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Hungary, the heart of the Carpathian-basin

Updated on November 29, 2016
The Parliament of Hungary
The Parliament of Hungary | Source

Have a taste of Hungary!

Puskas, Goulash, paprika, Gundel pancake, nokedli, Dobos cake, langos, Lake Balaton, Danube, Tisza, Budapest.

Maybe these are the most known words about Hungary. But what about the beauties, the fantastic programmes and the best places that can be found in that beautiful country?
If you are interested, you can found some very handy infos about the heart of the Carpathian-Basin on this page.

I was born here and I still live in this little country, so I will try to summarize everything you need to know about Hungary, no matter if you are planning to come here or you just want to know this place better.

I hope you will like it! :)

The Parliament at night
The Parliament at night | Source

A great song by a Hungarian jazzy pop band about Budapest and Hungary (the strange pronunciation is intentional :))

Hungary in Europe
Hungary in Europe | Source

The place of Hungary on the map

Hungary is an independent, democratic republic in the heart of the Carpathian-Basin, in Central-Europe.

It is bordered by 7 countries: Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine and Serbia. The country has no access to sea, but it has a large lake called Lake Balaton that is often called 'The Hungarian Sea'.

The vernacular language of this country is Hungarian, that originates from the Finno-Ugric family.
Hungary is part of the European Union (since 2004), the NATO (since 1999), the V4 (founded together with Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic), the OECD (since 1996) and is a Schengen state (since 2007).

Its biggest city is its capital, Budapest, that has about 2 million inhabitants. Other bigger cities that have more than 100 000 people living there are Debrecen, Szekesfehervar, Miskolc, Szeged, Pecs, Györ, Nyiregyhaza and Kecskemet.

The area of Hungary is 93 036 square meters, its border is 2246 kms long. The country is rich in the values of nature, for example it has 10 National Parks and has many thermal baths, caves and springs. The largest thermal lake of the world can also be found here (Lake Heviz).

Ad about Hungary with Tony Curtis - broadcasted wordwide a few years ago

Regions of Hungary

The country of Hungary can be divided into 7 statistical regions. Each has a so-called regional centre, and each region contains more than one county. The division was made in 1999.

The 7 regions of Hungary are:

  • Western Transdanubia (regional centre is: Györ)
  • Central Transdanubia (regional centre is: Szekesfehervar)
  • Southern Transdanubia (regional centre is: Pecs)
  • Central Hungary (regional centre is the capital: Budapest)
  • Northern Hungary (regional centre is: Miskolc)
  • Northern Great Plain (regional centre is: Debrecen)
  • Southern Great Plain (regional centre is: Szeged)

The 7 statistical regions of the country
The 7 statistical regions of the country | Source

A short Travel guide on Hungary

Counties of Hungary

The area of Hungary can be divided another way (apart from statistical regions) into 19 counties. Besides these the capital, Budapest, is totally independent, so it is often called the 20th county of the country.

In Hungary there are 3152 settlements, out of these 328 towns and the others are villages.
In Budapest the local government is divided into 2 parts: the capital government and the governments of the districts (23 in number).

Back to the counties, here is the list of them with the name of their chief towns (in brackets):

  • Bacs-Kiskun (Kecskemet)
  • Baranya (Pecs)
  • Bekes (Bekescsaba)
  • Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen (Miskolc)
  • Csongrad (Szeged)
  • Fejer (Szekesfehervar)
  • Györ-Moson-Sopron (Györ)
  • Hajdu-Bihar (Debrecen)
  • Heves (Eger)
  • Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok (Szolnok)
  • Komarom-Esztergom (Tatabánya)
  • Nograd (Salgotarjan)
  • Pest (Budapest)
  • Somogy (Kaposvar)
  • Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg (Nyiregyhaza)
  • Tolna (Szekszard)
  • Vas (Szombathely)
  • Veszprem (Veszprem)
  • Zala (Zalaegerszeg)

The 19 administrative counties
The 19 administrative counties | Source

The National Anthem of Hungary

The Country of waters
The Country of waters | Source

Geography

The landscape of Hungary mainly consists of huge plains, like the Little Hungarian plain in the west side of the country and the Great Hungarian Plain in the southeast. There are no great differences between the lowest and the highest point above the sea level. The lowest point of the country is 78m at Gyalaret (near Szeged) and the highest is Kékestetö (Matra) with its 1014m high peak. The geographical middle of the country can be found near Pusztavacs.

The country is divided into to main parts by its biggest river, the Danube, which flows through the capital, Budapest as well. The two other, biggest rivers are Tisza and Drava, but there are several smaller rivers all over the country. There is also a big lake in Hungary called Balaton that is the biggest lake in Central-Europe. Another popular lake is an artificial one, named Tisza-to (Lake Tisza).

In Hungary, you can also find many thermal baths and lakes, including Lake Heviz, which is the largest thermal lake on the whole world.

Hot in summer and cold in winter
Hot in summer and cold in winter | Source

Climate

The climate of Hungary is very colorful, the country is located on the borders of 4 different climate areas: the humid continental from the east, the Mediterranean from the south, the oceanic from the west and the polar from the north. This means the country has low humidity level overall, with frequent rain showers and with some snow in winter. In summer there can be more than 30-35 °C, but winters can be really cold with a temperature even below -10°C.

The average annual temperature is around 10 °C and the average annual rainfall is approximately 60 cms.

The winds are usually blowing from the northwest, while the yearly number of hours with sunshine is approximately 1900-2000 hours.

Newspaper snippets about the weather averages in Budapest
Newspaper snippets about the weather averages in Budapest | Source
Get ready for a fantastic holiday!
Get ready for a fantastic holiday! | Source

What to bring to Hungary?

There are no particular clothing that you should bring with yourself to Hungary, you can wear everything according to the weather. Although an umbrella and a raincoat would do in spring and in autumn, plus a warm hat with a scarf in winter, especially in the end of December and in January.

In summer, make sure you have packed your swimsuits, as there are many places to swim, bath and lay on the sun all over the country. A sandal or a flip-flop are also recommended on the hot sunny days.

In case you plan to stay at hostels or colleges, you must pack (or buy here) a towel and a little container for your soap, as well as you must bring your own sheet and bedclothes in most cases. On the other hand, you do not have to care about these if you plan to stay in a hotel, since all of these are provided in hotels.

A plug adapter can also be handy, since the plugs are different from those in the US for example.

Last but not least, I advise you to take a look at the local weather forecast before you pack your luggage.

Shop for items that you may want to bring to Hungary

Share your ideas!

Please feel free to comment on this hub, your feedback is very much appreciated!

Or, if you feel that you can write fresh, new ideas about this or a similar topic, just join our community and start writing!

© Copyright 2012-2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)

© 2010 Sophie

Are you planning to visit Hungary?

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    • tastiger04 profile image

      tastiger04 

      6 years ago

      Great hub, I'd love to visit someday! I've always been intrigued by Hungary....thanks for the info! Voted up and interesting :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      A really well put together hub with loads of great information. Super pictures as well.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • zsobig profile imageAUTHOR

      Sophie 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for your nice comment, I've put many effort into this hub to make it as interesting and as detailed as I wanted to be :).

      If you decide to come here - just send me a message if you are interested about something else :).

    • lucieanne profile image

      lucieanne 

      9 years ago from Rotherham United Kingdom

      This is a fascinating hub and you've gone into so much detail it makes me want to visit. I've heard that Budapest is a wonderful city - one of the nicest in the whole of Europe, I've got a friend who visited and she was impressed!

    • kellydove profile image

      kellydove 

      9 years ago

      nice

    • zsobig profile imageAUTHOR

      Sophie 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, it is the biggest, and I can tell you that it is amazing. It is an unbelieveable feeling when you swim in that great, warm lake even if the weather is windy or a bit colder and you are surrounded by beautiful water lilies...

      If you decide to come here once and need some directions, just let me know :).

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      This is great. I have been looking to travel to Hungary for a while now. It is a country that looks very attractive and still affordable. I didn't know you had the largest thermal lake on the world, it sounds fantastic!

    • zsobig profile imageAUTHOR

      Sophie 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      You are welcome :).

      I hope everybody will find this hub interesting and useful and maybe once you will be able to come here and visit this beautiful country.

      I also hope that now most of the people will know that Hungary is not only the country recently mentioned in the news as a land with monetary problems, but as a place with many great attractions to see.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Beautiful place. Thanks for all the history and details. :)

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