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Start your tour of Hungary in Budapest

Trips through Europe often focus on tourist hotspots in the westernmost reaches of the continent, but if you make your way through the central region there are plenty of highlights that can often go overlooked. That is certainly the case when it comes to a tour of Hungary. The country is replete with a unique sense of culture and history, and a visit to the capital city of Budapest will surely convince any doubters. The city is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best travel destinations on the globe, and there are many places to visit during your time here. Here are just a few that can't be missed:

Castle Hill
Full of medieval charm, Castle Hill is often considered to be the highlight of any trip to Budapest. Walking down the cobblestone streets - which are largely void of cars - is like taking a step back in time, and there are seemingly countless cafes and shops you can peruse at your leisure. However, the centerpiece of Castle Hill is the enormous Buda Castle. This impressive piece of architecture was originally used as a royal palace, and today it offers visitors the opportunity to marvel at Hungary's storied past. 

Thermal baths
Budapest is famous for a variety of reasons, and thermal baths are among them. In fact, one of its many nicknames - including Capital of Festivals and Capital of Freedom - is the Capital of Spas and Thermal Baths. According to U.S. News, these unique attractions come from the influence Turkey had on the city. Of course, there are many spas and baths to choose from, but the Gellert Baths are among the most well-known. Built in the early 20th century, the bathhouse is not only an ideal place to relax, but they are also a unique piece of architecture.

Ride the trams
Each city puts its own spin on public transportation, and Budapest does that with its iconic tramway. These trams have been in operation for nearly 150 years and give you the opportunity to hop off and on at your leisure. Aside from making sightseeing easy and fun, riding the trams is one of the few ways you can experience a working piece of history.

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