About Hungary

Interesting Facts about Hungary

Welcome back to my blog!

Today with a slightly different article. I would like to give you some interesting facts and tips about Hungary. Especially since I know that some of you are now considering whether Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarország) worth a visit. At this point it should be said: It definitely is!

This landlocked Eastern European state is surrounded by Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. It is especially known for Lake Balaton, the largest European inland lake, in the western part of the country. The national language is Hungarian, although many of the inhabitants can speak German. English is not yet so widespread. This is mainly because until 1980 only Russian and German were taught as foreign languages in schools. At the universities, many speak English, and they do so very well. This will probably increase nationwide in the next few years. Since 2004 the Republic of Hungary is a member of the EU, but the currency is still the Forint (1€ corresponds to 335,24 HUF as of 07.03.20). By German standards the country is very cheap. Especially when it comes to food and eating out. For Hungarian conditions the prices are however very high. The minimum wage is 1000 HUF per hour, which is about 2,98€. Technical equipment, books and also cars are on the same price level as in Germany.

The Balaton in summer 2015

In contrast to the Germans, many Hungarians still practice handicraft professions. In almost every town you can find small shops where you can buy leather bags, knives, tablecloths, dishes and other homemade items relatively cheap. Such inconspicuous shops are definitely worth a visit. At the roadsides of the country roads, especially in the summertime, there are often small stands and in front of them there are signs with the inscription “Dinnye” or “Gyümölcs”. A clear recommendation on my part: stop at least once. The small farmers sell their fruit and vegetables there. In the supermarkets, almost only products from the large farms are sold, which drives the small farmers away. Many of them are now fighting for survival. The products offered at the roadside are not only much cheaper but also taste a hundred times better. The weekly market in the cities is therefore always worth a visit. If you want to travel through Hungary, in most cases you will not be able to avoid driving on various country roads anyway, as the motorways are not extended extensively and in addition the motorway toll has to be paid. The motorway network includes a total of nine motorways with Budapest as the centre. This means that all motorways lead to Budapest.

Wikipedia (2016) Autobahnbau von 1962 bis 2022, available:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Autobahnen_in_Ungarn#/media/Datei:HU_Motorways_Plan2016_22.png

The western part of Hungary is relatively mountainous, while the eastern part is very flat. There you can also find the Puszta. The Puszta is a very sparsely populated steppe-like area. Today there are still places where you can admire the shepherd riders wearing the traditional costumes. This is something I would like to explore myself. In general, the Hungarians are very traditional people. There are folk dance groups and events in almost every town where these dances are performed, and the traditional costumes are worn. The national pride is, as in most countries outside Germany, relatively pronounced.

Another small tip: if you are already in Hungary, you should take the opportunity to try the home-style cooking. These include Gulyás, Pörkölt, Hungarian hot peppers, Hungarian salami, Paprikás Krumpli, Halászlé (fish soup) and Lángos. Especially if something is prepared in the kettle over the fire – don’t hesitate to try it. No matter how indefinable it may look. Almost every household has its own fruit trees and makes its own liquor or wine from the fruit. If you ever have the pleasure of being invited home by a Hungarian, you will not be able to avoid tasting it. But you should be careful when doing so. In most cases, the alcohol contains at least 50 per mille.

I hope you enjoyed the little excursion. Next week you will get the usual insights into my Hungarian everyday life. If you have any questions about Hungary in general, let me know!

Until then,

Patrizia

The largest bridge in Hungary (1872m long and 88m high)

6 Comments

  • Elke Bontjer-Dobertin

    Na das ist ja wieder eine tolle Reise. Später mehr dazu. Ich miss auf den Bahnsteig…

    • Elke Bontjer-Dobertin

      Es musste natürlich heißen: Ich mUss auf den Bahnsteig. Da war ich dann aber doch nicht. Hatte keine Lust, die Treppen wieder raufzulaufen (runter geht ja noch), weil die Fahrstühle saniert werden. Anstatt einen nach dem anderen, werden alle auf einmal stillgelegt. Für alte Menschen mit Gepäck und Kinderwagen-Eltern eine Tortur. So blieb ich oben stehen und schaute von da aus zu, wie die Leute dem Zug entströmten. Ziemlich zum Schluss entdeckte ich meinen nach mir Ausschau haltenden Herzensmann. Entgegen der DB-Gepflogenheiten war die erste Klasse diesmal hinter der Lok. Da war sein Weg ein etwas weiterer. Als er mich dann oben antraf, war die Freude beiderseits.
      Moin Patrizia
      Im Auto hatte ich Deine neue Nachricht schon gelesen, wie der Kurzkommentar zeigte. Auf dem PC habe ich das erst heute gesehen, nachdem Curd mich aufmerksam gemacht hat, der den Blogzugang auch erst heute sah. Ich habe dann mit dem größten Vergnügen wieder gelesen, was Du geschrieben hast. Ich glaube, weil ich so vieles von dem, was du beschreibst, schon gesehen und erlebt habe, hält mich das Land Deiner Ahnen so gefangen. Ich werde mir wieder das Buch vornehmen: Die Sterne von Eger. Und damit tauche ich noch einmal in die Geschichte ein.
      Liebe Patrizia,
      Wohin ich allzu gerne wieder einmal möchte? In die Hortobagy-Puszta. Dieses weite Land mit seinen unterschiedlichen Viehherden, den Ziehbrunnen und den Hirten ist großartig. Zeig es Deinem Jens! In der Bugacs-Puszta bin ich auch gerne gewesen. Dort hat mich das kleine Museum fasziniert. Ach, da ist noch so vieles…
      Eine gute Zeit wünsche ich Dir weiterhin, Patrizia. Auch, dass es Dir wieder gut gehen möge! Meine Marathon-Nase ist am Zielpunkt angekommen und trocken.
      Ganz liebe Knuddelgrüße von Deiner OmaElke

  • Curd

    Moin aus Aurich,
    früher führten alle Wege nach Rom, doch du schreibst ja, dass “alle Autobahnen nach Budapest führen”. Da bin ich doch froh, mit dem Zug gefahren zu sein und wie du weiter oben lesen kannst, zu beidseitiger Freude.
    Viel Freude wünsche ich auch dir und weitgreifende Erkenntnisse in deinem wohl gewählten Studienort.

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