Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Throughout its history, it has been occupied by the Romans, Slavs, Celts and Huns, before becoming a well established country towards the end of the 9th century. This was due to the Hungarian grand prince Arpad who founded the Kingdom of Hungary. The Kingdom of Hungary lasted for 946 years and at certain times was seen as a major European political power. It would eventually make up half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and was a great power until the end of World War I. After the war, Hungary lost 1/3 of its population and about 70 percent of its territory. Today, it is a developed country and is a very popular tourist destination.

de_0055_hungary - Szechenyi Chain Bridge and Royal Palace


Hungary is an excellent destination for bird watching due to its grasslands and wooded hills. Hungary has a long tradition of horse riding, and its vast areas of open countryside are great for horse riding. It has over 1000 thermal springs, many of which have been turned into spas and baths. The most famous is the Szechenyi Bath and Spa in Budapest. The pools were completely reconstructed in 1999, and water filtering and circulation devices were added. The Buda Castle, built in 1265, has several museums, including the Matthias Church and Hungarian National Gallery. There are also 200 known caves under Budapest, many of which can be visited by tourists. The Palvolgyi Stalactite Cave is a large and spectacular labyrinth and popular tourist destination. If you are looking for an exciting activity, go to the Celeritas Shooting Club and try shooting with real rifles, revolvers, and pistols.

de_0057_hungary - Danube and Budapest view, Hungary

Local Food & Drink

Hungarians are proud of their cuisine. Hungarian food is typically spicy (the national spice is paprika), but it is not all that hot. Many of the dishes are deep fried, and thus Hungarian food is not very healthy although it is extremely tasty. Hungary’s national dish is goulash. Meat such as beef, pork and venison is extremely popular while the best fish are Fogas and Carp. Goose is also a popular dish. A typical meal will involve soup, meat with salad and potatoes, and a dessert like pancakes. Common snacks include langos (deep fried dough with many toppings) and kolbasz, a Hungarian version of Polish sausage. Every Hungarian meal is typically accompanied by Hungarian pickles. Unlike other Central European countries, Hungarian beer is rather average and it is known as more of a wine country. It has several famous vine regions; and Egri Bikaver is a popular local wine. Most Hungarian wines are extremely sweet. It is safe to drink the tap water in Hungary, although it may have an unpleasant taste due to the cleaning process the water undergoes.

de_0056_hungary - old car in alley


While Hungary is a very safe country, petty crime is a concern. If you are a tourist, crime is limited to cheating on bills, fares, and prices and pickpocketing. Watch your pockets and baggage on public transport and at popular tourist attractions. Thieves generally target cash, passports, and credit cards, so you may want to have each in a different pocket for protection. If you are pick pocketed, better to only lose 1 of the 3 as opposed to all 3 items. If you are traveling in a group, make sure to watch out for each other and keep an eye on suspicious looking people. Unfortunately, you will need to carry your passport on you, as it is required by the law. Not having your passport on you can get you into trouble with the police. You may want to negotiate prices with taxi drivers before entering the cab to make sure they do not overcharge you.