Hungary

Hungary

Etymology

C. 1300, from Medieval Latin Hungaria (also source of French Hongrie), probably literally meaning “land of the Huns,” who ruled a vast territory from there under Attila in 5c. The people’s name for themselves we transliterate as Magyar. Middle English uses the same words for both Attila’s people and the Magyars, who appeared in Europe in 9c. and established a kingdom in 1000. From the same source as Medieval Greek Oungroi, German Ungarn, Russian Vengriya, Ukrainian Ugorshchina. The Turkish name for the country, Macaristan, reflects the indigenous name. Related: Hungarian (1550s as a noun, c. 1600 as an adjective). [online etymology dictionary]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Budapest Big Data Meetup – A meetup for those interested in Big Data. [meetup]

Budapest Business Lounge – This group aims to create a community where members personalized answers and solutions to get the workshopjainkon and our events. [meetup]

Budapest Data Science Meetup – Short presentations and long discussions. Join us to share your thoughts and kinks about data related topics. [meetup]

Budapest Startup Cocktails – This is a group for anyone interested in startups, entrepreneurship, business strategies, new ventures and technology, etc. We aim to bring together the coolest startups, aspiring young entrepreneurs and creatives to share their ideas/experiences. [meetup]

Debrecen Smart City Meetup – We give help to connect people with different skills and resources and to make the smart city conception possible in Debrecen. The Debrecen Smart City group’s aim is to give meeting point for experts, inventors, entrepreneurs, innovators and everybody who have vision about from Debrecen as the city of Future. [meetup]

Digitális Nomádok – Freelancer, startup team, megfásult multi employees, lest unemployed or looking for a job or a recent graduate? You are looking for your journey? The “digital fieldcraft” work style prevalent in the United States, which means that workers are using mobile internet in the open office time and do their work regardless of job title. [meetup]

Smart Healthcare Meetup – This group was created to build a digital community health and medical innovation for those interested. In addition Meetupjainkon professional presenters introduce their startups operating in the area as well. In addition, of course, an opportunity for informal discussion and networking as well. [meetup]

StretchCon Meetup – Stretch is a leadership and management conference to learn from the best and stretch yourself. StretchCon Meetup is a community around the conference where we can meet and discuss related topics during the year. Join us to get inspired by stories from leaders in great organizations as they talk about the challenges of leadership. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Parom.hu – Parom.hu is a good runner-up to Randivonal. The site was launched in 2003 and has over 1 million users. Though Parom primarily serves Hungarian speakers and residents, the site is open to foreign profiles as well. Parom’s website is simply designed, and its features are solid. Nothing about this site particularly wowed me, but it was easy to use, and there are a lot of members to filter through for potential matches. If you’re looking for Hungarian singles, make sure to give Parom.hu a try. [visa hunter]

Randivonal.hu – Randivonal.hu is the best online dating site in Hungary. It has a giant membership base and is the one I would choose if I only had enough money to pay for one site. Randivonal is also Hungary’s oldest dating site, having registered since its beginnings way back in 1999. I found the site to be straightforward and easy to use. Profiles provide depth and detailed impressions of the user without overwhelming you with information when browsing. They do not take too long to fill out, though they do take much longer than most sites. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Absolute Walking Tours – As the name suggests, the guides at Absolute Walking Tours cover a stack of areas. Their Hammer & Sickle tour looks at communist times, World Wars I and II, and the 1956 Revolution.  [we love budapest]

Free Budapest Tours – The first and original Free Walking Tours of Budapest offering you a variety of tours in English and Spanish every day since 2007. [free budapest tours]

Macs Adventure – Hungary is a delight for nature lovers and offers fascinating town and country to explore on a self guided walking tour. Vineyards, forests, mountains and caves, the historic city of Budapest, and of course the sparkling Blue Danube are just a few of the highlights to expect on a walking holiday in Hungary. [macs adventure]

World Walks – World Walks specialise in Hungary holidays, offering our customers the chance to explore the glories of a Budapest walking tour. Since the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire after the First World War, Hungary has shrugged off communism and developed into one of the most culturally unique countries in Europe. [world walks]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Admire Lake Balaton – When I lived in Slovakia, many of my local friends told me I should take a trip to Lake Balaton, one of their most popular holiday destinations. Lake Balaton is the biggest lake in Central Europe and there are numerous villages on its edges catering to tourists – tiny Tihany with its lovely Benedictine Abbey was one of my favourites. [europe ala carte]

Be Scared at the House of Terror, Budapest – One of the most popular museums in Hungary, the House of Terror in Budapest has exhibits explaining the various occupations of Hungary over the years and an explanation of the fascist and communist times the country has experienced. [europe ala carte]

Dance to traditional music in Resck – Vineyards and wine are popular tourist attractions in Hungary, and Jeremy recommends the small town of Resck for a spot of wine tasting and in particular the Kohari Prince winery where there’s also musical entertainment and dancing offer. [europe ala carte]

Eger – Eger is another fantastic Hungarian city and it’s a good place to visit if you’re keen on historical monuments – its most famous being a 14-sided minaret. [europe ala carte]

Enjoy History in Pecs – Down towards the Croatian border, the town of Pecs is a popular destination in Hungary for its cultural and historical sites – it was even elected one of Europe’s Capitals of Culture for 2010. [europe ala carte]

Experience the Gellert Baths – Thermal baths are a fantastic part of visiting Hungary and while you’re in Budapest, you shouldn’t miss the Gellert Baths. Guide books sometimes liken this to swimming in a cathedral and I had a great experience there and must agree! [europe ala carte]

Explore Baradla Cave – The Baradla Cave (and several more caves) in the Aggtelek National Park in northeastern Hungary is a great destination for travellers. These are World Heritage listed caves and the Baradla Cave is famous for being the largest stalactite cave in Europe. [europe ala carte]

Explore the Danube in Budapest – One of the highlights of Budapest and its surrounds is taking a cruise on the Danube River. You can even start way up in Germany and cruise down to Hungary if you want. Andy recommended the cruise along the Danube as a unique way to see the most beautiful spots of Budapest. [europe ala carte]

Get into the groove at the Sziget Festival – One of Europe’s largest music festivals is the Sziget Festival, held every August in Budapest, on an island in the Danube. It runs for an entire week and at least half of the festival attendees come from outside Hungary; in the past the line-up has included famous singers and bands including Prince, Iron Maiden, REM and Lily Allen. [europe ala carte]

Get regal at Godollo Castle – The Godollo Castle is an easy half-day trip from Budapest, and it’s become famous because it was once the summer residence of the famous Sisi! It features an impressive Empress Elisabeth exhibition devoted to her and is also a beautiful building in its own right. [europe ala carte]

Go back to WW2 at the Hospital in the Rock – Relatively newly opened to the public, the Hospital in the Rock is part of the caves of Castle Hill in Budapest, and you can now enter some of the areas used during the siege of Budapest during the second World War. [europe ala carte]

Hike in Hungary – Many visitors to Hungary go there to follow some of the good hiking trails through the mountains. There’s no one best place, but some of the popular mountain ranges include the Mtra, Zempln, and Bkk ranges, particularly in the summer season of course. [europe ala carte]

Keszthely – Keszthely is one of the major resort towns near Lake Balaton and I personally found it the calmest and nicest. It includes a large palace but seems to have a relaxed atmosphere and good access to the lake and lake-based activities. [europe ala carte]

Party at Siofok – One of the resort towns around Lake Balaton, Siofok is famous as a summer destination for young people because it’s home to numerous nightclubs. I haven’t been there myself but have heard from party-loving friends that it’s heaps of fun! [europe ala carte]

Sample Wine in Resck – Wine tasting is an essential part of your trip to Hungary and the country has a long history of wine making following particular Hungarian traditions. Whichever part of the country you visit you will probably stumble across a wine making region (there are two dozen of them) but if you’re keen, try the areas around Sopron, Eger and in particular Tokaj. [europe ala carte]

See Double at Komarom – If you travel between Bratislava and Budapest by train, then you are bound to stop in the twin towns of Komarno (on the Slovak side) and Komarom (on the Hungarian side). I enjoyed a day trip here and thoroughly recommend both sides of the border for an interesting cultural comparison. [europe ala carte]

See the Great Plains at Puszta – In the eastern half of Hungary, the Great Plains (centred around the Hortobigy National Park) is a World Heritage-listed area and is quite different to other parts of Hungary. It’s a place worth exploring for its unique folklore and scenery, especially in the national park where the steppe is relatively untouched. [europe ala carte]

Sopron – Sopron in the west of Hungary is full of heritage buildings from the medieval era and onwards, and some of its highlights are the Firewatch Tower, Storno House and the Gothic Goat Church. [europe ala carte]

Szeged – If you’re keen on checking out the cities of Hungary then you’ll need to add its second-largest city, Szeged, to your list. It’s an interesting university town (there are three different universities there) and because it was destroyed by a flood in 1879 it was completely replanned and rebuilt. [europe ala carte]

Take a Dip at the Szechenyi Bath – On a lighter note, another well-known thermal bath and set of pools can be found at the Szechenyi Baths in Budapest. I’ve not made it there yet but I have been keen to go ever since I owned a guidebook with a picture of men playing chess while in the water at these baths – looks like great relaxing fun! [europe ala carte]

Take a Dip in the Heviz Baths – One of my personal highlights of Hungary was swimming at the Heviz Baths in the north-west. The thermally-heated water is warm all year round and apparently the fact that it’s slightly radioactive is good for our health? I’m not sure how that works but the setting is gorgeous so I highly recommend it! [europe ala carte]

Take time to reflect at the Gulag labor camps and Resck memorial – To explore one of the more sombre times in Hungarian history, Jeremy suggests the Gulag labor camps and Resck memorial are worth a visit. This area was home to some of the harshest camps operated by Stalin. [europe ala carte]

Try Hungarian paprika – If you have even vaguely foodie interests, then you will be impressed by the paprika of Hungary. In Hungary paprika means not just the ground spice we use in cooking but the actual capsicum or pepper it’s obtained from and you will find them everywhere! [europe ala carte]

Visit the former capital of Esztergom – Not too far north of Budapest, the city of Esztergom was once the capital of Hungary and today boasts several interesting attractions including the largest cathedral in the country and a particularly extensive Museum of Christian Art. [europe ala carte]

Warm up at Fisherman’s Bastion – In Budapest, overlooking the Danube, the Fisherman’s Bastion is a wonderful spot on the “Buda” side of the city. You can walk along the top of the walls (it joins seven towers) or if you’re like me, enjoy a hot drink inside the Bastion. [europe ala carte]

Festivals

Festivals

August 20. Hungarian Constitutional Day and St. Stephen’s Day – This national holiday is dedicated to King St. Stephen I, considered the founder of Hungary. [iberostar]

June. Budapest Carnival – The city of Budapest celebrates Carnival with parades of floats and celebrations in very special settings. Among the most significant we have the carnival of Busójáras in Mohacs, some 125 miles from Budapest, the carnival in the Baranya region, and in Gyula, a city with some of the most beautiful architecture in Hungary. [iberostar]

Late March. The Budapest Spring Festival – During this world famous event, the city of Budapest dresses up and becomes the capital of European culture by organizing conferences, theatre, opera, concerts, exhibitions, folklore, dance, etc.. [iberostar]

March 15. National Holiday in Hungary – All of Hungary commemorates the beginning of the Revolution and the War of Independence (1848-1849), which turned the country into a parliamentary state. There are parades in major Hungarian cities and other popular events. [iberostar]

May to August. The Szeged Outdoor Festival – The city of Szeged in the southern part of the country, has been organizing the largest outdoor theatre festival in Hungary since 1930. It runs from the second half of May to the second half of August in the basilica square. [iberostar]

October 23. The Republic of Hungary Day – Hungarians commemorate the anniversary of the uprising against the pro-Stalinist government (in 1956) and the proclamation of the Republic of Hungary (1989). [iberostar]

Third week of August. Carnival Week of the Flowers of Debrecen – The colourful parades in Debrecen make the festival one of the most popular events in Hungary. About 180,000 spears adorned with flowers are paraded through the streets of the city, the former capital of Hungary and the second most populous of the country, and escorted by coaches up to the city’s Municipal Stadium. The Debrecen flower festival also hosts musical performances and dances from around the world. [iberostar]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Buses – The national bus network in Hungary is operated by 28 state run companies that are united under the Volán Association. Buses are efficient for longer distances and they’re as fast as the train. Hungarians prefer to travel by bus and therefore buses tend to get overfilled. [just landed]

Metro – Within the city centre of Budapest, you will find three metro lines. M1(yellow), M2 (red), M3 (blue). The metros run every day from 4.45am until 11.45pm. Metros in Budapest run very frequently, every 3-5 minutes at off-peak times and at the weekend, every 1-3 minutes in rush-hour and every 10 minutes later at night.  The rush-hour is between 6-9 am and 2-7 pm. [just landed]

Train – Trains in Hungary are run by Magyar Államvasutak (MÁV). Budapest is the center of the railway network, so if you’re going on a long distance trip, you will need to travel through the capital of Hungary. [just landed]

Tram (Villamos) – Budapest has an extensive system of above-ground trams. The most popular lines are lines four and six, which run to the city centre. Tram or trolley systems are also present in Debrecen, Szeged and Miskolc. [just landed]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Angular Meetup Budapest – We’re organizing regular meetups, sometime workshops to help the community to gain a better knowledge about Angular. Even if you’re a beginner or a pro, we believe you’ll find our meetups interesting and useful. [meetup]

Big Data Budapest – An upcoming regular event for people interested in Big Data, whether you are professionals in the field, enthusiasts, or students looking to build your career in that direction. We’ll host interesting talks from industry experts, a focus on both business and technical aspects of big data, and plenty of time for networking! [meetup]

Budapest Agile Meetup Group – Budapest, Hungary, agile project manager, systems designers, developers and business managers personal contact, support the exchange of informal information on-line site. [meetup]

Budapest DevOps Meetup – This group is for anyone interested in DevOps (the integration of development and operation). Developers, system engineers, IT managers, product managers, anyone who deals with automatization, test monitoring, testing, configuration, continuous integration, cloud systems can benefit from this group. [meetup]

Budapest Enterprise Software Engineering Meetup – Welcome to developers who are interested about software engineering news. Case studies, presentations and panel discussions from the world of enterprise software engineers. [meetup]

Debrecen Tech & Startup Meetup – Our meetups feature tech and startup presentations to show how a world class skillset can be built. The “idea standup” section helps local projects find team members. After that, it’s pub night! (I mean professional networking. [meetup]

Developers of Debrecen DOD Meetup – This is a group for anyone interested in web and mobile development in Debrecen, Front End, Back End Development, Web design, iOS-Android Develompent, WordPress development, Online Marketing etc. All skills levels (novice and professional) are welcome. [meetup]

Hungarian C++ Community – We aim to build a professional C++ community in Hungary, bringing together professional developers, academics, students, and other enthusiasts interested in the C++ programming language on an advanced level. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

AngolFalu English Learning & Conversation Club – Want to improve your English for work, pleasure or self-empowerment? AngolFalu Conversation club is a fantastic way to apply your English skills through a mix of social, business & party settings. [meetup]

Budapest English as a Second Language Meetup – We are awaiting everyone to our weekly Conversation Club to the Grey Goose Bar and Restaurant on Monday, 24 October at 6 o’clock. [meetup]

日本語会話-Budapest Japanese Language Meetup – In this group we will speak only in Japanese (so basic Japanese is required). [meetup]

Budapest Language Exchange & Friends – Do you live in Budapest and want to meet interesting people from other cultures, learn different languages, share culture and travel stories, and generally have a nice time? Join our English/Hungarian (and Spanish/French/German/Italian!) language exchange group. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Budapest Pride – Budapest Pride is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organization working from a feminist and anti-racist perspective. [budapest pride]

Resources

Resources

Places in Hungary

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