A city of around 57,000, just over an hour from Budapest and near the shores of Lake Balaton (the largest in Central Europe), the capital of Balaton County is one of Hungary’s oldest urban areas, and predates even the arrival of the Hungarians to the region in the early 11th century. With its hilly, winding cobblestone lanes and romantic corners, Veszprém definitely sports that “fairytale” vibe many visitors to Europe come seeking, and spots here not to miss include its 10th-century castle complex, on a hill right in the middle of town; the Laczkó Dezső Museum of history; its biweekly Sunday outdoor market; the atmospheric ruins of the 13th-century church and monastery of St. Margaret; and the 19th-century Fenyves Mill, the town’s only intact water mill, complete with interactive exhibits. And of course right nearby are the various pleasures of Lake Balaton and its other surrounding towns and wine country.

Read more about this and this year's two other capitals in my post The 3 European Capitals of Culture for 2023: Elefsina, Timişoara & Veszprém.

Janos Illesi



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