Situated on a lovely stretch of the Danube River, Budapest, Hungary’s capital, is a city of outstanding beauty and visitors are drawn to its enchanting magnetism. Hungary’s location in the centre of Europe, along with its hospitable attitude, makes it an inviting destination. As a country, Hungary is both European and distinctly Hungarian, proudly upholding its Magyar traditions, culture and arts whilst incorporating a fascinating mix of history and the present-day.

Independent Travel

Viking Cruises - Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest

Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe.

Independent
Days 15
From (Per person / Twin share) $10,045

Viking Cruises - Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam

Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe.

Independent
Days 15
From (Per person / Twin share) $10,045

Hungary Facts & Tips

Capital
Capital — Budapest
Population
Population — 9.84 million
Language
Language — Hungarian
Religion
Religion — Predominantly Christian
Time Zone
Time Zone — 8 hours behind AEST
Currency
Currency — Hungarian Forint
  • The Hungarian language is unique and one of the hardest to learn, originating from the Magyar tribes of the steppes of central Asia! There is no other language like it throughout Europe.
  • Budapest, the capital of Hungary, consists of the districts of Buda and Pest, separated by the River Danube. Nine bridges connect the two halves of the city.
  • Although Houdini claimed to have been born on April 6, 1874 in Appleton, Wisconsin, he actually was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Hungary.
  • The Rubik’s cube, holography, ballpoint pen, theory of the hydrogen bomb, BASIC programming language and the krypton electric bulb were invented by Hungarians.
  • Paprika is a Hungarian word for pepper.
  • Hungary was one of the first communist-era countries to oppose the Soviet regime during the Cold War, notably with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
  • Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It was founded in 896, before France and Germany became separate entities, and before the unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

Australian passport holders travelling to Hungary do not need a visa at this time.

We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.

Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.

The Australian Embassy in Austria is responsible for Hungary:

The Icon, Gertrude-Fröhlich-Sandner-Str. 2
A1100 Vienna
Ph. +43 1 506 740
Fax. +43 1 506 74185

The official currency of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint. Notes come in denominations of Ft20,000; 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000 and 500.

The recommended currency to take to Hungary is the Hungarian Forint or the Euro. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.

Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.

Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.

If you don’t have Forint’s or Euro’s with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.

Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.

  • The price of a cappuccino in Budapest is approximately €3 - €3.50.
  • The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately €12.
  • The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately €25.
  • The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately €5 - €6.

In Hungary, national specialties include: halászlé (fish soups), goulash gulyás soup (western goulash is called pörkölt or tokány), stuffed vegetables, sweet cakes, gundel palacsinta (pancake), goose liver, paprikás csirke (paprika chicken), kolbasz (spicy sausage) and samlói galuska (a sponge, chocolate, rum and cream dessert). The national drinks are; tokaji (strong dessert wine), Bull’s Blood (strong red wine) and pálinka or barack (apricot brandy).

Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.

If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.

Hungary is best visited during June - September, when the weather is warmer and the attractions are all open. The weather in spring and autumn can be very pleasant, but temperatures drop to around 9°C. Over winter, temperatures approach freezing. Some rain can be expected throughout the year.

Want to get out and explore on your own?

Taxis in Hungary are inexpensive and readily available. Walking is also one of the best ways to explore one of Europe’s grand river cities.

When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.

So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Hungary…

Unique souvenir ideas include special embroideries, handcrafted Herend and Zsolnay porcelain, and Ajaka crystal tableware and glasses. Hand painted eggs are everywhere, these were traditionally given as a gift from a woman to her intended and are now an incredibly delicate art form. Hungarian national dolls also make a wonderful souvenir, as do the more traditional brandies, Palinka liqueur and wines special to the region.

In Hungary, tips are not included on the bill and are at your discretion (allow for 10% of the bill and always round up) - both the payment of the bill and tip should be handed to your server at the same time, do not leave money on the table.

It is common to share tables with strangers in busy restaurants and pubs.

Full of a rich cultural heritage, Hungary has no short supply of fun festivals and events happening throughout the year. Some of these include the Balaton Music Festival held in June/July, the Holloko Easter Festival and the Summerfest International Folklore Festival, celebrating different cultures throughout the world.

Other national public holidays to be aware of include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Revolution Day (March 15th)
  • Easter Friday and Easter Monday
  • Labour Day (May 1st)
  • Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
  • Whit Monday (50 days after Easter)
  • Saint Stephen’s Day (August 20th)
  • Republic Day (October 23rd)
  • All Saints Day (November 1st)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

Hungary Highlights

Europe Destinations

Armenia

Walk along Sharambeyan street in Dilijan, marvel at some of the oldest Greek, Persian and Arabic manuscripts in Yerevan, and witness the historic cave monastery of Geghard.

Austria

From the spectacular snow-covered Alps and picture-perfect panoramas, to the quintessential elegance of its larger cities, Austria is a fascinating country to explore

Azerbaijan

A relatively untouched country, there is so much to see in Azerbaijan including the Baku Fire Temple, Burning Mountain and the Palace of Shirvanshahs.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Discover intriguing history at the old city centre of Sarajevo, Baščaršija and the Museum of Sarajevo and experience the world-famous Stari Most bridge.

Croatia

With its magnificent coastline, 1,185 islands, islets and reefs, Roman ruins and picturesque medieval villages, Croatia is alluring for lovers of fun, sun and fascinating history.

Denmark

From its picturesque capital, Copenhagen, to its windswept coastline and everything in between, Denmark will lure you in with its warmth and welcoming hospitality.

Finland

Watch the northern lights dance across the sky, relax and unwind in a Finnish sauna, cruise Lake Inari and visit Suomenlinna, an 18th-century sea fortress steeped in history.

France

A popular destination with all travellers, you can soak up the glamour of the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles or sip on a coffee and watch the world go by.

Georgia

Positioned between Europe and Asia, the country of Georgia has one of the most unique cultures in the world.

Germany

Infused with a rich history, Germany offers a fascinating mix of picture-perfect towns, lively festivals, modern, urban cities and beautiful rolling countryside.

Greece

Discover ancient sites like the Acropolis and the Agora in Athens, Delphi on the Greek mainland and delicious Greek cuisine in the glamorous Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.

Italy

Land of la dolce vita, it is little wonder that Italy is one of the world’s most-loved destinations with two-thirds of the world’s historical, artistic heritage coming from Italy.

Malta

Otherwise known as the jewel of the Mediterranean, Malta is an island located off the Italian coast packed with stunning scenery and a rich culture.

Monaco

Experience jaw-dropping coastal views of the Mediterranean Sea, try your luck at the Casino Monte-Carlo or explore the botanical world of Jardin Exotique.

Montenegro

Discover surreal views and charming villages across the Bay of Kotor, explore the old town of Kotor surrounded with ancient medieval architecture and enjoy some local Montenegrin cuisine.

Morocco

Morocco’s dazzling mosaic of Arab and Berber cultures, with a dash of African and European influence, is at once strange and romantic, alluring and surprising.

Netherlands

From fields of colourful tulips and beautiful canal-lined cities to historic architecture and iconic windmills, the Netherlands is a wonderland for any kind of traveller.

Norway

Known as ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’ Norway is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy stunning scenery, while history buffs can immerse themselves in Norway's rich cultural heritage.

Portugal

Portugal has it all; the sun-drenched beaches of the Algarve, exclusive golf resorts, medieval hilltop towns, colourful fishing villages, a cosmopolitan capital, the vine-filled valley of the Douro and wild remote mountains.

Slovenia

Slovenia is packed with unusual and often unique experiences, from primeval forests, Karst limestone caves and thermal springs to the lively and architecturally beautiful city of Ljubljana.

Spain

Fall in love with Spain’s intriguing history, marvel at the architectural wonders of Barcelona, enjoy a traditional Spanish tapas dinner and people-watch at a terrace café in Madrid.

Sweden

Snowbound winters, meatballs, herring, Vikings and Volvos, IKEA, ABBA and the Hives - whatever your pre-existing notions about Sweden, a visit to this multifaceted country is bound to both confirm and confound them.

Switzerland

With its snow-capped Alps, emerald green forests, fairy-tale castles and shimmering lakes, it’s easy to see why Switzerland has been one of the world’s top tourist destinations for the past two centuries.

Turkey

With its covered bazaars, whirling dervishes, sultans’ treasures and Byzantine mosaics, Turkey is both a cosmopolitan and exotic destination.

Vatican City

Vatican City is the world’s smallest, fully independent city-state and country in the world, surrounded entirely by Rome.

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