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Hungary, the heart of the Carpathian-basin
Travel guide of Hungary
Have a taste of Hungary!
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! :)
Useful links for visitors
A great song by a Hungarian jazzy pop band about Budapest and Hungary (the strange pronunciation is intentional :))
Frommer's Guide on Budapest
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)
Shop for books about Hungary
A short Travel guide on Hungary
Culture Shock! - A survival guide to Customs and Etiquette
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 National Anthem of Hungary
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.
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.
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!
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© Copyright 2012-2014, Zsofia Koszegi-Nagy (zsobig)
Some of my latest works include:
- Top 10 countries on the world you should see in your lifetime
Have you ever thought about which country should you visit next? Here are some lovely tips for you about the best places and attractions of the world!
- Heviz – the source of life
Heviz is a very popular spa in Hungary. The Lake of Heviz is world-famous since this lake is the biggest thermal lake on the world that lies on a turf basin. Great place for some relaxation and for some medicinal bath!
- Holloko – a village from the past
Holloko is a beautiful little village in Northern Hungary. Its charming calmness and many interesting museums make Holloko a very popular place for tourists and Hungarian people as well, especially during the Easter celebrations when there are many a
- Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
The Zoo of Budapest is one of the oldest zoos in the entire world. In this hub you will be able to find loads of information about its past and its present - start here if you want to pay a visit!
- Beautiful Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary, that is a country located in Central-Europe. This city has many interesting venues you must see at least once in your life: the famous Chain Bridge, the charming Castle District or the Vajdahunyad Castle are only 3
© 2010 Sophie