In 2004, less than half a century after the bloody suppression of its democracy movement by Soviet tanks, Hungary became a member of the European Union. Divided in two by the majestic Danube River, the country can also boast the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton, surrounded by châteaux and picturesque vineyards. (The celebrated Tokaji wine comes from the northern Eger-Tokaj region.) Hungary’s thermal spas have been renowned for their curative powers since Roman times, and more than 1,000 hot springs still attract numerous visitors. Budapest, the country’s 1,000-year-old capital, is one of the most attractive and vivacious cities in Europe.
Hungary is a flat country with little variation in weather throughout. Cut off from Western Europe by mountains to the west and south, the country has long, cold winters and warm, showery summers.
To phone hotels and restaurants in Hungary, dial 011 (international access) + 36 (Hungary code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Six hours ahead of New York (EST).
Budapest, Tel. 1-475-4400.
Forint (HUF). Fluctuating rate valued at HUF260.68 = US$1.00 as of October 2017. Budapest hotels quote rates in euros (€); €1.00 = US$1.18 as of October 2017.