Hungary may sit in the physical heart of Central Europe, but within its oft-changing borders is a society that has long marched to the beat of its own drum, sharing very little with its surrounding neighbors both linguistically and culturally. Even though it has an intimate relationship with European art and propensities, Hungary has always retained a character distinctly its own, resulting in a place where Europe is at its most enchantingly exotic.

It might be a small, landlocked country, but Hungary possesses a wealth of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites, spanning from Roman ruins, Medieval towns, and Baroque cathedrals, to Neoclassical public buildings and even Art Nouveau bathhouses. It has also earned its nickname as The Land of Waters, boasting the largest lake in Europe, Lake Balaton, the second largest thermal lake in the world, Lake Hévíz, and many a mighty river within the Carpathian Basin. Indeed, ‘taking to the water’ is a concept that has existed in Hungary since the era of the toga, as this active geo-thermic country is home to more than a thousand thermal hot springs.

Even its capital is split by water, with Buda situated on the Western bank of the Danube River, and Pest on the East. This is arguably one of the most exciting cities in the world, full of ancient castle districts, artistic soul, and Danube charm, as well as a rising bar and café culture that has lured a vibrant, youthful, and stylish generation to its center. While Budapest may be a powerhouse of new ideas, the country’s 10 million Magyars still hold firm to their rich folk heritage, especially in the smaller countryside villages. They can easily “wow” you with their traditional goulash and salami, but don’t be surprised if they introduce you to some world-renowned wines and cuisine that outperform their old-fashioned reputation. There is certainly no better way to experience it firsthand than with a custom journey to Hungary with Ker & Downey.