Embark on a journey through Hungary as we delve into the best resorts and cities of Hungary, guiding travelers on what to explore and what to skip. This article aims to shed light on the unique attractions of each city, offering insights to help tourists make informed decisions. With Budapest aside, most people are unfamiliar with Hungary’s hidden gems, making this information vital for the avid traveler seeking more than the capital city has to offer.

Overview of Hungarian Cities

Before we dive into the details, it’s crucial to note that the ranking presented here is subjective. While opinions may differ, I’ll provide arguments for and against each city, leaving the final decision to you.

Key Information about Hungarian Cities:

  • Budapest: The capital and largest city of Hungary, boasting a population of 1.8 million people.
  • Debrecen: The second-largest city in the country, with a population of 200,000.

Crucial Distinctions:

A vast gap exists between Budapest and all other Hungarian cities. The combined population of the country’s top 10 cities is still smaller than Budapest. In contrast to the bustling nightlife and abundant entertainment options in the capital, other cities tend to quiet down by 9 PM, with minimal nocturnal activity. Finding a restaurant open at 11 PM can be a challenge outside Budapest, and tourist crowds are significantly smaller in other cities.
Hungarian cities for tourists
A midday scene in Debrecen’s city center, with good weather and a moderate crowd, contrasts starkly with Budapest’s center, where the population is ten times larger throughout the year and day. For some, the absence of tourist crowds is a considerable advantage.

Best Resorts and Cities of Hungary: Where to Go Beyond Budapest

In the following table, you’ll discover the best cities in Hungary for tourists, along with brief explanations of why they stand out. Links to individual city reviews are included to help you plan your ideal itinerary.

The order in the table below is arbitrary.

LocationDistance from the capitalThermal BathsComments
Hévíz200 kmYesHome to the world’s largest thermal lake and a street with private vineyards known as “Wine Hill.”
Balaton120 kmNoHungary’s main beach resort area with dozens of resort towns.
Szeged180 kmYesA beautiful city with stunning architecture and two thermal baths. Anna Thermal Baths are among the best in the country.
Miskolc170 kmYesA small town with underground thermal baths in a real cave. Absolutely fantastic!
Lillafüred160 kmYesA very small and beautiful mountain village with a lake and a castle, now a hotel with thermal baths. Read more in the article about Miskolc.
Eger130 kmYesA picturesque city with a fortress, the tallest minaret, and baths. Also home to the “Valley of Beautiful Women,” a district with wineries.
Debrecen240 kmYesTwo thermal baths and a very cool old town in the center.
Suburb of Budapest50 kmNoEsztergom-Visegrád-Szentendre, three medieval towns north of the capital. Castles, fortresses, views of the Danube. Can be done in a day. Highly recommended.
Pecs230 kmNoA city with a beautiful historical center, unique monuments and hiking routes for tourists
Links are clickable, and they’ll open detailed reviews.
The best cities in Hungary
Lillafüred Mountain Village: In this castle-hotel, you’ll find thermal baths. It’s a perfect spot to spend a day or two. Room prices with breakfast start from 150-200 euros per day.

Many ask me to highlight the absolute top cities in Hungary. To make your choice easier, focus on locations with thermal baths. Spend your days in the baths and your evenings exploring the city.

  • Hévíz: Without a doubt, Hévíz is a small, cozy town. It lacks medieval architecture, but it boasts a thermal lake and a street with wine cellars for tastings. Hévíz reminds me of the Lithuanian resort town Druskininkai – those who have been there will understand.
Hungarian resorts Heviz
Hévíz Lake speaks for itself. It’s a top-ranking location in Hungary. Open year-round, with water at +36 degrees Celsius.
  • Miskolc is a beautiful small town, but the real gem is the underground thermal baths in an actual cave. Check out the review for more. The water temperature is +38 degrees Celsius. Additionally, just 13 km away is the mountain village of Lillafüred, also featured in this ranking. You can combine visits.
beautiful cities of hungary
The caves here are enormous, with a total length of 300-400 meters, several large halls, and many labyrinths. The number of people is a hundred times fewer than at the Széchenyi Baths in the capital.
  • Szeged: A city with beautiful architecture, a charming center, and not one but two thermal baths. One complex includes a water park and more kid-friendly activities, while the other, Anna Thermal Baths, offers genuine relaxation.
which Hungarian cities to choose for travel
Anna Baths in Szeged: An excellent place for relaxation, with about 10 thermal baths like the ones in the photo. You can enjoy a beer while soaking in the hot water.
  • Eger is as fantastic as the other cities in this ranking: thermal baths, a medieval fortress, a cool marzipan museum, the tallest minaret you can climb, and a whole quarter of private wineries called the “Valley of Beautiful Women.” Spend your days in the baths and evenings tasting Eger wines, especially the famous Bikavér.
Hungarian cities with thermal baths
Outdoor thermal baths open year-round, especially great to visit in the fall and winter. Water temperature: +37 degrees Celsius.

Cities or Regions with Not Much to Do

Below is a brief list of locations in Hungary that are often touted as must-visit but, in reality, don’t offer much. Yes, they have a beautiful center and places for an evening stroll. If these cities are on your travel route and timing allows, feel free to book accommodation for one night. Explore in the morning and move on to a new city. New places mean new experiences, and you won’t get bored.

  • Győr
  • Sopron: Many rave reviews, but, in my opinion, it’s a one-day city with a beautiful historic center, like everywhere in Hungary.
  • Székesfehérvár
  • Szolnok
  • Kecskemét
  • Tokaj Region: Famous for Hungarian wine, but tourists may find it rather dull.

Some of these cities have thermal baths, like Kecskemét, but overall, they are one-night cities without a significant wow factor. If they fit into your travel route and timing allows, book accommodation for one night and make a stop. In the morning, move on to a new city for fresh experiences.

which cities in Hungary to visit
Pécs City: On the outskirts, there are hills with hiking trails, viewpoints (one pictured), and a zoo. If you come here for a day, you won’t get bored.


All cities in Hungary are beautiful. The author is not trying to categorize them as good or bad. The main goal is to help you plan the best route for more exciting experiences. Most travelers visit Hungary for 3-4 days, so choices must be made. However, if you have two weeks, you can almost cover the entire country, including Pecs, Sopron, and Kecskemét.

I hope it’s now easier to decide where to go beyond Budapest. To explore the best cities of Hungary and resorts from this ranking, you’ll need a minimum of 10 days, assuming you stay in each for only two nights. Add Budapest, and you’ve got a 14-day vacation like no other.

Wishing you vibrant emotions from Hungary and its cities. Remember, Hungary is more than just Budapest.

IMPORTANT: Below are useful links that will help organize your trip to Hungary and Budapest:

  • Flight: Aviasales – compares prices for flights among 30+ airlines flying to Budapest.
  • Tours and excursions:
    • Viator and GetYourGuide – the best services for finding tours in Budapest and Hungary with the largest database of activities in Hungary. They offer river cruises on the Danube, tickets to baths, and 1000+ tours (available in different languages).
  • Accommodation, apartments, hotels, hostels:
    • Hotellook compares the prices among dozens of other booking services and offer the best price
    • Booking – the most popular booking platform
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Hungary
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – the leading and largest car rental service in Hungary.
  • Travel Insurance: EKTA.
  • eSIMAiralo virtual SIM card in Hungary.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel