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See More Of Budapest With Car Hire

Apr 10, 2008
As a travel destination, Budapest has long been a favourite of city break tourists, who travel in their droves each year to soak up the myriad cultural and historical sights and attractions. There's so much more to Budapest than the constraints of the city, however. Should you hire a car in Budapest, you'll discover that the Hungarian capital is surrounded by some of the most picturesque scenery in Europe. Car hire in Budapest takes you on an exciting voyage of discovery through scenic wine regions, charming mountain villages and inspiring artists retreats. Natural parks are also plentiful, offering a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

1. Etyek Wine Region

A short 26km drive from Budapest will take you to Hungary's Etyek wine region. On the way you'll pass the lush landscape of the northern border of the County Fejer, a fertile area, which lends itself to 2000 hectares of vineyard. Etyek's variety of grapes is specially grown for sparking wine, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The region's most famous wine enterprise is that of the Törley family, which first came to prominence in Hungary towards the end of the 19th century.

2. Hollókő Village

The pretty village of Hollókő is a 100km journey north of Budapest. From Budapest, follow the M3 motorway to Hatvan and then exit at route 21. Hollókő is signposted immediately before Pászto. This World Heritage site is well worth a drive and offers visitors the chance to experience traditional Hungarian village life. Attractions in Hollókő include authentic Hungarian peasant dwellings, a post-office, school and village hall, which create the impression of a 'living museum'. Villagers of Hollókő are known as Palóc people and are proud of their preserved dialect, traditions and costumes. Hollókő plays host to a number of festivals and events during the calendar year including The Easter Festival, July's Rasberry Festival and August's Castle Tournament.

3. Hortobágy National Park

Hortobágy National Park is Europe's largest open grassland plain can be reached from Budapest via the M3 motorway to Füzesabony. From here, follow route 33 towards Debrecen. Hortobágy is home to a wide range of flora and fauna including the mangalica pig and the grey cattle.

Top visitor attractions in Hortobágy include the village tourist centre, the Herdsmen's Museum and the Kilenclyukú híd stone bridge.

The park is the venue for a number of popular events including International Horse Days and the Hídi Fair in August.

Szentendre Artist Retreat

The charming and historic town of Szentendre is situated in Pest County, not far from Budapest. Szentendre is famous for its rich cultural heritage. The cobbled streets and picturesque medieval buildings have long attracted artists and writers to the town. Today Szentendre is famous for its museums and art galleries. Art galleries worth a visit include Palmetta Design Gallery, Lajos Vajda Museum and Szentendre Gallery. The town also boasts a good range of shops, reasonably priced restaurants and cheap cafés, catering to thrifty artists and tourists on a budget.
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