Shopping and stores
From Hungary it is possible (and even necessary) to bring Tokay wine, “Unicum” – a bitter tonic tincture with herbs, crystal products, embroidery, glazed dishes. Traditional souvenirs are handicrafts, ceramics, dolls in national clothes, hand-painted porcelain from the Herend factory and Zsolnai, halash lace, antiques, Hungarian paprika, goose liver, Pick salami, sweet marzipan figurines, apricot and cherry palinka. In addition, here you can buy various high-quality and inexpensive clothes.
Markets remain a favorite place for shopping for both tourists and locals. The most famous among them is located in Budapest – this is the famous old Central Market.
Grocery stores are usually open from 7:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday, closing around 13:00 on Saturday. Large stores usually work longer, and some of them even around the clock.
Cuisine and restaurants in Hungary
Dishes of Hungarian cuisine are distinguished by a special spicy, rich taste and an abundance of spices. The main and most famous local spice is paprika. The culinary “calling card” of the country is goulash soup. It is also worth noting that Hungary is the only EU country besides France where it is allowed to produce goose liver using the foie gras technology: this delicacy is also considered traditional here. They also make fragrant pâtés and excellent main courses from goose liver. You should definitely try the Hungarian fish soup “halasle” and trout, which is grown in the lakes of the mountainous part of the Hungary. See other countries beginning with H.
Desserts among Hungarians are no less tasty and satisfying: try the local “retesh roll”, “gundel” pancakes, strudel, chestnut mass with cream and biscuit-chocolate dumplings in shomloi style. Confectioneries in Hungary are called tsukrazdy, and traditional cuisine in an authentic atmosphere can be tasted in the so-called csarda.
In restaurants, it is not customary to leave tips on the table: they are transferred when paying the bill directly to the waiter.
Prices in cafes and restaurants of shopping centers are slightly higher than in similar establishments around the city. A snack in the food court will cost from 500 HUF, while a full meal in an inexpensive cafe costs from 1300 HUF per person. The average bill for a dinner with wine for two is 7400-7500 HUF. The most pretentious restaurants with famous chefs offer prices from 14,000 HUF per meal, quite affordable by European standards.
As for drinks, the wines of the Eger and Tokaj valleys are preferred here. It is worth trying the varieties “Badachoni Riesling”, “Surkebarat”, “Keknyelyu”, “Ottonell Mushkotay”, “Abashari Riesling”, “Medina”, “Zweigelt” and “Cabarnet-Frank”.
Hungarian wines are predominantly sweet, with very few dry ones.
Separately, we will tell about the famous Tokay – “the king of wines and the wine of kings”, in the words of the famous wine-lover Louis XIV. This is a sweet dessert wine made from grapes deliberately “infected” with one of the varieties of the noble mold fungus. Another well-known local wine is Egri Bikaver, “Bull’s Blood”, so named because of its characteristic dark red color. From strong alcohol, it is worth paying attention to the palinka fruit vodka (50 ° and above), which is characteristic only for Hungary, and the unique herbal tincture.
Entertainment and attractions
Budapest is deservedly considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The panorama of its central part overlooking the Danube is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List of the planet. The picturesque Margaret Island, a nature reserve with an arboretum park, is located in the middle of the Danube in the very center of the capital between the Margaret and Arpad bridges.
Popular excursions are held in the castles of Hungary – there are more than 3,500 of them. Among the most interesting are Brunsvik Castle (also the Beethoven Center) with a beautiful English park, the impressive Grasszalkovich Castle (17,000 sq. M plus 29 hectares of gardens!), Festeich Castle on the banks of Balaton, Pechvard Abbey Hotel and Siklosh Fortress.
Museums are usually open from 10:00 to 18:00, the day off is Monday.
More information about interesting places in the country is described on the page ”
Landmarks of Hungary.
Holidays and events
Holidays in Hungary are an occasion to have fun and remember many interesting traditions. For example, Christmas here, as in all of Europe, is a warm and family event, but with its own peculiarities: Christmas trees are decorated with salontsukor sweets, on Christmas Eve they don’t eat anything until evening, they dine with meatless dishes, but in the morning they indulge with might and main yourself as meat. The New Year is celebrated loudly and tasty: horns and pipes are deafened on the streets, traditional sausages are sold in tents, and a roasted pig is served at the home table.
Spectacular festivities are held in the summer. In May-June, the Trinity is celebrated with festivities, fairs and the election of the “king”. In July, Eger hosts the Ox Blood Wine Festival: local winemakers exhibit their best products, and visitors with hanging glasses around their necks enjoy tasting the famous drink, participating in games and competitions and enjoying daring folk music. And the main public holiday – St. Stephen’s Day in honor of the first Hungarian king: parades with orchestras and fireworks over the Danube deserve to become another bright page in the collection of tourist experiences.