Perhaps the first thing you think of when you think of Hungary is its delicious cuisine; after all, it is the country that gave us goulash (gulyás) and fisherman`s soup (halászlé). It is also known the world over for its strong folk traditions, lively spring and summer festivals, its thermal spas in places like Héviz and Szeged, stunning and varied architectural styles befitting `the crossroads of Europe`, and some of the most gorgeous scenery you will find on the continent.
People visiting Hungary must spend at least a few days in enchanting Budapest, the city divided by the Danube River. The western half of Hungary consists of an area called Transdanubia, where many popular cities and attractions are located. Make some time to visit Gyor and Pécs, and spend a few days along the shores of Hungary`s resort capital, Lake Balaton. If you don`t have time to stop in at all the towns along the lake, definitely visit Siofok and Keszthely. Much of eastern Hungary sits on the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld), and if you are visiting this part of the country, definitely stop in Debrecen and Szeged.
Hungary is best visited during the shoulder season, when there are fewer crowds and more moderate temperatures. The shoulder season is broken up into two parts: early April through mid-to-late June, and September and October. For more information, visit Best Time to Visit Hungary.
We recommend approximately 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in Budapest, Lake Balaton, and other large cities.
We recommend seeing Hungary either by car or by train.
By Car: Hungary has one of the best-developed road systems in the former Soviet Bloc, and that was partly due to the fact that their motorway system began construction during the Communist era, affording them extra time to get the road network up to Western European standards. All major highways in Hungary lead to Budapest. Nearly all motorways are paid by toll, using an e-vignette system similar to ones used in the United States. Inquire with your car rental company about the purchase of an e-vignette before starting your trip.
By Train: Rail service in Hungary is administered by Hungarian State Railways, whose rail lines reach all corners of the country and whose rolling stock is (with a few exceptions) entirely modern, fast, and sleek today. Trains arrive regularly from Vienna, Bratislava, and other European cities to Budapest. Most international trains arrive at Budapest-Keleti Pályaudvar railway station. Buses operated by Hungary`s national bus network, Volán Association, as well as taxis, are available outside many train stations nationwide.
The currency of Hungary is the forint (written in shorthand as Ft). U.S. dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for forints upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at many locations throughout the country. For more information on tipping, visit Tipping in Hungary.
English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. The further away you get from tourist surroundings, the less likely it is to speak English with someone unless they are expatriates or academics. We suggest you familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello (szia), goodbye (búcsú), excuse me (elnézést) and numbers 1-10. To ask someone if they speak English, show them this sentence: Beszélsz angolul?