The area of Hungary is 93,000 km2. Hungarian folk songs bear no resemblance to those of other nations. The origin of the Hungarian language is one of the mysteries that are associated with the history of the Hungarians. Yet, the Hungarian people have been living in the centre of Europe for over 1,100 years.
Some interesting facts about Hungary
- Despite frequent tragic upheavals which spared nothing and nobody, the country boasts a heritage that attracts people from far and wide. Citing the city's unparalleled panorama, UNESCO declared Budapest, Hungary's capital, "the Pearl of the Danube", a World Heritage site.
- After Iceland, Hungary has the world's largest reserve of surface thermal water: hundreds of springs help thousands in recovering.
- Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest freshwater lake, is a favourite get-away for families with young children, fans of yachting and lovers of the beach.
- 2000-year-old Roman ruins and 400-year-old Turkish monuments can be found side-by-side, not to mention beautiful churches from the Romanesque period in Ják and Pannonhalma, or one-time stately castles in Eger, Sümeg, and Siklós.
- The rich Hungarian folk art and the horse shows which introduce the lifestyle and traditions of the puszta (Great Hungarian Plain) attract tens of thousands.
- Liszt, Bartók, Kodály, just to name a few of the world-known Hungarian musicians. - With its lively musical life and internationally renowned performers, Hungary ranks high among the countries, some of them many times its size. Home to just about ten million people, it is often called a "great power" in music. Despite the tragic turns in its history, its musicians have always managed to manifest their talent and link their homeland to European musical life.
- Hungary is a small country with respect to its population. However, it is a major one with respect to the recognition it has earned in the scientific community. Over the course of the 20th century no less than twelve Nobel Laureates - seven of them sons of Budapest - trace their roots back to Hungary.
- Hungaricums: Herend Porcelain Manufactory, Pick Szeged Co., Tokaj Trading House and Zwack Unicum, the Halas Lace Foundation of Kiskunhalas - The names of these illustrious representatives of Hungarian traditional dining are inextricably linked to the superlative products they manufacture: porcelain, salami, Aszu wine, Unicum digestive liqueur and sewn lace. These are stylish "calling cards" for Hungary.
Some fall in love with the city at first sight, others are won over only after a longer period of discovery; but all agree that it is one of the most beautiful locations in the world. The metropolis with a population of two million is bisected by the mighty flow of the Danube with hills and valleys on the Buda side and the flat, low-lying Pest on the other. The riverside panorama has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Anybody who has ever seen it illuminated by night can understand why. With its population of over 2 million, Budapest is the capital of Hungary. The twin cities of Buda and Pest, divided by the Danube, contain homogenous parts of different building periods such as vestiges of the Roman occupation, the prestigious Castle District preserved in Romanesque and Gothic style, the rigour of the Habsburg Citadel, the eclecticism of the turn-of-the-century buildings boasting the richness of the new citizens.
Some interesting facts about Budapest
- Although initially inhabited fifty thousand years ago, it has only had its present name for a mere 128 years. Prior to 1873, Óbuda, Buda and Pest were separate towns.
- Under its hills there is a system of caves with thermal waters gushing from 80 thermal springs which supply 12 spas with 70 million litres of water daily.
- Its monuments include 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatres, 400-year-old Turkish baths and unique Hungarian Art Nouveau buildings from the 19th century. The cityscape owes its uniform appearance to the elegant mansions erected in Eclectic style in the early 20th century.
- The transport system also has some interesting features. The first underground railway of Europe has been connecting the downtown with the City Park for over 100 years. In the Buda hills you will find the world's third hill railway and a narrow-gauge forest railway operated by children.
- Lovers of culture are spoilt for choice with 237 monuments, 223 museums and galleries, 35 theatres, 90 cinemas, 2 opera houses and 12 concert halls. Around 200 excursion destinations offer a wide variety of things to do. Throughout the 365 days of the year, travel agencies organise walks and sightseeing tours by coach and boat, tailored to individual requirements.
How to get Budapest
Budapest has direct flight connection with almost every capital of Europe and other major cities and hubs in Europe and world-wide as well. A number of international carriers of her service to Budapest. 34 airline companies operate direct flights to Budapest from several destinations.
Budapest is available from the big international overseas cities with one flight connection e.g. through Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, London or Doha. There are several daily flights from and to these and other big cities regarding the destination Budapest. The Budapest international airport is located 22 km from the city center.
Major airlines: Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Emirates, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, etc
Low-cost airlines: Air Berlin, Germanwings, Ryanair, Wizz Air
There are three railway stations in Budapest: Déli pu. (Southern Railway Station), Keleti pu. (Eastern Railway Station) and Nyugati pu. (Western Railway Station). Trains from other countries arrive at one of the above listed stations. For details check the timetable of Hungarian Railway Service.
Déli pu. (Southern Railway Station) and Keleti pu. (Eastern Railway Station) are along the red underground line (M2), Keleti pu. is along the green underground line (M4). Nyugati pu. (Western Railway Station) can be reached by the blue underground (M3).
By bus (coach)
Buses (coaches) from other countries arrive at Népliget Bus Station, which is along the blue underground line (M3). For details check the timetable of the Volán Company.
By Airport Shuttle-Minibus
The service provides the transfer with a boarding capacity of 8 to 10, and 30 to 50 passengers. The Airport Shuttle-Minibus Desks are to be found at every terminal and welcome the arriving guests to Hungary at the „Gates of the Country". All Minibuses arrive to and depart from the Terminals' Main Entrance. Reservations can be made in person at the Airport Shuttle-Minibus Desks or 24 hours before your flight departure via online reservation system www.airportshuttle.hu
Budapest is the central crossing point of each Hungarian motorway. Speed limits are 130 kmph on motorways, 110 kmph on main roads, 90 kmph on other roads and 50 kph in cities. Please make sure you only access toll motorways with valid vignettes! For vignette information check the Hungarian Motorway Portal for information about the toll and where to buy the motorway fee stickers (see vignette information).
Local transportation in Budapest
Budapest has a very good public transportation system. Several types of tickets or travelcard are at your disposal from HUF 350. Tickets must be bought in advance from ticket offices, tobacconists', news agents' or automatic machines. Tickets must be validated on the vehicle. Check the website for local transportation in Budapest at http://www.bkv.hu/en