Admire a variety of fauna and flora across the country
Hungary has quite a few national parks within the country. All of them have their charms and specifications. And some have a more convenient location than others!
A lot depends on where you’re staying and what you expect to see and do!
Most National Parks of Hungary are awesome for bird watching and wildlife spotting. All of them will give you a strong connection with nature.
But how to know which National Park you should visit?
In this article, we’ll sum up all of them, complete with more information about what’s so cool about them! That way, you know which national parks to include in your trip to Hungary.
Hortobágy National Park
Hortobágy is the best known National Park in Hungary and it is also known as ‘The Great Plain of Hungary’. This national park consist mostly of flatlands called puszta, which is characteristic for Central en Eastern Hungary.
In this park, you can find loads of different animal species that can’t be found anywhere else. There is a good chance to spot some water buffaloes, deer, crane birds, lizards, … and many more.
Hortobágy National Park is listed as Unesco World Heritage. The park is over 800 square kilometers and it is the largest natural grassland in Europe!
What do to in Hortobágy
- Watch horse shows where the horsemen show a unique bond with their animals.
- Explore the old shepherd culture and discover how herdsmen live on the puzsta
- Hike natural trails along the Tisza or on the plains
- Wildlife spotting
- Check out the Nine-Holed Bridge
- Attend a folklore festival
Check out this video about Hortobágy National Park
Danube-Ipoly National Park
The Danube-Ipoly National Park in Hungary is one of the most diverse and probably most visited in the entire country. With a location in the touristic Northern Danube area, it is more accessible for tourist in the area, then many of the other parks. You can even visit a lot of sites in this park on a day trip from Budapest! And, as everyone knows, there are a lot of things you can do in Budapest!
In this park, mountains, plains, rivers, lakes, and cave systems all come together in one National Park.
Three former natural parks were joined into this larger one. In this park, as is the the case for any of the parks, there’s a nature protection programme to protect the diversity of animals, birds, and plats that reside here, some of which can only be found here!
Danube-Ipoly National Park covers an area of more than 600 square kilometers. It begins right north of Budapest and extends all the way to the Slovakian border.
What to do in Danube-Ipoly National Park
- Visit the ethno village of Ócsa
- Explore the Szemlő-hegyi cave (walking)
- Go caving in the Pál-völgyi cave system or in Matyas cave (caving and crawling)
- Take a guided panoramic tour with stunning views over Budapest and its districts
Check out this video about Danube-Ipoly National Park
Danube-Drava National Park
Danube-Drava National Park is located in the Southern part of Hungary, not too far from the city of Pécs. The park is wedged between the rivers Danube and Drava in the Southern Transdanubia area.
Its location, wedged in between these rivers makes this park a great habitat for a lot of water bound animals. In theory, this area is flood land area, so the park is often times a drowned land when the rivers exceed their boundaries.
Large numbers of animals can be found here in numbers that can’t be found anywhere else. This park is a great refuge for European wildlife. Stork come here to breed all summer, but there are many more animals to be spotted.
The National Park of Danube-Drave covers almost 500 square kilometers of land.
What to do in Danube-Drava National Park
- Go canoeing on one of the side rivers
- Check out the bat museum
- Hike one of the many nature trails
- Discover the flood plains by bicycle
- Explore Abaliget cave or the Mészégető cave
Check out this video about Danube-Drava National Park
Bükk National Park
The Bükk mountain range and National Park consists of a varied landscape with a lot to offer for visitors. Aside from the cute mountain towns and scenic roads through the forest, Bükk National Park also houses a ton of wildlife and birds.
In the village of Lillafüred a few limestone caves can be explored, but the most impressive caves of the Bükk park is, without a doubt the István-Lápa cave. This cave has a length of almost 9km, but it’s its depth that is super impressive: 254m! It’s not clear if this cave is open to the public.
In the Bükk mountains, it’s also possible to spot wildlife, like foxes, wolves, falcons, bat species that can be found nowhere else, reptiles, and loads more!
Bükk National Park covers over 430 square kilometers.
What to do in Bükk National Park
- Visit the cute village of Lillafüred
- Explore the Anna cave and Szent Istvan cave
- Hike some of the many hiking trails
- Rent a mountain bike and go cycling
- Drive the forest road between Lillafüred and Eger
- Check out the waterfall at Szalajka-völgy
Check out this video about Bükk National Park
Őrség National Park
Őrség National Park is located in the Western tip oh Hungary, near the border with Austria and Croatia. This area used to be an important defence base for the country and people have been living here for centuries, keeping their folklore habits and culture.
People who lived here were in harmony with nature and they protected the natural diversity.
So Őrség National Park offers a lot of cultural heritage and workshops where you can experience the old way of doing things!
In this national park, you can find lush valleys and rivers. The park was voted as one of the seven wonders of Hungary.
Őrség Nation Park extends for over 440 thousand square kilometers and it’s the youngest national park in Hungary.
What to do in Őrség National Park
- Engage in a folklore cooking class
- Visit one of the 44 ethnic villages in the area
- Go horseback riding
- Hike one of the many nature trails
Check out this video about Őrség National Park
Aggtelek National Park
The Aggtelek National Park can be found in the North of Hungary, near the border with Slovakia. In this part of Hungary the mountains are really getting larger and taller and Aggtelek National Park consist for the largest part of Karst mountains.
This park is home to the largest stalactite cave in Europe: Baradla Cave, which has a total length of 26km. When crossing this cave, you are, at the same time, crossing the border to Slovakia!
And that’s definitely not the only cave inside the park! This park counts 280 different cave systems, all with different sizes and characteristics.
Aside from the many caves, Aggtelek is also a great place to go wildlife spotting. Animals like the Eurasian lynx, wolves, wild boars, eagles, … they can all be spotted here!
Aggtelek is listed as Unesco World Heritage. The park covers almost 200 square kilometers.
What to do in Aggtelek National Park
- Check out the Baradla Cave
- Or follow a tour in one of the other caves
- Go horseback riding
- Hike the walking trails or ride them by bicycle
- Check out some historical villages
Check out this video about Aggtelek National Park
Balaton Uplands National Park
The Balaton area in Hungary is well-known and well-visited by Hungarians, as well as tourists. Balaton Uplands National Park is the area on the North shore of Lake Balaton and it consists of 6 different landscape protection areas.
Some parts of this park have been called ‘the most beautiful landscape in Hungary’ by poets, painters, and writers.
In this park, you can find wetlands, grasslands, caves, and weird rock formations.
Of all the Hungarian National Parks, Balaton Uplands probably has the most diversity to offer for visitors. There’s a lot of things to see and do, like underground lakes, Little Balaton lake with all it’s wildlife, the Balaton wine region, castles on top of a lookout hill, …
Balaton Uplands National Park covers a diverse area of more than 570 square kilometers.
What to do in Balaton Uplands National Park
- Explore the underground lake of Tapolca cave by boat
- Check out the buffalo reserve in Zalakomár
- Visit the castle of Szigliget
- Pay a visit to Little Balaton lake to spot birds
- Explore the Tihany peninsula
- Hike the Basalt Orchestra Nature trail (Bazaltorgonák Tanösvény)
- Go wine tasting!
Check out this video about Balaton Uplands National Park
Kiskunság National Park
Kiskunság National Park can be found a little South of Budapest and it is wedged between the Danube river and the Tisza river. It’s not one large area, but it consists of different, smaller areas, forming one park.
In this national park, you can find rivers and wetlands, but also desert like landscaped and sand dunes.
Kiskunság is listed as Unesco World Heritage. The park covers an area of more than 500 thousand square kilometers.
What to do in Kiskunság National Park
- Go bird spotting at one of the many protected lakes
- Check out the Public Road exhibition with old vehicles
- Visit the arboretum in Tiszakürt
Check out this video about Kiskunság National Park
Fertő-Hanság National Park
The Fertő-Hanság National Park is located in the West of Hungary, near the border with Austria. The main feature of the park is Lake Fertő, which is one of the largest lakes in Central Europe.
Lake Fertő covers over 300 square kilometers and the lake is actually part of a salt steppe.
So this park can officially be called a wetland habitat and that results in a number of water animals and tons of different bird species residing in the nature park.
Fertő-Hanság Park is listed as Unesco World Heritage. The park covers an area of almost 240 square kilometers.
What to do in Fertő–Hanság National Park
- Go on a canoe tour in the reed of Lake Fertő
- Visit the Esterházy Bird Observation Centre
- Check out the nearby Fertőrákosi Steinbruch, which is a theatre inside a cave
Check out this video about Fertő–Hanság National Park
Körös-Maros National Park
The Körös-Maros National Park is located in the South-Eastern part of Hungary, near the border with Romania. It’s one of the lesser known parks, but definitely not less beautiful.
Körös-Maros National Park is an area that is wedged between three rivers: the Körös river, the Maros river, and the Tisza river. This park provides a popular nesting area for hundreds of bird species.
Aside from the vivid and diverse wildlife population, Körös-Maros National Park also offers a lot of nature walking and hiking trails.
Körös-Maros National Park covers and area of more than 500 square kilometers.
What to do in Körös-Maros National Park
- Explore the backwaters with a canoe
- Cycle or hike the nature trails
- Go bird watching at the Maros river flood basin
- Check out Gyula Castle and the thermal baths in town
- Visit Szabadkígyós Castle and its beautiful gardens
Check out this video about Körös-Maros National Park
Map with the 10 National Parks of Hungary
The 10 National Parks in Hungary
In this article, we included many of the videos of the Magyar Nemzeti Parkok, which is the organisation in Hungary who takes care of the parks.
They make beautiful videos of all of these parks that we want to share with our readers!
Hungary is just one of these countries where you can still find extended areas of nature. You can get out there and enjoy the untouched landscape and the wildlife that resides there!
Some of these National Parks are more accessible than others and some are located close to touristic areas.
Planning a trip to Hungary? Check out these tips on how to plan an international trip. And don’t forget to get a decent VPN and travel insurance!
Always be respectful for mother nature. Never leave trash behind. Leave only footprints!