Tokaj or Tokay

Cute Village, Out Of This World Wine!

We love to travel, and 2020 was supposed to be a big travel year for us. Like the rest of you, that hasn't happened. 

We're still dreaming about travel, reading about new destinations, and making (tentative) plans for the future. We hope all of you are well and staying safe... and that you find some inspiration here for YOUR future travels.

With vaccines arriving, let's hope we can be traveling again in 2021!

So is the cute little town in north-eastern Hungary Tokaj or Tokay?

Well, that depends....

And is that liquid gold wine they make in Hungary Tokaji or Tokaj or Tokay?

How you spell the name of the town or that sweet white wine depends on whether you're spelling in English or Hungarian.

Tokaj or Tokaji is how you'll see the wine in Hungary, and the wine region is Tokaj-Hegyalja.

We make a little wine ourselves, and we always like to explore beyond the big cities….

Exploring the countryside makes travel more fun don't you think?

Driving To Tokay Was Easy

On the road to Tokaj or Tokay

We wanted to see the region and taste the wines for ourselves, so we rented a car in Budapest, and drove to the little town of Tokaj.

It's a small town, but it is on tourist maps because of the wine.

We do have to warn you that even though it is cute, the main reason to visit is to taste and learn about the wine.

Tokaj Is An Ancient Wine Making Region

They have been making wine in this region for a thousand years. The whole area is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The quality of the wines has had its ups and downs through the centuries, but it is definitely on the rise now.

The most prestigious and famous wine is the Tokaj Aszu... and it's been famous for a long time.

We've heard that King Louis XIV of France liked it so much that he called it "The King of wines and wine of Kings."

(Though we've also heard that Tokaj shares this label with Barolo in Italy... good company to be in!)

The famous brand of Royal Tokaji is made in a neighboring little town of Mad. We drove straight to Mad hoping for a tour, but alas, the winery was closed on the day of our visit.

If You're Driving Stay In Tokay

We stayed in Tokay where there is more going on.

Since the drinking and driving laws are very strict... in zero tolerance... was more convenient to have a hotel in Tokaj and walk around to taste.

Entering Tokaj Village
Tokay village center

Learn About Other Tokay Wines

We didn't know much about Tokaji wines before we went except that we liked it.

One thing that surprised us was that besides the sweet Tokay Aszu, there were other types of Tokay wines.

The way we understand it, Szamorodni is made with the same grapes as the Tokay Aszu... but it is not quite as sweet.

There are also dry white wines made with the Furmint and Harslevelu grapes as separate varietals.Learning about all of them was fun....

I mean you had to walk around and talk to people and try the wine. What could be more fun.

There Are Commercial Cellars

Tasting Tokajii at a commercial cellar

There are several commercial cellars where you can taste Tokaji.

In these you can compare the Tokaj Aszu wines of different age and sweetness...

They're scored with a kind of star system...


...from three puttonyos to six for the best.

(What happened to one and two? We never discovered that.)

You probably can't try the top level known as Eszencia which is rated above six puttonyos because of its amazing sweetness and small, small production.

Everyone Has A Cave!

Back down to earth.... in fact under it...

It also seems like everyone has a cave behind their house, and many of those are open for a taste too.

There will be a little sign at the front door... just ring the bell and someone will come and welcome you into their cellar.

You'll pay a small fee for the tasting, and you can buy some if you like.

Tasting Fun in a Private Cellar. Tokay in plastic? Well, maybe Szamorodni…

Tokay In Plastic?

Yes... Well, you taste in glass, but...

Locals bring plastic bottles to fill!

If you want to buy a bottle, the owner can probably provide a plastic bottle for you too...

We did!  (It was the Szamorodni.)

Some proprietors speak English... however, many don't, so be prepared for using a lot of sign language...

But don't be shy...

One language you will have in common is the wine... Tokaj or tokay...

If you ask to taste, they'll be glad to serve you.  Just smile a lot and let them know how good it is. 

Plenty of Hotels and Restaurants

There are several hotels and B&Bs to choose from and plenty of restaurants.

There is even a "castle hotel" just a few miles from the little town. They'll shuttle you to town so you don't have to drive.

You can get to Tokaj by train or drive as we did.

It was about a 4 hour drive from Budapest... freeway much of the way and good roads for the rest.

So Does It Matter If It's Tokaj or Tokay?

Whether you want to call it Tokaj or Tokay... if you love wine, you should plan a visit.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about?  Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

But... We'd love to have you share this page or comment on it…
Thanks, Judy and Mark

Go from Tokaj or Tokay to International Travel Tips l Europe Travel Tips
Hotel and B&B Tips l Packing Lists and Tips
Go from Tokaj or Tokay to MouseToursTravels Home Page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Timely Tips

The New Year is here...
And we're ready to put 2020 behind us.
What are your resolutions? To lose weight? To Exercise more?
We're hoping for an end to this virus and the travel restrictions so...
Why not a FUN resolution!
Resolve to TRAVEL!
It's a good time to plan your travels...

We have lists to help....
Custom Tour Planning List

Destination stories....
Europe Travel Tips
Africa Dream List
See America

Travel Planning
International Travel Planning Tips
Guidebooks can help you plan

Don't Forget Valentine's Day
Romantic Weekends

What About Your Passport?
Time to get one... or renew...

Answers about Passports and Visas

Dreaming of Warm Weather or Snow?

Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lake, Iceland

Packing for a Tropical Vacation
Cold Weather Packing List

…Or just make a resolution to explore more pages here and get ideas for travel destinations and how to get there.

NOW is the time to start planning for a great trip this year.


Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster..


We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...

Updated Tips & New Travel Stories

  1. 2020 Travels - What Travels?

    Our 2020 travels were slim. COVID kept us home too. One trip to the Three Guyanas, but dreaming of travel next year.

    Read More

  2. Discovering The Three Guyanas

    Love discovering less touristed regions? The three Guyanas are tucked up in the north east corner of South America that doesn’t get much attention.

    Read More

  3. 2019 Travels - Africa, Asia, Europe and USA

    On our 2019 travels, it was independent travel, a custom tour and a group tour. All work beautifully... just depends on where you’re going and what you want.

    Read More

Two Ways To Like Us!

Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!

More On Hungary
And Slovakia

Buda is Budapest

Pest is Budapest

Budapest's Thermal Baths

Budapest Aviation Museum

Hydrofoil the Danube

Tokaj or Tokay

Eger - Bull's Blood Wine

Bratislava, Slovakia

Navigate Our Site

Related Pages
Foreign Rental Car Tips


Road Trip Ideas
Packing for roadtrips

General Information
Worldwide Roadtrips
Foreign Rental Cars
Driving In Foreign Places
Driving On the Left
Toll Roads
What Is A Highway
US Highways
Highways or Backroads
Reading Roadmaps

Know The Rules
International Roadsigns
Traffic Laws Abroad
Autobahn Etiquette
Parking In Cities

RV Stuff

RV Road Trip
Rent An RV
Traveling With An RV
RV Travel In Europe
Sharing An RV

And Just For Fun

Amusing Confusing Roadsigns
Funny Polish Detour Sign
Border Crossings
Document Rental Car Damage

Ready For A New Adventure?

We escape by traveling…
But there are more ways to escape. 
Work on something you LOVE…
With A Website
SBI Teaches You Everything

First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life