In 2004, less than half a century after the bloody suppression of its democracy movement by Soviet tanks, Hungary became a member of the European Union. Divided in two by the majestic Danube River, the country can also boast the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton, surrounded by châteaux and picturesque vineyards. The celebrated Tokaji wines come from the northern Eger-Tokaj region, on the other side of the country. Hungary’s thermal spas have been renowned for their curative powers since Roman times, and more than 1,000 hot springs still attract numerous visitors. Budapest, the country’s 1,000-year-old capital, is one of the most attractive and vivacious cities in Europe. Like Prague, it tends to overshadow the charms of the rest of the country.
Six hours ahead of New York (EST).
To phone hotels and restaurants in Hungary, dial 011 (international access) + 36 (Hungary code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Hungary is relatively flat, with little variation in weather throughout. Cut off from Western Europe by mountains to the west and south, the country has long, cold winters and warm, showery summers.
Budapest, Tel. (36) 1-475-4400.
Forint (HUF). Fluctuating rate valued at HUF309.8 = US$1.00 as of October 2020. Budapest hotels quote rates in euros (€); €1.00 = US$1.17 as of October 2020.