Hungary: Holidays, climate and national customs
Religious festivals or holidays
|March April||Easter Monday|
|May June||Whit Monday|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|25./26. December||Christmas holidays|
Other feasts and holidays
|January 1||New Year|
|March, 15||Independence day|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|20th of August||National holiday (St. Stephen’s Day)|
|23rd October||day of the Republic|
Source: Countryaah – Hungary Holidays
|March||Budapest Spring Festival|
|July August||Summer festival in Szeged with classical music|
|August||Budapest Opera and Ballet Festival|
|August||Sziget Festival in Budapest with rock, pop, regae, world music, etc.|
|July||Formula 1 Grand Prix on the Hungaroring|
Hungarians are largely straightforward, mainly because they are very good at humor. There are almost no taboo topics. However, titles are still very important in this very hospitable country, which should not be forgotten.
Hungary lies in the transition area from the warm and humid climate of Western Europe, which is determined by the Atlantic influence, to the dry continental climate. This results in longer and constant sunshine times, which are very pleasant for travelers. It is also on average considerably drier than in Central Europe.
The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role.
For those who prefer sunshine For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any problems – e.g. on the occasion of a vacation at Lake Balaton – the months from June to September are particularly suitable for a stay in the country:
June to September are due dry, warm climates are ideal months for beach holidays at Lake Balaton, the largest Hungarian lake.
For people who prefer a more moderate climate
People who prefer a moderate climate and lower temperatures should better use the months April to June and September to October for a stay for active, sports and cultural trips in Hungary.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that HU stands for the nation of Hungary as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
– Aggtelek caves and Slovak karst
– Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey
– Buda Castle District and Danube Embankment in Budapest
– Pécs early Christian cemetery
– Lake Neusiedl cultural landscape
– Tokaj Wine Region Cultural Landscape
– Hortobágy National Park – the “Puszta”
– Traditional village of Hollokö (Rabenstein)
Baths of Budapest
The world-famous medicinal baths are due to a total of eighty natural hot water springs of different temperatures and chemical compositions. The 20 to 27 °C warm water from the four different groups of springs has been used for bathing and medicinal water since Roman times. The minerals dissolved in the waters of the springs are suitable for healing numerous ailments of the locomotor organs and other diseases.
Bastion in Budapest The Fisherman’s Bastion was built between 1895 and 1902 in the neo-Gothic style by Frigyes Schulek. In the Middle Ages, the guild of fishermen defended this section of the city wall, from which the bastion got its name.
Today’s Fisherman’s Bastion is a great viewing terrace with imposing stairs and walking paths. From here a unique panorama opens up over the Danube bank to the Pest city side.
Chain Bridge in Budapest
It was the first permanent stone bridge between Pest and Buda. Its official name is Széchenyi Lánchíd. Its namesake, Count István Széchenyi, was one of the leading figures in the efforts for national independence that had been strengthened at the beginning of the 19th century. Due to his efforts, the construction of the bridge began in 1839. The bridge was built by the British architects Tierney W. Clark and Adam Clark, who settled in Hungary in 1849 after the construction was completed. Two river piers, built in the classical style, hold the iron chains on which the bridge’s deck hangs. Hence the name “Chain Bridge”.
Mosque of Pasha Jakowali Hassan in Pécs
This is the best preserved mosque in all of Hungary. The Islamic house of worship has a 23 meter high minaret and a prayer room, which is now used as a museum and shows Turkish exhibits.
National Memorial Hall of Szeged
The National Memorial Hall of Szeged rises on Dóm Tér. It is a kind of pantheon, in which tables, busts and statues of famous people from Hungary were placed.
Parliament in Budapest
The 265m long building largely determines the image of the Pest bank of the Danube. The architect Imre Steindl leaned heavily on the style of the London Parliament. Construction began in 1884 and the preparations were completed to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the Hungarian conquest, but it was not fully completed until 1902.
Stefansdenkmal in Budapest
The bronze equestrian statue of St. Stephen I stands between the bastion and the church. It was erected in 1906 in memory of the founder of the empire.
Aquincum (Archaeological Museum) in Budapest
Address: Óbuda, Szentendrei út 139
Opening times: 15.-30. April and Oct. Tue-Sun 9 am-5pm, May-Sept. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Here you can find the foundations of a civil town on the field of ruins, which have been excavated there since the 1870s. Further finds are shown in the affiliated museum.
Ferenc Móra Museum in Szeged
The Ferenc Móra Museum in Szeged is on Roosevelt Tér. It was named after the Hungarian writer Ferenc Móra, who also founded it. Exhibits from the fields of archeology and early history can be viewed in several halls. The finds from the Avar period are certainly particularly interesting.
János Xántus Museum in Győr
The János Xántus Museum in Győr is now located in the former abbot’s house. The museum, which has existed since 1951, was named after the Hungarian naturalist János Xántus.
Decorative Arts Museum in Budapest
Address: IX. Üllöi út 33-37
Opening times: mid-March-Oct. Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Nov-mid-March: Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-
4 p.m. Here you can find furniture, handicrafts and other objects from the 4th century to modern times. The magnificent Art Nouveau building with oriental elements is also worth a visit. Ludwig Museum (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Budapest Address: I. Budavári Palota A épület Opening times: Tue-Sun 10 am-6pm Website: www.ludwigmuseum.hu Here you can find a large collection of German, French and American artists from the 1980s Look at years. Natural Science Museum in Budapest Address: VIII., Ludovika tér 2
Opening times: April-Sept. Mon-Wed
10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Oct-March Wed-Mon 10 a.m.-
5 p.m. Website: www.nhmus.hu
An interactive permanent exhibition and changing events provide an insight into the past and present of science. Sculpture Park Address: XXII. At the intersection of Balatoni út and Szabadkai út. Opening times: March-Nov. daily 10 a.m.-twilight, Dec-Feb. Sat, Sun 10 am Website: www.szoborpark.de In the sculpture park, the monuments of the communist era banned from the city are exhibited.
Opera and theater
National Theater of Pécs
The National Theater of Pécs – in Hungarian Nemzeti Színház – is a building by Adolf Lang and Antal Steinhardt. It was officially opened in 1895.
National Theater of Szeged
The National Theater of Szeged can be visited at Deák Ferenc utca 12. It was built in 1883 in the neo-baroque style.
Hungarian State Opera in Budapest
The building of the Hungarian State Opera House is in VI. Andrássy út 22. It was built between 1875 and 1884 in neo-Renaissance style by the Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl. Excellent classical ballets and, of course, operas are played in Hungary’s most important opera house.
Churches and monasteries
Basilica in Budapest
The construction of the largest church in Budapest was not without its problems. Construction began in 1851 according to plans by József Hild in the classical style. After the architect’s death in 1868, the dome collapsed as a result of the poor foundation and construction was continued under the direction of Miklós Ybl, but now in neo-renaissance style. Miklós Ybl also died during the construction. Construction was completed in 1905 under the direction of József Kauser.
Great Reformed Church in Debrecen
In the center of Debrecen rises the most famous building of the city. The Great Reformed Church is a symbol of Hungarian Protestantism and, with its gigantic 1,500 square meters, is the largest Reformed church in Hungary. In addition to the area, the bell is also remarkable: It is the largest that a Reformed Church in Europe can call its own.
Cathedral of Pécs
The imposing cathedral of the city of Pécs dates back to the 11th century in its oldest components. In the 19th century the sacred building was redesigned. The German painter Karl Christian Andreae did the coloring for this.
The Pannonhalma monastery with the oldest church in Hungary is located about 18 km southeast of Györ on a hill. It was founded by Prince Géza I (940-997; Prince from 972-997) as the first Hungarian Benedictine monastery. It was elevated to an archabbey during the reign of Stephen I the Holy and has been the center of the Benedictine order in Hungary ever since. The monastery was consecrated in 1001 and expanded in the Romanesque style until the 13th century. In the 15th century renovations were carried out in the Gothic style. The baroque reconstruction of the 17th-18th centuries Century with rich furnishings, followed the zeitgeist and the importance of the monastery. The new church, designed by Ferenc Storno, was built between 1868 and 1886. The classicist library from the period 1824-1832 with a collection of over 250,000 volumes is of great importance.
Matthias Church in Budapest
The Frauenkirche, better known as Matthias Church, dates back to the middle of the 13th century. It was the first church to be built on the Schlossberg, and King Béla IV began building it immediately after the city was founded. At the turn of the 14th-15th centuries In the 15th century it was rebuilt into a Gothic hall with three naves, then King Matthias added the royal oratory and the southern tower, which is still partially existing, to the royal oratory and the raven coat of arms at that time attached by Matthias. From 1541, after the Turkish conquest, the church was used as the main mosque for the Turks. In the course of the 18th century the church was badly damaged by fire after a lightning strike, so that it was in a rather poor condition until the middle of the 19th century. At that time it was already the parish church of Buda. The building got its current neo-Gothic form when it was rebuilt and expanded between 1874 and 1896 according to plans by Frigyes Schulek. The building was badly destroyed in World War II. The restoration was not completed until the 1970s. The roof of the church is made of majolica tiles made in the Zsolnay factory in Pécs.
Serbian Orthodox Church in Szeged
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Szeged on Dóm Tér was built between 1773 and 1778. The most valuable element of the church is the iconostasis created by Jován Popovics. Popovics carved them out of pear wood using the Rococo style.
St. Ignatius Church in Győr
The baroque Jesuit church in Győr is the oldest baroque church with a religious house in Hungary. It was built in the 17th century. Austrian artists sculpted the Christian sacred building in the 18th century.
Church in Budapest The pretty baroque church was built from 1722-1742. Directly connected to it is the former Pauline monastery, which has housed the theological faculty since 1805.
Votive Church of Szeged The Votive Church of Szeged borders the Dóm Tér, the most famous square in Szeged. The church, which can be seen from afar, was built in the 19th century.
Castles and Palaces
The pentagonal elongated castle, which rises above the town and is built on a hill, is a historical monument of national importance. The construction of the strategically important castle began after the Tartar storm in the second half of the 13th century. The castle captain Tamás Varkoch had another significant redesign carried out between 1542 and 1549. The castle, fortified with bastions, was the last fortress in Upper Hungary under the command of István Dobó to defy the twenty-fold Turkish superiority under Pasha Ali.
Castle Palace in Budapest
The first castle at this point, of which no building certificates can be found, was built in 1241/42. In the 14th century, a small palace was built in its place under King Charles Robert of Anjou. King Ludwig of Anjou had this expanded after Budapest became the capital and a large palace complex was built. Over the years the palace has been changed and expanded again and again. During the Turkish rule in the 16th and 17th centuries and the ensuing sieges and fighting, large parts of the complex were destroyed. In the 18th century a new palace complex was built, which was expanded in the 19th century. It was badly damaged in the Second World War, but rebuilt in the post-war years. During this time, remains of the medieval castle complex were uncovered. In the Castle Palace you will find the National Gallery, the Historical Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art (see below), as well as the National Library, which is the most important library in Hungary with around 6 million documents. (Opening times: Mon. 1-6 p.m., Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m., www.oszk.hu). Further attractions of the complex are the Matthias Fountain, built in the Baroque style at the beginning of the 20th century, the equestrian statue of Prince Eugen, and the neo-Baroque staircase that leads to the forecourt of the castle.
In the built in 972, Stephen I the Saint was born the first Hungarian king and the founder of the Hungarian Empire.
Probably from the 12th century, the center of one of the most beautiful Hungarian towns is
Vázsonykõ Castle rises in the middle of Nagyvázsony. It was built by the Vázsonyis in the 14th century. The oldest part of the castle, which is surrounded by outer towers, is still the monumental residential tower today. This was built by Pál Kinizsi, who received the castle from King Matthias after the male line of the Vázsony family died out, and in the 1490s added a palace, a chapel and Barbican-style gate defenses to the tower. The fortress played an important role in the Turkish Wars. After that it lost its military importance. The residential tower of the castle later served as a prison, schnapps distillery and accommodation for farm workers. There is now a museum in the castle.
The largest Hungarian baroque palace was built by Anton Grassalkovich I in the 18th century. The magnificent rooms in white, gold and red, the frescoed rooms, the spacious riding arena, marble bathroom and flower house, baroque theater and the huge park are typical of the time. The castle was made available to the Hungarian royal couple Franz Joseph and Elisabeth. After the Second World War, the magnificent building fell into disrepair; after the fall of the Wall it was the first of the Hungarian castles to be restored on a private initiative.
A good example of the Hungarian Renaissance is Hédervár Castle on the Danube Schüttinsel near Mosonmagyaróvár. The well-tended castle park with its ancient plane trees and exotic trees is well worth seeing.
On the southern periphery of Budapest, on the Danube island of Csepel, Prince Eugene of Savoy had the famous builder Lucas von Hildebrandt (1668-1745) build a baroque castle that was completed in 1720. However, the middle part of the castle burned down in 1814, after which it was mainly used for economic purposes after the reconstruction. After extensive restoration work, the castle was placed under a preservation order and reopened as a hotel in the 1980s.
Franz Liszt University of Music
Address: Liszt Fernc tér 8
The music school, built in 1904-1907, is one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the city. On the forecourt is a monument to Franz Liszt, which was erected there in 1986 on his 100th birthday.
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The main building of the Academy of Sciences founded in 1830 was completed in 1865. It was built in the neo-renaissance style as the renaissance is considered the time of the beginning sciences.
University of Debrecen
The University of Debrecen is one of the most prestigious universities in Hungary. It was formed in 2000 by merging the Agricultural University of Debrecen, the Lajos Kossuth University, the Medical University of Debrecen and the István Wargha Pedagogical University (in Hajdúböszörmény). Today the University of Debrecen consists of a total of 13 faculties.
The very scenic region between Szentendre and Esztergom stretches along the Danube. The Pilis Mountains are on the right bank, the Börzsöny Mountains rise in the north and the Viségrad hills in the south. The mountain regions are good for hiking. The following picturesque towns are also located in the 60 km long section of the Danube Bend:
The small town is located about 60 km northwest of Budapest. The cathedral and the royal palace are worth seeing.
The pretty little baroque town, in which a lot of handicrafts are offered, is located about 20 km northeast of Budapest. The Szentendre open-air museum is 3 km north of the town. There you can visit original replicas of ancient Hungarian settlements and villages.
(Opening times: Tue-Sun 9 am-5pm, www.sznm.hu)
The historic center of the small baroque town, 30 km north of Budapest, is particularly worth seeing.
The village is 40 km north of Budapest above the Danube. The main attractions are the Royal Palace and the Citadel.
Fertõ National Park – Hanság (Lake Neusiedl)
The national park, founded in 1991, includes the preserved swamp and moorland areas around Lake Neusiedl and the Hanság, as well as the most valuable floodplains of the Répce River. The total area is 23,587 hectares. The administrative center is the “Heron Castle” (Kócsagvár) in Sarród. The national park was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of Lake Neusiedl in 2001 at the joint proposal of Austria and Hungary. For more information, see above.
Aggtelek National Park
The Aggtelek National Park was founded in 1985 on the Hungarian side of the Gömör-Tornai Karst in the north-east of the country (today’s name: Aggtelek Caves and Slovak Karst Area) with a number of natural and cultural treasures on an area of 20,000 hectares. In 1995, UNESCO added the Aggtelek cave system to the World Heritage List. One of the most popular attractions of the Aggtelek Karst is the Baradla Cave, which is visited by 200,000 tourists annually.
Bükk National Park
The Bükk National Park has existed since January 1st, 1977 to protect and preserve the natural flora and fauna of the Bükk Mountains as well as to preserve the geological, scenic and cultural values of this region. 97% of the 43,200 hectare area in the middle of the Bükk Mountains are forested. Due to the average height of the individual mountains, Bükk is considered to be the highest mountain landscape in Hungary. The peaks of these limestone mountains tower over 900 m into the sky. The plateau of the Bükk Mountains, which presents itself in the vicinity of the Letten slate area, is 40 km² in size. The plateau is characterized by geological features of the karst surface, such as karst holes, narrow depressions, sinkholes, high rock ridges and deep gorges, mountain meadows and caves. The plateau is bordered by peaks which are popularly known as “stones” (kõ) are called. From the peaks of Tarkõ, Vöröskõ, Cserepeskõ, Háromkõ, Bélkõ etc. you can enjoy a wonderful view.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Aggtelek Caves and Slovak Karst
The Aggtelek National Park is located in the north-east of the country and covers an area of 200 km² of which 150 km² are deciduous forests.
In this area with the rocks and mountain slopes, plants, insects and numerous species of birds have a protected habitat.
There are also around 200 caves in this area, which were formed around 230 million years ago.
The Baradla Cave is the longest of these caves with a total length of approx. 25 km. Stalactites of various sizes, colors and shapes were created in the caves and there is an abyss that is filled with ice. The Aggtelek Caves and the Slovak Karst were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995 – and expanded in 2000.
Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey
The Pannonhalma Abbey was founded in 956 and, with interruptions, belonged to the Benedictines.
The abbey is built in the Romanesque style and was expanded in the 15th century after a fire in the Gothic style.
In the 17th to 18th centuries the abbey was rebuilt and given a baroque appearance. The monastery has an oak forest and a botanical garden. In the library from the years 1824 to 1832, built in classical style, old manuscripts and documents can be found.
The Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996.
Buda Castle District and the Danube River Bank in Budapest
It was not until 1820 that the cities of Buda and Pest, which had been separated by the Danube and had been free, united to form Budapest. The history of both cities is very eventful, constantly changing rule, as was the case last by the Turks, shapes the cityscape to this day.
In the 13th century the Castle District was founded in Buda on a 60 m high hill, including the Matthias Church, which was built between 1247 and 1265.
Construction of the neo-Gothic parliament building began in Pest in 1885 – modeled on London’s parliament.
Gustav Eiffel built a train station and the metro was founded. The avenue Andrássy, which runs over 2 km above the tunnel of the metro, is lined with beautiful facades from the Art Nouveau era. Buda Castle District and the banks of the Danube in Budapest were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 – and expanded in 2002.
A comprehensive description of the Hungarian capital Budapest can be found here >>> at goruma.
Early Christian cemetery of Pécs
The city of Pécs is located near the Croatian border at the foot of the Mecsek Mountains, it is a bishopric and university town.
Tombs from the 4th century with underground burial chambers were found in a cemetery in Pécs. The tombs are artistically valuable because of their decorations. Particularly noteworthy is the burial chamber of Peter and Paul carved into the rocks of the Mecsek mountain.
There is a chapel on top of the burial chamber.
The early Christian cemetery was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 200.
Cultural landscape Neusiedler See
The Neusiedler See is a steppe lake that lies on both Austrian and Hungarian territory.
There is a reed belt around the lake, which requires cultivation several times a year.
The area of the lake is about 320 km², of which about 80 km² are in Hungary. The area of the protected area around the lake is approximately 1,100 km². The reed belt is home to numerous animal species.
More than 40 species of mammals such as ground squirrel, steppe elk, hamsters and many more birds live in the reed belt, which also nest and breed there. These include great egrets, gray herons, white storks and imperial eagles.
Although the reeds are the main vegetation, there are many other plants such as orchids and the carnivorous water hose. In the lake there are numerous species of fish such as carp, pike, pikeperch, bream, stickleback, etc.
The cultural landscape was entered in 2001 on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The world heritage crosses borders and is partly located in Austria.
Cultivated landscape of Tokaj wine region
This cultivated landscape is a gently undulating area crossed by river valleys, in which numerous villages and vineyards nestle. Wine has been produced here since the Ottoman period – especially Trokajer wine. The cellars of the wineries are built differently, so you will find cellars with vaults, excavated cellars and multi-storey cellars, in which you can almost get lost like in the cellar network at Sáraljaújhelyto. The cultural landscape was entered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2002.
Hortobágy National Park – the “Puszta”
The Hortobágy National Park consists of wetlands and an area that was built up 2,000 years ago. In Hortobágy there is a stone bridge with nine arches and taverns with stables from the 18th century.
This area shows a traditional settlement history with agricultural cultivation.
The Hortobágy National Park was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999
Traditional village of Hollokö (Rabenstein)
The village of Hollókő (Rabenstein) is located in Nógrád County in northern Hungary – approx. 100 km from Budapest. Since all the houses were made of wood, the old town burned down completely in 1905, but was rebuilt in the original style. The houses have a stone ground floor – whitewashed – the upper floor is made of wood, as are the verandas.
The roofs are drawn far down and are supported by the porch columns.
The village was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.