Fresh from a trip across the ocean to the Big Apple, Dorottya, our hotel specialist at liligo.com HQ, tells us her impressions of New York and the east coast and talks about things to see in her own country, Hungary, and neighbouring regions.
Exploring the USA… one doughnut at a time
Dori, you only just returned from a trip to the USA. How did it go?
I stayed for two weeks, which is hardly enough to explore a country as big as the USA, but I really enjoyed my time there and tried to see as much as possible. It’s really different being a tourist there; everything is so different from Europe! I didn’t skimp on the sightseeing side, especially in Washington. It’s impossible to get bored there with so many attractions. Plus, most of the museums are free!
Did you plan your trip far in advance? How did you manage to find cheap flights?
I’m very spontaneous. I’ve wanted to go to New York and the States for a long time but I didn’t really plan this trip too far in advance. I just had the feeling it was the right time to go; it was spring and cheap tickets to New York were really easy to find from Budapest with a stopover in Munich. I paid around €500 return.
What did you like the most?
In New York I loved Manhattan and seeing all the iconic places like Time Square, Central Park, Liberty Island and the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s really worth going up in a skyscraper to get a view over the city. At the same time, I loved just sitting in the park, watching all the people come and go and who are part of the city.
At the end of my time in New York I spent quite a lot of time searching for the best ice cream and the best doughnuts in the city. It was a very hard job… but I decided the best flavour is the chocolate one, filled with chocolate creme and covered in chocolate sprinkles. 🙂 The dollar-a-slice pizza was also delicious!
Washington is very clean and airy, I really liked that. It was completely different from New York and in my opinion, much more tourist friendly. After sightseeing in the city, I spent some time with friends, enjoying house parties and BBQs in the gardens. People were really nice there, and helpful.
After the States, we’re off to Central Europe!
Let’s change countries. As a Hungarian, what are some of your favourite places around the country to take friends when they come to visit from abroad?
I love our beautiful capital, Budapest, the idyllic countryside villages to the north-east and the wineries (with very good wine!). I also love the hot springs, there are so many all over the country! And I can’t forget Lake Balaton, not just in summer but year-round.
Hungary has several really fab World Heritage sights too:
- the historic village of Hollókő (best experienced around Easter time)
- the early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (European capital of culture in 2010)
- national park of Hortobágy and Puszta (in the great Hungarian steppe plains and their traditional countryside life)
- Tokaj wine region (“the King of the wines and the wine of the Kings,” at least according to Louis XIV)
- caves of Aggtelek (between Hungary and Slovakia)
What neighbouring countries do you like to visit?
I love Austria for its superb landscapes and Vienna, the imperial capital. Although it’s not in a neighbouring country, visiting Prague with quite easy from Budapest and doesn’t take too long to get there by car. The Czech Republic has great beer, friendly people and the capital is so romantic.
To the south, Slovenia is incredible with its national parks, wild nature, mountains, valleys and canyons. And don’t even get me started on Croatia for its beaches and the waterfalls in Plitvice National Park!
Where are you off to next?
I would really like to visit Transylvania. There are plenty of really remarkable places there and the Carpathian mountains. It’s also quite close to reach from Hungary and I’m almost ashamed I’ve been to the USA before visiting the regions closer to home! South America is also high on my travel bucket list but I think it’s a trip I’ll have to plan a bit more in advance.
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