton Hotels in Balatonfüred, Aura Hotel is an awesome choice to get that awesome holiday feeling. Enjoy the beach, as well as, the various swimming pools, wellness area, and the on site restaurant.
In Siofok, check out the Topart Hotel, which is located out of town, but has a wellness center and lake access.
Or choose the luxurious lifestyle for an affordable price in the Mala Garden Design Hotel, an absolute traveler favourite! This hotel is perfect for romance!
This highlight in Hungary is rather a town than a city, but it is a nice place to visit and it’s just too cute. This small mountain village can be found in the only Eastern Hungarian mountain range: Bükk mountains. Lillafüred has a lot to offer to its visitors. That’s why we wrote a guide about visiting the town and the things you can do in Lillafüred.
Things to see in Lillafured
- Take the forest train to nowhere, just for fun
- Book a night in the castle hotel and enjoy the wellness
- Go for a hike up the mountain
- Walk through the beautiful Hanging Garden
- Read our guide about Lillafured
Where to stay in Lillafüred
In Lillafüred, we definitely recommend staying in the Hunguest Hotel Palota, which is located inside Lillafüred Castle. The hotel is perfect for couples, as well as families and it has on site restaurants and wellness facilities.
The town of Héviz is a spa town near Lake Balaton. In Héviz, you can swim in the largest thermal lake of Europe and the second largest in the world. Lake Héviz is around 4,4 hectare large and it’s healthy to swim in. Water temperature in Lake Héviz is around 24 degrees Celsius on the coldest days of the year. In summer, temperature rise up to 37 degrees Celsius.
This area and especially the lake, has been used by humans since the stone age. Ancient tribes already understood the positive effects of the healing water. Thanks to the constant hot water flow, all of the water in the lake is refreshed every 72 hours.
Things to see in Hévis
- Spend a day at Lake Hévis
- Visit the Cadillac Museum
- Explore the local market and buy fresh goods
Where to stay at Lake Hévis
Lake Hévis is another wellness destination where thermal baths are the main attraction.
Bonvital Hotel Hévis is an adults-only complex where you can expect to be pampered. With its excellent location near the lake and its superior, included wellness facilities, you can’t go wrong with this hotel! Breakfast and dinner are also included in the room price.
The Lotus Therme Hotel & Spa offers world class accommodation and wellness arrangements for an affordable price near Lake Hévis. Travelers are super excited about this hotel!
Viségrad is one of the ancient, but cool places in Hungary. For a long time, it was called home by different kings of Hungary. At this time, it’s possible to visit the summer palace of King Matthias. The town has a beautiful location at the Danube Bend and it’s a cozy place to visit or stay a while. Just like the area around Lake Héviz, cultures seem to thrive in this area and it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age.
One of the highlights of Viségrad is the Castle of Viségrad, which offers amazing views over the Danube Bend. But the town is also a great place to spend a few days or even weeks!
Things to see in Visegrad
- Drive up to the High Castle and the Citadel
- Visit the Mátyás Király Museum which is beautifully located
- Hike the beautiful Rám-Szakadék trail
- Relax in one of the many wellness hotels
Where to stay in Visegrad
The Royal Club Hotel provides a wellness center with various sauna’s, a salt chamber, and swimming pools. They also offer a billiard table, table soccer, table tennis, … Visitors could stay here forever!
Hotel Viségrad is a place of relaxation and luxury. The Hotel has an inside and outside swimming pool, sauna, and as a surplus: a hot tub with views over the Danube. Could you wish for anything else? In summertime, they organize medieval tournaments.
The city of Vác is located on the banks of the Danube, near Viségrad. It’s a popular resort town for locals, as well as tourists and there are quite a few attractions for visitors. In Vác, you can find museums, churches, wineries and loads of beautiful sights.
Vác is located north of Budapest and you can visit it in a day trip or stay a few days in this popular Hungarian destination.
Things to see in Vac
- Visit Vac Castle
- Walk underneath the only Triumphal Arc in Hungary
- Take a day trip to the Danube Ipoly National Park
- Enjoy natural sights from the Királyrét Forest Rail
Where to stay in Vac
The Bellevue Vendégház Guesthouse in Vac is an all time traveler favourite accommodation in Vac. This guesthouse is located in the center of the city and offers views over the Danube. This top-rated accommodation in your best choice when staying the night in Vac.
This place is more of a village than a city, but it’s very worthy of your time. The authentic village of Hollókő is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Houses are built in an interesting and cute manner. Hollókő is a very beautifully looking place where you can easily spend a day or more.
The village is built at the foot of a castle and is bulking with culture and folklore.
Things to see in Hollókő
- Visit the iconic Pajtakert village
- Explore Hollókő Castle
- Absorb tons of culture in the many museums
- Learn about old crafts from medieval times
Where to stay in Hollókő
Hollókő is a quiet small town, but still, it offers world class accommodation for travelers. Castellum Hotel Hollókő offers everything you can wish for: a wellness center and spa, a swimming pool, fitness center, delicious food, and an excellent location in the village center.
Gödöllő is another Hungarian city that has been thriving for centuries. The area was inhabited in the Stone Age. Later it became the home of aristocratic families, before it became the summer residence of royal families.
Currently, the royal Palace of Gödöllő is one of the main tourist attractions in this city. But there are other highlights to visit, like the World Peace Gong, the town market and a few interesting buildings.
Things to see in Gödöllő
- Visit the baroque Royal Palace and gardens
- Reserve a few hours to explore the Park Arboretum Gödöllői
- Watch impressive horse shows at Lazar Equestrian Park
Where to stay in Gödöllő
Hotel Queen Elizabeth Superior is the absolute best accommodation in Gödöllő City. This hotel offers free access to its wellness center and it has an excellent location inside a beautiful building in the center of town.
Tata is a beautiful little town, located about 70 km West of Budapest.
With a location on the banks of Lake Tatai (Lake Öreg), there are quite a few beautiful picture locations to be found in this town.
Tata also has a beautiful castle, a palace and a charming English Garden you can visit.
As is the case with many cities in Hungary, this region has been inhabited for ages and historical relics have been found, placing Tata on the map in 50 thousand BC.
In short: this town is beautiful and if you’re in the area or looking for a day trip from Budapest, Tata is a great choice!
Things to see in Tata
The highlights of Tata are:
- Tata Castle
- the clock tower or Bellfry
- the English Garden or Angolpark
- Eszterhazy Palace
- Fényes hiking trail
Where to stay in Tata
Platan Vararok Vendeghaz is the best and most popular accommodation in Tata. The place is super cozy and beautiful. On top of that, it has a superb location right next to the castle. There’s an on site wellness center, but also a restaurant and café.
Another great choice is Hotel Penta Lux. It located on the other side of Lake Öreg and offers magnificent views over the lake and the castle. There’s also a spa area and indoor swimming pool.
The city and department of Sopron is located in the Western corner of Hungary, hugged by the Austrian border. So this city can easily be visited as a day trip from Austria.
The most beautiful side of this town is probably the ancient city center with its beautiful main square and narrow streets. Parts of the old city wall are still remaining, but most of it is gone.
Sopron is often overlooked by tourists, but it is a very nice place to spend a night or 2.
Things to see in Sopron
- The Old town of Sopron
- The fire watch tower has a prominent place in the center
- The ancient walls
- Fertő-Hanság National Park is only a day trip away
Where to stay in Sopron
Stay in the heart of the Old Town in Hotel Wollner. This family hotel is set in an ancient (restored) building in a pedestrian street in Sopron. This hotel is just so cute and old school, you gotta try it! Don’t forget to check out the bar inside the wine cellar. Recommended!
Esztergom is a large and popular city which lies about 50km North of capital Budapest. It was a very important city during medieval times and it also houses the Royal Palace and Royal Castle.
The city lies on the banks of the Danube river, near the border with Slovakia. It’s easy to visit this Hungarian highlight on a day trip from Budapest, but you can also choose to spend a few nights in this interesting city.
Esztergom actually lies on a beautiful road trip, which includes Visegrad, Vac, and Szentendre.
Things to see in Esztergom
- Explore Esztergom Castle
- Check out the Basilica of Esztergom and the great views from the top
- Cross the Mária Valéria Bridge to quickly set foot in Slovakia
Where to stay in Esztergom
In Esztergom, we recommend staying in Decsi Panzio in the city center. The guesthouse is centrally located, but still quiet at night. The guest house is family owned and offers great service for its guests.
The city of Szentendre is located on the banks of the Danube river, not too far from Viségrad, Vac, and Esztergom. So these 4 cities can be visited in a day trip, but all of them are very worthy of a longer stay as well!
The riverside city is popular and touristy. In the main walking street, you can find loads of restaurants and souvenir shops. Many visitors from Budapest visit Szentendre on a day trip, as it is located just 19 km outside of the capital.
The old city center looks very medieval and it’s a great place to wander around for a few hours and escape the crowds in the capital.
Szentendre seems to be designed for tourism and there are tons of museums and exhibitions to keep visitors busy!
Things to see in Szentendre
- Explore the ancient city center and cozy alleys
- Visit the dozens of churches and cathedrals
- Relive the middle ages in the Skanzen Village museum
- Check out the cool Retro Design Museum
- The Urban Transport Museum holds a collection of ancient buses and trains
Where to stay in Szentendre
Debrecen is a major city in the east of Hungary. For travelers who wish to explore the East of the country, Debrecen even has its own airport. The city is also called: the capital of the Northern Great Plains.
It’s the second largest city of Hungary, but it’s very different from Budapest.
Many travelers use this city as a hub to visit Hortobagy National Park and other sights in Eastern Hungary. But it’s also an interesting place to stay for a few days and absorb the culture on the other side of Hungary.
Things to see in Debrecen
- The Nagyerdei Water Tower is an iconic sight in Debrecen
- Visit the thermal baths and cave bath of Aquaticum
- Wander through the botanical gardens at the university
- Explore the Great Plains of Hortobagy
Where to stay in Debrecen
The third largest city in Hungary is Miskolc and the city has a lot to offer for its visitors.
A lot of these interesting activities are situated in the near area outside of town. In the Miskolc area, you can find Bükk National Park and the mountain village of Lillafured, Miskolc Tapolka, which is known for the cave baths and adventure activities, Diosgyor Castle, and quite a few other highlights.
Inside of the city center, Miskolc holds a few museums, churches, cathedrals and other sights.
Things to see around Miskolc
- Miskolctapolca and the Cave Baths
- Diosgyor Castle
- Lillafured town and Castle
- Wooden church in Miskolc
Where to stay in Miskolc
A lot of travelers who visit Miskolc, choose to stay in accommodation in the area, such as Miskolctapolca or Lillafüred.
In the city center of Miskolc, Hotel Pannonia is a great choice. It’s located in a pedestrian street near all the main activities. This hotel offers a great and friendly atmosphere to explore the city.
The city of Szeged is located in the Southernmost region of Hungary, against the border with Serbia. Being one of the largest cities in the Southern Great Plains, Szeget is a great hub to use when exploring this part of Hungary.
Szeget is sometimes called: the city of festivals. There’s a ‘Pork and Palinka Festival’, a ‘Culinary Rock & Roll Festival’, a ‘Wine Festival’, … Do I need to go on? Expect festivals in Szeged in each summer month! The most popular festival is Szeged Open Air Festival, which is held every weekend during the summer.
Things to see in Szeged
- Attend one of the many festivals in Szeged
- Go bird watching at the nearby Lake Fehér
- Visit the eclectic Synagogue
- Experience different Hungarian performances at Zseged Open Air Festival
- Spend an afternoon in the lush botanical garden
Where to stay in Szeged
When spending the night in Szeged, book your stay at the Science Hotel in the heart of the city. This hotel is super modern, well-designed, and clean. It’s only a short walk to all the main sights in the city.
Veszprem city lies a few kilometers North of Lake Balaton, but the entire area around it carries the name Veszprem county.
The city is also called ‘City of Queens’, as it was the favourite city of Queen Gisèle, wife of King Stephen.
Veszprém has a central location and it’s easy to access from Budapest, as well as Lake Balaton. Using Veszprém as a base to explore the area is definitely a good idea for the same reason.
Things to see in Veszprém
- Veszprémi Castle has a great lookout over the city
- The Fire Watch tower offers wide views over the surrounding landscape
- Enjoy the gardens surrounding the monastery
- Take a day trip to Lake Balaton
Where to stay in Veszprém
Hotel Historia & Historante is beautifully and conveniently located in the heart of the city. Guest totally adore this place, because of the central location and the obvious pampering. There’s a spa and wellness center with a hot tub and different sauna’s on site.
Also in the heart of Veszprém, Óváros Apartman is another excellent accommodation choice. These apartments are complete with kitchen, living room, bathroom, and all the amenities you might need. The apartments are located in the center of town, near the castle.
Map with the best cities to visit in Hungary
Conclusion: cities in Hungary
Planning a trip to Hungary? These are our top picks for places to visit in Hungary. We’re in the process of discovering the diverse country of Hungary our self and we have a lot more information about Hungary coming up in the future.
For now, these are the best cities in Hungary to visit right now! Most of them can be reached by train or car. Get inside information about train travel in Europe or dig deeper into how to travel Europe like a boss!
How about relaxing in nature after visiting all these cities? Have a look at the coolest national parks in Hungary!
Have you been to some of these places? Do you know other interesting places in Hungary? Let us know in the comment section.
Before taking of on an international trip, make sure to get a decent VPN to protect your privacy while using public WiFi. Don’t forget to get travel insurance, and with a good travel card, you can pay anywhere in the world without trouble!