Seeing one of the oldest countries in Europe can be a delight, especially when one is heading to Hungary. Travellers going here can visit via the Ferenc Liszt International Airport located in the eastern part of Budapest, the country's capital. This port of entry handles an average of 8 million passengers every year, even though it experienced a significant drop of travellers when Malév Hungarian Airlines closed down. This has not stopped the airport, as it increased the amount of cargo it handles. It also serves as a hub for other airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air. Charter flights are also popular here, due to the number of people and companies scheduling their flights to Hungary.
Budapest Airport began as a joint civil-military airfield with a sporting venue in the 1940s. Many of the buildings were destroyed during World War II with the airport becoming a Soviet Russian stronghold near war's end. Reconstruction in 1947 made the airfield become exclusive for civil aviation. This opened up Hungary to international flights from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1957. More airlines followed with more infrastructure development through the years. More facility developments are also currently planned to make Budapest airport a major aviation centre in Europe.
What to see & do
The beauty of Budapest can rival various sights in the cities of Europe. The castle district is renowned for its rich architecture and cultural treasures. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it has a feel of going back to the past as the old town features houses which have historical Roman stones and beautifully carved sediles on the doors. The Royal Palace is not only a sight to behold, but also the location of the National Gallery and the National Library.
Those who want to see another marvel can visit the Mathias Church, which is almost as old as the Royal Palace. The church has witnessed various royal ceremonies, been turned into a mosque, and has been renovated again at the end of the 19th century. Its current appearance is Neo-Gothic style, with smaller buildings attached to it. Excellent acoustic properties made the church become a site for various concerts with the Gothic tower a subject of many photographs.
Cultural trips are not the only activities to be enjoyed in Budapest. One can also enjoy a warm soak in the spas and thermal baths in the city. There are around 15 public baths available for those who want to socialise while warming up, not counting the private thermal spas where one can relax in peace and quiet. From there, one can stay in a hotel or go to an eatery offering authentic Hungarian cuisine. One can savour soups like goulash or the jókai bean soup with smoked pork knuckles. Indulging with chicken paprika and túrós csusza, a pasta meal with cottage cheese and bacon, is also in order. For desserts, cherry strudel or a Gundel crepe can be added to the meal. One can also select from a variety of Hungarian wines to sip throughout dinner.
How to get around within Budapest
Moving around the cities and towns of Hungary is best enjoyed on foot. For those who do not like to walk, various modes of transportation are available such as buses, trolleybuses, trams, and underground trains. There are also long-distance bus services moving all over the country for those who want to see various landmarks near to and far from the capital. Trains also make an efficient way to get around with the most popular rail routes being Budapest-Kecskemét-Szeged and Budapest-Siófok-Lake Balaton.
Car rental agencies can also be found in the capital and other cities in Hungary, which can delight those planning to drive. Taxis are also available for those who want speed and convenience. Those who are considering other ways to move around can hire a bicycle or take the ferry to enjoy the waterfront views.
How to get there
Travellers going to Hungary will most likely land on Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. Various European and Asian airlines connect here, such as Aegean Airlines, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, airBaltic, Air Berlin, Air France, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, easyJet, EgyptAir, Emirates, Finnair, Germanwings, KLM, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines, Transavia.com, Turkish Airlines, and Wizz Air. Seasonal flights also go here such as Air Malta, Air Transat, TAP Portugal, and Vueling.