Hungary Travel Guide
Geography and weather
Hungary is divided in two by the River Danube, its major waterway. Nearly half the country is low rolling plains while the other half is more hilly, with mountains in the northern reaches of the country.
Hungary is home to the largest thermal water cave system and the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (Hortobágy).
Our tours only operate from late spring to early autumn, when the weather is generally at its best. Temperatures will generally still be cool in May and again in October. The warmest (and busiest) months tend to be July/August. The further south you are the higher the average temperatures. Rainfall is at its lowest from June to August but it can rain at any time of year.
Citizens of the EU, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require visas to enter Hungary. These are valid for between 30 and 90 days and cannot be purchased at border crossings.
The monetary unit in Hungary is the forint (HUF).
The easiest way to obtain money in Hungary is to draw it out of an ATM (cash machine) on a credit or debit card (e.g. visa or cirrus). ATMs are widely available throughout Eastern Europe. Another option is to bring cash, in either US dollars or euros (pounds sterling and other currencies cannot always be easily changed) but we advise against bringing all your money in this form, in case of theft. In all of the cities that we visit there are many places to change money and your tour leader will be able to show you where to get the best rates of exchange.
If there is no service fee, a general rule of thumb is to add 10 to 15 percent of the bill for a tip.
Generally people find Hungary to be safe and feel confident wandering alone during the day. However if you are unfamiliar with an area it is recommended that you exercise more caution at night and taxi taxis rather than walk, especially if you are a lone female traveller. In some cities bag snatching can occur so always keep a firm hand/eye on your personal items.
Local food and drink
Some meals are included when camping (please see your tour dossier for a complete breakdown of meals included). Breakfasts can be basic so if you tend to get hungry it may be a good idea to buy some fruit or snacks to eat during the day. All other meals, extra snacks and drinks on the tour are at your own expense.
Ask your tour leader if he or she can recommend any restaurants in the area to suit your taste or budget or have fun exploring independently.
Food offered in much of Hungary is delicious, hearty, and often (but not always) meat orientated. You may well find yourself smoked or salted fish, pickled cabbage stew, beef stroganoff, goulash, meat stews, game meats, and many varieties of dumplings.
Like most of Eastern Europe, beer is always popular in Hungary. The country also has a good range of locally produced wines.
All drinks such as bottled water or soft drinks are at your own expense at all times and are fairly inexpensive. Alcoholic drinks vary in price, with wine and beer generally being the cheapest options.
The time difference in Hungary is GMT/UTC + 2.
220-240V. Sockets are of European two pronged round pin variety.