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Europe : Central Europe : Hungary

Hungary (Magyarorszg) [1] is a country in Central Europe.


Member of the European Union and the Schengen Border- less
Europe Agreement. The country offers many diverse
destinations: relatively low mountains in the north- west, the
Great Plain in the east, lakes and rivers of all sorts (including
Balaton - the largest lake in Central Europe), and many
beautiful small villages and hidden gems of cities. Top this off
with Hungary's great accessibility in the middle of Europe, a
vivid culture and economy, and you get a destination
absolutely not worth missing if you're in the region.

Travel news and trivia


Destinatio n Do cents
DenisYurkin
Abo ut Do cents
To o lbo x
What links here
Related changes
Special pages
Printable versio n
Permanent link
related pages

Co nt e nt s
1 Understand
1.1 Climate
2 Regio ns
3 Cities
4 Other destinatio ns
5 Get in
5.1 By plane
5.2 By train
5.3 By car
5.4 By bus
5.5 By ship
5.6 Fro m Slo vakia
6 Get aro und
6 .1 By plane

Understand

Lo cat io n

[edit]

Hungary is one of the 15 most


popular tourist destinations in
the world, with a capital
regarded as one of the most
beautiful in the world [2] .
Despite its relatively small
siz e, the country is home to
numerous World Heritage
Sites, UNESCO Biosphere
reserves, the second largest
thermal lake in the world (Lake
Hvz ), the largest lake in
Central Europe (Lake

Flag

Q uick Fact s
C ap it al

Budapest

G o ve rnme nt

Parliamentary democracy

C urre ncy

Forint (HUF)
PDFmyURL.com

related pages
New Year ho lidays in
Hungary
In o ther languages
ca: Ho ngria
de: Ungarn
eo : Hungario
es: Hungra
fi: Unkari
fr: Ho ngrie

6 .2 By train
6 .3 By bus
6 .4 By bo at
6 .5 By car
6 .5.1 Highways
6 .6 By taxi
6 .7 By Metro
7 Talk
7.1 Hungarian
7.2 Fo reign languages
8 See

hu: Magyaro rszg

9 Do
9 .1 Baths

it: Ungheria

10 Buy

ja:
nl: Ho ngarije

10 .1 Mo ney
10 .2 Mo ney Exchange

Are a
Balaton), and the largest
total: 93,030 km2
natural grassland in Europe
water: 690 km2
(Hortobgy). In terms of
land: 92,340 km2
buildings, Hungary is home to
Po p ulat io n
10,049,000 (2008 est.)
the largest synagogue in
Europe (Great Synagogue),
Lang uag e
Hungarian 98.2% , other 1.8%
the largest medicinal bath in
R e lig io n
Roman Catholic 67.5% ,
Europe (Sz chenyi Medicinal
Calvinist 20% , Lutheran 5% ,
Bath), the third largest church
atheist and other 7.5%
in Europe (Esz tergom
Ele ct ricit y
230/50Hz (European Plug)
Basilica), the second largest
C alling C o d e +36
territorial abbey in the world
Int e rne t T LD .hu
(Pannonhalma Archabbey),
the second largest Baroque
T ime Z o ne
UTC +1
castle in the world (Gdll),
and the largest Early Christian Necropolis outside Italy (Pcs).

Switzerland Rail
Passes
Get a Swiss Pass &
Take the Train All Over
Switzerland. Bo o k
No w.

MySwitz erland.com

PDFmyURL.com

nl: Ho ngarije

10 .2 Mo ney Exchange

pl: Wgry

10 .3 What to buy?

pt: Hungria
ro : Ungaria
ru:
sv: Ungern

11 Eat
11.1 Cuisine
11.2 Vegetarian fo o d
12 Drink
12.1 Wine

o ther sites
Wikitravel Shared
Wikipedia
Open Directo ry
Wo rld6 6

12.2 Liquo r
12.3 Beer
12.4 Co ffee
12.5 Tea
12.6 Mineral water
13 Sleep
13.1 Ho stels

and the largest Early Christian Necropolis outside Italy (Pcs).


You can expect to find safe food and water, good safety and a generally
stable political climate.

Switzerland Rail
Passes

Hungary doesn't attract terrorists and keeps drug and crime levels
moderate.

Get a Swiss Pass &


Take the Train All Over
Switz erland. Book Now.

Hungary has been ethnically diverse since its inception, and while today
over 90% of the population are ethnically Hungarian, pockets of ethnic and
cultural Slovaks, Romanians, Germans and others dot the country. Due to
the border changes of Hungary after World War I, over 2 million ethnic and
cultural Hungarians live in bordering countries, as well. The Hungarians,
otherwise known as Magyars, are the descendants of several tribes from
Central Asia, who were believed to be fierce, nomadic horsemen and
came to Central Europe in the 9th century.

MySwitz e rland .c o m

13.2 Farmho uses


13.3 Camping
14 Learn
15 Wo rk
16 Stay safe
16 .1 Driving Co nditio ns
17 Stay healthy
18 Respect
18 .1 Unco mmo n custo ms
19 Co ntact

Regions
Cent ral Hungary

Climate

[edit]

Temperatures in Hungary vary from - 20C to 39C through the year.


Distribution and frequency of rainfall are unpredictable due to the
continental clime of the country. Heavy storms are frequent after hot
summer days, and so do more days long still rainfalls in the Autumn. The
western part of the country usually receives more rain than the eastern part,
and severe droughts may occur in summertime. Weather conditions in the
Great Plain can be especially harsh, with hot summers, cold winters, and
scant rainfall.

Machu Picchu
Vacations
Our Machu Picchu tours
are up to 40% less than
traveling on your own
Pe ruVac atio ns .c o m

Austria | Visa Info


All the Visa Info You
Need. Visit Austria's
Official Site Now!
www.Aus tria.Info

125 Hotels in
Budapest
Book your hotel in
Budapest online. Find
your hotel on a city map!
www.b o o king .c o m/Ho te ls -Bud
ap e s t

[edit]

Cheap Flights to
Germany

PDFmyURL.com

Cent ral Hungary


The most- visited part of the
country due to the capital
Budapest.

Germany
Book Your Ticket Online
Now! Fly in Style and
Comfort
ic e land air.us /G e rmany

Lake Balat on
Ten thousands of visitors a
year head to Sifok, the
unofficial summer capital of
Lake Balaton.
Transdanubia
This historic region west of
the river Danube is one of the
most economically
developed of the country.
Nort hern Hungary
Great historic towns and cave
baths are to be seen here.
Great Hungarian Plain
Somewhat isolated from the
rest of the country, this is a
large region with flat to rolling
plains. Debrecen could be
considered the unofficial
capital of the region.

Cities

Regions of Hungary

[edit]
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Budapest with green filled parks, interesting museums, and a pulsating nightlife, Budapest is one of
Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities
Debrecen the second largest city in the country
Eger a beautiful northern town with ancient castle and camera obscura
Gyr there are many cafs, restaurants, boutiques, and night clubs in its lovely baroque city center
Kecskemt a town famous for its vibrant music scene, plum brandy, and Art Nouveau architecture
Miskolc with the unique cave bath in Miskolc- Tapolca, the third largest city in the country, located near
the Bkk hills
Nyregyhz a a medium- siz ed city with a busy water resort, museum village, and annual autumn
festival
Pcs a pleasant cultural centre and university town
Sz eged the sunniest city in Hungary
Sz kesfehrvr former royal seat, currently famous for its baroque architecture and museums

Other destinations

[edit]

Aggtelek beautiful caves with dripstones and stalagmites


Bkk a section of the Carpathian Mountain range
Lake Balaton the major lake of Hungary and the biggest lake in Central Europe

Get in

[edit]

Hungary is a member of the Schengen Agreement .


There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented the treaty - the
European Union (except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland,
Liechtenstein, Norway and Switz erland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all
other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have
signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means
that there may be spot customs check but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a
non- EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a
non- Schengen country).
Airports in Europe are thus divided into "Schengen" and "non- Schengen" sections, which effectively act like
"domestic" and "international" sections elsewhere. If you are flying from outside Europe into one Schengen
country and continuing to another, you will clear Immigration and Customs at the first country and then
continue to your destination with no further checks. Travel between a Schengen member and a nonSchengen country will result in the normal border checks. Note that regardless of whether you are travelling
within the Schengen area or not, many airlines will still insist on seeing your ID card or passport.
PDFmyURL.com

Nationals of EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switz erland) countries only need a valid
national identity card or passport for entry - in no case will they need a visa for a stay of any length.
Nationals of non- EU/EFTA countries will generally need a passport for entry to a Schengen country and
most will need a visa.
Only the nationals of the following non- EU/EFTA countries do not need a visa for entry into the Schengen
Area: Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and
Herz egovina*, Braz il, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Israel, Japan, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand , Nicaragua,
Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis , San Marino, Serbia*/**, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea,
Taiwan*** (Republic of China), United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venez uela, additionally persons
holding British National (Overseas), Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR passports.
These non- EU/EFTA visa- free visitors may not stay more than 90 days in a 180 day period in the
Schengen Area as a whole and, in general, may not work during their stay (although some Schengen
countries do allow certain nationalities to work - see below). The counter begins once you enter any country
in the Schengen Area and is not reset by leaving a specific Schengen country for another Schengen
country, or vice- versa. However, New Zealand citiz ens may be able to stay for more than 90 days if they
only visit particular Schengen countries - see [3] for the New Zealand Government's explanation.
If you are a non- EU/EFTA national ( even if you are visa-exempt, unless you are Andorran, Mongasque or
San Marinese), make sure that your passport is st amped bot h when you ent er and leave t he
Schengen Area. Without an entry stamp, you may be treated as an overstayer when you try to leave the
Schengen Area; without an exit stamp, you may be denied entry the next time you seek to enter the
Schengen Area as you may be deemed to have overstayed on your previous visit. If you cannot obtain a
passport stamp, make sure that you retain documents such as boarding passes, transport tickets and ATM
slips which may help to convince border inspection staff that you have stayed in the Schengen Area legally.
Note that
while British subjects with the right of abode in the United Kingdom and British Overseas Territories
citiz ens connected to Gibraltar are considered "United Kingdom nationals for European Union purposes"
and therefore eligible f or unlimit ed access to the Schengen Area,
British Overseas Territories citiz ens without the right of abode in the United Kingdom and British subjects
without the right of abode in the United Kingdom as well as British Overseas citiz ens and British
protected persons in general do require visas.
However, all British Overseas Territories citiz ens except those solely connected to the Cyprus Sovereign
Base Areas are eligible for British citiz enship and thereafter unlimited access to the Schengen Area.
Further note that
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(*) nationals of Albania, Bosnia and Herz egovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia need a biomet ric
passport to enjoy visa- free travel,
(**) Serbian nationals with passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (residents of Kosovo
with Serbian passports) do need a visa and
(***) Taiwan nationals need their ID number t o be st ipulat ed in their passport to enjoy visa- free travel.
Recognised refugees and stateless persons in possession of a valid travel document issued by the
government of any one of the above countries/territories are exempt from obtaining a visa for Hungary (but
no other Schengen country, except Germany and, for refugees, Slovakia) for a maximum stay of 90 days
in a 180 day period.
Citiz ens of Antigua and Barbuda are permitted to work in Hungary without the need to obtain a visa for the
period of their 90 day visa- free stay. However, this ability to work visa- free does not necessarily extend to
other Schengen countries.
Citiz ens of Croatia can also enter the country by showing their identity card, but may not stay longer than 90
days in a 180- day period or work in Hungary without a work permit.

By plane

[edit]

Hungary's international airports are Budapest Ferihegy Airport [4] in Budapest, Airport Debrecen
[5] in Debrecen (non operating) and FlyBalat on Airport [6] in Srmellk (non operating). The
Hungarian national carrier is Malv (Hungarian Airlines) [7] (non operating). There are also several low
cost carriers operating to Budapest: for example Ryanair [8] , Wiz z air [9] , Easyjet [10] ,
Germanwings [11] and Airberlin [12] .

By train

[edit]

Budapest is an important railway hub for the whole Hungary and large part of eastern Europe, with frequent
trains from Austria, Germany, Cz echia and Slovakia. There are at least one train daily from Bosnia and
Herz egovina, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Switz erland and Ukraine, as well as
through cars from Poland and seasonal through sleepers from Bulgaria and Montenegro.
For detailed info see Budapest#By_train.
You can search for international train connections at official schedule site [13] of MV, national train
company, or at German Railways website [14] covering almost whole Europe.

By car

[edit]

To enter the country, ensure that your International Motor Insurance Card is valid for Hungary(H) along with
the Vehicle Registration and a Power of Attorney from the owner if the car is not yours. The border guards
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are very strict about allowing cars through without these documents ( see excepts below).
The Hungarian border control is very strict and thorough. They will not hesitate to conduct a full vehicle
search if necessary. Entry from Schengen countries ( Austria, Slovenia,Slovakia ) is out of such border
control since the abolishment of physical borders. All those remain show light control (Romania,Croatia) and
due to a bilateral aggreement Serbian citiz ens are also no more undergo a strict border control. However
you have to take into consideration that from Schengen area you might undergo a so called inside- customs
control wherever moving/driving in the country.Non- Schengen passengers must take into account facing a
strict control upon customs prescripitions from Ukraine and Serbia. Coming from Serbia you are allowed to
bring 2 packets of cigarettes into Hungary. If you bring more they will take it and fine for 102 euros. Weapons
for hunting are allowed to bring in from any EU Membersate if you have a European License. However with
possessing that you may not buy or sell your or a new weapon here. Automatic weapons can't be held at
all, you'll never get a license in HU to obtain such. The same is the situation with illcicit drugs as
well.Infringement of these rules may definitely lead to your immediate arrestment! Entry from non- Schengen
countries can take quite a long time, in particular in the summer months on the weekends when EUNationals are returning north along the E75 corridor from Belgrade, Serbia. The wait lines to get through the
border have been as long as 7 km with a wait time of up to 6 hours. Alternative border points in Hungary or
Croatia can be used to by- pass. If you are driving in from an EU country e.g. Austria, you are required to pull
over to check with authorities at the border, otherwise, the borders are open and usually the immigration
control kiosk are empty.
When driving into Hungary, ensure that the border crossing on the route you choose allows the passage of
foreigners. Also some smaller crossings close in the afternoon for the night. It is also required to buy a
vignette for driving on highways [15] . Domestic (Budapest) car hire: [16] and International car rental
supplier: [17] .

By bus

[edit]

Several international bus lines go in or through Hungary. You can find timetables and book tickets on the
homepage of Volnbusz [18] , which is the national bus company and also the local Eurolines
representation. Alternatively, Orangeways bus company [19] offer services on routes between Budapest
and Austria, Croatia, Cz ech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Timetables and online
booking are available on their website. On the southern border with Serbia you shouldn't be surprised when
there in the bus a collection is being held for a donation to the border- guards, to let the bus pass faster.

By ship

[edit]

It is possible to enter Hungary by international shipping lines on Danube (Duna) or Tisz a rivers. There is a
scheduled hydrofoil service on the Danube to and from Vienna and Bratislava between May and September
operated by Mahart . [20]
PDFmyURL.com

From Slovakia

[edit]

You can use the bus no. 91 of the urban traffic company of Bratislava (DPB) going to unovo in order to
cross between Rajka (Hungary) and Brat islava (Slovakia). In Bratislava, the bus has Nov most as its
terminus, and near the Hungarian border you get on/off at the stop unovsk jazer (you need to signal
to the driver if you plan to get off at this stop). From unovsk jaz er it's a four- kilometer- long straight
walk through a flat terrain to the town of Rajka, two kilometers on each side of the border. You may
detour to visit a monument at the Austrian- Hungarian- Slovakian three country border.

Get around

[edit]

By plane

[edit]

Hungary presently has no regular domestic flights. As Budapest lies in the center of the country and pretty
much any point can be reached within three hours by train or bus, there isn't much need for scheduled
domestic flights.
However there are many opportunities for people with a valid pilot's license to rent a plane and explore by
air.
A Pilot 's Academy of Malev Flying Club [21]
and other stuff.

+36(20)565- 6467, Dunakesz i. Lightweight gliders

By train
The Hungarian National Railway is MV [25] and GYSEV
[26] (some lines in the west of the country). MV has online
schedule and pricing sit e [27] . See boxed text about how
to use its online booking system, available only in Hungarian.
The train net work is star- shaped (hub- and- spoke), fanning
out from the centre at Budapest. This is caused by history
because half of the once complete train system went to the
neighbor countries after World War I. If neither the starting or
ending point is Budapest, expect to travel for a long time often
with change in Budapest.
Int ercit y (IC) trains are the fastest, and they're up- to- date,
well maintained and clean. They link the major cities with
Budapest. Expect to pay about 550 Forints (= 2 EUR) extra fee

[edit]
Buying t rain t icket s on- line in
Hungarian
You can purchase domestic and some
international train tickets on the web, but
only in Hungarian. It will certainly be a
nightmare if you don't speak the
language, but if you believe that it's
worth the hassle, the following
instructions will help you.
1. First of all, you have to register
at MV's site [22] .
2. Click on the blue underlined
Regisz t rci (registration) word

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independently from the distance for the manditory seat


reservation (not in international ICs, ECs). In some cases the
extra charge can be lower. Compared to the majority of
Western European ticket prices, Hungary's IC trains are
amongst the cheapest, with an excellent record of speed and
comfort. In almost all cases they also have a restaurant car. At
the weekends many students use these IC trains to commute
between Budapest and other cities, so an early advance
booking is recommended on Friday afternoons for the trains
leaving Budapest and on Sunday evenings for trains towards
Budapest. Working with a notebook is generally safe, unless
it's heavy overcrowded.
Ot her t rain lines usually are not that fast, and not always
cleaned up to the high standards (even in the 1st class), and
often vandalised (mostly in Budapest region); however quality
standards are improving. During summer trains linking Balaton
to Budapest are sometimes overcrowded with the IC usually
being sold out. The next choice is the gyorsvonat, or the old
fast train. Pricing depends only on the distance and on the car
class. Cash desks assume 2nd class by default for non- IC
trains (at least in Budapest for English speakers), so if you
didn't catch your IC, consider asking 1st class, paying small
extra for much more comfort. Smoking is prohibited on all
trains, as well as on the station platforms.
Young people (under 26 years) may travel with 33%
reduction at the weekends (Friday afternoon included).
Children (under 6 years) and ret ired (citiz ens from EU
countries over 65 years) can travel free except on InterCity
trains where the extra fee (reservation) must be paid.
It is possible to buy Int er Rail pass for Hungary. Check
whether buying tickets for each journey is cheaper.

By bus

[edit]

Hungarys national bus network is operated by 28 state run


companies, united in Voln Associat ion [29] .Connections

Regisz t rci (registration) word


at the bottom of the page. Type
your e- mail address next to email, choose a password, enter
it next to Jelsz , then repeat
your password next to Jelsz
ismt . Tick the box below, and
click on the orange Regisz t rci
button.
3. Check your e- mail account; you
should have received an e- mail
from MV containing a blue link.
Click on it.
4. Return to MV schedule page by
clicking here [23] .
5. Wow, this section is in English!
Use your common sense, select
the train you need, then click on
Ticket s. For international
journeys you have to select a
particular offer by clicking on its
price.
6. On the next page type your email address next to E- mail,
enter your password chosen in
step 2 next to Jelsz . Click on
the orange Bejelent kez s
(enter) button.
7. On the next page, if you click on
Jegy a kosrba (add to
basket), you will have one piece
of full fare 2nd class ticket in your
basket. Need more tickets? Click
again on Jegy a kosrba .
Rather prefer a 1st class ticket?
Tick 1. osz t ly (1st class). Want
to finally buy your tickets? Click
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are frequent, prices are identical to those on non- Intercity


trains. Bus lines often are more complete than train lines, the
speed is quite similar. Long- distance buses are clean and
safe, but often subject to delays. Buy your ticket at the station
ticket desk before boarding; if you do not take your bus at a
main station, purchase a ticket from the driver. Make sure that
you validate tickets even when buying from the bus driver. The
small orange boxes are used for validating tickets and are
seen at several points throughout the bus. Ticket inspectors
operate on the airport bus and if you have not validated your
ticket, you are liable for a 7000 HUF on the spot fine. It is a
good idea to reserve your tickets for national holidays, Friday
and Sunday evenings beforehand. Online booking is available
only in Hungarian [30] . See boxed text about how to check
the timetable.

By boat

[edit]

There are several scheduled riverboat and hydrofoil lines


operated by MAHART PassNave Ltd. from the capital city
Budapest to towns in the Danubebend, like Sz entendre,
Visegrd and Esz tergom. [31]
In the capital city there are several sightseeing and night
cruises opereated by MAHART PassNave Ltd. and other
shipping companys, like Legenda Ltd.
Although from May to September there is a good hydrofoil
boat connection [32] between Vienna and Budapest.
There are some ferries on Danube and Tisz a but their
undetermined working hours make them non- recommended.
You can trust the ferry on Lake Balaton, though, for a modest
price.

By car

[edit]

Most roads in Hungary are two lane apart from modern


motorways. Main roads are mostly in good shape, however
cracks, potholes and bumpy roads are common on minor

on the orange Fiz et s (proceed


to payment).
8. On the next page check the
t udomsul vet t em, nem krek
sz mlt (don't want to get a
receipt) box and click on the
orange Banki f iz et s (payment
through bank server) button.
9. Fill you payment information,
fortunately the bank payment
page is in English.
10. On the next page click on Elkld
(send data) button again.
11. After a few seconds a new page
will appear, containing a huge
10- digit blue serial number. The
number itself doesn't allow you to
board the train. You will have to
go to a major Hungarian railway
station, find a pre- purchased
ticket issuing machine (consult
this page [24] about where to
find the nearest), and input the
serial number in order to get the
tickets.
How t o check t he domest ic longdist ance bus t imet able
It's possible to plan your travel checking
Volns online timetable[28] . It is
available only in Hungarian, but easy to
use: honnan means from, hov is to
; write your departure date in format
year/month/day after mikor ; leave the
other parameters alone and press
keress, search. The results appear
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roads and in major cities though they are constantly being


repaired. Usually you can travel by using a map and the road
signs.

keress, search. The results appear


on the next page. (Autbusz lloms
will mean bus station, naponta is
daily, while munkanapokon is on
workdays ).

Expressways are not free, but there are no other toll roads or
tunnels. A vignette system is used, similar to that in
neighboring Austria and Slovakia, but as of 2008 the vignette
is stored electronically and checked for using gantries that read license plate numbers. You can purchase
them in intervals of 4 days, 7 days, 1 month, or 1 year. The vignette is very important and it is a good idea
to buy it even if you don't plan to use the highway. Control is automatic with videocameras and you will get a
high ticket (70 000 HUF) automatically without any warning.
if you travel by normal roads the speed limit is 90 km/h between cities and 50 km/h inside, which slows you
to the average around 60km/h. Roads often have high traffic (especially main roads like #8 to the west, #6
to the south and #4 to the east). On highways, travel is the same as in Germany, and on the inside lane it is
very common to have someone speed by you.
When you cross the country from the west to the east (or vice versa), take into account that there are only a
few bridges crossing the Danube outside Budapest. There are some ferries available though.
It is a legal requirement to drive with headlights on, even during the day - - a requirement that is becoming
more common across the EU.
Hungary has a policy of z ero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. If you are caught driving
even after only having a couple of units of alcohol you are most likely to be arrested.

Highways

[edit]

There is a fast growing highway network in Hungary (1,480 km in total). Each highway starts in Budapest.
M0 - Motorway ring around Budapest. The north- western section is under construction, planned to be
ready at the end of 2012.
M1 - connection to Gyr, Austria and Slovakia (west)
M2 - connection to Vc, planned to reach the border to Slovakia by 2015 (north)
M3/M30/M35 - connection to Miskolc, Debrecen and Nyregyhz a (east)
M5 - connection to Serbia, via Kecskemt and Sz eged (south- east)
M6/M60 - Connection to Dunajvros and Pcs(south)
M7/M70 - connection to Lake Balaton, Croatia and Slovenia (south- west)
Planned:
M4 - will provide connection to Romania via Sz olnok by the year 2015 (east)
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M4 - will provide connection to Romania via Sz olnok by the year 2015 (east)
M44 - will provide connection between the M5 at Kecskemt and the Romanian border via Bkscsaba
(east)
M8/M9 - will cross the country east- west by 2015
A single vignette is required to use all highways, except for M0 and short sections around major cities,
which are free. Vignettes can be purchased online with bankcard on [33] , at filling stations and at AK
(State Motorway Management Co.) offices. A 10- day vignette for a passenger car costs HUF 2975 (~ EUR
10) during summertime, the 4- day ticket for car has been cancelled. Vignettes are controlled automatically
through a camera system. See [34] or [35] for details.

By taxi

[edit]

Inspect the change that taxi drivers give you. Cabbies commonly rip off tourists by giving them change in
outdated Romanian currency, which looks similar to Hungarian currency, but is worthless and cannot be
redeemed.
See also: Budapest#By taxi .

By Metro

[edit]

Within the city centre of Budapest, you will find there is local metro stations "BKV" throughout the capital and
within proximity to many tourist attractions. Tickets are available at kiosks and at automatic ticket machines
(which mainly require coins). If buying single tickets remember that they must be validated (punched) at the
machines in front of the escalators, or if travelling on buses and trams at the machines inside the vehicle.
Single tickets are valid for one journey on one service, so if you change trams, you have to use a second
ticket. If you make only occasional journeys, save by buying a book of 10. However, be warned that many
ticketing staff do not speak English and some times it is best to use the available ticket machine which has
an English option. However, if you do plan to see a number of attractions on BKV, it is best to get a 24 hour
travel card. It is valid for a full 24 hours from the time of purchase. There are also 3 day and weekly tickets.
If you buy a three day Budapest Card, this includes public transport and entry to many museums. Many
travellers will find that there are metro ticket checkers virtually at every stop. If you are caught with invalid
fare, you will be asked to pay a fine of 6000 HUF on the spot or you'll will be taken to the police station.
Alternatively, they may ask you for 40 Euros which is significantly more than 6000 HUF.
When you approach the ticketing machine, you will see a number of options. Short fare is intended for only
3 stops, regardless of which train you catch or change to. Regular fare instructions is as listed, but be sure
to validate your fare or it'll be considered invalid. For more information: [36]

Talk

[edit]

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Hungarian

[edit]

See also: Hungarian phrasebook


Hungarians are rightly proud of their unique, complex, sophisticated, richly expressive language,
Hungarian (Magyar pronounced "mahdyar"). It is a Uralic language most closely related to Mansi and
Khanty of western Siberia. It is further sub- classified into the Finno- Ugric languages which include Finnish
and Estonian; it is not at all related to any of its neighbours: the Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages
belonging to the Indo- European language family. Although related to Finnish and Estonian, they are not
mutually intelligible. Aside from Finnish, it is considered one of the most difficult languages for English
speakers to learn with the vocabulary, complicated grammar, and pronunciation being radically different. So
it is not surprising that an English speaker visiting Hungary understands nothing from written or spoken
Hungarian. Hungary did adopt the Latin alphabet after becoming a Christian kingdom in the year 1000.
English- speakers tend to find most everything about the written language tough going, including a number
of unusual sounds like gy (often pronounced like the d in "during" and (vaguely like a long English e as in
me with rounded lips), as well as agglutinative grammar that leads to fearsome- looking words like
eltveszthetetlen (unmistakable) and viszontltsra (goodbye). Also, the letters can very well be pronounced
differently than in English: the "s" always has a "sh" sound, the "sz " has the "s" sound, and the "c" is
pronounced like the English "ts", to name a few. On the upside, it is written with the familiar Roman alphabet
(if adorned with lots of accents), and- - unlike English- - it has almost total phonemic orthography. This means
that if you learn how to pronounce the 44 letters of the alphabet and the digraphs, you will be able to
pronounce almost every Hungarian word properly. Just one difference in pronunciation, vowel length, or
stress can lead to misinterpretation or total misunderstanding. The stress always falls on the first syllable of
any word, so all the goodies on top of the vowels are pronunciation cues, and not indicators of stress, as in
Spanish. Diphthongs are almost- nonexistent in Hungarian (except adopted foreign words). Just one of
many profound grammatical differences from most European languages is that Hungarian does not have,
nor need to have the verb "to have" in the sense of possession - the indicator of possession is attached to
the possessed noun and not the possessor, e.g. Kutya = dog, Kutym = my dog, Van egy kutym = I have
a dog, or literally "Is one dog- my". Hungarian has a very specific case system, both grammatical, locative,
oblique, and the less productive; for example a noun used as the subject has no suffix, while when used as
an direct object, the letter "t" is attached as a suffix, with a vowel if necessary. One simplifying aspect of
Hungarian is that there is NO grammatical gender, even with the pronouns "he" or "she", which are both "",
so one does not have to worry about the random Der, Die, Das sort of thing that occurs in German, "the" is
simply "a". In Hungarian, family name precedes given name, the same as with Asian languages. And the list
of differences goes on and on, such as the definite and indefinite conjugational system, vowel harmony, etc.
Attempting anything beyond the very basics will gain you a great deal of respect since so few non- native
Hungarians ever attempt to learn any of this small, seemingly difficult, but fascinating language.
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Foreign languages

[edit]

Since English is now compulsory in schools, if you address people in their teens, twenties or lower thirties,
you stand a good chance that they will speak English well enough to help you out.
However, due to Hungary's history, the older generation had less access to foreign language tuition, so your
chances are worse, and with people over 60, extremely low. A minority of Hungarians speak Russian, which
was compulsory in the Communist era, although most Hungarians are quite happy to forget it so try it only
as a last resort. German is also very useful in Hungary: it is almost as widely spoken as English, and
almost universally so near the Austrian border and especially Sopron, which is officially bilingual and has
huge contacts with Vienna due to it being accesible by Vienna suburban trains. In these areas, and with
older people in general, German will most often take you a lot further than English.
Basically, in Hungary, you will have a much better chance finding someone speaking a foreign language
(mostly English and German) in larger cities, especially in those with universities such as Budapest,
Debrecen, Miskolc, and Sz eged. In rural areas the chance may be very low, in some cases even with
young people.

See

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Hungary has several World Heritage sites. These are:


Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the
Buda Castle Quarter and Andrssy Avenue
Old Village of Hollk and its Surroundings
Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst
Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and
its Natural Environment
Hortobgy National Park - the Pusz ta
Early Christian Necropolis of Pcs (Sopianae)
Fert /Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape
Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape
Other major tourist destination is Lake Balaton, with
winehills, thermal spa in Hvz around.

Buda Castle by night

There are also some amaz ing things to see.


Tisz avirgz s. In mid- June the Tisz a produces swarms of mayflies which are likened to flowers. Once
decimated by pollution, the population is rebounding. (They're famous for living only for 1- 2 days.)

Do

[edit][add listing]
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Birdwat ching
Hungary is an excellent destination for birdwatching (aka birding) holiday. There are wooded hills, vast fishpond systems and grasslands, the puszta. Particularly good areas include the Kiskunsag and Hortobagy
National Parks and the Aggtelek, Bukk and Zemplen Hills.
Horse riding
Vast areas of open countryside coupled with the long traditions of horsemanship make Hungary an ideal
country for riding. Wide open plains in the south and forested hills in the north offer varied riding terrain.

See also: New Year holidays in Hungary .

Baths

[edit]

Thermal waters abound in Hungary with over 1000 thermal springs in the country many of which have been
turned into baths and spas. The most famous being the Sz echenyi baths in Budapest. There are, however,
hundreds of individual baths all around the country. The cave baths at Miskolc- Tapolca and the spa at
Egersz alk are some nice examples.
See Budapest#Baths, Nyregyhz a#Do for details. More thermal bath and spa from Hungary: [37]

Buy
Money

[38]

[edit][add listing]
[edit]

The unit of Hungarian currency is known as the Forint (HUF). The Hungarian "cent" (Fillr) is long since
obsolete. Bills come in 20000, 10000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200(until November 2009) HUF
denominations, coins are 200 (two colored, similar to 1), 100 (two colored, similar to 2), 50, 20, 10, 5
HUF. As of March 1, 2008, the 2 and 1 HUF coins have been withdrawn, too.
Euro is now accepted at most hotels and some of the restaurants and shops. Make sure you check the
exchange rate though, sometimes even well known places (like McDonald's) will exchange at unrealistic
rates. Forint is scheduled to disappear in coming years in favor of Euro, but no date and realistic way is
fixed yet.
You can use major credit cards (EuroCard, Visa) in major shops and larger restaurants, but never expect
that without checking first. Small places cannot afford to handle cards. ATMs are available even in small
cities, the coverage is good.
While completing any monetary transactions, it is best to pay in HUF when you can. Some restaurants and
hotels charge a steep rate for Euro exchange and often due to the fluctuation in HUF, cost and services
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stated may vary drastically.

Money Exchange

[edit]

There are 219 forints to the USD and 290 forints to the EUR (04 March 2012). Shopping in Hungary is
extremely cheap for people from the US and Euro- z one.
Exchange rates for EUR and USD are roughly the same within downtown (at least in Budapest and Eger).
Rates will likely be much worse in airports and large train stations - so change exactly what you need to
reach downtown. A good habit is to compare the buy and sell rates: if they are drastically different, you're
best going somewhere else. Official exchange offices always give a receipt and normally have a large
glass between client and a cashier making all steps transparent for client.
Travellers report that unofficial money changers operating nearby an official money changing booth offer
unfavourable rates- - and recommend to use official exchange offices. It's worth noting that such exchanges
are illegal.
If you arrive to Budapest at late nights or state holidays it is quite likely you won't be able to find any
working bank or exchange office. In this case you may attempt to exchange your money with any random
taxi driver. They will rip you off by 100- 200 forints (around 1 EUR), but it's better than nothing. There is an
ATM in the arrival hall at Budapest Ferihegy, and the rates for using ATMs with a card are often better than
the bureau de change. There are many banks machines in Budapest which will accept European and North
American debit/credit cards, if it becomes necessary, it maybe in your best interest to draw a sufficient
amount for your stay and it will often give a more much favorable rate.
Adventurous locals in Budapest report they change EUR unofficially with Arabs on a train station, but they
don't recommend it to unaccompanied travelers.

What to buy?

[edit]

Apart from classical tourist souvenirs like postcards and trinkets, here are some things unique to Hungary or
just hard to find elsewhere.
Cold- smoked sausages
Spices: Paprika and Hungarian Saffron
Gundel set of cheese: aged in Gundel wines or with walnut pieces or seasonings. Most easily found in
350gr sets of three kinds in duty- free of Ferihegy Airport in Budapest (at least in Terminal 2), but is likely
available in Gundel 1894 Food & Wine Cellar (see Pest#Eat). Keep in mind that shelf life for this cheese
is only 2 months.
Wines: Tokaji, Egri Bikavr (see Liquor), red wine from Villny area etc.
Plinka: very famous and strong brandy made from fruits.
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Unicum: a herbal digestif liqueur.

Eat

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Main courses in menu are normally 2500..3000HUF in touristy places in Budapest, 1500..1800HUF outside
it, or in towns like Eger and Sz entendre (March 2009).
A lunch in Budapest is from 900 to 8000 HUF per person, and half or third of that outside Budapest
(Chinese fast food menu is around 500 HUF).
In restaurants, a service charge is frequently included into bill, 10% or even 12%, but this has to be clearly
pointed out on the menu. If it's not mentioned, the place has no right to include a service charge in the bill.
Even if there's no service charge, unless the service was preposterous most Hungarians tend to leave a
generous tip (10% minimum). Unlike in most western countries, tip is usually not left on the table, but rather
the amount is specified to the waiting staff when you pay.
There were some places (mainly in downtown Pest) that tried to rip off drunk tourists at night by charging
ridiculously high prices for drinks. Most of these places are closed now, but it's still a good idea to always
check the prices on the menu before ordering.
In major cities and next to the highways you can find restaurants of the major international chains such as
KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Piz z a Hut, Subway and TGI Friday's.

Cuisine

[edit]

Hungarians are quite proud of their cuisine ( Magyar konyha ), and most of
the time not without a reason. Food are usually spicy (but not hot by
general standards), and it's tasty rather than healthy many dishes are
prepared with lard or deep- fried. The national spice is paprika, made
from ground sweet bell peppers and which actually has some flavor when
fresh. The national dish is, of course, goulash, but Hungarians call the
thick paprika- laden stew known as goulash elsewhere by the term prklt
and reserve the term gulys for a lighter paprika- flavored soup.
Meat is popular- especially pork (serts), beef (marha) and venison (z ).
Less common is lamb and mutton. The best fish in Hungary are river fish:
Carp (Ponty) and Fogas (Zander), though many restaurants will serve fish
from far away. Chicken (csirke) and Turkey (pulyka) and common, and
you will also find game birds excellent in smarter restaurants and country
areas- Pheasant (Fcn), Partridge(Fogoly) and duck (Kacsa). A typical
meal will involve soup, often like a consomm (erleves), meat with

A fancy serving of gulys


soup
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potatoes (burgonya) and a side salad, and a dessert like pancakes


(palacsinta).
Less well known in the rest of the world are papriks csirke, chicken in paprika sauce, and halsz l,
paprika fish soup often made from carp.
Goose is also quite popular in Hungary. While tourists gorge on goose liver (libamj), still cheap by
Western standards, probably the most common dish is slt libacomb, roast goose leg. Stuffed (tlttt )
vegetables of all kinds are also popular, and Hungarian pancakes (palacsint a), both savoury and sweet,
are a treat. Common snacks include kolbsz , a Hungarianiz ed version of the Polish kielbasa sausage, and
lngos, deep- fried dough with a variety of toppings (mostly sour cream, cheese and/or garlic).
A Hungarian meal is almost always even at breakfast accompanied by Hungarian pickles called
savanysg, literally "sourness". These are often dubbed salta on menus, so order a vitamin salta if you
want fresh veggies. Starch is most often served as potatoes, rice or dumplings (galuska' or nokedli), the
primary Hungarian contribution in this field is an unusual type of small couscous- like pasta called tarhonya.
It is worth to visit a "Cukrsz da" if you are in Hungary. These are very popular with delicious cakes and
coffee. Try the traditional Krmes (with vanila cream), Esz terhz y (lots of nuts) or Somli Galuska. You
should visit Augusz t , Sz amos or Daubner if you want the best! Daubner is a little out of the way, Augusz t
Cukrsz da is an absolute must. They have a shop downtown near Astoria metro station, founded in 1969.
Another favourite is Lngos, it is basically deep fried bread, similar to "whales- tail or beaver- tail" but in
Hungary, it can be served with any fillings imaginable. Most common is plain, with salt, garlic (fokhagyma)
and soured cream (tejfl). If you do come across a Langos stand, there are usually a large number of
options from piz z a langos, or eggs with mayo or nutella and bananas.

Vegetarian food

[edit]

Vegetarians and Vegans will have about as much ease eating out as in any other western country.
Budapest is not a problem, as there is a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, but in an ordinary
Hungarian restaurant the non- meat mains on the menu are pretty much limited to rntott sajt (fried cheese)
and gombafejek rntva (fried mushrooms).
However, in recent years, Italian food has become a lot more popular, so as long as you don't mind a
pasta heavy diet as a vegetarian you will find a wider choice.
If one self- caters from supermarkets or local shops and markets, however, the selection of fruits and
vegetables is quite good, especially in summer.
There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and a lot's of healthfood stores that offer all sorts of
vegetarian/vegan products (including cosmetics). Regular stores like Groby among other brands sell
everything from vegan sausages to mayonaise. A good place to start is looking at Budaveg[39] and
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Happy Cow[40]

for specific information.

Over all, apply the same rules as you do at home, and you should be well fed.

Drink

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Wine

[edit]

Hungary has several famous vine regions, most known are


Villny, Eger, Badacsony, Tokaj, Sz eksz rd. Prices are
reasonable.

Egri Bikavr (Bull's Blood of Eger) (HUF 1000 for a good


one) is a strong red Hungarian wine which supposedly
saved a clever Hungarian girl from her fate with a Turkish
sultan. During the time of the Turkish occupation, it is said
a young girl was summoned to become a member of the
local sultan's harem. Not wanting this fate for his daughter,
Hills, grape plantations and wine cellars
her father gave her a bottle of Egri Bikavr to take to the
near Villny, southern Hungary.
sultan. He told her to tell the ruler it was bull's blood, and
would make him invincible. The sultan, being Muslim, was
unaccustomed to alcohol, and proceeded to pass out, leaving the daughter unharmed. There is another
story connected to why Bull's Blood is called so, and it also comes from the Turkish era. According to
that one, the defenders of the different castles used to drink this red wine. When they saw the color on
the mouths of the Hungarians, they thought that it must have been from a bull, thus the name.
Tokaj is known for its sweet dessert wines ( Tokaji asz ), (HUF 2000 < x < 6000) which acquire their
distinctive taste from grapes infected by the "noble rot" Botrytis cinerea. The favorite tipple of aristocracy,
past fans of Tokaji include Louis XIV (who called Tokaj as "The king of the wines, the wine of the kings "),
Beethoven, Napoleon III and Peter the Great which is still reflected in the steep pricing of the best
varieties. Almost uniquely among white wines, Tokaj keeps very well for long time.
If new to Hungarian wine, be aware that both champagne ("pez sg") and wine, red or white, are quite likely
to be sweet ("des"). If dry wine is your preference, look for the word "Sz raz " on the label. When buying
bottled wine, don't bother with types cheaper than 6- 700 HUF, as these are usually very low quality (maybe
not even produced from grapes). In wine cellars, however, high quality may be available at surprisingly low
prices.

Liquor

[edit]
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In Hungarian, plinka denotes strong brandy- like liquor distilled from fruit. Plinka is a very social drink: just
as the English drink tea, the Hungarians, especially in rural areas, will offer plinka to guests upon arrival.
The best- known varieties are barackplinka, made from apricots, krteplinka from pears, and szilvaplinka
made from plums. Factory- made plinka is widely available, but keep an eye out for homemade
hziplinka. Plinkas usually contain around or above 50% of alcohol, often more for the homemade ones.
Plinka bottles marked mzes will be heavily sweetened with honey. (HUF 3000 for something good)
Unicum is a strong digestif made from a secret mix of over 40 herbs. It comes in striking black bottles
emblaz oned with a red and white cross, and has a very strong and unusual taste. Unicum Next has a lighter,
citrusy flavor, and is rather more palatable. Definitely worth trying, the bottle itself may also be used for
decoration, and keeps very well for a long time.

Beer

[edit]

Hungarian beer is quite average compared to other Central European countries like Germany and the
Cz ech Republic as it has long been a wine culture. The most common beers are Dreher, Sz alon, Borsodi,
Soproni and Arany sz ok, available in the styles vilgos (lager) and barna (brown). All of Hungarian
breweries are owned and managed by international brands such as: Dreher Srgyr (Budapest) - SABMiller; Heineken Hungaria (Sopron and Martf) - Heineken; Borsodi Srgyr (Bcs) - Interbrew; Pcsi
Srfz de (Pcs)- Ottakinger. They cost about 200- 300 Forints at a store and 400- 600 at a bar. Some
expensive club can charge up to 900 in Budapest.
Imported beers like Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budweiser- Budvar (the Cz ech variety) are widely
available in bars and markets for not much more than the ubiquitous Hungarian brands.
When offering a toast with beer, be warned that most Hungarians will politely refuse. This is due to an old
tradition due to remembering soldiers killed in the 1848 revolution, whereby it was decreed no Hungarian
would toast with beer for 150 years. It's been so long, however, that most Hungarians no longer know the
origins of this tradition or that they've been free to make toasts over beer for the past ten years.

Coffee

[edit]

Cafe culture is alive and well in Hungary, although it may never recover the romance of its turn- of- thecentury intellectual heyday. Unless asked, it's a good idea to specify what kind of coffee you prefer. The
word kv means the strong, espresso like coffee to most Hungarians, although American- style coffee
(known as hossz kv in Hungarian, usually translated as "long coffee") is now also available at most
places.

Tea

[edit]

Tea houses are now getting popular in cities, especially among the young. There is a growing number of
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tea houses, mainly in Budapest and some bigger cities where people can buy several types of loose tea.
As it is quite fashionable to spend time in a tea house, more and more people will be able to serve good
tea even at home. The best teas to go for are the herbal and fruit varieties. In restaurants and cafes, lemon
juice is frequently served in a small bottle. In traditional restaurants or cafes however, good teas are hard to
find, as coffee and beverages are preferred.
When you ask for a black tea in a budget cafe, frequently Earl Grey is served instead- - remember to
specify if that does matter for you.

Mineral water

[edit]

It is widely available and good practice to have with you a bottle during hot summer.
It should be noted though that as it is the case of most European countries, in Hungary, it is safe to drink tap
water anywhere, even 'remote' settings, however, due to the cleaning process the taste of the water can be
really unpleasant. Best idea is to try before changing to the bottled water. Bottled waters has a large
selection, both the fiz z y (blue bottle cap) and still (red/bink bottle cap) water and it is cheap (starts from less
than 100 HUF for one and half liter). The only notable exception of the drinking water are trains where the
tap water is not drinkable and other places where tap water is labeled as such.

Sleep
Hostels

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[edit]

Prices vary greatly. For the cheapest room in a youth hostel in Budapest expect to pay between 6 and
10, but the normal rate in a hostel is 20- 22 per person.

Farmhouses

[edit]

Village Tourism is popular and very well developed in Hungary, and can be a remarkable experience.
Start your research with 1Hungary [41] , National Federation of Rural and Agrotourism [42] and Centre of
Rural Tourism [43] . Near Budapest it is also possible to find rural houses to rent, for instance the Wild
Grape Guesthouse [44] , what makes a good combination to explore the capital and a National Park while
staying at the same accommodation.

Camping

[edit]

There are campgrounds available. See the city guides, including the Budapest guide.

Learn

[edit]

Hungarian universities are open to all foreign students. Many European exchange students come through the
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EU's Erasmus program. There are quite a lot students from Asia and the Middle East as well, particularly
because despite the high standard of education, fees are still considerably lower than in the more
developed Western European countries. Those interested should visit Study in Hungary [45] or University
of Debrecen [46] websites.

Work

[edit]

It could be very difficult for an individual to seek (legal) employment in Hungary because of the complexity,
cost and time involved. Most foreign workers in Hungary have received their visas and other necessary
documents through the company they are employed by. It is hoped, however, that since the joining of
Hungary to the EU a reduction will follow in the amount of red tape involved.
Citiz ens of Antigua and Barbuda are permitted to work in Hungary without the need to obtain a visa for the
period of their 90 day visa- free stay. However, this ability to work visa- free does not necessarily extend to
other Schengen countries.
Many students (usually on a gap year) work as second language teachers at one of Budapest's many
language schools. Be advised that a qualification is required (ESL/TEFL/TESOL) and that experience is
preferred.
One option is to teach through the Central European Teaching Program [47] . For a placement fee they will
take care of paperwork and set you up in a school in Hungary teaching English on a local salary. Contracts
are for one semester or a whole school year. Qualified ESL/EFL teachers can find employment in Hungary
at private language schools which offer better rates of pay and without having to pay a placement fee.
See also Work section in Budapest article .

Stay safe

[edit]

Hungary in general is a very safe country. However, petty crime in particular remains a concern, just like in
any other country.
Watch your baggage and pockets on public transport. There is a danger of pickpockets. Passports, cash,
and credit cards are favorite targets of thieves. Keep items that you do not store in your hotel safe or
residence in a safe place, but be aware that pockets, purses and backpacks are especially vulnerable,
even if they close with a z ipper. There are also reported cases of people who got their baggage stolen
while sleeping on the train, so watch out for that.
Generally, Hungary is rather quiet during the night compared to other European countries, and crime to
tourists is limited to pickpocketing and eventual cheating on prices and bills and taxi fares.
Everyone is required to carry their passport and ID card. Not doing so can end you in trouble with the police.
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The police will be most pragmatic if a color copy of your passport is provided.
The police force is professional and well trained. However, one must have a good knowledge of Hungarian
to ask them for assistance as most of the policemen hardly speak any English.
See the Budapest travel guide for more specific and valuable information about common street scams and
tourist traps in Hungary.

Driving Conditions

[edit]

The majority of Hungarians drive dangerously and had 739 deaths on the roads in 2010. This is largely due
to careless driving habits. Many drivers do not observe the speed limits and you should be extra careful on
two- way roads where local drivers pass each other frequently and allow for less space than you may be
used to.
Car seats are required for infants. Children under age 12 may not sit in the front seat. Seat belts are
mandatory for everyone in the car. You may not turn right on a red light. The police issues tickets for traffic
violations and charge fines on the spot. In practice the laws are widely ignored.
Also, Hungarian laws have z ero t olerance to drink and drive, and the penalty is a severe fine. It means no
alcoholic beverage is allowed to be consumed if driving, no blood alcohol of any level is accept able.
Failure to pay fines may result in your passport getting confiscated, or even a jail term until or unless you
pay the fine.
More importantly, the police stops vehicles regularly for document checks. You shouldn't worry when you
are stopped because by law, everyone needs to have their identification papers checked.
Hungary has some of the harshest, if punishing penalties if people are involved in a car accident.
Involvement in a car accident results in a fine, and maybe a jail sentence from 1 year to 5 years (depending
on the aggravating circumstances).

Stay healthy

[edit]

Food and water is generally safe, even in remote villages.


Private health care providers are high quality, but limited in scope once outside Budapest. Dentistry is
cheaper here than in Western Europe (8- 10000 HUF for an appointment and x- ray), and physiotherapy also
(3000HUF for a half hour treatment), but check the price with the provider before you confirm the
appointment. Outside Budapest you will likely have to speak basic Hungarian to communicate your needs
as few doctors will have any English or German skills.
Public health care is free for qualifying (insured) people, and is of adequate quality in urban areas.
The country has joined the EU, so basic coverage is present for EU citiz ens, but check before entering the
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country how far are you insured and what you have to pay for. Do not expect at this time that the local
doctor will know the EU rules, prepare to provide info.
The European Health Insurance Card is required from EU citiz ens applying for free treatment under this
regulation; European health card for 1 June 2004 [48]
Pharmacies are everywhere, you may expect high prices, but very good pharmaceutical coverage. The
only problem might be communicating with the pharmacist as most of them speak only Hungarian outside
Budapest. Even some rusty Latin might come handy quite unexpectedly. For travelers from Eastern Europe,
note that due to limited or abandoned trade of Hungary with Romania (as of Dec 2006), some of familiar
medications are unavailable- - so be prepared to find a substitute in advance.

Respect

[edit]

The 1956 Revolution continues to be a sensitive subject with the right wing community and many of the
elderly. You shouldn't discuss the Treaty of Trianon (1920) with nationalists - they can take it pretty
sensitively.
Open display of the Communist red star and hammer and sickle symbol, and - - especially- - the Naz i
swastika and SS symbols, and the Hungarian fascist Arrow Cross, is prohibited by law. Make sure your
clothing does not have these symbols on it, even if it's just a joke. You can be fined for it. One possible
exception is displaying shirts and symbols with Josip Tito's, Yugoslavia's best- known leader, known in
Hungary for straying from Stalin's path.
Members of the Gypsy community may find the traditional Hungarian label 'Cigny' (pron. 'tz igan') slightly
offensive, preferring to be labeled as Roma.
As a rural tradition, Hungarians affectionately refer to themselves as "dancing with tears in our eyes"
("srva vgad a magyar"), as in a bittersweet resignation to the perceived bad luck in their long history.
Avoid mocking Hungarian history and Hungarian patriotism.
Talking loudly is generally considered rude. You will notice how most Hungarians tend to keep their
voices down in public places.
When entering a home, shoes should generally be taken off.

Uncommon customs

[edit]

Even if you meet someone of the opposite sex for the first time, it's not unusual to kiss each other on the
cheeks instead of shaking hands as a greeting.
It's an old tradition (although nowadays not held by everyone) that Hungarians do not clink beer glasses
or beer bottles. This is due to the legend that Austrians celebrated the execution of the 13 Hungarian
Martyrs in 1849 by clinking their beer glasses, so Hungarians vowed not to clink with beer for 150 years.
Obviously this time period has expired, but old habits die hard. This is not so much followed by the
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youngest generation.

Contact

[edit]

Broadband Internet access is now widespread in Hungary. It's quite usual to find free Internet access
(wifi) in Shopping centers; in Budapest, most cafes and pubs. You'll have wifi access even in small
towns. Look for the "wifi" signs, you may have to ask for the access password, however, if you consume,
it will be freely given.

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