Where is Hungary located?

What countries border Hungary?

Hungary Weather

What is the current weather in Hungary?

Hungary Facts and Culture

What is Hungary famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: People earnestly wish to become part of an integrated Europe. Accompanying pride in their heritage and past achievements, however, is... More
  • Family: An average Hungarian family consists of three people (father, mother and a child). The father maintains a dominant role in... More
  • Personal Apperance: Conservative suits are worn when conducting business. Traditional costumes are typically used in urban cities only on special cultural events.... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the most popular sport, water polo is also popular. Many cities have both indoor and outdoor pools. Hungarians... More
  • Diet: Goulash, a stew with potatoes, onion and paprika is popular. Paprika is used in many dishes. Pork and chicken are... More
  • Food and Recipes: Dinner is the main meal. It is impolite to leave food on the plate. More
  • Visiting: While close relatives and friends may make unannounced visits, most are arranged in advance where possible. First time visits by... More
  • Dating: Most Hungarians will marry and have children. Urban newlyweds tend to be older than couples that live outside the major... More

Hungary Facts

What is the capital of Hungary?

Capital Budapest
Government Type parliamentary republic
Currency Forint (HUF)
Total Area 35,918 Square Miles
93,028 Square Kilometers
Location Central Europe, northwest of Romania
Language Hungarian 98.2%, other 1.8%
GDP - real growth rate 3%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $26,000.00 (USD)

Hungary Demographics

What is the population of Hungary?

Ethnic Groups Hungarian 89.9%, Roma 4%, German 2.6%, Serb 2%, Slovak 0.8%, Romanian 0.7%
Nationality Noun Hungarian(s)
Population 9,771,827
Population Growth Rate -0.2%
Population in Major Urban Areas BUDAPEST (capital) 1.737 million
Urban Population 69.500000

Hungary Government

What type of government does Hungary have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Tamas SULYOK (since 5 March 2024)

head of government: Prime Minister Viktor ORBAN (since 29 May 2010)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers proposed by the prime minister and appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds majority vote in first round or simple majority vote in second round for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 February 2024 (next to be held in spring 2029); prime minister elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president; election last held on 3 April 2022 (next to be held in April or May 2027)

election results:

2024: Tamas SULYOK elected president; National Assembly vote - 134 to 5

2022: Katalin NOVAK (Fidesz) elected president; National Assembly vote - 137 to 51
Suffrage 18 years of age, 16 if married and marriage is registered in Hungary; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Hungary

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years
National Holiday Saint Stephen's Day, 20 August (1083); note - commemorates his canonization and the transfer of his remains to Buda (now Budapest) in 1083
Constitution history: previous 1949 (heavily amended in 1989 following the collapse of communism); latest approved 18 April 2011, signed 25 April 2011, effective 1 January 2012

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by parliamentary committee, or by Parliament members; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament members and approval by the president; amended several times, last in 2018
Independence 16 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 25 December 1000 (crowning of King STEPHEN I, traditional founding date); 30 March 1867 (Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy established)

Hungary Video

YouTube, Rick Steves Budapest, Hungary: Heroes' Square and City Park

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Hungary Geography

What environmental issues does Hungary have?

Overview Hungary is located in central Europe’s Carpathian Basin and is about 36,000 square miles in area. The capital city, Budapest, hosts about 2.1 million residents. Hungary has some topographical variation; however, as much as 50% of the country’s territory is flat. The two most important rivers, the Danube and the Tisza, cross the country from north to south. The region between these two rivers is flat, while Transdanubia, the region lying to the west of the Danube, is hilly country featuring central Europe’s largest lake, the Balaton. A range of medium height mountains stretches diagonally across the country. The Hungarian "puszta" (plain) is a favorite tourist destination where the characteristic animals and ethnographic traditions can be seen.
Climate temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers
Border Countries Austria 366 km, Croatia 329 km, Romania 443 km, Serbia and Montenegro 151 km, Slovakia 677 km, Slovenia 102 km, Ukraine 103 km
Environment - Current Issues the upgrading of Hungary's standards in waste management, energy efficiency, and air, soil, and water pollution with environmental requirements for EU accession will require large investments
Environment - International Agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border

Hungary Economy

How big is the Hungary economy?

Economic Overview Hungary has transitioned from a centrally planned to a market-driven economy with a per capita income approximately two thirds of the EU-28 average; however, in recent years the government has become more involved in managing the economy. Budapest has implemented unorthodox economic policies to boost household consumption and has relied on EU-funded development projects to generate growth.

Following the fall of communism in 1990, Hungary experienced a drop-off in exports and financial assistance from the former Soviet Union. Hungary embarked on a series of economic reforms, including privatization of state-owned enterprises and reduction of social spending programs, to shift from a centrally planned to a market-driven economy, and to reorient its economy towards trade with the West. These efforts helped to spur growth, attract investment, and reduce Hungary’s debt burden and fiscal deficits. Despite these reforms, living conditions for the average Hungarian initially deteriorated as inflation increased and unemployment reached double digits. Conditions slowly improved over the 1990s as the reforms came to fruition and export growth accelerated. Economic policies instituted during that decade helped position Hungary to join the European Union in 2004. Hungary has not yet joined the euro-zone. Hungary suffered a historic economic contraction as a result of the global economic slowdown in 2008-09 as export demand and domestic consumption dropped, prompting it to take an IMF-EU financial assistance package.

Since 2010, the government has backpedaled on many economic reforms and taken a more populist approach towards economic management. The government has favored national industries and government-linked businesses through legislation, regulation, and public procurements. In 2011 and 2014, Hungary nationalized private pension funds, which squeezed financial service providers out of the system, but also helped Hungary curb its public debt and lower its budget deficit to below 3% of GDP, as subsequent pension contributions have been channeled into the state-managed pension fund. Hungary’s public debt (at 74.5% of GDP) is still high compared to EU peers in Central Europe. Real GDP growth has been robust in the past few years due to increased EU funding, higher EU demand for Hungarian exports, and a rebound in domestic household consumption. To further boost household consumption ahead of the 2018 election, the government embarked on a six-year phased increase to minimum wages and public sector salaries, decreased taxes on foodstuffs and services, cut the personal income tax from 16% to 15%, and implemented a uniform 9% business tax for small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies. Real GDP growth slowed in 2016 due to a cyclical decrease in EU funding, but increased to 3.8% in 2017 as the government pre-financed EU funded projects ahead of the 2018 election.

Systemic economic challenges include pervasive corruption, labor shortages driven by demographic declines and migration, widespread poverty in rural areas, vulnerabilities to changes in demand for exports, and a heavy reliance on Russian energy imports.
Industries mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals), motor vehicles
Currency Name and Code Forint (HUF)
Export Partners Germany 35.5%, Austria 7.1%, Italy 5.8%, France 5.7%, UK 4.7%, Sweden 4.3%, Netherlands 4.2%
Import Partners Germany 24.2%, Italy 7.5%, Austria 6.9%, Russia 6.1%, China 5.6%, France 4.8%, Japan 4.2%

Hungary News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Hungary?
Source: Google News

Hungary Travel Information

What makes Hungary a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Hungary is a constitutional state with a market economy. Tourist facilities outside Budapest are widely available, but may not be as developed as those found in Western Europe. Hungarian is the official language; English is not widely spoken outside Budapest.


Crime in Budapest is a concern. Be careful during your visit, and exercise the same caution you would in any big city or tourist area at home. Do not walk alone at night; keep your belongings secure at all times. 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. Be sure to secure these items when you get back to your hotel or residence.

The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section has a special web page with further details on common scams and crimes in Hungary.

If you drive, be careful at gas stations and rest areas, or while fixing flat tires or other mechanical problems, especially at night. One scam involves someone who attracts your attention by claiming there is something wrong with your car to get you to pull over and then robs you. Do not leave your luggage and valuables unattended inside any vehicle for any length of time, even to load or unload items or to check in to a hotel.

Another common scam involves young women asking foreign men to buy them drinks. When the bill arrives the drinks cost hundreds of dollars each. You should avoid bars and restaurants suggested by cab drivers or people on the street. Every bar and restaurant should provide a menu with prices on it. Look at the prices before you order anything, including drinks. The Embassy maintains a list of bars and restaurants that are known to engage in this scam.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Hungary, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. Criminal penalties vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States; for instance, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Hungary, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not, wherever you may be going.

You should carry your passport with you at all times when you are in Hungary. Hungarian law requires all visitors to carry their passports; a photocopy is not a valid substitute. You could be arrested or fined if you do not have your passport with you. Since expert pickpockets frequent tourist areas and train stations, it is a good idea to keep your passport in a safe place. Hungary has a “zero tolerance” policy on drinking and driving. You should not drive after drinking, regardless of the amount of alcohol you have consumed.

Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical treatment in Hungary is adequate, but hospitals and other medical facilities are not always comparable to what you may find in the United States. Doctors are generally well trained, but there is a lack of adequate emergency services. Some doctors speak English. The Embassy maintains a website with more information about medical care providers, including English-speaking physicians.

Safety and Security

Although Hungary is generally a safe place to visit, you should use caution and stay alert. Be especially careful in train stations, crowded tourist areas, and crowded buses, trams, and metros. In addition, you should avoid demonstrations and political rallies. In a few past instances where demonstrations have turned violent, authorities have used riot police and water cannons to control crowds.

In recent years, right-wing radical groups have gained popularity in Hungary due to their nationalist messages, which include intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and homosexuals. Although these groups are not explicitly anti-U.S., you should avoid public demonstrations and confrontations with their members. Be alert and aware of your surroundings, and pay attention to what the local news media have to say. In general, larger public demonstrations are announced on the Demonstration page on the U.S. Embassy Budapest website.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Hungary, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Roadside assistance, including medical and other services, is generally available. English is usually spoken at the emergency numbers listed below. In the case English is not spoken, dial 112.

Ambulance: 104

Police: 107

Fire: 105

24-hour English speaker: 112

Hungarian highways are generally in good condition. Urban road maintenance is also good, although areas under construction are not always adequately marked or blockaded. In Budapest, many roads are often under construction. Outside the city, roads are often narrow, poorly lit, and can be in a poor state of repair in some areas. Train crossings are not always well-signed. Pedestrians, tractors, and farm animals often use these small rural roads, so stay alert. Additional information on road conditions is available from “Útinform” at (36) (1)336-2400.

Hungary has zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police often conduct routine roadside checks where breath-analysis tests are administered. If you are caught driving after drinking, you will face jail and fines. Penalties for a car accident involving injury or death are one to five years in prison. Police stop vehicles regularly to check documents. It is against the law to use a hand-held cell phone while driving anywhere in Hungary.

You can drive in Hungary with a valid U.S. driver’s license for one year as long as you have a certified Hungarian translation of the license attached to it. Hungary also recognizes international driver’s permits (IDP) issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, when used along with a valid state driver’s license. If you have an IDP, you do not need to have the license translated, but must carry the IDP and state driver’s license together. After one year in Hungary, U.S. citizens must obtain a Hungarian driver’s license. For further information on this procedure visit the U.S. Embassy’s website.

The speed limit for cars and motorcycles on the superhighway is 130 km per hour (approximately 80 mph); on highways, it is 110 km per hour (approximately 65 mph); and in towns and villages it is 50 km per hour (approximately 30 mph). Many drivers do not observe the speed limits, and you should be extra careful on two-way roads where local drivers pass each other frequently and allow for less space than you may be used to. Car seats are required for infants. Children under age 12 may not sit in the front seat. Seats belts are mandatory for everyone in the car. You may not turn right on a red light. The police issue tickets for traffic violations and charge fines on the spot. The police will give you a postal check (money order) on which the amount of the fine to be paid is written, and this postal check may be presented and paid at any Hungarian post office. Sometimes in disputes about fines or the offense, the police will confiscate your U.S. passport and issue a receipt for the passport with an “invitation letter” to appear at the police station the next day or day after to resolve the dispute. Your passport is returned after resolution and/or the payment of the fine.

As in most European countries, you must pay to use Hungary’s highways. Payments must be made either at a gas station or online.

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