Coat of Arms
President János Áder
»Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
»93,030 km2 (109th)
» $225.285 billion (57th)
» Per capita -$21,239(49th)
»$145.153 billion (58th)
» Per capita -$14,703 (57th)
Hungary formally, until 2012, the Republic of Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The country’s capital and largest city is Budapest. Hungary is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, and the Schengen Area. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language in Europe.
Following centuries of successive habitation by Celts, Romans, Huns, Slavs, Gepids, and Avars, the foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád in the Honfoglalás (“homeland-conquest”). His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000 CE, converting the country to a Christian kingdom. By the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526 and about 150 years of partial Ottoman occupation (1541–1699), Hungary came under Habsburg rule, and later formed a significant part of the Austro–Hungarian Empire (1867–1918).
The economy of Hungary is a medium-sized, Upper-middle-income, structurally, politically and institutionally open economy, which is part of the European Union’s (EU) single market. The economy of Hungary experienced market liberalization in the early 1990s as part of the transition from a socialist economy to a market economy, similarly to most countries in the former Eastern Bloc. Hungary is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1995, a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1996, and a member of the European Union since 2004. Hungary hosts the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA).
The private sector accounts for more than 80% of the Hungarian gross domestic product (GDP). Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative, foreign direct investment worth more than $70 billion. Hungary’s main industries are mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals), and motor vehicles. Hungary’s main agricultural products are wheat, corn, sunflower seed, potatoes, sugar beets; pigs, cattle, poultry, and dairy products.
The currency of Hungary is called “forint” (sign: Ft; code: HUF) which was introduced in 1946. Hungary, as a member state of the European Union may seek to adopt the common European currency, the Euro. To achieve this, Hungary would need to fulfill the Maastricht criteria.
In foreign investments, Hungary has seen a shift from lower-value textile and food industry to investment in luxury vehicle production, renewable energy systems, high-end tourism, and information technology.
Hungary is ranked 14 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 1.42197
Top 5 Products exported by Hungary
- Cars (4.7%),
- Broadcasting Equipment (4.6%),
- Video Displays (4.2%),
- Vehicle Parts (4.1%),
- Spark-Ignition Engines (3.6%)
Top 5 Export destinations ofHungary
Top 5 Products imported by Hungary
- Crude Petroleum (5.1%),
- Petroleum Gas (3.7%),
- Packaged Medicaments (3.3%),
- Vehicle Parts (3.1%),
- Telephones (3.0%)
Top 5 Import origins of Hungary
- Germany (23%),
- Russia (9.3%),
- China (6.2%),
- Austria (6.2%),
Hungary has always marched to a different drummer – speaking a language, preparing dishes and drinking wines like no others. It’s Europe at its most exotic.
Hungary’s scenery is more gentle than striking, more pretty than stunning. But you can’t say the same thing about the built environment across the land. Architecturally Hungary is a treasure trove, with everything from Roman ruins and medieval townhouses to baroque churches, neoclassical public buildings and Art Nouveau bathhouses and schools. And we’re not just talking about Budapest here; walk through Szeged or Kecskemét, Debrecen or Sopron and you’ll discover an architectural gem at virtually every turn.
Some people (ourselves included) go out of their way for another glimpse of their ‘hidden’ favourites like the Reök Palace in Szeged, the buildings of Kőszeg’s Jurisics tér or the Mosque Church in Pécs. It is almost as if they’re afraid these delightful structures will crumble and disappear unless they are regularly drenched in admiring glances.
There is a lot more to Hungarian food than goulash and it remains one of the most sophisticated styles of cooking in Europe. Magyars even go so far as to say there are three essential world cuisines: French, Chinese and their own. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but Hungary’s reputation as a food centre dates largely from the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th and, despite a fallow period during the chilly days of communism, is once again commanding attention. So too are the nation’s world-renowned wines – from the big-bodied reds of Villány and white Olazrizling from Badacsony to honey-gold Tokaj.
Hungarians have been ‘taking the waters’ supplied by an estimated 300 thermal springs since togas were all the rage and Aquincum was the big Smoke. They still do – for therapeutic, medicinal and recreational purposes – but the venues have changed somewhat. Today they range from authentic bathhouses dating from the Turkish occupation and Art Nouveau palaces to clinical sanatoriums straight out of a Thomas Mann novel. This is where the older generation like to rejuvenate and catch up on the local gossip. More and more though, you’ll see clear chlorinated waters in organically-shaped pools that bubble, squirt and spurt at different rhythms and temperatures alongside the requisite wellness centre offering a myriad of treatments. Good for the kids, good for the grown-ups, good for the whole family.
- Hungary has several World Heritage sites. These are:
- Buda Castle by night
- Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle
- Quarter and Andrássy Avenue
- Old Village of Hollókő and its Surroundings
- Caves of Aggtelek National Park — beautiful caves with dripstones and stalagmites
- Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment
- Hortobágy National Park – the Puszta
- Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae)
- Fertő Lake Cultural Landscape common place with Austria more see there.
- Tokaj and Villány Wine Regions and Historic Cultural Landscapes
Other major tourist destination is Lake Balaton, with winehills, thermal spa in Hévíz, Hajdúszoboszló and Harkány around.Sopron is one of the most popular place for a sightseeing in the region.
- Tiszavirágzás. In mid-June the Tisza produces swarms of mayflies which are likened to flowers. Once decimated by pollution, the population is rebounding. (They’re famous for living only for 1–2 days.)
- Busójárás. In February, the people chase away bad ghosts by loud clamping on streets of Mohács.