HUNGARY

HUNGARY

HUNGARY

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Name: Buda Castle
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. It was first completed in 1265, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum.

Buda Castle sits on the south tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District, which is famous for medieval, Baroque and Neoclassical houses, churches and public buildings. The hill is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular. The castle is a part of the Budapest World Heritage Site.

The interior from the time of Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph was mostly destroyed during World War II and the post-war reconstruction, excluding the Palatinal Crypt, which survived both. Little information exists about the interiors from the medieval and Baroque eras, but the palace built at the turn of the 20th century was meticulously recorded, using detailed descriptions, photographic documentation and grounds plans.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buda_Castle
Name: Széchenyi thermal bath
Location: Budapest, Hungary
The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs, their temperature is 74°C and 77°C. Components of the thermal water include sulfate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and a significant amount of metaboric acid and fluoride.

The bath, located in the City Park, was built in Neo-Baroque style to the design of Győző Czigler. Construction began on May 7, 1909 with designs by architect Eugene Schmitterer. The pool construction cost approximately 3.9 million Austro-Hungarian korona. The total area covered was 6,220 square metres. More than 200,000 bathers visited the spa in 1913. This number increased to 890,507 by 1919. At that time the Bath consisted of private baths, separate steam-bath sections for men and women, and male and female "public baths." The complex was expanded in 1927 to its current size, with 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools. It is now possible for both sexes to visit the main swimming and thermal sections.

Between 1999 and 2009 the Széchenyi thermal bath was refurbished in a complete renovation.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Széchenyi_thermal_bath
Name: Hungarian Parliament Building
Location: Budapest, Hungary
The Hungarian Parliament Building, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination in Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary.

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873, namely Buda, Óbuda, and Pest. Seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative parliament building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. The building was planned to face the river. An international competition was held, and Imre Steindl emerged as the victor; the plans of two other competitors were later also realized in the form of the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, both facing the Parliament Building. Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885, and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896. It was completed in 1904.

About 100 000 people were involved in construction, during which 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold were used.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Parliament_Building
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO HUNGARY.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Hungarian
Currency: Hungary Forint (HUF)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) / CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +36
Local / up-to-date weather in Budapest (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Hungary travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Afghanistan, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO HUNGARY.

The Hungarian currency is the forint, denoted by the symbol “Ft” (ISO code: HUF). Notes come in 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 denominations; coins are 200 (two coloured, similar to €1), 100 (two coloured, similar to €2), 50, 20, 10 and 5.

Euros are now accepted at most hotels and some of the restaurants and shops. Make sure you check the exchange rate, sometimes even well known places (like McDonald’s) will exchange at unrealistic rates. Forint is scheduled to disappear in coming years in favour of the euro, but no date is yet fixed.

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 forint when you can. Some restaurants and hotels charge a steep rate for exchanging euros and often due to the fluctuation in forint, cost and services stated may vary drastically.

Money exchange:

Shopping in Hungary is extremely cheap for people from the Euro-zone and them US. An exception to this rule is that luxury goods are often at higher prices than would be encountered in Western Europe or the US.

Exchange rates for euros and US dollars are roughly the same within central (at least in Budapest and Eger). Rates will likely be much worse in airports and large train stations, so only change what you need to reach the city centre. 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.

Euros are very widely accepted, in hotels, in some splurge restaurants or bars, in some shop (like all SPAR super/hypermarkets, usually at the cashdesk area is a board with the actual rate), or international cash desk of course the rates five even ten percent worse than in the banks and be prepare the change they will get back in forint. Try using small notes (max. 50), at international cash desk even can pay also with coins and the rate is ok. Traded currencies at the two biggest Hungarian bank K&H Bank: AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HRK, JPY, NOK, PLN, SEK, USD; OTP Bank: same as K&H plus BGN, RUB and accepted Euro or Amex travellers cheques (comission). Smaller banks like Raiffeisen Bank (for CZK), Oberbank (for CHF) or Sberbank (for RUB) giving better rates, but not change so many currencies (need to check as it is variable). For your remained forints buying euros, US dollars and Swiss francs always available, but others only when in stock. More unusual currencies, such as Israeli shekels, Hong Kong dollars, or Ukrainian hyrvnia, can only be exchanged at money changers.

If you arrive in Hungary at weekends, holidays or evening banks are closed only ATMs or money changer shops or some hotels (mostly the biggers). ATMs and banks can be found in hypermarkets.

If you arrive at Budapest Ferihegy Airport late at night or on state holidays changing money is possible as there are five interchange money changer offices. Opening times vary: from morning to around midnight, and one is open 24 hours a day. 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. Also Interchange has booths at Déli (one), Keleti (three), Nyugati (one) Railway stations. These are open daily from 07:00 or earlier to 20:50-23:30. Locations and opening time here. In the city centre of Budapest at #2 Vörösmarty square (BKV m 1 jms.svg:Vörösmarty tér) branch is open 24 hours a day.

There are many ATMs in Budapest which will accept European and North American debit or credit cards. Be aware that “Euronet” ATMs have high charges in addition to any charges your own bank may apply, whereas ATMs operated by banks (e.g. OTP Bank, Raiffeisenbank) don’t add extra charges.

Visitors report that unofficial money changers operating nearby an official money changing booth offer unfavourable rates, and recommend using the official exchange offices. Such exchangers are illegal and there is the possibility that you will receive other than Hungarian currency or nothing at all.

BY PLANE:

Hungary has no regular domestic flights. As Budapest lies in the centre 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 T:+36 20 565-6467, Dunakeszi. Lightweight gliders and other stuff.

BY TRAIN:

The Hungarian National Railway is MÁV and GYSEV (some lines in the west of the country). MÁV has online schedule and pricing site. You can purchase domestic and some international train tickets on the web in English. Read and follow the instruction here.

The train network 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.

Intercity (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 Ft (= €2) extra fee 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 among the cheapest, with an excellent record of speed and comfort. 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.

Other train 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 retired (citizens 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 Inter Rail pass for Hungary. Check whether buying tickets for each journey is cheaper.

Check the MAV site for a station list where you can buy a train ticket with a debit or credit card. A gépi menetjegykiadás is a staffed cashier desk; jegykiadó automata is a vending machine.

You can buy tickets with euro. It is possible to purchase an international ticket and supplement at every Hungarian railway station which has an international cash desk. Cash desks do not accept euro bank notes of values above €50, and you will get the change in forints.

A station list with ticket vending machine usually to destinations which are not enlisted by the vending machines, tickets will be issued without extra charge by the conductor on board. These ar working with a short midnight break.

International bike transport on the train also possible on selected trains cost €4-10 (vary), first price to Vienna, the highest to Hamburg (via Berlin).

List of e-ticket acceptance points like a vending machine. Buy the ticket on the Net and find at the station the pre-purchased ticket issuing machine to validate and print your ticket.

Here can be find some info about Luggage rooms or lockers (Hu: csomagmegörző) in train station. Lockers cost (since 2010): small 400 Ft, or bigger 600 Ft per 24hours. More than one day cost 600 Ft per each started day. An incomplete list of stations with Luggage rooms or/and lockers: Budapest-Déli, Kelenföld (Budapest), Budapest-Keleti, Budapest-Nyugati, Debrecen, Győr, Miskolc-Tiszai, Nyíregyháza, Siófok, Sopron, Szolnok, Szombathely.

BY BUS:

Hungary’s national bus network is operated by 28 state run companies, united in Volán Association.Connections 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 Ft 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 in English. And here can you check the domestic long-distance bus lines in English, French, Hungarian and Romanian.

Some important words in Hungarian that may be helpful are:

  • “honnan” – from
  • “hová” – to
  • “Autóbusz állomás” – bus station
  • “naponta” – daily
  • “munkanapokon” – on workdays

BY BOAT:

There are several scheduled riverboat and hydrofoil lines operated by MAHART PassNave Ltd. from the capital city Budapest to towns in the Danubebend, like Szentendre, Visegrád and Esztergom, and also a good hydrofoil boat connection operated by the same company between Vienna and Budapest from May to September.

In the capital city there are several sightseeing and night cruises operated by MAHART PassNave Ltd. and other shipping companies, like Legenda Ltd.

There are some ferries on Danube and Tisza but their working hours are undependable. You can trust the ferry on Lake Balaton, though, for a modest price.

BY CAR:

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 roads and in major cities, though they are constantly being repaired. It is usually not difficult to travel by using a map and following road signs.

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 2013 the vignette is stored electronically and checked for using gantries that read license plate numbers. You can purchase them in intervals of 10 days (called “Weekly vignette”), 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 video cameras and you will get a high ticket (20,000 Ft) 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 60 km/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 the speed limit is 130 km/h, travel is the same as in Germany, and on the inside lane it is very common to have someone speed by you.

Expect the Police to use speed traps of all kinds: fixed ones on all motorways which are signed, and mobile ones from bridges, cars standing on the shoulder or behind bushes and trees. Beware that some policemen hide around speed limit signs, especially when the sign visibly useless or if it’s extremely slow for the given road type. Police corruption is widespread especially around Budapest (generally 10,000 Ft solves usual problems if you don’t get arrested for it).

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.

Outside urban areas, 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 zero 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:

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-east and south sections are ready.
  • M1 – connection to Győr, Austria and Slovakia (west)
  • M2 – connection to Vác, planned to reach the border to Slovakia by 2015 (north)
  • M3/M30/M35 – connection to Miskolc, Debrecen and Nyíregyháza (east)
  • M5 – connection to Serbia, via Kecskemét and Szeged (south-east)
  • M6/M60 – Connection to Dunaújváros and Pécs(south)
  • M7/M70 – connection to Lake Balaton, Croatia and Slovenia (south-west)

Planned:

  • M4 – will provide connection to Romania via Szolnok by the year 2015 (east)
  • M44 – will provide connection between the M5 at Kecskemét and the Romanian border via Békéscsaba (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 web (and several private online companies), at filling stations and at ÁAK (State Motorway Management Co.) offices. A 10-day vignette for a passenger car costs 2975 Ft during summertime, the 4-day ticket for car has been cancelled. Vignettes are controlled automatically through a camera system.

BY CAR POOL:

The Hungarian oszkar.com social car pool network/website will allow you to find cheap transport around the country and from (and to) many European cities (especially Vienna, but many German cities are also well “serviced”).

In case you’re not familiar with the idea: people who travel by car and willing to take passengers post their itinerary. You can hitch a ride by booking it on the website and then contacting the driver, whose contact information the website furnishes you with. People wishing to travel by car pool can also post and hope to be found by a prospective driver. Passengers are expected to contribute to the cost of the trip, but “fares” are typically much lower than bus/coach or rail fares (e.g. as of 2013, a trip from Vienna to Budapest may cost 2,500–6,500 Ft). A significant downside is that the site is in Hungarian (although you might be able to navigate it with a service Google Translate) and that booking (but not searching) requires registration, which is free. Drivers as well as passengers can rate each other after trips, much like at auction sites.

Drivers are typically young adults (young enough to be familiar with the Internet and old enough to own their own cars); this also means they’re slightly more likely to speak a foreign language than the average Hungarian, but you still shouldn’t depend on it.

Some commercial “shuttle operators” use oszkar.com to offer rides too; their postings are visually distinguishable from “amateur” ones.

Oszkar.com is a buyer’s market: there are generally many more passenger seats available than passengers.

BY TAXI:

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.

EAT:

Main courses in menu are normally 2000–4000 Ft in touristy places in Budapest, 1500–2200 Ft outside it, or in towns like Eger and Szentendre (Jan 2014).

A two-course lunch with a soft drink in Budapest typically costs 1500–8000 Ft per person, and half or third of that outside Budapest (Chinese fast food menu is around 900 Ft – 2014).

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 tip of 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 the centre of Pest, that try 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 before ordering.

Common in major cities and next to the highways are branches of major international chains such as KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hutand TGI Friday’s last two just in Budapest.

Cuisine:

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 goulash but Hungarians call the thick paprika-laden stew known as goulash elsewhere by the term pörkölt and reserve the term gulyás for a lighter paprika-flavored soup.

Meat is popular, especially pork (sertés), beef (marha) and venison (őz). Less common is lamb and mutton. The best fish in Hungary are river fish: carp (ponty), zander (fogas/süllő) and catfish (harcsa), though many restaurants will serve fish from far away, another typical hungarian fish meal is roasted hake (sült hekk). Chicken (csirke) and turkey (pulyka) are common, and you will also find game birds excellent in smarter restaurants and country areas. Pheasant (Fácán), Partridge(Fogoly) and duck (Kacsa). A typical meal will involve soup, often like a consommé (erőleves), meat with potatoes (burgonya) and a side salad, and a dessert like pancakes (palacsinta).

Less well known in the rest of the world are csirke paprikás, chicken stew in paprika sauce, and halászlé, paprika fish soup often made from carp.

Goose is also quite popular in Hungary. While tourists gorge on goose liver (libamáj), still cheap by Western standards, probably the most common dish is sült libacomb, roast goose leg. Stuffed (töltött) vegetables of all kinds are also popular, and Hungarian pancakes (palacsinta), both savoury and sweet, are a treat. Common snacks include kolbász, a Hungarianized version of the Polish kielbasa sausage, and lángos, 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 savanyúság, literally “sourness”. These are often dubbed saláta on menus, so order a vitamin saláta 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 “Cukrászda” if you are in Hungary. These are very popular with delicious cakes and coffee. Try the traditional Krémes (with vanila cream), Eszterházy (lots of nuts) or Somlói Galuska. You should visit Auguszt, Szamos or Daubner if you want the best. Daubner is a little out of the way, Auguszt Cukrászda is an absolute must. They have a shop near the Astoria metro station, founded in 1969.

Another favourite is Lángos, which is deep fried bread served served with various fillings. Most common is plain, with salt, garlic (fokhagyma) and soured cream (tejföl). If you do come across a Langos stand, there are usually a large number of options from pizza langos, or eggs with mayonnaise or Nutella and bananas.

Vegetarian food:

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 rántott sajt (fried cheese) and gombafejek rántva (fried mushrooms).

Italian food is popular, so as long as you don’t mind a pasta heavy diet as a vegetarian you will find a wider choice.

For self-catering, the selection of fruits and vegetables from supermarkets or local shops and market is quite good, especially in summer.

There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and a lot of health food stores that offer all sorts of vegetarian/vegan products, including cosmetics. A good place for specific information is Budaveg.

DRINK:

Wine:

  • Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood of Eger) (1000 Ft 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, her father gave her a bottle of Egri Bikavér to take to the 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 aszú), (2000–6000 Ft) 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 well for a long time.

If new to Hungarian wine, be aware that both champagne (“pezsgő”) and wine, red or white, are quite likely to be sweet (“Édes” or “félédes”). If dry wine is your preference, look for the word “Száraz” on the label. When buying bottled wine, don’t bother with types cheaper than 600–700 Ft, as these are usually very low quality (maybe not even produced from grapes). In wine cellars high quality may be available at surprisingly low prices.

Liquor:

In Hungarian, pálinka denotes strong brandy-like liquor distilled from fruit. Pálinka is a very social drink: just as the English drink tea, the Hungarians, especially in rural areas, will offer pálinka to guests upon arrival. The best-known varieties are barackpálinka, made from apricots, körtepálinka from pears, and szilvapálinka made from plums. Factory-made pálinka is widely available, but keep an eye out for homemade házipálinka. Pálinkas usually contain around or above 50% of alcohol, often more for the homemade ones. Pálinka bottles marked mézes will be heavily sweetened with honey. (3000 Ft for something good)

Unicum is a strong digestif made from a secret mix of over 40 herbs. It comes in striking black bottles emblazoned 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 spherical bottle (affectionately called “the Holy Hand Grenade”) itself may also be used for decoration, and keeps very well for a long time. It is available in every bar in Hungary but it is rare to see someone drinking it.

Beer:

Hungarian beer is quite average compared to other Central European countries like Germany and the Czech Republic as it has long been a wine culture. The most common beers are Dreher, Szalon, Borsodi, Soproni and Arany Ászok, available in the styles világos (lager) and barna (brown). All of Hungarian breweries are owned and managed by international brands such as: Dreher Sörgyár (Budapest); Heineken Hungaria (Sopron and Martfű); Heineken; Borsodi Sörgyár (Bőcs); Pécsi Sörfőzde (Pécs); Ottakinger. They cost 200–300 Ft at a store and 400–600 Ft at a bar. Some expensive club can charge up to 900 in Budapest.

Imported beers like Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budweiser-Budvar (the original Czech 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 executed by the Habsburgs of Austria 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:

Cafe culture is widespread in Hungary, although it may never recover the romance of its turn-of-the-century intellectual heyday. Unless asked, it’s a good idea to specify what kind of coffee you prefer. The word kávé means the strong, espresso-like coffee, although American-style coffee, known as hosszú kávé in Hungarian, usually translated as “long coffee”, is also available at most places.

Tea:

Tea houses are becoming popular in cities, especially among the young. There is a growing number of tea houses, mainly in Budapest and some bigger cities where people can buy several types of loose tea. The best teas are herbal and fruit varieties. In restaurants and cafes, lemon juice is frequently served in a small bottle. However, in traditional restaurants or cafes good teas are hard to find as coffee are preferred.

Hostels:

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:

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

Apart from classic tourist souvenirs such as postcards and trinkets, here are some things unique to Hungary or just hard to find elsewhere.

Hungarian foods:

  • Duck and goose liver
  • Salamis – products of Hertz, Picks are the best, try Winter salami (Hu: Téliszalámi)
  • Sweets Chocolates with fruit Brandy, Szamos Marzipan dessert, Praline with Truffle, szaloncukor, literally: “parlour candy”, is a popular sweet at Christmas.
  • Cold-smoked sausages – Mangalica and grey beef specials
  • Herbal Teas
  • Truffle Products – Honeys, Jams
  • Spices: Paprika and Hungarian Saffron
  • Gundel set of cheese: aged in Gundel wines or with walnut pieces or seasonings. Most easily found in 350 g 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.

Hungarian beverages:

  • Champagnes
  • Wines: the vineries of Badacsony, Tokaj, Villány have the best products, but when purchasing wine beyond the right kind and vintage is also important the wine rack. The wrought iron with wine leaves is very showy, but if you are traveling by plane difficult to transport, so maybe a wood is more practical and you can buy a wide range of it. Other good names are: Somlói Juhfark, Egri Bikavér (see Liquor), Kadarka, red wine from Villány area etc.
  • Pálinka: very famous and strong brandy made from fruits.
  • Unicum: a herbal digestif liqueur.

Others:

  • Black pottery – part of the Transdanubian folk art
  • Porcelain – look for high quality handmade
  • Herend and Zsolnay products, usually sell them in set, simple candle holders are much cheaper and also popular
    Herend majolica at more affordable prices than the classic Herend.
  • Hungarian Cuisine book (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian)
    ‘matyó’ patterned wooden spoons, ceramic of Sárospatak spoon holder
  • Embroideries such as patterned of Kalocsa or Matyó.
  • Blueprinted textiles mostly linen or cotton materials
  • Diamonds in handmade white gold, platinum inlaid jewellery, try your luck at Szentendre the Europe’s largest diamond & jewellery centre
  • Handicrafts and decorative arts works decorated with traditional, Hungarian folk motifs (letter-paper envelope sets, greeting cards, handkerchiefs, napkins, tablecloths, pillows, towels)
  • The Rubik’s cube originated in Hungary and was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik and is one example of its longstanding gaming tradition.
**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Hungary
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Name: Buda Castle
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. It was first completed in 1265, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built between 1749 and 1769. The castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and The Budapest History Museum.

Buda Castle sits on the south tip of Castle Hill, bounded on the north by what is known as the Castle District, which is famous for medieval, Baroque and Neoclassical houses, churches and public buildings. The hill is linked to Clark Ádám Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge by the Castle Hill Funicular. The castle is a part of the Budapest World Heritage Site.

The interior from the time of Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph was mostly destroyed during World War II and the post-war reconstruction, excluding the Palatinal Crypt, which survived both. Little information exists about the interiors from the medieval and Baroque eras, but the palace built at the turn of the 20th century was meticulously recorded, using detailed descriptions, photographic documentation and grounds plans.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buda_Castle
Name: Széchenyi thermal bath
Location: Budapest, Hungary
The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs, their temperature is 74°C and 77°C. Components of the thermal water include sulfate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and a significant amount of metaboric acid and fluoride.

The bath, located in the City Park, was built in Neo-Baroque style to the design of Győző Czigler. Construction began on May 7, 1909 with designs by architect Eugene Schmitterer. The pool construction cost approximately 3.9 million Austro-Hungarian korona. The total area covered was 6,220 square metres. More than 200,000 bathers visited the spa in 1913. This number increased to 890,507 by 1919. At that time the Bath consisted of private baths, separate steam-bath sections for men and women, and male and female "public baths." The complex was expanded in 1927 to its current size, with 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools. It is now possible for both sexes to visit the main swimming and thermal sections.

Between 1999 and 2009 the Széchenyi thermal bath was refurbished in a complete renovation.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Széchenyi_thermal_bath
Name: Hungarian Parliament Building
Location: Budapest, Hungary
The Hungarian Parliament Building, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination in Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary.

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873, namely Buda, Óbuda, and Pest. Seven years later the Diet resolved to establish a new, representative parliament building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. The building was planned to face the river. An international competition was held, and Imre Steindl emerged as the victor; the plans of two other competitors were later also realized in the form of the Ethnographic Museum and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, both facing the Parliament Building. Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885, and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896. It was completed in 1904.

About 100 000 people were involved in construction, during which 40 million bricks, half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms of gold were used.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Parliament_Building
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Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

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