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Hungary Travel Guide: Overview

Welcome to our Hungary travel guide, an unmissable resource for anyone planning a trip to this captivating central European country – a land imbued with a rich history, world-renowned cuisine, thermal spas and a diverse landscape that’s a dream to explore. Situated at the crossroads of cultures, Hungary is not just about its buzzing capital Budapest; it offers an abundance of memorable experiences that extend far beyond its popular city streets.

In this Hungary travel guide, we’ll provide you with the best and most-up-to-date information about when to visit, where to stay, what to see, and many more vital details to ensure your journey is as seamless and inspiring as possible. Whether you’re aiming to soak up the impressive culture, explore the idyllic countryside, or indulge in the local delicacies, our guide ensures that you’ll have everything you need to plan an unforgettable Hungarian adventure.

Table of Contents

Best Time to Visit Hungary

gyor - hungary travel guide

The Best Time to Visit Hungary

Planning your trip to the enchanting country of Hungary can be an exhilarating experience. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and exquisite cuisine, Hungary promises an unforgettable journey. An integral aspect of your planning should be deciding when to visit Hungary. Hungary experiences a temperate seasonal climate, which offers distinctive experiences in different periods of the year.

Spring (March to May)

Spring generously embellishes Hungary with blooming flowers and mild temperatures. This time of year, especially April and May, is perfect for exploring the enticing landscapes, picturesque vineyards, and happy valleys. The Easter festivities add a unique charm to the Hungarian spring season.

Summer (June to August)

The Hungarian summer is characterized by warm temperatures and sunny days, perfect for indulging in water sports at Lake Balaton or soaking up the sun in one of Budapest’s fascinating parks. Additionally, the summer season is known for hosting the Sziget Festival, one of Europe’s largest music and cultural festivals.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn paints Hungary with a broadly brushed palette of mesmerizing hues. Nature enthusiasts can enjoy serene walks in the forests and taste the new wine harvests in Eger. Notably, the Budapest International Wine Festival takes place in September, offering a world-class food and wine experience.

Winter (December to February)

In winter, Hungary transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with festive decorations and markets, particularly in Budapest. The thermal baths are especially enjoyable during this time, offering a warm reprieve from the chill in the air. In summary, the best time to visit Hungary largely depends on the type of experience you seek. Every season has its unique allure and a wealth of activities, making Hungary a year-round travel destination.

How to get to Hungary

When planning a visit to Hungary, this Hungary travel guide wouldn’t be complete without a thorough review of transportation options. A selection of reliable modes of transport including air, land, and rail networks are at your disposal. Let’s dive into the details.

Air Travel

Hungary’s air travel infrastructure is well-developed, with Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport serving as the primary international gateway. Other popular airports include Debrecen International Airport and Hévíz–Balaton Airport. Check their official websites for more detailed travel information: There are several reputable airlines servicing Hungary:

Road Travel

Road travel is another reliable means of getting to Hungary. Renowned car rental companies offer services to accommodate both short and long tours around the country. For an excellent customer experience, you might want to consider:

Railway Travel

Hungary’s extensive railways connect it with most of its neighbouring countries, providing scenic routes that immerses travellers into the beautiful landscapes of Europe. For railway travel, the following services are highly recommended:

Danube River Cruises

A unique, calm, and scenic way to journey to Hungary is via a Danube River cruise. Sailing along the second-longest river in Europe will pass through many countries before finally reaching Hungary. This trip offers a wonderful opportunity to soak in central Europe’s stunning landscapes, rich history, and varied cultures.

Many operators include cruises to Hungary in their itineraries. We have listed trustworthy providers below:

Each provider offers different travel experiences, from leisurely sightseeing trips to more engaged cultural immersion voyages. Pick the one that fits your holiday expectations and enjoy an enchanting river ride to Hungary.

Now that you’re equipped with detailed transportation options, your Hungary travel guide would be a practical tool to plan and take the first step towards your beautifully memorable trip.

Getting Around Hungary

When planning your trip following our ‘Hungary travel guide’, a prime consideration should be how to navigate this fascinating country. Various transport options are available – each with its specific benefits and drawbacks. Here, we outline all major modes of transportation.

Air Travel

Air travel is a quick and efficient way to reach Hungary, particularly for long-distance travelers. The primary con is the cost, which can be higher than other methods, but the speedy journey and comfort generally compensate for this. Here are some of the popular domestic airports: And domestic airline carriers:

Rail Travel

Train travel in Hungary is comprehensive, inexpensive, and reasonably efficient, making it a popular choice. However, the cons can be a slower journey time compared to flying and occasional delays. Here are some train companies providing domestic services:

Road Travel

Traveling by car or bus allows for more flexibility and a chance to see the countryside, though it can be slower and more tiring. Do remember, vehicle rental comes with the extra costs of fuel, parking, and possibly rental insurance. Here are some service providers:

Urban Transport

In urban areas like Budapest, trams, metros and buses are efficient ways to travel. The downside could be crowding during peak hours. Bike sharing systems are also prevalent. Here are some urban transportation companies:

Essential Tips to Enhance Your Hungarian Travel Experience

Here are 15 helpful travel tips to ensure your trip to Hungary is magical and stress-free.

1. Safety: Hungary is generally safe but ensure to take usual precautions. Keep your belongings safe while in crowded tourist attractions and use regulated taxi services. A safety guide can be found at US Department of State. 2. Currency: The official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Euros are accepted at some places but it’s good practice to have Forints at hand. 3. Language: The official language is Hungarian. English is not widely spoken, but you can get by in tourist areas. Use a translation app for easier communication. 4. Budget: Hungary, particularly Budapest, offers good value for money. Plan properly and you can eat at high-quality restaurants or stay in comfortable accommodation without breaking the bank. 5. Public Transportation: Hungary offers numerous public transportation options, including buses, trains, and trams. Purchase a Budapest travel card for unlimited travel. For details, visit Budapest Public Transportation site. 6. Dining: Don’t miss out on trying traditional Hungarian cuisine such as Goulash, Langos, and Turos Csusza. 7. Drink: Hungary is famous for its wines, particularly Tokaji and Bull’s Blood. Also, try Palinka, a traditional fruit brandy. 8. Festivals: Plan your trip around significant events like the Budapest Spring Festival or the Sziget Music Festival for a cultural treat. 9. Thermal Baths: Budapest is known as the “City of Baths”. Take a dip in one of its many thermal baths. 10. Shopping: For traditional souvenirs, visit the Central Market Hall. 11. Etiquette: It is considered polite to say “Jó napot” (Good day) when entering shops or restaurants. 12. Tipping: A service charge is usually included in restaurant bills, but it’s customary to tip an additional 10% for good service. 13. Uncommon Law: Drinking alcohol in public places is generally prohibited in Hungary. 14. St. Stephen’s Day: August 20 is a significant national holiday in Hungary celebrating the state and its Christian king. Observe spectacular fireworks over the Danube. 15. Healthcare: Carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you’re an EU resident for emergency medical coverage. Other travellers should have proper health insurance. For advice, visit World Health Organization (WHO).

Savouring Hungary: Culinary Delights and Sips of Tradition

Hungary’s vibrant culture is intricately woven into its food and drink. This is a journey that will transform your taste buds, plucking them from familiar territory and landing them into a world of distinctive flavours. Below, we navigate through Hungary’s gastronomic landscape, recommending an anthology of must-try dishes and drinks.

Food: A Symphony of Flavours

  • Gulyás (Goulash): This emblematic Hungarian soup melds golden paprika, succulent beef, and hearty local vegetables into a single warming dish.
  • Töltött Káposzta (Stuffed Cabbage): Savor the combination of savoury meat, rice, and spices wrapped in tender cabbage leaves, completed with a generous dollop of sour cream.
  • Lángos: A street food star, this deep-fried flatbread hits your palate with a satisfying crunch, often topped with garlic, cheese, and sour cream.
  • Somlói Galuska: An opulent dessert trifecta of walnut sponge layers, chocolate cream, and a splash of rum, topped with whipped cream and raisins.
  • Rétes (Strudel): Words cannot adequately describe the sensation of biting into these flaky pastry layers, revealing fillings that may include sour cherries, sweet cottage cheese, or poppy seeds.

Drinks: Hungary’s Time-Honoured Elixirs

  • Tokaji Aszú: Called the ‘Wine of Kings,’ this is a world-renowned sweet wine from the Tokaj region, treasured for its complex flavors and golden hue.
  • Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood): A full-bodied red wine with a captivating backstory, hailing from Eger, packed with spice and fruit undertones.
  • Pálinka: This fruit brandy, distilled from a variety of fruits native to Hungary, will warm you up on a chilly night, and leaves a distinct, lingering sweetness.
  • Unicum: A deeply herbal digestif, Unicum is a blend of more than 40 different herbs and spices; its intense flavor stimulates your taste buds.
In Hungary, your palate embarks on a voyage of its own—discovering flavours both rich and bold, sumptuous and bright. So, order that comforting Gulyás or take that daring sip of Pálinka, and let Hungary’s culinary tales unfold on your taste buds.

Cost Guide to Traveling in Hungary

1. Accommodations

Depending on your budget and preferences, Hungary offers a wide range of accommodation options.

Budget

Budget travelers often choose hostels or budget hotels, with costs typically ranging from $10 to $30 per night for a dorm bed or basic room.

Mid-Range

Mid-range hotels provide more amenities and usually cost between $50 and $100 per night, depending on the location and the type of room.

Luxury

Luxury accommodations, such as 5-star hotels or boutique guesthouses, typically start at $150 per night and can go up to several hundred dollars for high-end suites.

2. Food

Hungarian cuisine offers great variety and you can find plenty of options to match your budget.

Budget

Street food and local markets offer tasty options typically costing between $2 and $5 per meal.

Mid-Range

At a mid-range restaurant, a meal usually costs between $10 and $20. This often includes traditional Hungarian dishes in a sit-down setting.

Luxury

At a high-end restaurant, expect to spend between $30 and $60 per meal. Prices can go much higher for gourmet dining experiences or wine pairing menus.

3. Transportation

Several options are available for getting around in Hungary, each with its own costs. Public transport, such as buses, trams, and the metro, are fairly inexpensive, with a single ticket costing about $1.25. Taxi services are also reasonably priced, with a 10-minute ride often costing between $6 and $10. Renting a car can offer flexibility, especially for visiting locations outside major cities. Prices vary widely, but expect to pay around $30 per day for a basic car. Keep in mind that fuel and parking costs also need to be included in your budget. Train travel is also very much affordable in Hungary with a ticket from Budapest to Szeged (second biggest city) costing around $10.

4. Attractions

Hungary is rich in attractions for all types of travelers. Historical sites, like Buda Castle or Fisherman’s Bastion, usually have an entrance fee ranging from $5 to $15. Museums might charge a fee between $5 and $10. Meanwhile, guided tours, depending on their length and exclusivity, could cost from $20 up to several hundred dollars. Thermal baths, one of Hungary’s most renowned attractions, are priced around $20 for a day pass.

Popular Destinations in Hungary

Balatonfured

Balatonfured

The ultimate Hungary Travel Guide

Budapest

Eger

Eger

gyor - hungary travel guide

Gyor

pannonhalma

Pannonhalma

Tapolca

Tapolca

Top Places to Visit in Hungary

Budapest Central Market Hall
Farmers Markets

Budapest Central Market Hall

Budapest Central Market Hall is a historic indoor market located in the heart of Budapest, Hungary, near the Danube River. Tickets: Admission is free to enter the

The Basilica – Eger
amazing church

The Basilica – Eger

The Basilica in Eger is a stunning cathedral located in the heart of Hungary. This ancient church is known for its beautiful architecture and rich history. Tickets:

Varhegy
castle hill

Varhegy

Varhegy is a historic castle located in Budapest, Hungary overlooking the Danube River. Tickets: Tickets for Varhegy can be purchased on site or online. Opening Times: Varhegy

Szechenyi Baths and Pool
flip flops

Szechenyi Baths and Pool

Szechenyi Baths and Pool is a popular thermal bath complex located in Budapest, Hungary, known for its beautiful Neo-baroque architecture and therapeutic mineral waters. Tickets: Tickets for

Bishop-Lookout Tower Gyor

Bishop-Lookout Tower Gyor

The Bishop Lookout Tower in Gyor, Hungary, stands as a majestic landmark, offering panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. Located atop Gyor’s highest point, the

Best Places to Eat in Hungary

For Sale Pub
Bar

For Sale Pub

This establishment’s interior decor, guaranteed to leave an enduring impression, exudes an authentic Western feel due to numerous notes left by travelers, meant for those who will

Bobo Restaurant – Haris Park
Contemporary

Bobo Restaurant – Haris Park

The exquisitely renovated 1885 mansion, previously a gathering spot for Hungarian nobility, elevates Bobo above other trendy bistros in Budapest, yet it maintains a relaxed atmosphere distinct

Koleves
hotel

Koleves

Kőleves, a beloved dining spot situated within Budapest’s historic Jewish Quarter, occupies a structure dating back to 1851 that once housed a kosher meat processing plant and

Felix Kitchen & Bar
Central European

Felix Kitchen & Bar

Felix Kitchen & Bar offers a culinary experience like no other, specializing in European cuisine. With a cozy and elegant atmosphere, this restaurant is the perfect spot

Borkonyha WineKitchen
Central European

Borkonyha WineKitchen

Borkonyha WineKitchen offers a unique dining experience with its European cuisine. Located in the heart of the city, this restaurant showcases a diverse menu inspired by the

Rosenstein Vendeglo
Central European

Rosenstein Vendeglo

Rosenstein Vendeglo is a charming European restaurant located in the heart of the city. Specializing in European cuisine, Rosenstein Vendeglo offers a diverse menu inspired by flavors

Hungary Photographs

Hungary Tours & Experiences

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