Culturally and linguistically distinct from all of its immediate neighbours, Hungary is very much the ‘odd one out’ in Central Europe, but for all the most honourable reasons. This is a nation whose capital, Budapest, can hold up a mirror to classical Vienna; it’s a world of well-preserved castles, seductively good wines and quiet stoic pride; a landscape of low-lying mountains, oak forests and thermal springs.
At a glance
Area: 35,920 square mile
Population: 10,070,000 (2013)
Official language: Hungarian
Currency: Forint (HUF)
Country Code: 36
Driving: On the right
Time: Central European Time (GMT+1)
Must See’s and Must Do’s
Brace yourself for brandy at Kecskemét, Discover both halves of the capital, Explore a former European Capital of Culture, Pécs, Explore the architecture of Eger, Find fine fishing at the River Tisza, Get to know glorious Györ, Hark back to Hungary’s rural heritage at Hollókő, Hike the heights of Hungary, Keep your hawk’s eye peeled at Hortobágy National Park, Luxuriate in Budapest’s beautiful baths, Ride the Great Plain on horseback, Seek out Szeged for a spot of sunshine, Sink your teeth into Sopron, Sip Hungary’s famous Bull’s Blood wine, Soak yourself healthy in Hévíz thermal lake, Stay outside for culture at Sóstói Open-Air Museum, Take a beach break at Lake Balaton, Travel around the Danube Bend
Hungarians consume more than 1.10 lbs. (500 g) of paprika each year.
In Hungary, when people write their names or introduce themselves publically, they typically use their last name first.
Hungary boasts around 1,500 spas, 450 of which are public.
In Hungary, parents are required to name their child from a pre-approved list of names.
Hungarians broke the Guinness World Record for simultaneous kissing when more than 6,400 couples locked lips outside Budapest’s parliament building in 2007
Best time to Visit
Low Season (Nov–Mar)
November is rainy, and winter is cold and often bleak. Many sights reduce their hours sharply or close altogether. Prices are rock-bottom.
Shoulder (Apr–Jun, Sept–Oct)
Holidaymakers have gone home and prices drop. Spring is glorious everywhere, though it can be pretty wet in May and early June. Autumn is particularly special in the hills (eg Bükk and Mátra); festivals mark the szüret (grape harvest).
High Season (Jul–Aug)
Summer is warm, sunny and unusually long. Resorts at Lake Balaton and Mátra Hills book out; expect long queues at attractions and high prices everywhere. Many cities grind to a halt in August – the ‘cucumber-growing season’, when nothing much else is happening.
Money and Costs
Hungarian Forint (HUF; symbol Ft). Notes are in denominations of Ft20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, and 500.
1 AED =70.70 Ft.
Keszthely Balaton Festival (May)
Szeged Open-Air Festival (May – July)
Sopron Festival Weeks (July)
Hungarian Grand Prix (July)
Hungary tourist visa is not required for citizens of United Arab Emirates for a stay up to 90 days.
Hungarian Embassy in Abu Dhabi
Al Khazna Tower, Next to Nissan Motors – 9th St – Abu Dhabi, Tel : +971 2 676 6190, Website : http://www.mfa.gov.hu
FLIGHTS FROM UAE TO HUNGARY
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT