(First published on We Love Budapest, 14 December 2014)
Szentendre is only about an hour from central Budapest and makes the perfect day trip. Walk through its cobble-stoned streets, peruse the galleries and shops, eat Hungary’s famous fried dough at one of the many lángos stands and climb to one of the look-out points for a view of the town and Danube. For most of the year - but especially during summer - Szentendre is a very popular tourist destination. To take a break from the tourists, take a stroll along the bank of the Danube and see this mighty river from up-close. The nearby “Skanzen,” an open-air museum, presents theHungarian way of life from the late 18th to early 19th century. It introduces traditional architecture, interior decoration, farming, dress and culture. Many original objects make up this museum and houses have even been arranged in old settlement patterns to give an authentic experience of typical village life.
How to get there: From Batthyány Square take the HÉV commuter train to Szentendre - a journey of just about 40 minutes. To head to on to the Skanzen, take the local bus from Szentendre’s HÉV station.
Lake Balaton – Tihany and Füred
Lake Balaton is most popular with tourists during the summer, but all throughout the year Tihany and Füred can be beautiful spots to visit. Enjoy some fresh air and a view of what locals call the “Hungarian sea." Füred, which is one of the most glamorous spots on the Balaton has a beautiful tree-lined promenade, picture-perfect sailboats moored at the marina, restaurants and cafes aplenty, plus green parks to enjoy. Another option is to head to the nearby Tihany where the famous Tihany Abbey is a picturesque spot for a stroll. To explore the region further a bike ride is a good option, and this is a great base from which to explore local wineries. More information on this whole region can be found at We Love Balaton.
How to get there: Trains depart from Déli Railway Station and take about three hours to get to Füred. To get to Tihany there are buses that depart from Füred train station and take about 20 miniutes to get there.