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===Climate===
 
===Climate===
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.
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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==
 
==Regions==
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===By plane===
 
===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''' [http://www.airportdebrecen.hu/] in [[Debrecen]]. Only these two have scheduled flights. There are other less used international airports; the Hévíz-Balaton Airport has seasonal charter flights, the Győr-Pér and Pécs-Pogány airports serve mostly general aviation. Hungary does not have a flag carrier airline. There are 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]. 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].
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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''' [http://www.airportdebrecen.hu/] in [[Debrecen]]. Only these two have scheduled flights. There are other less used international airports; the Hévíz-Balaton Airport has seasonal charter flights, the Győr-Pér and Pécs-Pogány airports serve mostly general aviation. Hungary does not have a flag carrier airline. There are several '''low cost carriers''' operating to Budapest: for example '''Ryanair''' [http://www.ryanair.com], '''Wizzair''' [http://www.wizzair.com], '''Easyjet''' [http://www.easyjet.com], '''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===
 
===By train===
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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]
 
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===
 
===From Slovakia===
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: ''See also: [[Hungarian phrasebook]]''
 
: ''See also: [[Hungarian phrasebook]]''
  
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]] plus a handful of minority languages spoken in Western and Northwestern Russia; 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, being about as closely related as English is to Hindi.  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.  
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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, almost identical to a long German ''ü''), 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 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.
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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 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===
 
===Foreign languages===
 
Since English is widely taught in schools and universities, if you address people in their teens, twenties or lower thirties, you stand a good chance that they will speak very good English.
 
Since English is widely taught in schools and universities, if you address people in their teens, twenties or lower thirties, you stand a good chance that they will speak very good English.
  
However, due to Hungary's history, the older generation will tend to not speak English. These Hungarians may speak Russian, which was compulsory in the Communist era, although most have not used it since. As with practically all post-communist countries, people might be hesitant to speak Russian and may be prejudiced against people who do. It is wise to try and start a conversation in some other language and if you cannot understand each other, ask if switching to Russian would be acceptable.
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However, due to Hungary's history, the older generation will tend to not speak English. These Hungarians may speak Russian, which was compulsory in the Communist era, although most have not used it since.  
  
 
German 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 general, 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.
 
German 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 general, 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.
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===Money Exchange===
 
===Money Exchange===
There were 284 forints to the US dollar and 319 forints to the euro in April 2019. Shopping in Hungary is extremely cheap for people from the US and the euro zone.
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There were 285 forints to the US dollar and 300 forints to the euro in March 2015. 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.
 
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 later or 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.
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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 later.
  
 
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.
 
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.
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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.
 
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.  
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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 months, 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 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.  
 
Everyone is required to carry their passport 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.  

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