“I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. The city is beautiful but this country is not like any other country in Europe. There is something special about this place and it deserves a lot more attention than it gets.”
Those were my impressions of Hungary after a few days in Budapest, Eger, and Recsk. After spending time with the people, experiencing the culture, and learning more about the history, a week wasn’t enough. I wanted to explore more of this country.
Slovenia is my favorite country in Eastern Europe. Lake Bled may be the most beautiful destination while Plitvice Lakes in Croatia is a close second. However, Hungary may win the award for most underrated country in all of Europe.
For anyone visting Hungary, Budapest is the number one destination. While impressions of Budapest may vary, I fell in love with the city. For me, it’s the most underrated city in Europe. Roy spent a week in a Budapest ghetto and saw a different side of the city.
Regardless of how you feel about the city, it leaves an impression. The same can be said of Eger and Recsk as I included them in my favorite off the beaten path places in Europe. Recsk also has a tragic side yet its beauty is in the resilience of its people. Hungary is one of the most unique countries in Europe.
Unforgettable Budapest, Eger, and Recsk
In the land of the Magyars, the Hungarian people have a unique culture and fractious history. Hungarians come from the Ural mountains and migrated to this area of Europe at the end of the 9thcentury.
Hungary has faced the Ottomans, seen their country shrink in size after World War I, suffered the brutal consequences of a Communist regime that rivaled the atrocities of Nazi Germany, and survived the attack of Soviet forces after the Hungarian revolution in 1956.
The people have persevered and celebrated their heritage, remembered their tragic past, overcome hardship and the cold war days of Communism, and celebrate life with wine, leisure, and culture in an underrated city and under appreciated regions.
I admit I don’t know any Hungarian. I learned a few phrases when I was there. I learned a little about Hungarian history and saw the darker side of it. However, Budapest, Eger, and Recsk showed me that this country and its people are special.
The city may not be the most popular. Hungary may be forgotten or not even on the radar of many people traveling in Europe. However its culture, people, and beauty are understated and elegant.
When you visit Hungary, don’t just look at what you see on the outside. Look at what is underneath. See the people, their struggles, and their celebration of life.
I do my best to share the beauty of this country as I experienced it. Unfortunately, you can’t fully Hungary through photos.
As you view Budapest, Eger, and Recsk through my lens, maybe you will understand what I experienced and why I fell in love with the people and the country.
Eger and Egerszalók
The town of Recsk serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the Communist regime. Recsk was the site of a Gulag Camp where the leaders of Communist Hungary punished dissenters. Known as the Hungarian version of a concentration camp, many suffered and died here. Today, the town remembers its dark past but strives to move forward.
You can read more about Recsk and other horrific sites like these in the most haunted places on earth.
The city of Budapest is divided by the Danube river. On the upper part of the city is Buda with Buda castle and views below to the Pest side of the city.
Have you visited Hungary? What was your favorite destination? Is it one of the most underrated countries in Europe?