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The fairy-tale town of Tokaj, just two and a half hours by train from Budapest in northeastern Hungary, is postcard-perfect. Grand pastel-painted houses sit prettily alongside each other, lining narrow cobblestoned streets decorated with potted trees and elegant lampposts. The tiny town is at the epicenter of the splendid UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Tokaj wine region, a grape growing area since the 16th century that is famous for its Tokaji Aszú (Old Tokaj) grapes and botrytis cinerea fungus, or "noble rot," which produces superb full-bodied white wines and delicious sweet dessert wines. As you'd expect, activities here revolve ...

The fairy-tale town of Tokaj, just two and a half hours by train from Budapest in northeastern Hungary, is postcard-perfect. Grand pastel-painted houses sit prettily alongside each other, lining narrow cobblestoned streets decorated with potted trees and elegant lampposts. The tiny town is at the epicenter of the splendid UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Tokaj wine region, a grape growing area since the 16th century that is famous for its Tokaji Aszú (Old Tokaj) grapes and botrytis cinerea fungus, or "noble rot," which produces superb full-bodied white wines and delicious sweet dessert wines. As you'd expect, activities here revolve around wine and food. Wineries offer wine tastings, cellar door sales at bargain prices, fascinating wine seminars, and wine cruises on the Rivers Bodrog and Tisza. And after downing all that wine, you can soak it up with the hearty local cuisine. Highlights include a tasty fish soup, velvety foie gras, fried fish from the local rivers, and the Tokaj wine soup, a sweet cream soup made from, naturally, Tokaj wine. Time your visit to coincide with the Tokaj Wine Festival (end of May) or Harvest Wine Festival (end of October).

Lara Dunston
About the Expert

Lara Dunston and Terry Carter have traveled to over 60 countries and written more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Rough Guides, Footprint, and others on destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and South America.

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Lara Dunston for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in northeast Hungary, on the Tisza and Bodrog rivers
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Currency: Florint
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and fall