About Hungary

Geography

Hungary is situated in the heart of Europe in the Carpatian Basin, covering an area of 93 sq. kms with a population of 10,19 million. It borders seven other countries: Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Serbia.

Two main rivers, the Danube (Duna) and the Tisza divide the country into three geographical areas:

  • -the region west of the Danube is known as Transdanubia (Dunántúl)
  • -between the two rivers lies Central Transdanubia (Duna-Tisza köze)
  • -the east of the Tisza, the Trans-Tisza area (Tiszántúl).

Lake Balaton (72 km long) is the largest and internationally best known lake in Hungary and in Central Europe, and it is also an important destination for turists.

The second largest lake is the Lake Velence which occupies 26 sq. km. It is also a popular resort.


Economy

The Hungarian economy has successfully recovered from the Communist era and has become a market economy with private ownership at its base. Our country is a fully functioning and stable market economy. Economy is dominated by services, tourism, industrial production and agriculture.
Hungary's location in Central Europe makes it a natural trading. Hungary's main trading partners are in Europe.


The system of State

The form of the Hungarian state has been a parliamentary republic since 23 October 1989.

The head of state is the President of the Republic (elected by the Parliament every four years).

The highest organ of state authority is the unicameral National Assembly. The National Assembly elects a Prime Minister based on the principle of a parliamentary majority. Parliamentary elections are held every four years.


Foreign Policy

Hungary is an active and respected member of most significant international organisations: the OECD, NATO, EU and a Schengen state.

Since March 1999, Hungary is a full member of NATO.

As part of the European expansion process, the decision of the Czech, Slovakian, Polish and Hungarian prime ministers in 1998 to revive the so-called Visegrád Treaty was an important moment in the history of building regional relations.

Hungary joined the European Union in May 2004 as part of the first wave of Central and Eastern European EU enlargement.


General information

Weather

Hungary has a continental climate with Mediterranean and Atlantic influences. Depending on the location, winter can be cold, cloudy and damp or windy, the summer warm and sometimes very hot. May, June and November are the rainiest months. July is the hottest month (average temperature 23.2° C) and January the coldest (-1.3° C).

Average temperature (listed in Celsius):

January     -1,6 °C                     July                20,8 °C

February   1,1 °C                      August           20,2 °C

March       5,6 °C                      September  16,4 °C

April         11 °C                       October         11 °C

May          15,9 °C                    November     4,8 °C

June          19 °C                       December      0,4 °C

Money

Cash withdrawal: ATMs usually accept most of the cards. As usual, banks apply surcharge to every transaction. Contact your bank to find out what kind of surcharges to expect. Exchanging cash at the arrival location (airport, railway station) is usually more expensive than bank or one of the official exchange kiosks in the city. Railway stations are one of the MOST EXPENSIVE places to exchange money in Budapest. Learn about the official exchange rate of the Hungarian Forint (HUF). Rates are always showed in front of the exchange offices/kiosks. NEVER exchange money on the street!

Official exchange rates: http://english.mnb.hu/arfolyamok

Price Guide

Living expenses

Toothpaste.................................................................................................. 400 Ft

Shampoo / shower gel................................................................................. 700 Ft

Deodorant................................................................................................... 500 - 800 Ft

Printing and photocopying............................................................................ 10 Ft per page

Food

Breakfast (individulally or in the buffet)......................................................... 200 - 500 Ft

Sandwich at campus buffet.......................................................................... 200 - 400 Ft

Pizza (delivered to the campus or to the dormitory)...................................... 800 - 2000 Ft

Cup of coffee.............................................................................................. 100 - 200 Ft

Bottle / jug of beer....................................................................................... 200 - 600 Ft

A bottle of wine........................................................................................... 500 - 2 000 Ft

A loaf of bread............................................................................................ 200 - 400 Ft

Milk (1 litre)................................................................................................ 200 - 300 Ft

Fun & entertainment

Cinema ticket.............................................................................................. 600 - 1 200 Ft

Museum passes*......................................................................................... 500 - 2 500 Ft

Travel

Fare: Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport to the Campus* .................................. 800 - 1 500 Ft

Fare: Campus to downtown Budapest (railway, full price)*.......................... 560 Ft

Fare: Campus to Budapest, Árpád híd coach station (bus, full price)*........... 465 Ft

Single ticket (Budapest, BKV public transport)............................................ 350 Ft

* For student discounts you always need to bring your ISIC Card/Student ID. Student price is mostly the half of the full price.

Emergency services

  • Police:    107
  • Ambulance: 104
  • Firefighters: 105
  • Emergency: 112

The above phone numbers can be called free of charge.

How to make a phone call in Hungary? The international dialling code of Hungary is 0036 or +36. From a foreign phone you must dial +36 before the number. If you have a Hungarian phone, to call another Hungarian number enough to dial 06, instead of +36.

Electronics

The electrical current in Hungary is 230V at 50Hz with a typical two-pin European plug (Type C/E/F). Appliances made for 220-240V will function here.

More info: www.wikitravel.org/en/Electrical_systems

National Holidays

Jan 1

New Year's Day

Mar 15

National Holiday, Day of the beginning of the 1848-1849 Revolution and War of Independence and the born of the modern parliamentary Hungary

31 Mar – 1 Apr

Easter Sunday and Monday

May 1

Labour Day

19 May

Pentecost (Whitsun)

20 Aug

National Holiday, Day of St. Stephen, founder of the State

23 Oct

National Holiday, Day of the beginning of the 1956 Revolution and War of Independence, and the proclamation of the Hungarian Republic in 1989

1 Nov

All Saints' Day

25-26 Dec

Christmas

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