Hungary – the most detailed information about the country with photos. Attractions, cities of Hungary, climate, geography, population and culture.
Hungary is a country in Central Europe with its capital Budapest. It is the country with rich cultural traditions, ancient history and unique language. Hungary (for the most part) is located on the plains of the Danube River valley and borders Slovakia to the north, Austria to the west, Slovenia and Croatia to the southwest, Serbia to the south, Romania to the east and the Ukraine to the northeast. It is a parliamentary republic and a member of the European Union.
Hungary is one of the most beautiful, authentic and interesting countries in Europe, steeped in history and tradition. It has a lot of destinations: from glittering with thousands of lights Budapest and old quiet towns to the spectacular natural landscapes of the Danube valley, Lake Balaton (the largest in Central Europe) and the atmospheric province. In addition, Hungary is a unique Magyar culture and gastronomy with notable European and Turkish influences.
Flag of Hungary
Useful information about Hungary
- Population – 9.8 million people.
- Area – 93 036 km2 .
- Language – Hungarian.
- Currency – Hungarian forint.
- Visas – Schengen.
- Time – UTC +1.
- Traffic – on the right.
Geography and Nature
Hungary is a landlocked continental country, which is located almost entirely on the Middle Danube Plain. The Danube River crosses the entire country from north to south. Also here is the largest lake in Central Europe – Lake Balaton.
Hungary has a predominantly flat terrain, passing in the west to the Alpokalns, which are the foothills of the Alps. To the north of Lake Balaton there are the low Middle Hungarian Mountains and in the north – the higher Western Carpathians, where the highest peak of the country, mountain Kekes (1014 m) is located. Much of Hungary is occupied by arable land, pastures, orchards and vineyards. Forests are preserved in the north.
Vineyards in Serbia
- Central Hungary is the most visited part of the country with Budapest.
- Balaton – the vicinity of the lake with picturesque villages, vineyards and small resort towns.
- Transdanubia is a historic region west of the Danube River.
- Northern Hungary is a picturesque area with forests and small pretty towns.
- The Great Hungarian Plain is a distinctive region in the east of the country.
Hungary has a temperate continental climate. Summers are relatively hot and winters can be quite cold. There are often droughts.
Danube in Budapest
The best time to visit
The most comfortable time to visit Hungary is April – May and September – early October. It can be very hot in summer and cold in winter. But if the heat doesn’t scare you at all, summer will also be a good time to travel.
In ancient times the territory of modern Hungary was part of the Roman Empire. After its collapse these lands were subjugated by the Avars. In the 9th and 10th century, the Hungarians, whose ancestors are thought to be nomadic tribes of cattlemen who lived beyond the Urals, came here. At the beginning of the 11th century Istvan the Holy proclaimed the Kingdom of Hungary, which existed for 6 centuries. In the same period, the Hungarians adopted Catholicism.
The long history of the independent Hungarian state was quite complicated. At the beginning of the 14th century they were at war with Byzantium and Russia. Then their lands were devastated by the Mongols. In the 15th century the King of Hungary became the Duke of Austria, after the state is subjugated by the King of Poland, and then – the ruler of Transylvania.
Traditional Hungarian village
The history of the kingdom of Hungary ended in the 16th century. In 1526 the Hungarians were defeated by the Turks and were subjugated by the Ottoman Empire almost until the end of the 17th century. In 1687 Hungary became part of the Habsburg state. The Hungarians gained their independence after World War I. In 1941 Hungary joined the Second World War on the side of Germany. After the war Hungary becomes a communist state. In 1989 the Republic of Hungary was proclaimed. Since 2004, Hungary is a member of the EU.
Hungary is divided into 19 medias and the capital Budapest. The medias in turn are divided into jarasz.
Hungary is currently a mono-ethnic state. More than 90% of the population are ethnic Hungarians, who speak Hungarian. The native language of the Hungarians belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group and has virtually nothing in common with other European languages. Although there is no official religion in Hungary, most inhabitants are Catholics.
Hungarians are usually unhurried, friendly, polite and calm. In business they are characterized by some slowness. This is a distinctive people with a rich culture and traditions.
The main air ports are located in Budapest and Debrecen. You can reach Hungary by train and bus from Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
The historic town of Sopron
Cities of Hungary
The most interesting cities in Hungary
– One of the most beautiful and interesting cities in Europe with a rich cultural life and plenty of entertainment. The capital of Hungary consists of several incorporated cities, which divides the mighty Danube River. Budapest is a variety of attractions, colorful architecture and gastronomy. Understandably, it is Hungary’s most popular tourist destination. – The second largest city in Hungary with a major university. – a beautiful old city in northern Hungary with an ancient castle. – one of the most beautiful cities in Hungary, which is famous for its Baroque architecture. – an ancient city in southern central Hungary and the capital of Bács-Kiskun county. – a city in the northeastern part of Hungary at the foot of the picturesque mountain massif of Bükk.
– one of the oldest cities in Hungary, famous for its early Christian necropolis. – the sunniest city in Hungary with a rich history and diverse architecture.
- Nyiregyhaza is the capital of the Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg county, located in the northeast of the country. – A magnificent historic city and the former seat of Hungarian kings.
- Tapolca is a beautiful historic town in western Hungary.
- Sopron – a city in western Hungary with a beautifully preserved historic center rich in Baroque architecture.
- Szentendre – a charming city known for its galleries and pretty old architecture.
Attractions in Hungary
Parliament in Budapest
The Hungarian Parliament building is one of the symbols of the country and the most famous landmark of Budapest. It is a huge Neo-Gothic building on the eastern bank of the Danube, built between 1885 and 1904. The Hungarian Parliament building is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It took 40 million bricks, 40 kg of gold and more than half a million precious stones to build. This massive construction project required the labor of 100,000 workers. The Parliament building has a symmetrical façade and a large central dome. The façade is decorated with statues of Hungarian kings.
Buda Castle is one of the main attractions of Budapest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient fortress has been the residence of Hungarian kings for centuries. You can get here by the famous Šiklo funicular railway or by bus number 16. The history of the castle began in the middle of the 13th century, when King Bela IV after the Tatar-Mongol invasion began building a fortified citadel.
In the 17th century the medieval castle was almost completely destroyed by the Turks and rebuilt by the Habsburgs in typical Austrian style. The Buda Castle has 200 rooms and a 61-meter high central dome that faces the Danube. Only fragments and a few towers remain of the ancient structure.
Basilica of St. Istvan
The Basilica of St. Stephen (Stephen) is the largest church in the capital of Hungary. It is a beautiful 96-meter-high building (one of the tallest structures in the historic center of Budapest) in the Neo-Renaissance style, built in the form of an equilateral cross. Construction of the basilica lasted more than 50 years from 1851. The basilica has an impressive interior, decorated with mosaics and marble columns.
Esztergom Basilica is an impressive Catholic church founded in the early 16th century. This imposing building with its 100-meter dome is not only the largest church building in the country, but also the tallest. Inside, one can admire the huge altar with a 14-meter high painting of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is considered the largest in the world, see the largest organ in Hungary, and visit the crypt, built in 1831 in ancient Egyptian style.
Lake Balaton is a natural gem of Hungary and the largest lake in Central Europe, often referred to as the Hungarian sea. It is a very popular destination in the summer months. Balaton is picturesque nature, charming towns and villages, and several wine regions.
Tihany is one of the most popular resorts on Lake Balaton. It is located on a small peninsula with beautiful views of the lake and has a 17th-century Benedictine abbey.
Cathedral in Pecs
The cathedral in Pecs is an imposing sacred monument, founded in the 11th century and built on the foundations of an early Christian basilica from the 4th century. The building has Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Neo-Romanesque architecture as well as elements of Ottoman architecture when it was used as a mosque. Four 60-meter high towers are built around its perimeter, making it one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Inside you can see Bertalan Sekeli’s famous frescoes and an organ.
Early Christian Necropolis
In Pecs there is another monument of the ancient past – an early Christian necropolis, included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was discovered during construction work in 1975 and dates back to the 4th century. The necropolis consists of several tombs, a memorial room and a chapel. Three marble sarcophagi and frescoes on the walls are preserved in the burial vault.
Lillafured is a resort town in the Bükk Mountains in northeastern Hungary, known for its natural beauty and numerous caves.
Visegrad Royal Palace
Visegrád Royal Palace – the mighty ruins of a royal castle and ancient citadel that tower over the beautiful old town of Visegrád at a bend of the Danube River, 40 kilometers north of Budapest. The first castle here was built in the early 14th century. Over the next centuries it was greatly expanded and considered one of the most beautiful royal courts in Europe. Although the castle is in ruins, it is striking in size and views.
Eger Castle is a medieval castle located in the pretty spa town of the same name on the southern slopes of the Bücke Mountains. This mighty fortress, expanded in the 16th century on the model of Italian fortresses, was considered the gateway to Northern Hungary.
The Esterházy is a huge palace, often called the Hungarian Versailles, built in rococo style in the 18th century.
Hortobágy is a national park in eastern Hungary, located on the expanse of the “Great Hungarian Plain.” Here you can see traditional Hungary: steppes, herds of horses and an abundance of birds.
Pannonhalma is an ancient Benedictine abbey, founded in the late 10th century. Its archives hold some of Hungary’s oldest documents, including the oldest known written Hungarian text.
Gödöllö is a magnificent 18th-century palace built by influential Hungarian aristocrats. In the 19th century it became the property of the Habsburgs. The Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I loved this palace, spending almost every summer here.
Hungary is considered a relatively inexpensive country for tourists. Even in popular tourist destinations, if you look in advance, you can find great options for the right budget. In Budapest, for example, a double room in a hotel near the historic center can be found for 40-50 euros. A bed in a hostel will cost 10-20 euros. The number of available options and the cost of living depends on the season.
Hungary has a wonderful gastronomy, which has been influenced by European and Turkish cuisine. The national dish of Hungary is considered goulash – thick beef soup.
In some parts of the country goulash is called pörkölt.
Meat and spices are one of the main ingredients of Hungarian cuisine. What to try in Hungary besides goulash: goose liver (libamaj), chicken with paprika and onions (paprikás csirke), vegetable soup (bogrács), veal paprikács, pancakes (palacsinta), langos (Hungarian fast food).
Popular national products: cold-smoked sausages, wine, paprika and saffron, Unicum balsam, Gundel cheeses.
Anna 5 22
€260 per tour
The Golden Age of Budapest
A glimpse into the city of its finest “peaceful” times – an introduction to the heritage of a “beautiful era”
€455 per excursion
To the Hungarian sea and the healing Lake Heviz
Thermal springs, lavender Tihany, Balatonfured and Hungarian wine tasting
Why Hungary’s future in the EU is in doubt
The European Parliament has officially recognized Hungary’s threat to retreat from the founding principles of the European Union. This move, unprecedented in EU history, has dealt a tangible blow to the country’s reputation and threatens Budapest with sanctions
Why the EU is in conflict with Hungary
Thursday, September 13, Poland and Lithuania said they would not support the decision to deprive Hungary of the right to vote in the Council of the European Union. The foreign ministers of the two countries, Jacek Kaputowicz and Linus Linkevičius, said so the next day after 448 of 751 members of the European Parliament supported the conclusions of a report on Hungary’s deteriorating political situation. MEP Judith Sargentini of the European Green Party warned the Parliament and the Council of the existence of a clear risk that the Hungarian government, led by Viktor Orban, might violate the basic values of the European Union. She warned the Parliament and the EU Council that there is a clear risk that the Hungarian government, led by Viktor Orbán, is violating the fundamental values of the European Union by putting pressure on NGOs, academics and the media, as well as by infringing on the rights of minorities and migrants.
Sargentini gave several examples of Budapest’s actions questioning its solidarity with EU principles. She referred to an April report by the UN Human Rights Committee, which drew attention to Hungary’s portrayal of the work of NGOs helping migrants as an international conspiracy against the country. Hungarian authorities have also drafted bills to make the work of NGOs more stringent, preventing them from helping refugees and minorities. Hungary is preparing to impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs, Sargentini added. UN experts believe such measures are unjustified. They have also expressed fears over Hungary’s upcoming law that would impose criminal penalties against those “facilitating illegal migration,” the MEP noted.
Speaking about the situation in Hungary, Sargentini mentioned the reduction of the powers of the local Constitutional Court and drew attention to problems with press freedom in the country, which were reported in April 2018 by a press freedom representative from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE was particularly concerned when the conservative magazine Figyelő published the names of 2,000 people who were allegedly planning to overthrow the government. Journalists were also mentioned in the list.
Sargentini listed several international agreements that Hungary might violate with its actions. First, it is Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty of the EU. It states that the EU “was founded on values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality before the law and respect for human rights, including minority rights. Second, the Orban government’s actions run counter to the EU’s list of fundamental rights and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this basis, Sargentini and the parliamentarians supporting her conclusions called for the initiation of proceedings against Budapest on the basis of Article 7.1 of the Treaty of Lisbon.
If the EU leaders listen to the parliament’s position, Hungary could be sanctioned, up to and including the revocation of its voting rights in the EU Council, which includes the leaders of states and governments of the Union.
The results of the vote in the European Parliament damaged Hungary’s reputation, according to Associate Professor of the Department of European Integration at MGIMO Alexandra Tevdoy-Burmuly. The situation poses a serious challenge to the EU and calls into question solidarity within the Union, says Ivan Preobrazhensky, PhD in political science and expert on Central and Eastern Europe: “It is worth paying attention to the fact that one third of deputies did not support the majority decision.
How the EU fights the violators
Two-thirds of the European Parliament, one-third of the EU member states or the European Commission may formally trigger the procedure of Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty. This would entail an obligation for the Council of the EU to discuss the risks of one of the countries of the Union neglecting fundamental values. The EU Council, after listening to the defense, must then decide whether such allegations are justified. If two-thirds of the EU member states decide that the charges are indeed serious, the offending state could face sanctions, such as the loss of voting rights in the EU Council. However, the implementation of such measures requires a unanimous decision by all EU leaders.
In December 2017, the European Commission triggered Article 7 because of judicial reforms in Poland, which Brussels considered a threat to the rule of law. This was the first time the article was triggered in the Union’s history.