Hungary has well and truly emerged as a hub for European tourism in recent years, with visitors attracted by its beautiful cities, unique folk culture and rich history. Not to mention the food and drink. As a PhD student, you'll be to get closely acquainted with all of these.
You'll be also researching your thesis in a country that has inspired plenty of other great ideas, from the ballpoint pen to the Rubik's cube (who knows, you might even find time to solve one whilst you're there).
Culture and tourism
As part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hungary played a key role in shaping modern Europe. This may not seem all that relevant to your PhD (unless you’re studying nineteenth-century politics) but the country’s history has left a rich architectural and cultural legacy, all of which you’ll be free to explore (and / or research) during your degree.
The capital (and largest university city) Budapest, is especially spectacular: its churches and other historic buildings lining the banks of the river Danube. Other cities such as Pécs are also home to some of the oldest Hungarian universities.
Sport and leisure
Hungary has a proud sporting history, having been runners up in two World Cup competitions and holding the sixth highest number of Olympic medals in Europe.
The country is also famous for its tradition of music, dance and literature, drawing on a range of rich folk traditions and celebrated in its museums, concert halls and galleries.
In contrast, Budapest in particular is famous for its twenty-first-century ‘ruin pubs’: unplanned venues derived from apartment buildings, warehouses and other spaces, now serving as hubs for the city’s vibrant – and welcoming – nightlife.
Food and drink
Hungarian cuisine is very distinctive, including unique versions of soups, stews and goulashes – many of which derive from early nomadic farmers and settlers. Meat is a staple in many traditional dishes, but don’t worry: vegetarians and vegans are also well catered from by a range of cosmopolitan shopping and dining options.
Hungary is also one of Europe’s most important winemaking regions with Tokaj (a sweet desert wine) and Bikavér, or ‘bull’s blood’ (a full-bodied red wine).