Hungary is situated in Central Europe, sharing borders with the Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Slovenia. There are several ranges of hills, chiefly in the north and west. The country proudly upholds its Magyar traditions, culture and arts, but is attentive to what is new and fashionable in the outside world.
The capital city of Budapest, situated on one of the most beautiful areas of the Danube, is made up of two parts – Buda and Pest. The former is the older, more graceful, part with cobbled streets and medieval buildings; the latter is the commercial centre. The capital is a lively city that has long been a haven for writers, artists and musicians. Most visitors arrive in Budapest, situated on a lovely stretch of the Danube, the river that invokes feelings of romantic enchantment and musical memories. It is a city of culture and of astounding beauty and grace, and visitors are drawn to its enchanting magnetism. Outside of the capital the plains, rolling hills and rivers, lakes and vineyards hold much to offer the visitor. Budapest has a lively arts, cafe and music scene, and is host to a range of cultural and sporting festivals. In the countryside you'll find majestic plains, resort-lined lakes, Baroque towns, horse markets and rustic villages. The Baroque town and fine wines of Eger, historical riverside villages along the Danube Bend, commanding fortresses, castles and palaces, the resort-lined Lake Balaton and the thermal spas and volcanically heated lake at Hévíz are just some of the country's many highlights awaiting discovery.
A small landlocked country sharing its borders with seven neighbouring countries, Hungary was originally inhabited by the Magyars, an equestrian nomadic tribe. They were eventually converted to Christianity and in the year 1000 their Prince Stephen was crowned the nation's first ruler. Since then Hungary has seen numerous dynastic changes, from Turkish occupation to the era of Communism, and today quaint little towns, cities and ruins in the countryside bear the marks of this turbulent history with a rich mosaic of architectural styles and fortified hilltop castles.
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