• The Land of Stories, Architecture and Best Beer

    Hungary

    Europe´s spa and folklore destination

HUNGARIAN TURBULENT PAST AND PRESENCE

Founded in 896, Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Hungary was part of the Celtic world, then the Roman Empire. Following the fall of Rome, the Huns settled in the plains of Pannonia and gave their name to Hungary. Around 1000 AD, the Kingdom of Hungary was one of the largest states in Europe, bigger than France. Later, it became of the two "eagle heads" of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the communist regime, its lake Balaton (the largest lake in Central Europe) was the only possibility for other CE inhabitants to get to the “sea” because of the closed borders.

The country is regarded more “Eastern” not just because of its location, but also with regards to its slow economic and social development. However, Hungary has a wealth of culture and history, complemented by a language so completely different from its neighbors that almost no shared words exist which makes (once again) this region unique and diverse. What’s more, it comes as a surprise to many that Hungarians aren’t Slavic as well. The origins of Hungarians, or Magyars as they call themselves, is a topic of heated debate and fantastical theories abound.

It was one of the first communist-era countries to oppose the Soviet regime during the Cold War, notably with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In 1989, Hungary was the first communist-bloc country to open its borders with Western Europe. As with most Central & Eastern European economies, Hungary experienced dramatic market liberalization in the early 1990s as part of a transition from communism. While being a part of the EU and Schengen system, the official currency in Hungary is Forint.

BUDAPEST – „TWO CITIES IN ONE“

Visiting Budapest, you'll experience two cities in one because the Danube divides the city into two different parts, the hilly Buda and the more cosmopolitan Pest.

The magnificent Parliament Building, the leafy and classical Andrassy Avenue, the old Castle District, the Fisherman's Bastion, the Margaret Island, St. Stephen's Basilica or the Heroes Square are all highlights of Budapest, the "Pearl of the Danube", where 2,000 - year - old Roman ruins and 400 - year - old Turkish monuments can be found.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND OUTLOOK

The country is the largest electronics producer in the CEE region, providing 26% of total regional production. According to Forbes 2016, Hungary has enjoyed one of the highest growth rates in the region, for both developed and developing countries in the period 2015-2016. Excellent infrastructure, ready-made industrial sites, offices and science parks combined with a good balance of labour costs and quality make it an ideal location for expanding firms to build a presence within Europe’s huge consumer market.

The automotive sector is one of Hungary’s core industries and generates almost 21% of total exports. Four large automotive original equipment manufacturers have production facilities in the country: Suzuki, Audi, Opel, and Daimler. Serial production of Mercedes-Benz cars began in March 2012 in Kecskemét.

Hungary's capital in 2018 hosts 96 fast-growing European companies. Take, for example, No. 203, Jófogás, a Facebook Marketplace-style site, where you can find jobs or maybe even buy a car.

With the most developed pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors in Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary provides an ideal base for life science companies planning further expansion in this region.

Hungarian gastronomy is famous, so no wonder that the Hungarian top brands come also from the food industry. Pick Szeged, the leader of the Hungarian meat market, offering excellent quality products is known and appreciated all over the globe. The PICK’s Original Winter salami is the company’s flagship commodity. This uniquely Hungarian product has been made according to the original secret recipe of Márk Pick for over 147 years.

It’s no secret that Hungarians have contributed greatly to modern science with a stunning number of inventions and breakthroughs, including the helicopter, the ballpoint pen, and the Rubik’s cube.

OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS

In Eastern and Central European countries, the Open Society Foundations has pushed for greater acceptance of refugees and migrants, putting it at odds with right-wing governments and far-right political parties.

In July 2017, the Hungarian government accused investor and philanthropist George Soros of attempting to "Muslimise" Europe. Earlier this year, president Orban, who was reelected in April 2018, led a campaign to shut down the Central European University (CEU), which was founded by Soros. Much of the antipathy stems from the policies advocated by the Open Society Foundations, a Soros-founded organization that campaigns for strengthening civil society, advancing human rights and combating corruption.

DID YOU KNOW, THAT?

There are approximately 500 places in the country where thermal water occurs which means that you can find water with temperature above 30°C in the 70% of Hungary.

HOT SPRINGS AND HOT PEPPER

HOT SPRINGS AND HOT PEPPER

Hungary has one of the most important thermal spring culture in Europe.

Since Roman times, thermal waters in Hungary have been used for their medicinal benefits. Over the ages, bath complexes were erected and today you can find a variety of styles, from traditional Turkish baths to modern establishments. “Taking the water” is said to help combat arthritis, ease blood circulation issues, benefit the joints and more. Budapest has earned the nickname City of Spas, while across Hungary thermal baths complexes can be found with unique qualities and medicinal benefits.

Hungarian cuisine has influenced the history of the Magyar people. The food is often spicy, due to the common use of hot paprika. Szeged and Kalocsa are the center of Hungarian paprika production, while Makó is famous for onions grown there.

The integral part of Hungarian gastronomy and history is the Tokaji wine well known for its nectar-like, botrytized Tokaji dessert wines. Tokaji was served at the French Royal court at Versailles. Delighted with the precious beverage, Louis XV of France offered a glass of Tokaji to Madame de Pompadour, referring to it as “Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum” (“Wine of Kings, King of Wines”).

Visiting lovely villages and other historic cities such as Kesckemet, Sopron, Eger, Szentendre, Gyor, Godolo, Holloko or Esztergom you can experience firsthand the racy and rich culture of Hungary.

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