Szombathely, the Guardian of the Roman Era

Located in the western part of Hungary, this Roman city has a history stretching back about 2,000 years. Those visiting this city, formerly known as Savaria, are guaranteed to be taken back in time and enjoy an experience of a lifetime. Discover the largest collection of remains from Ancient Rome in the Garden of Ruins named after István Járdányi-Paulovics or explore Savaria Museum, a must for lovers of history. Moreover, do as the Romans did and take a walk along the Amber Road, the famous trade and military route!

Enthusiasts of religious cults are urged to visit the Iseum, the third largest Egyptian temple in the world dedicated to the goddess Isis, which houses an exhibition of religious history.

Szombathely (Mészáros Zsolt)

The main attraction of the summer is the Savaria Historical Carnival, which takes place between the 25th and 28th of August in 2022. Participants in the festival are immersed in a lifelike historical costume adventure, what’s more, a wide range of events are available to choose from. One can also try the wine and bread of Savaria, a taste of what the Ancient Romans had to eat and drink.

Szombathely is the birthplace of one of the greatest saints of ancient Europe, St. Martin, whose name is associated with numerous legends. A part of his skull is preserved in the Church of St. Martin in a herm named after the saint. During your stay in the city, don’t miss out on a St. Martin’s roll, in the shape of two horseshoes baked together, which will urge you to split yours, evoking the spirit of this saint and his teachings of sharing our goods.

Nature lovers should definitely visit the Boating Lake, offering the opportunity for a pleasant stroll and even going boating around the lake. Alternatively, the Arboretum of Kámon boasts beautiful flowers to enchant visitors.

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Elbląg, the City of Lakes and Canals

Famous for its lakes and canals, Elbląg is surrounded by beautiful countryside in northern Poland. A cruise along the 150-year-old Elbląg Canal is one of the most exciting in modern-day Poland as the watercourse is not continuous, so visitors travel by boat across several grassy stretches. Not to worry - overland the boat proceeds on a special track system.

A city where history comes to life, the atmosphere is often comparable with Copenhagen’s or Amsterdam’s because of the bountiful colorful buildings in different styles. One of its most prominent buildings is Brama Targowa, the only remnant of the medieval fortifications surrounding the city. Another famous landmark in Elbląg is the 13th-century Gothic St. Nicholas Cathedral in the heart of the city, which offers a breathtaking view from its steeple. Finally, on the eerily named Holy Ghost Street, pre-war German apartment buildings have been revitalized, which also makes a stroll along this unique street worthwhile.


Listen up beer lovers! Not only is Elbląg the home of the world-famous EB beer, plenty of other local brews can be sampled should you decide to go on a short “pub crawl” around the old town.

The most prominent event in the city is the Elbląg Bread Festival, held annually in memory of the legendary Piekarczyka, a young baker from Elbląg, who protected the town. This occasion usually attracts more than 2,000 exhibitors, including those providing local handicrafts, baked goods as well as local food and drink. The event is further enriched by an enchanting array of concerts, performances, shows and dragon-boat races. In 2022, the Bread Festival takes place between the 26th and 28th of August.

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Komárno, the City of “Mosts”

Located on the banks of the River Danube, Komárno is quite rightly called the “city of mosts,” being the southernmost city in Slovakia as well as one of the oldest in the country.

The best-known attraction in Komárno is the fortress and bastion system across the city and one of its Roman castellums, Celemantia, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition to its history, the city brings several other countries to life. The Courtyard of Europe represents stunning historical architecture from 45 countries in one building. The courtyard is connected to Zichy Palace, so its main gate opens into the landscaped courtyard of the palace, the location of the bandstand from a page of a fairy tale.


On the banks of a backwater stretch of the River Váh, boats, pedalos, kayaks and canoes can be hired. On the other hand, if you’d rather just relax and enjoy the ripples of the River Danube, travelling on a bőgőshajó (a kind of transport boat) provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The city will not let enthusiasts who prefer to stay dry down either, as the EuroVelo 6 cycle route runs through the area, boasting wonderful cycling opportunities between Komárom and Gönyű along the Danube.

Fancy indulging in local events? Make sure to time your arrival at the St Andrew’s Day Fair, which has been held since the 19th century and commemorates the patron saint of the local cathedral. This fair is held annually at the base of the fortress system, where local flavors and a variety of handicrafts tempt visitors. The local cider and the oven-baked “lepény” (a combination of cornmeal mush and bread) are without a doubt musts.

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Kutaisi, the City of Architectural and Natural Wonders

Kutaisi is one of the oldest cities in Georgia as well as the former capital of the country, where, in addition to its magnificent architecture, nature lovers of extreme sports enthusiasts are sure to find something that suits their tastes.

One of the most prominent buildings in Kutaisi is Bagrati Cathedral, the largest in the country, which is regarded to symbolize the power of unified Georgia. Erected in its immediate vicinity, another wonder, that is, Gelati Monastery, is one of the oldest educational institutions in Georgia. An additional architectural masterpiece built in the baroque style, the Khareba (Annunciation) Church, is located in the center of Kutaisi. Furthermore, Motsameta Monastery, on the cliffs above Ckalcitela River, offers an unobstructed panoramic view which is well worth the climb. Travelling back to the present after your trip through history, admire the most modern architectural creation of the city, the Parliament Building, a magnificent six-story, oval-shaped glass and steel dome.


The fountain in the central square of the city also mustn’t be overlooked. Decorated with enlarged versions of ancient jewelry discovered at a nearby archaeological site, it is one of a kind.

Should you wish to venture out into nature after your urban adventure, the 1.2 km-long Prometheus Dripstone Cave affords a visit.

Those craving an adrenaline rush should definitely book a whitewater rafting adventure on the Rioni River, have a go at canyoning in Tkibuli, try rock climbing in Chiatura, go on an extreme caving trip in Melouri Cave or try their hand at ziplining from a height of up to 700 meters while taking in breathtaking views.

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This article was supported by the International Visegrad Fund.