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Hungary

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By ship
===Climate===
Temperatures Absolute values of temperatures in Hungary vary from -20°C (-4F) to 39°C (102F) through the year. Distribution and frequency of rainfall are unpredictable due to the continental climate of the country. Heavy storms are frequent after hot summer days, and rainfall is more frequent in the Autumn. The western part of the country usually receives more rain than the eastern part, and severe droughts may occur in summertime. Weather conditions in the Great Plain can be especially harsh, with hot summers, cold winters, and scant rainfall. The weather of the capital city is humid continental with agreeable temperatures in spring and autumn, during the summertime the climate is warm and sudden heavy showers are common, while the winter is cold and the temperatures are usually under 0 degrees.
==Regions==
* [[Eger]] {{-}} a beautiful northern town with an ancient castle and camera obscura
* [[Győr]] {{-}} there are many cafés, restaurants, boutiques, and night clubs in its lovely Baroque city centre
* [[Kecskemét]] {{-}} a town city famous for its vibrant music scene, plum brandy, and Art Nouveau architecture* [[Miskolc]] {{-}} with a unique cave bath in [[Miskolc-Tapolca]], the third fourth largest city in the country, located near the scenic Bükk Mountans
* [[Nyíregyháza]] {{-}} a medium-sized city with a busy water resort, museum village, and annual autumn festival
* [[Pécs]] {{-}} a pleasant cultural centre and university town
* [[Szeged]] {{-}} the sunniest city in Hungary with a particularly rich history
* [[Székesfehérvár]] {{-}} former Royal seat, currently famous for its Baroque architecture and museums
* [[Szombathely]]
==Other destinations==
===By plane===
Hungary's main international airports are '''Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport''' [http://www.bud.hu/index.nfo?tPath=/english] in [[Budapest]] (formerly "Budapest Ferihegy International Airport") and '''Debrecen Airport Debrecen''' [http://www.airportdebrecen.hu/] in [[Debrecen]]. In addition, there Only these two have scheduled flights. There are other less used international airports; these are '''FlyBalaton the Hévíz-Balaton Airport''' [http://www.flybalaton.com/?null&lang=en] in Sármellék (non operating)has seasonal charter flights, the Győr-Pér and Pécs-Pogányairports serve mostly general aviation. The Hungarian national Hungary does not have a flag carrier is '''Malév''' (Hungarian Airlines) [http://www.malev.hu/] (non operating)airline. There are also several '''low cost carriers''' operating to Budapest: for example '''Ryanair''' [http://www.ryanair.com], '''Wizzair''' [http://www.wizzair.com], '''Easyjet''' [http://www.easyjet.com], and '''Germanwings''' [http://www.germanwings.com] and '''Airberlin''' [http://www.airberlin.com]. Alternatively, a bus connection exists between '''Vienna International Airport''' and the capital, which is a 3 hour ride [http://www.viennaairport.com/jart/prj3/va/main.jart?rel=en&content-id=1249344074246].
===By train===
[[Budapest]] is an important railway hub for the whole country and large part of Eastern Central Europe, with frequent train connections from [[Austria]], [[Germany]], the [[Czech Republic]],[[Slovakia]] and [[SlovakiaRomania]]. There is at least one daily train to/from [[Croatia]], [[Romania]], [[Russia]], [[Slovenia]], [[SerbiaPoland]], [[Switzerland]] and [[Ukraine]].As of 2019, as well as cars from [[Poland]] rail traffic is discontinued between Budapest and seasonal sleepers from [[Bulgaria]] and [[MontenegroBelgrade]], due to track construction works in Serbia.
For detailed info see [[Budapest#By_train]].
There is a scheduled hydrofoil service on the Danube to and from Vienna and Bratislava between May and September operated by '''Mahart.''' [http://www.mahart.info/[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@365391497]
 
August 2019: ThIs service no longer seems to be in operation.
===From Slovakia===
===By plane===
Hungary presently has no regular domestic flights. As Budapest lies in the center of the country and pretty much any point can be reached within three hours by train or bus, there isn't much need for scheduled domestic flights.
 
However there are many opportunities for people with a valid pilot's license to rent a plane and explore by air.
 
* '''A Pilot's Academy of Malev Flying Club''' [http://www.malevpilotaiskola.hu/] +36(20)565-6467, Dunakeszi. Lightweight gliders and other stuff.
===By train===
Most roads in Hungary are two lane apart from modern motorways. Main roads are mostly in good shape, however cracks, potholes and bumpy roads are common on minor roads and in major cities though they are constantly being repaired. Usually you can travel by using a map and the road signs.
Motorists frequently pass cars at the last possible moment resulting in a daily symphony of near, head-on collisions. As there are few shoulders alongside Hungarian roads, motorists are frequently passing bicyclists and the numbers of fatalities have risen sharply in recent years. Generally speaking, Hungarians tend to drive very aggressively, tailgating, flashing, and honking is very common, especially on motorways. In large urban areas, you can sometimes see motorists fighting each other during traffic jams, and they may even sometimes pull you out of your car if they think you have offended them in some way, though such occurrences are rare. Another problem is the police. Besides maintaining public safety, they sometimes concentrate on fining motorists and revoking driving licences. You can expect speed cameras in many places (hidden in roadside bushes, behind trees, garbage bins, parked vehicles, and so on). Road defects are often fixed with 30km/h speed limit signs, and police cars equipped with speed cameras may show up shortly after the sign has been installed.
Expressways are not free, but there are no other toll roads or tunnels. A vignette system is used, similar to that in neighbouring Austria and Slovakia, but as of 2008 the vignette is stored electronically and checked for using gantries that read license plate numbers. You can purchase them in intervals of 10 days, 1 month, or 1 year. The vignette is very important and it is a good idea to buy it even if you don't plan to use the highway. Control is automatic with video cameras and you will get a high ticket (HUF70,000) automatically without any warning.
* M6/M60 - Connection to [[Dunaújváros]] and [[Pécs]](south)
* M7/M70 - connection to [[Lake Balaton]], [[Croatia]] and [[Slovenia]] (south-west)
* M43 - branch off near [[Szeged]] to [[Romania]] (south-east)
Planned:
* M8/M9 - will cross the country east-west by 2015
A single vignette is required to use all highways. Vignettes can be purchased online with bankcard on [httphttps://wwwematrica.pponemzetiutdij.hu], at filling stations and at ÁAK (State Motorway Management Co.) offices. A 10-day vignette for a passenger car costs HUF 2975 (~EUR 10) during summertime, the 4-day ticket for car has been cancelled. Vignettes are controlled automatically through a camera system. See [http://www.motorway.hu/] or [http://www.nart.hu/] for details.
===By taxi===
Hungarians are rightly proud of their unique, complex, sophisticated, richly expressive language, '''Hungarian''' (''Magyar'' pronounced "mahdyar"). It is a Uralic language most closely related to Mansi and Khanty of western Siberia. It is further sub-classified into the Finno-Ugric languages which include [[Finnish]] and [[Estonian]]; it is not at all related to any of its neighbours: the Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages belonging to the Indo-European language family. Although related to Finnish and Estonian, they are not mutually intelligible. Aside from Finnish, it is considered one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn with the vocabulary, complicated grammar, and pronunciation being radically different. So it is not surprising that an English speaker visiting Hungary understands nothing from written or spoken Hungarian. Hungary did adopt the Latin alphabet after becoming a Christian kingdom in the year 1000.
English-speakers tend to find most everything about the written language tough going, including a number of unusual sounds like ''gy'' (often pronounced like the ''d'' in "during" and ''ű'' (vaguely like a long English ''e'' as in ''me'' with rounded lips), as well as agglutinative grammar that leads to fearsome-looking words like ''eltéveszthetetlen'' (unmistakable) and ''viszontlátásra'' (goodbye). Also, the letters can very well be pronounced differently than in English: the "s" always has a "sh" sound, the "sz" has the "s" sound, and the "c" is pronounced like the English "ts", to name a few. On the upside, it is written with the familiar Roman alphabet (if adorned with lots of accents), and--unlike English--it has almost total phonemic orthography. This means that if you learn how to pronounce the 44 letters of the alphabet and the digraphs, you will be able to pronounce almost every Hungarian word properly. Just ''one'' difference in pronunciation, vowel length, or stress can lead to misinterpretation or total misunderstanding. The stress always falls on the first syllable of any word, so all the goodies on top of the vowels are pronunciation cues, and not indicators of stress, as in Spanish. Diphthongs are almost-nonexistent in Hungarian (except adopted foreign words). Just one of many profound grammatical differences from most European languages is that Hungarian does not have, nor need to have the verb "to have" in the sense of possession - the indicator of possession is attached to the possessed noun and not the possessor, e.g. Kutya = dog, Kutyám = my dog, Van egy kutyám = I have a dog, or literally "Is one a dog-my". Hungarian has a very specific case system, both grammatical, locative, oblique, and the less productive; for example a noun used as the subject has no suffix, while when used as an direct object, the letter "t" is attached as a suffix, with a vowel if necessary. One simplifying aspect of Hungarian is that there is NO grammatical gender, even with the pronouns "he" or "she", which are both "ő", so one does not have to worry about the random Der, Die, Das sort of thing that occurs in German, "the" is simply "a". In Hungarian, family name precedes given name, the same as with Asian languages. And the list of differences goes on and on, such as the definite and indefinite conjugational system, vowel harmony, etc. Attempting anything beyond the very basics will gain you a great deal of respect since so few non-native Hungarians ever attempt to learn any of this small, seemingly difficult, but fascinating language.
===Foreign languages===
Since English is now compulsory widely taught in schoolsand universities, if you address people in their teens, twenties or lower thirties, you stand a good chance that they will speak very good English well enough to help you out.
However, due to Hungary's history, the older generation had less access will tend to foreign language tuition, so your chances are worse, and with people over 40, extremely lownot speak English. A minority of These Hungarians may speak Russian, which was compulsory in the Communist era, although most Hungarians are quite happy to forget it so try it only as a last resort. German is also very useful in Hungary: it is almost as widely spoken as English, and almost universally so near the Austrian border and especially Sopron, which is officially bilingual and has '''huge''' contacts with Vienna due to have not used it being accessible by Vienna suburban trains. In these areas, and with older people in general, German will most often take you a lot further than Englishsince.
BasicallyGerman is very useful and is almost as widely spoken as English, and almost universally near the Austrian border and especially Sopron, which is officially bilingual and has '''huge''' contacts with Vienna due to it being accessible by Vienna suburban trains. In these areas, and with older people in Hungarygeneral, German will most often take you a lot further than English. Spanish, French and Italian are secondary languages in schools and are increasing in prominence where there are increasing numbers of firms basing subsidiaries in the country. You will have a much better chance finding someone speaking a foreign language (mostly English and German) in larger cities, especially in those with universities such as [[Budapest]], [[Debrecen]], [[Miskolc]], and [[Szeged]]. In rural areas the chance is very low, in some cases even with young people.
==See==
See [http://wikitravel.org/en/Budapest#Thermal_baths Budapest], [http://wikitravel.org/en/Ny%C3%ADregyh%C3%A1za#Do Nyíregyháza] for details. More thermal bath and spa from Hungary:
[http://www.seeuinhungary.com/wellness.htm] [http://budapest-travel-guide.info/]
 
"Budapest History Museum"
There are three major sections. The Roman Antiquities and Archaeology section (Aquincum Museum). The Medieval section (Castle Museum). And the Modern Age section (Kiscelli Museum).
 
"Holocaust Memorial Center"
It is an interactive exhibition that shows original documents and objects from the Holocaust. There is also a library, bookshop, a coffee shop, and the Braham Information Centre. (also guided tours are available)
 
"House of Terror Museum"
Its exhibitions commemorate the victims of the racist and communist regimes in Hungary in the 20th century. (including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.) It portrays the country's relationship with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during their years of occupation.
 
"Lake Balaton"
The biggest lake in Central Europe and there are numerous villages on its edges catering to tourists. It is one of the most popular holiday destinations.
==Buy==
===Money Exchange===
There were 285 284 forints to the US dollar and 300 319 forints to the euro in March 2015April 2019. Shopping in Hungary is extremely cheap for people from the US and the euro zone.
Exchange rates for EUR and USD are roughly the same downtown (at least in [[Budapest]] and [[Eger]]). Rates will likely be much worse in airports and large train stations - so change exactly what you need to reach downtown. A good habit is to compare the buy and sell rates: if they are drastically different, you're best going somewhere else. Official exchange offices always give a receipt and normally have a large glass between client and a cashier making all steps transparent for client.
Travellers report that unofficial money changers operating nearby an official money changing booth offer unfavourable rates--and recommend to use official exchange offices. It's worth noting that such exchanges are illegal. If someone offers to change at a very good rate, it is to actually slip you less money with some hand trickery, hoping that you won't notice till lateror try to pass worthless old Belarussian or Yugoslavian notes as Hungarian Forint. Familiarize yourself with the Hungarian notes or just avoid the illegal money changers altogether.
If you arrive to Budapest at late nights or state holidays it is quite likely you won't be able to find any working bank or exchange office. In this case you may attempt to exchange your money with any random taxi driver. They will rip you off by HUF100-200 (around €1), but it's better than nothing. There is an ATM in the arrival hall at Budapest Ferihegy, and the rates for using ATMs with a card are often better than the bureau de change. There are many banks machines in Budapest which will accept European and North American debit/credit cards, if it becomes necessary, it maybe in your best interest to draw a sufficient amount for your stay and it will often give a more much favourable rate.
Another favourite is '''Lángos''', it is basically deep fried bread, similar to "whales-tail or beaver-tail" but in Hungary, it can be served with any fillings imaginable. Most common is plain, with salt, garlic (fokhagyma) and soured cream (tejföl). If you do come across a Langos stand, there are usually a large number of options from pizza langos, or eggs with mayo or nutella and bananas.
 
A very popular vegetarian dish throughout Eastern Europe is Kaposzta Teszta (kaposhta tasteta) Cabbage with noodles. In Poland, it's called kapusta z kluski or haluski, in the Czech Republic, it's known as nudle s zelí, and Slovaks call it haluski. This can be a strictly vegetarian dish, sometimes with mushrooms. This side dish or main-course offering holds up well on a buffet table.
===Vegetarian food===
If one self-caters from supermarkets or local shops and markets, however, the selection of fruits and vegetables is quite good, especially in summer. Hungarian peaches and apricots are delicious (buy from farmers at local markets).
There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and a lot's of healthfood stores that offer all sorts of vegetarian/vegan products (including cosmetics). Regular stores like Groby among other brands sell everything from vegan sausages to mayonaisemayonnaise. A good place to start is looking at Budaveg[http://www.budaveg.com/] and Happy Cow[http://www.happycow.net/europe/hungary/budapest/index.html] for specific information.
Over allOverall, apply the same rules as you do at home, and you should be well fed.
==Drink==
===Beer===
Hungarian beer is quite average compared to other Central European countries like Germany and the Czech Republic as it has long been a wine culture. The most common beers are Dreher, Szalon, Borsodi, Soproni and Arany Ászok, available in the styles ''világos'' (lager) and ''barna'' (brown). All of Hungarian breweries are owned and managed by international brands such as: Dreher Sörgyár (Budapest) - SAB-Miller; Heineken Hungaria (Sopron and Martfű) - Heineken; Borsodi Sörgyár (Bőcs) - Interbrew; Pécsi Sörfőzde (Pécs)- Ottakinger.
They cost about 200-300 Forints at a store and 400-600 at a bar. Some expensive club clubs can charge up to 900 in Budapest.
Imported beers like Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budweiser-Budvar (the Czech variety) are widely available in bars and markets for not much more than the ubiquitous Hungarian brands.
===Mineral water===
''Ásványvíz'' (mineral water) is widely available and it is good practice to have carry a bottle with you a bottle during the hot summer.
It should be noted though that as it is the case of most European countries, in Hungary, it is safe to drink tap water anywhere, even in 'remote' settings. Bottled waters are offered in a large selection, both the fizzy (blue bottle cap ''buborékos'') and still (red/pink bottle cap) water and it is cheap (starts from less than 100 HUF for one and half liter). The only notable exception of the drinking water are trains where the tap water is not drinkable and other places where tap water is labeled as such.
==Sleep==
Hungary is, in general, a very safe country. According to the 2012 study of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Hungary had an intentional homicide rate of only 1.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. This is lower than the European average intentional homicide rate of 3.5, and also lower than the North American average intentional homicide rate of 3.9 per 100,000 inhabitants.
However, petty crime in particular remains a concern, just like in any other country. Watch your baggage and pockets on public transport. There is a danger of pickpockets. Passports, cash, and credit cards are favorite targets of thieves. Keep items that you do not store in your hotel safe or residence in a safe place, but be aware that pockets, purses and backpacks are especially vulnerable, even if they close with a zipper. There are also reported cases of people who got their baggage stolen while sleeping on the train, so watch out for that. Bag- and wallet- snatching, while rare, is not unheard of.
Generally, Hungary is rather quiet during the night compared to other European countries, and crime to tourists is limited to pickpocketing and eventual cheating on prices and bills and taxi fares.
Due to recent government communications warning about the risks of replacement migration, some people mainly in the rural areas show a protectionist attitude and this may manifest as intolerance against people of colour. There were several cases in the last years, when local people notified the police because of a group of tourists who they believed were illegal immigrants.  Everyone is required to carry their passport and or (for EU/EFTA/Monaco nationals) ID card. Not doing so can end you in trouble with the police. The police will be most pragmatic if a color copy of your passport is provided.
The police force is professional and well trained. However, one must have a good knowledge of Hungarian to ask them for assistance as most of the policemen hardly speak any English.
Hungary has some of the harshest, if punishing penalties if people are involved in a car accident. Involvement in a car accident results in a fine, and maybe a jail sentence from 1 year to 5 years (depending on the aggravating circumstances).
 
===Same-sex travelers===
Hungarians generally display a more modern progressive balance towards homosexuality and have legal protections in place, such as a by-law which protects same-sex civil partnerships. While public displays of affections amongst same-sex couples might be met with stares on the casual ''budapesti'' street, Hungarians generally display a let-live attitude to others' affairs.
 
Hungarians generally subscribe to the World Health Organization's classification of gender identity dysphoria and not to the views held by some in Western Europe or North America regarding the subjectivity of identity. Hungarians are proud of their culture and history and travelers are advised to not impose their beliefs or culture on Hungarians while they are visiting.
==Stay healthy==
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