Information about Hungary

Hungary's area is 93,000 sq km's with a population of 10 Million. The capital of the country is Budapest with 2 Million inhabitants. 90% of the population belongs to the majority. Major minoritities include Romas, Germans, Slovaks and Romanians.

The official language of the country is Hungarian, but lot of Hungarians speak English and/or German. The main religion is Roman Catholic, about a quarter are Reformed (Calvinist) and less than 10% are Evangelical (Lutheran), 5% belonging to other religions. The Hungarian state is a parliamentary democracy with Ferenc Madl as the president of the state.

Hungary is not a member of the European Union, but is hoping to become one by May 2004. The country's major industries are mining, metallurgy & agriculture, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals) and motor vehicles. Major trading partners are Germany, Austria, Italy and Russia. Economic growth is above 4% for the past years mainly due to the dynamic expansion of export.


Climate: temperate continental

There are quite big differences amongst the temperatures of the four seasons. By the way, we really do have four seasons. Usually January is the coldest, the hottest months are July and August in Hungary.

Though our climate is called "moderate", the daily temperature fluctuation is quite high. Prepare to wear sweatshirts or jumpers with jacket in spring and autumn mornings then undress to a single T-shirt in the afternoon. Or you can experience 5 Celsius (41 F) dawns after a 35 Celsius (95 F)-warm day in a summer mountain excursion.


Our summers are dry and warm. Occasionally there are thunders with showers. Winters are moderately cold and usually dry. Autumns are cool, foggy and rainy.


Money - Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF): 1 euro = 300 forints

Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 HUF

Notes: 200, 500, 1 000, 2 000, 5 000, 10 000, 20 000 HUF


Hungary is not a so expensive place for foreign travellers. It's been a decade since the transition from socialism to liberal democracy and market economy, so you can basically buy in Hungary most of what you are used to at home.

You can exchange your foreign cash at banks, travel agents, shopping centers and exchange offices in the shopping area. Commission is around 2%. ATMs can be found throughout the country, accepting both credit and debit cards. Traveller's cheques are not accepted very widely, or if yes, at a rather low rate, so it's better to walk around with the minimum cash and a bank card.

Hungarian society is very tip conscious. Never forget to tip waiters and taxi drivers. Tip is about 10% of the total amount.



Any kind of emergency: 112
Police: 107
Ambulance: 104
Fire-fighters: 105



Like in every country, pay attention to pick-pockets, especially in crowded shopping centers and the underground area. Don't forget that they'll spot you as a tourist from a distance and approach you thinking that you'll be an easy prey. Always hold your bag and valuables close to you. These second class thieves will never use aggression to get hold of anything, so if they see that you are cautious, they'll leave you alone.

If you are having a meal at a restaurant, always ask for the price if it is not indicated on the menu card. Never change your foreign cash on the street because these guys are not making a living from the usual 2% commission. If you are taking a taxi, try to avoid private taxis without a company name indicated on the side of the car. If the taxi driver proposes to transport you "without a bill", don't forget to agree on the amount prior to the service. This can avoid you a lot of trouble.

If you are taking public transport, make sure you validate your ticket every time. Ticket controllers are plenty and they "love" tourists as they see them as a source of easy cash. You can rarely get away by saying that you had no idea where to validate your ticket.



In Hungary, electrical devices use 230 Volts.


Public transport

Hungary has a very extensive public transportation system. Buses run from half past four in the morning until about 11 at night. Never forget to purchase and validate a ticket (punch a hole in it on the bus) because ticket controllers are plenty and can spot you as a foreigner from quite a distance. Tickets can be purchased at newspaper stands andon the buses themselves although they are slighty more expensive on the buses.


Some useful Hungarian words and phrases

The most important words:

yes = igen (eegen)

no/not = nem (nem)

Good morning! = Jó reggelt kívánok! (yoh regelt keyvarnok)

Good day! = Jó napot kívánok! (yoh napot keyvarnok)

Good evening! = Jó estét kívánok! (yoh eshtate keyvarnok)

Good night! = Jó éjszakát! (yoh ehsockat)

Good bye! = Viszlát! (veeslat)

Hi! = Szia! (seeya)

I understand = értem (airtem)

I don't understand = nem értem (nem airtem)

please = kérek (care ek)

Thank you! = Köszönöm! (cussunum)

Excuse me! = Elnézést kérek! (elneighzesht care ek)

I'm sorry! / I beg your pardon! = Bocsánat (botchahnot)

How much is it? = Mennyibe kerül? (menyibe kerule)

help = segítség (shegeatsheigh)

where? = hol? (hol)

when? = mikor? (mecore)

now = most (mosht)

morning (early) = reggel

morning (before noon) = délelõtt (daylelurt)

noon = dél (dail)

afternoon = délután (dailootan)

evening = este (eshte)

today = ma (ma)

tomorrow = holnap (holnop)

yesterday = tegnap (tegnop)

to eat = enni (eknee)

to drink = inni (iknee)

to sleep = aludni (aloodknee)

square = tér (tair)

street = utca (ootsa)

road = út (oot)

post office = posta (poshta)

travel office = utazási iroda (ootazashe irowda)

right/to right = jobb (yob)

left/to left = bal (bal)

straight = egyenesen (edge en esh en)

in front of = szemben (sembe)

and = és (eighsh)

Numbers - számok:

0 Nulla

1 Egy (edge)

2 Kettõ (ketu)

3 Három (hahrum)

4 Négy (Neidge)

5 Öt (ert)

6 Hat (hot)

7 Hét (hate)

8 Nyolc

9 Kilenc (keylence)

10 Tíz (tease)

20 Húsz (whose)

30 Harminc (hahmince)

40 Negyven (neidgeven)

50 Ötven (ertven)

60 Hatvan (hotven)

70 Hetven (hateven)

80 Nyolcvan

90 kilencven

100 Száz (sars)

1000 Ezer (ezair)


Transport, traveling - közlekedés, utazás:

open = nyitva (nyeatva)

closed = zárva (zahrva)

bus = (autó)busz

train = vonat (vonat)

When does it leave? = Mikor indul? (mecore indool)

When does it arrive? = Mikor érkezik? (mecore airkezeek)

Give me a ticket to ..., please. = Kérek egy jegyet! (care ek edge yedget)

Give me a seat reservation to ..., please. = Kérek egy helyjegyet! (care ek edge hehyedget)

railway station (bigger) = pályaudvar

airport = repülõtér

ticket office = pénztár

ticket = jegy (yedge)

slow train = személyvonat

even slower train (post train) = postavonat

faster train = sebesvonat

express train = gyorsvonat

first-class = elsõ osztály

second-class = másodosztály


entrance = bejárat

exit = kijárat

woman = nõ

man = férfi

parking place = parkoló

gas station, filling station, garage = benzinkút

petrol, gas = benzin

unleaded = ólommentes

gas (diesel oil) = gázolaj/dízelolaj

oil = olaj

service station = szervíz

out of order = nem mûködik / üzemen kívül


Welcome in Hungary!