Hungary is full of beautiful small towns with a number of attractions worth visiting. However, most tourists only visit Budapest, which is understandable as the capital has so many sights that a few days are usually not enough to see all of them. But if you travel to Hungary and have a couple more days to spend, here are three small, yet beautiful towns near Budapest that are worth a one-day-trip.
This beautiful town is located 30 km northeast of Budapest. It can be easily reached by car or local train H8 from Örs Vezér Square. Its main attraction is the Royal Palace or Grassalkovich Palace, but the atmosphere of the town itself is a good reason to spend a day there. The palace was built in the 18th century under the rule of the Grassalkovich family. It was owned by various rich and historically important figures throughout the years. For example, after the compromise between Hungary and Austria in 1867, the palace became a residence of the royal family, while between the two world wars it served as the residence of Regent Horthy. Unfortunately, after 1945 the palace started to decline, as it became partly a barrack for Soviet and Hungarian soldiers and partly a common lodging house. However, the Soviet soldiers left the palace in 1990 and the common lodging house moved, so today the palace serves as a museum and it looks gorgeous once again. People can easily reach it as it is very close to the Main Square.
Gödöllő is also a town caring about nature. It has several parks, one of them is located right next to the Royal Palace. Yet it also has an arboretum worth visiting. It was founded in 1902 and it was totally ready by 1914. Before World War II it was considered to be Hungary’s most significant arboretum. It was expanded in 1960, so its original territory of 190 hectares became 350 hectares. 90 per cent of this territory serves as a place of forestry research, while 10 per cent is a park. It is located outside the town, whereas the Botanical Garden of Szent István University is right in the heart of the town. It is significantly smaller than the arboretum, but its magical atmosphere compensates for its size.
This town is located on Csepel Island, around 50 km south of Budapest. It can also easily be reached by car or local train H6 from Közvágóhíd. It is truly a town of recreation and tranquility. It is divided by the Danube just like Budapest, though it is much smaller and has only one bridge. Its main square has a unique atmosphere with four towers. One of them belongs to the Serb Orthodox Church, which is located a few streets away providing a calm atmosphere for the visitors, while the other three towers – Firetower, Catholic Church and Calvinist Church – are located in the centre. You can also climb up to the Firetower, which provides a great viewofo the town, the surrounding area and the Danube as well.
The Danube plays an important role in the town’s life, one of its attractions is also connected to the river: the boat market. It is not surprising that a Hungarian town has a market. What is unique about it is that it is not located on a square but at the bank of the Danube and merchants tend to arrive by boat. It has been a tradition which is still alive. The whole market is a corridor next to the river. It is usually held on every Wednesday and Saturday morning, so if you want to buy some tasty Hungarian sausage, lángos, vegetables or even live animals, you should go and try it!
This town is also located near the capital and can be reached by car, the local train H5 or even by boat! This town attracts tourists with its wonderful atmosphere. It is not only a frequent destination of foreigners, but Hungarians also like to visit that place and relax there. It offers a number of programs with its interesting museums, but many people like only walking around on its magical little streets. The town is next to the Danube and Szentendre Island, so if you want to leave the town behind and explore nature, the area provides those kinds of opportunities as well.
However, if you are curious about the town itself – which is a good reason to visit – you should start with the main square. Colourful houses, cobbled road, and beautiful flowers provide the magic that keeps you there and not just for a coffee. Yet if you still want to do something else, the Open Air Museum of Szentendre awaits you. It is Hungary’s largest open air museum and is responsible for presenting the architecture and life style of some significant regions of the Carpathian Basin.