Hungary Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Budapest tourist information, Hungary food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Budapest. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Hungary Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Hungary
Area: 93,028 sq km
Population: 9,88 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Budapest
Language: Hungarian, German
Religion: Roman Catholic 51.9%, Calvinist 15.9%, Lutheran 3%, Greek Catholic 2.6%, other Christian 1%, other or unspecified 11.1%, unaffiliated 14.5%
Government: Parliamentary Democracy, EU Member
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1 (Central European Time)
Dialling Code: 36
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: Forint (HUF)
Average yearly salary: USD 18,600

Budget: Ft 500-1200
Mid-range: Ft 1200-1500
High: Ft 1500-2500
Top: Ft 2500+
Budget: Ft 1200-3000
Mid-range: Ft 3000-8000
High: Ft 8000-10000
Top: Ft 10000+

Hungary remains a bargain destination for travelers. If you stay in private rooms, eat at medium-priced restaurants and travel 2nd-class on trains, you should get away on about US$25 a day. Staying in hostels, dormitories or camping grounds and eating at self-service restaurants or food stalls will cut costs substantially. You can exchange cash and travelers cheques up to 30,000 Forint at banks and travel agents, usually for a commission of 1% to 2%. Post offices almost always change cash, but rarely cheques. ATMs accepting credit and debit cards can be found throughout the country, but it's always useful to carry a little foreign cash, preferably US dollars or Euros in case your plastic doesn't work. Hungary is a very tip-conscious society and virtually everyone routinely tips waiters, hairdressers, taxi drivers and even doctors, dentists and petrol-station attendants about 10%. Not leaving a tip, or leaving a very small tip, is a strong signal that you were less than impressed with the service. Never leave money on the table in a restaurant: tell the waiter how much money you want to leave as a tip as you are paying the bill. Bargaining is not the done thing in Hungary, but you can try a little gentle haggling in flea markets or with individuals selling folk crafts.

Geography: Hungary is situated in Central Europe, sharing borders with the Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Austria and Slovenia. There are several ranges of hills, chiefly in the north and west. The capital city of Budapest, situated on one of the most beautiful areas of the Danube, is made up of two parts - Buda and Pest. The former is the older, more graceful, part with cobbled streets and medieval buildings; the latter is the commercial centre. The capital is a lively city that has long been a haven for writers, artists and musicians.

Climate: There are four seasons, with a very warm summer from June to August, with an average temperature of 27 C. Spring and autumn are mild, however winters are very cold. The average winter temperature ranges from 0 C to -10 C. January is the coldest month of the year in Hungary. Rainfall is present throughout the year, with snowfalls in winter.

Recommended clothing: It can get very cold in the winter season in Hungary, therefore you should dress accordingly. Warm overcoats and shoes/boots are strongly recommended. On the contrary, it can get very hot in summer, especially in July/August. Lightweight summer clothes are advised.

Social conventions: Handshaking is the customary form of greeting in Hungary. When having dinner, toasts are usually made and should be returned. Gifts, such as flowers or a bottle of wine, for hosts are very welcome and understood as a token of thanks. Smoking is prohibited on public transport, public buildings and some of the restaurants (look for a sign).

Health: Tick-borne encephalitis occurs in forested areas, therefore vaccination is advised for those going camping or hiking. Rabies, although on the decrease, is present. If bitten, you should seek for medical advice immediately.

Food & Drink: Hungarian food, with several world-wide famous dishes, tends to be flavorful and varied. Since the Hungarian diet is based on meat and potatoes, vegetarians may experience some difficulties. However, there are plenty seasonal vegetables, fruits, cheeses, honey and fresh bread products that are also a part of traditional Hungarian dishes. Goulash, fish soup, and various paprika-laden concoctions are the most popular foods in the Hungarian diet. There are also various international restaurants to choose from in Budapest. Hungary is famous for their red wine and a sweet desert wine Tokaji. Alcoholic beverages such as vodka and apricot brandy, red wine, and beer are consumed in great quantities. Hungary has 21 different kinds of mineral water.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1
New Year's Day
Mar 15 Anniversary of 1848 uprising against Austrian rule
Mar 28 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 16 Whit Monday
Aug 15 Assumption.
Aug 20 National Day (Feast of St Stephen)
Oct 23 Republic Day (Anniversary of 1956)
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 25-26 Christmas
Dec 31 New Year's Eve

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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