As Visit Hungary requested, Thx.Agency invited nine TO's, journalists and bloggers from Belgium and the Netherlands for an exciting trip to Hungary. Due to the corona crisis, the trip was postponed for about two years, but it was definitely worth the wait. Time to highlight the assets of Hungary, under the smooth guidance of our Jeroen!
- Our goal? To introduce TOs and press to what Hungary has to offer.
- On the programme? Culinary discoveries, an introduction to the thermal culture, a business programme and an exploration of Western Hungary.
- Were we impressed? Yes, and we were clearly not alone :-)
A culinary start in Budapest
Our participants arrived in Budapest with a direct flight from Charleroi or Amsterdam. We checked into our base to discover Budapest: the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, with a high score in terms of location and quality. The first acquaintance with the culinary offerings of Budapest was immediately one of stature. We dined in restaurant St-Andrea (Michelin) where we were introduced to the refined Hungarian products and cuisine. The food and wine blew us off our seats and then there was the bill. Once again, we fell off our chairs. In Budapest, you can eat a 6-course menu, worthy of a Michelin star, for about EUR 60 per person (excluding wines). By the way, did you know that Hungary has six wine regions?
We were also spoiled in the New York Café - part of the New York Palace - where we learned about the glorious past of the building with coffee and croissant in hand. In the Great Market Hall, we were able to taste Hungarian specialities such as foie gras, peppers, truffles and fine meat products. In Zwack distillery, we sipped Unicum, a unique and popular herbal drink.
But besides having fun, we also had some work to do. A workshop was organised with networking as the central goal: the Discover Central Europe Networking Day. Our TOs had booked the necessary talks in order to expand their own offer with destinations in Hungary.
Together with its neighbours Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic, Hungary explicitly positions itself as an all-encompassing destination. The UNESCO heritage is important in all countries, together with a qualitative offer of thermal baths, nature, gastronomy and relaxation. It is clear that a growth in quality arrivals is an objective for this group.
Ending in Western Hungary
Besides Budapest, we also discovered the West of Hungary where we were immersed in the thermal culture of the Hungarians. When searching for oil in the 60s, no oil was found, but many thermal springs were. In Budapest alone there are 120 (!). A must is the lake of Héviz, the largest accessible warm water lake in the world.
We also visited the Festetics Palace in Keszthely, one of the absolute highlights of Hungary and a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. We also enjoyed the countryside with a flash visit to the buffalo reserve in Kapolnapuszta.
The final destination of the trip was the town of Sóprón, close to the Austrian border. The city has a beautiful old town with many towers and churches. Our taste buds were again pampered at the chocolate factory and during a wine tasting at the Bruckner winery.
Eline Tuijtel, Holidayguru.nl
"Budapest was really a positive surprise. It is an excellent destination for people looking for culture and history. The Hungarians are a proud people who welcome you with the many assets they have: gastronomy, culture, hospitality, ..."
Tom Sleeckx, Reizen Lauwers
"The hospitality and culture really surprised me. Reizen Lauwers will definitely put together a trip for this that will introduce Belgians to this beautiful Hungary."
Cindy Theunissen, Travelscanner.nl
"The possibilities for hiking and cycling are endless here combined with wellness and gastronomy. I will definitely return to discover even more of the natural parks."