Hungary, a landlocked country in Central Europe, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. Budapest, the capital, boasts the iconic Danube River, historic thermal baths, and impressive Gothic, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau buildings. Hungarian cuisine, including goulash and paprika-infused dishes, is a highlight, as are its wine regions.
Budapest: Hungary's capital is renowned for its stunning architecture, including Buda Castle and the Parliament building. The city is divided by the Danube River, offering picturesque views from the Chain Bridge. The city is known for its thermal baths, vibrant nightlife, and Danube River views.
Eger: Known for its medieval castle, Baroque architecture, and the famous Eger wine region, Eger is a charming city in northern Hungary.
Hortobágy National Park: This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases the vast Hungarian plains, traditional livestock farming, and unique birdlife.
Lake Balaton: Europe's largest freshwater lake, Balaton offers swimming, sailing, and picturesque towns like Keszthely and Siófok along its shores.
Thermal Baths: Budapest's thermal baths, like Széchenyi and Gellért, provide relaxation and rejuvenation in beautifully designed, historic settings.
When to go / useful information
When to go
he best time to visit Hungary depends on your preferences for weather and the type of activities you want to enjoy:
Spring (April to June): This is a pleasant time to visit when the weather is mild, and the countryside is lush and green. Spring is great for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season with warm to hot weather. It's ideal for festivals, outdoor events, and exploring Hungary's cities and countryside. Lake Balaton is a popular summer destination.
Autumn (September to October): Early autumn is a lovely time to visit when the weather is still pleasant, and the fall foliage adds a beautiful backdrop to your travels.
Winter (December to February): Winter can be cold in Hungary, especially in the eastern parts. Budapest's Christmas markets and thermal baths are particularly charming during this season.
Each season has its unique charm in Hungary, so your choice should be based on your personal preferences and the activities you wish to pursue. Be aware that some attractions and accommodations may be busier during the summer months, so planning ahead is advisable if you intend to visit during that time.
Currency: The currency of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint, abbreviated as HUF. It is denoted by the symbol "Ft" or sometimes written as "HUF." While credit cards are widely accepted in Hungary, it's a good idea to have some Hungarian Forints on hand for small purchases, transportation, and in places where cash is preferred. You can exchange currency at banks, exchange offices, and ATMs throughout the country.
Language: The official language of Hungary is Hungarian. The Hungarian language, also known as Magyar, is unique and unrelated to most other languages spoken in Europe. While English is commonly spoken in urban areas, particularly in Budapest and tourist destinations, knowing some basic Hungarian phrases can be helpful when traveling to less touristy regions.
What makes it special: Hungary is a special and captivating destination for several reasons. It's history is filled with a rich tapestry of events, from the medieval kingdom to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This heritage is reflected in its architecture, traditions, and the enduring love for music, art, and literature. Hungary offers stunning natural landscapes, from the picturesque Lake Balaton to the hilly regions of the Tokaj wine country. The Hortobágy National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for its unique wetland and birdlife. Hungarian people are known for their warm and welcoming hospitality, making visitors feel at home and enhancing the overall travel experience. Hungary's blend of history, culture, architecture, and natural beauty, along with its delicious cuisine and wine, makes it a special and rewarding destination for travelers. Whether you're interested in exploring its vibrant cities, relaxing in thermal baths, or enjoying its festivals and culinary delights, Hungary has something to offer for every kind of traveler.
Social customs: Hungary has its own set of social customs and traditions that are important to respect when visiting. Hungarians commonly greet with a handshake. Men generally shake hands with men and women, while women often exchange kisses on both cheeks. When entering a room, it is customary to greet everyone individually. When visiting someone's home, it's a polite custom to bring a gift, such as wine, flowers, or chocolates. When receiving a gift, it's customary to open it immediately. Wait for the host or hostess to start the meal and say "Jó étvágyat" (enjoy your meal) before eating. Do not rest your hands on your lap during the meal; they should be visible above the table. It's polite to finish everything on your plate. Tipping is customary in Hungary, and it's common to leave a tip of 10-15% in restaurants. Tipping is also expected for other services, such as taxi drivers and hotel staff. Showing respect to the elderly is an important cultural value in Hungary. Offer your seat to the elderly, and address them with honorific titles if you are unsure of their preference. When visiting churches or religious sites, dress modestly and speak softly. Women should cover their shoulders, and men should remove their hats. While English is widely spoken in urban areas, it's appreciated if you learn a few basic Hungarian phrases as a sign of respect for the local culture.