Visegrad © Bence Tvarusko
Situated on the abrupt loop of the Danube beneath steep hills, Visegrad was once a Roman stronghold on the border of the Roman Empire and the second home after Buda to Hungary's royalty in the 14th and 15th centuries. On the banks of the river are the ruins of the magnificent palace, one of the finest ever built in Hungary. It is now the open air King Matthias Museum. Today the small, sparsely populated town has a pleasantly lethargic atmosphere that belies its past glory and importance and it makes a peaceful excursion from the crowds of the big city. As all of this intriguing history suggests though, the village is a delight for history buffs and retains an old-world feel. The village is also a good base for outdoor activities in the lovely surrounding countryside and there is an excursion centre behind Castle Hill which can organise things like hiking, canopy trails, and cycling in the region.