Hungary Travel Guide


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Hungary

 

Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe which shares its borders with Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the NE, Romania to the east, Croatia and Serbia to the south, and Austria and Slovenia to the west. The major river is the Danube with the Tisza the next largest. The land in the country is very fertile with plains to the east stretching from the River Danube to the Carpathian Mountains . The highest elevation is Kekes Mountain . Hungary joined the European Union in 2004.

 

Hungary has a fascinating history with many struggles for power and domination of the country over the centuries. It was inhabited by the Magyars, who were horse-riding nomads from the Ural Mountains , in the eighth century. During this period of history they blended with Slavics and Huns and other tribes to become the Hungarians.

 

 

The population is comprised of approx. 98% Hungarians, with some Germans, Serbs, Slovaks and Romanians. The main language spoken is Magyar (Hungarian) although German and English are widely understood. The dominant religion is Roman Catholic with some Calvinists, Lutherans and others. Hungary has over 20 wine growing regions which produce over 400 varieties of wine.

 

The capital and largest city, Budapest , is a beautiful city and cultural haven with its Baroque and Gothic architecture, monuments, museums, galleries, wide avenues, lovely parks, and lively nightlife. Other sizeable cities are Debrecen , Miskolc , Szeged and Pecs . Budapest is actually a city containing three united cities: Obuda, which is the oldest part with Roman ruins; Buda which is the western side of the Danube and known for the ancient Castle Hill area, and Pest which is the busy commercial centre and government district on the eastern bank of the Danube . A cruise on the River Danube is a must for visitors. Budapest has dozens of natural thermal springs and many spas and baths.

 

The medieval Castle Hill area of Buda with its winding streets is a wonderful place to start exploring Budapest on foot. The Royal Palace , which was a royal residence for many centuries, sits atop Castle Hill. The Palace now houses the Hungarian National Gallery, National Library and Historical Museum , which are well worth a visit. There is the Gothic Matthias Church which often hosts musical performances. From Gellert Hill there is a wonderful view of the River Danube.

The Obuda area of Budapest is the place for history lovers, with its interesting excavated Roman ruins, and its Main Square area with many bars, restaurants and museums.

 

In the Pest area of the city you can walk from Buda to Pest on a historic bridge over the Danube into an area of pedestrian streets, sophisticated shops, cafes and restaurants. Here also can be found the Grand Market Hall, National Museum and Jewish Quarter.

 

Other sights not to be missed are the Parliament building and St. Stephen’s Basilica - which has a lovely view of the city from its tower, the State Opera House and City Park . There is much to see and do in the city park area, including the medicinal baths, which is the largest health spa in Europe . There are boats for hire on the lake in the park, and in winter it is a playground for skaters. There is a zoo, botanical gardens and funfair. Budapest is known as a haven for artists, writers and musicians. It is also the birthplace of the famous composers Bartok and Liszt.

 

Another lovely part of the city is Margaret Island , which is located in the middle of the Danube . The island has all sorts of attractions including a monastery, an open air theatre, swimming pools, spa hotels and gardens.

 

Hungary has a lot to offer and is a country full of surprises. Those who venture outside of the beautiful capital of Budapest can find adventure or relaxation to suit any taste. There is Orseg National Park , the River Tisza and Lake Ferto to be visited. There are excellent golf courses, equestrian holidays and cycling trips to name just a few. On top of all this is the hospitality of the Hungarian people along with the lovely cuisine and Hungarian beer and wine.

 

European Health Insurance Card

 

Visitors with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to free emergency medical care, but this should never be used in place of comprehensive travel insurance.  For example, the EHIC does not cover travel problems such as lost or stolen luggage or property, cancellation and curtailment, and expensive matters like personal liability, legal costs, ongoing or non-urgent medical care, air ambulance and medical repatriation.

 



 

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We strongly advise a visit to the FCO website for updated travel information and general travel advice before you book and pay for any travel.