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1.

Island in the stream

Climb the art nouveau water tower on Margaret Island, Budapest, to the observatory for a panoramic view of the city on both sides of the Danube, from the verdant rolling hills of Buda to the urban flatlands of Pest. The park is encircled by a 5km running track too.

2.

Going up

The 13th-century white castle at Fuzer is reached by an uphill hike through the woods. It’s worth the effort.

3.

Siege the day

Zrinyi Castle, in Szigetvar on Hungary’s southernmost edge, offers a vivid slice of history. An informative museum commemorates the valiant but doomed resistance against the Ottomans.

4.

Capital vineyard

Viniculture reaches back centuries in the village of Etyek, which is an easy trip from Budapest. Its mineral-rich limestone produces fresh whites and sparkling wine.

5.

Parks and recreation

A Unesco World Heritage site, the Hortobagy National Park covers 800 sq km of unspoilt grassland, meadows and wetland. Take a ride on the railway and watch the Csikos cowboys as they herd the grey, long-horned cattle.

6.

Street-food favourite

Hungary’s food is increasingly sophisticated but sometimes only a langos will hit the spot. It’s a deep-fried savoury flatbread, eaten slathered with sour cream, grated cheese and garlic. Don’t plan on doing much afterwards.

7.

Chasing waterfalls

Take a hike through the beautiful Szalajka valley, renowned for its wildlife and bracing fresh air, to the lake and the Veil waterfall.Try the local trout.

8.

Worth the sip

Savour a shot of palinka (fruit brandy), Hungary’s national spirit, which is enjoying a revival. Small producers are making it with a clean, pure taste that’s rich in fruit. Try Agardi or Pannonhalmi.

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