Situated in the heart of Europe and straddling the central and eastern part of the continent, Hungary offers visitors a rich and unique culture. During the communist era, much money and resources were put into the capital city of Budapest, so travelers generally do not stray far from the city. However, the countryside is described as very beautiful and worth the trip, but if you decide to stay in Budapest, you will not be disappointed with what people have deemed the ‘Pearl of the Danube.’
Hungary Medical Tourism
Hungary has always been a popular travel and medical tourism destination for Germans and Austrians because of its proximity and cheap prices. However, now that flights into Budapest are much cheaper than they were, medical tourists from countries farther away are flocking to Hungary (primarily Budapest) for cosmetic surgery, general surgery, and dental treatments at one of the country’s modern clinical facilities, which boasts English speaking doctors and a high level of professionalism.
The official language of Hungary is Hungarian, however hospitals that cater to medical tourists have many English speaking staff.
Surrounded by the Alps to the west and the Great Plains to the east, Budapest is subject to terribly cold winters and warm summers. July and August are the warmest months with an average high of 79oF (26oC) and an average low of 57-59oF (14-15oC). The coldest months are December to February, where average low temperatures can drop to 25oF (-4oC).
Visa / Entrance Requirements
U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require of visa if staying in Hungary for up to 90 days, however a passport (valid for 6 months from date of entry) is required.
Airlines Servicing this Destination
Hungary’s major airport is Budapest Ferihegy Airport (BUD).
The following airlines have flights to Budapest:
- British Airways
- Austrian Airlines
- American Airlines
- Air France
- Air Canada
- Brussels Airlines
For the budget traveler, a hostel room costs $15-40 USD per person per night and 3 star hotels start at $76 per night for a double occupancy room. Budapest has a wide range of luxurious dwellings from the standard hotel to a room in a palace/castle that is fit for a king or queen. A luxury suite ranges from $98 to $474 USD per night with palaces/castles being on the higher end of the cost spectrum.
The currency of Hungary is the Forint (HUF).
The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Hungarian Forints is $1 USD dollar to 200 HUF (exchange rate subject to change).
The international access code for Hungary is 36.
The area code for Budapest is 1.
In order to call Hungary from the U.S. or Canada you must dial 011 (exit code) then 36 (country code for Hungary), then the area code (one digit for Budapest, 2 digits for all others), and then the phone number (six to seven digits). The area code plus the phone number always equals 8 digits.
To call a cell phone in Hungary from the U.S. and Canada you must dial 011 + 36 + XX + phone number.
*XX can be 20, 30, or 70.
In order to call the U.S. from Hungary you must dial 00 + 1 + area code + phone number
Cyber-cafes are widely available in major cities and towns. Larger hotels and most private hospitals throughout the country offer Broadband Internet connection.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
U.S. Embassy in Budapest: (36-1) 475-4400; after hours emergencies: (36-1) 475-4703/4924
The architecture in Hungary is magnificent, however the Castle District is considered one of the most significant places for medieval architecture. Those who are connoisseurs of religious architecture will like St. Stephen’s Basilica, which is the 3rd largest church in the World (2nd is St. Peter’s in Rome) and the Great Synagogue which is 2nd in size after the one in New York.
For the nature lover, Budapest is home to the City Park, which sits the Vajdahunyad Castle, a lake where people can boat during the summer, the Museum of Agriculture, the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, and the Szechenyl Baths.
Budapest has many shopping venues to satisfy a variety of tastes. The West End City Center is a huge shopping venue where you can buy food, clothes, shoes, furniture, etc. For wine lovers, Hungary is known for its inexpensive but high quality local wine, and a trip to Tokaj and its wine caves, which is a region known for its sweet wines, is a must. Hungary is also known for its peppers, sweets, and inexpensive goose liver. The pastry shops located at the International Train Station are popular spots to fulfill one’s sweet tooth, and there is also a world famous Herend porcelain store.
Nightlife and the Arts
Budapest is home to lively nightlife in which people party until the wee hours of the night at 1970’s throw back communist era clubs or western style clubs featuring touring international DJ’s blaring anywhere from techno to latin music. However, if a more cozy and comfortable spot is more your style then the city offers chilled out jazz clubs and bar lounges as well. One highly rated dance club is called the A38 ship, which in its previous life was a stone carrying ship. If late night clubbing and bars are not your style then Budapest is home to many casinos including the Casino Budapest Hilton, the Las Vegas Casino, the Varkert Casino, and the Tropicana Casino.
For the artistic crowd, Budapest has many museums such as the Holocaust Memorial Center and the National Gallery in which the latter is located inside of a palace and houses Hungarian fine art. Other museums include the Museum of Applied Arts and the Vasarely Museum.
Once you are finished with your daytime stroll of Budapest’s amazing museums, take a trip to the Opera House and the Erkel Theater to see performances of the Grand Opera and the ballet. There is one major international language theater, the Merlin Theater, which features shows in English. Art and theater buffs will also enjoy the Budapest Spring Festival and the Budapest Autumn Festival, which both feature international theater, film, music, and art.
Hungary has three English language papers:
Budapest Business Journal
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