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Hungary

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Continent:Europe National flag
National flag: Hungary
Capital city:Budapest
Area:93,031 km2 ( 108. )
Population:10,006,835 Person ( 80. )
People density:108 Person / km2
GDP per capita:3,775 $ / Person ( 56. )
GDP:37,775,802,125 $
Official language:hungarian

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The capital, Budapest, dominates the country in every sense – administratively, commercially and culturally. Divided into two distinct parts by the River Danube – the historical Buda district on the elevated west bank, and the grittier but more dynamic Pest district on the eastern side – the city boasts a welter of fine museums and churches, coffee houses, Turkish baths and Roman ruins, as well as some splendid architecture and a diversity of entertainment unmatched in any of the cities of the former Eastern bloc.

The most obvious attraction after Budapest is the magnificent Danube Bend, one of the most spectacular stretches of this immense river. Sweeping its way north out of the capital, the river passes through the delightful town of Szentendre on the west bank – a popular day trip from the capital – before moving serenely on through historic Visegrád and up to Esztergom, the centre of Hungarian Catholicism. Southwest of Budapest, Lake Balaton, with its string of brash resorts, styles itself as the "Nation’s Playground," but also contains Europe’s largest thermal bath at Héviz, and some splendid wine regions, notably around the Badacsony Hills and Balatonboglár on the southern shore.

Encircling Balaton and encompassing the area west of the Danube, Transdanubia has the country’s most varied topography, from the flat, rather monotonous landscape of the northern Kisalföld to the verdant, forested Orség in the southwest. The region also claims some of the country’s finest towns and cities, most notably Sopron with its atmospheric Belváros (Inner town), and the vibrant city of Pécs, notable for its superb museums and Islamic architecture. Further south, the vineyards around Villány and Siklós – Hungary’s first wine road – yield some of the country’s finest wines.

The mildly hilly mountain ranges of the Northern Uplands, spreading eastwards from Budapest, offer Hungary’s best opportunities for leisurely pursuits, including hiking, cycling and even skiing. The region is also home to the country’s most fantastic natural wonder, the Aggtelek caves, whilst the more sparsely populated northwestern region, the Zemplén range, will appeal to castle enthusiasts and those seeking to get off the beaten track. The Uplands are also famed for their wine centres, the most renowned being Eger – an enchanting town in its own right, showcasing some marvellous Baroque architecture – and Tokaj.

The area south of the Uplands is dominated by the vast, flat swathe of land known as the Great Plain, bisected in two by Hungary’s other great river, the Tisza. Covering almost fifty percent of the country, the Plain doesn’t have the clear-cut attractions of other regions, but it can be a rewarding place to visit. Szeged, close to the Serbian border, is the area’s most appealing centre, with some delightful architecture and perhaps the country’s most beautiful synagogue. Further east, its rival city Debrecen serves as the jumping-off point for the archaic Erdohát region and the mirage-haunted Hortobágy puszta, home to a fantastic array of wildlife.

[ Buy on Amazon: The Rough Guide to Hungary ]

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Map of country Hungary

Map of country  Hungary

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