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    Travel Guide Hungary - Inspiration for Your Travels

    Situated at the crossroads of Europe, right in the heart of the continent, Hungary is a place with a very rich history, evidence of which can be seen in the many old castles and charming medieval towns and villages dotted across the country. Boasting a rich diversity of landscapes, wherever you go in Hungary you'll never be far away from spectacular mountains and pristine lakes interspersed among beautiful river scenes (the Danube runs right through the country) and verdant valleys. And all these breathtaking backdrops provide endless opportunities for an exhilarating road-trip.

    Landlocked by no less than seven countries - namely Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine - its high points for travellers include the Great Plain, Lake Balaton and the low mountain ranges of the north. Hungary also has eight magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore, comprising Budapest's Old Town, the ancient village of Hollókő, the caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst, Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hortobágy National Park, the early Christian Necropolis of Pécs, Fertö/Neusiedlersee and the Tokaj wine region.

    Budapest, the capital, is the starter point for many people's Hungarian travel adventures, and the city has much to see and admire such as its centuries-old castle and awe-inspiring Parliament building flanked on either side of the River Danube. The long list of exhilarating road-trip itineraries includes a visit to the world-famous Danube Bend to admire the views and a leisurely drive through Hortobágy National Park which covers more than 800 square-kilometres. The vineyards of Tokaj are another major highlight for visitors exploring the country with a cheap car rental in Hungary.

    Established nearly seventy years ago in 1954, Auto Europe has grown into one of the world's leading car rental companies offering the best deals in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe. With over 24,000 pick-up and drop-off points available in more than 180 popular destinations, we have built our success on strong working relationships with all the top vehicle suppliers, including National, Sixt, Dollar, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Hertz and Alamo. Please give our rental specialists a call on +44 123 3225 114 and they will be more than happy to help you select the right car for your trip to Hungary.

    With our Travel Guide Hungary you'll find all the information you need regarding the many different options available when visiting this magnificent country, such as being able to pick up your car in one destination and dropping it off in another.

    Look over the Hungary travel guide topics listed below and take a look at each page for information on a specific aspect of travelling in Hungary.

    Road Trips Attractions Travel FAQs


    Road trips with my car hire in Hungary

    From the peaceful roads of the Great Plain to the long straight motorways connecting Budapest with Lake Balaton, Hungary offers many interesting road trips at any time of the year, with an abundance of exciting sightseeing opportunities en route. A classic motoring holiday around Hungary is one of the best ways to experience this amazing country's wide-open spaces and truly magnificent scenery, especially in the northern and eastern regions where many of the most famous vineyards are located. Book your car at one of Auto Europe's many pick-up points before choosing from a wide range of itineraries, most often starting and finishing in Budapest, Hungary's magnificent capital and without doubt one of the most picturesque cities in Europe.

    Hungary Road Trip

    One of the most pleasant drives in the Budapest area is the stretch between Esztergom and Szentendre known as the Danube Bend, where the beautiful River Danube turns south before flowing through the capital. There you'll find the historic town of Vác located on the left bank of the bend just 34 kilometres north of the city (about a half-hour drive). The road from Budapest also crosses a twin-arched bridge with some fine statues built in the 18th century across the Gombás River.

    One of the lesser-known but incredibly spectacular tourist locations in Hungary is the Aggtelek National Park which covers an area of around 200 square-kilometres, much of it protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Situated next to the Slovak-Hungarian border approximately two and a half hours from Budapest by car, it is home to the famous 25-kilometre-long Baradla Cave, one of the largest and most impressive stalactite caves in Europe. With its main tunnel stretching 7 kilometres, the cave has many stalactites hanging from the roof and hundreds of multi-coloured stalagmites rising up from the floor.

    A picture-postcard land of rivers, lakes, wheat fields and grassland marked by vast swathes of farmland, Hungary's Great Plain region is a must for road-trippers with time on their hands to appreciate the full glory of the great outdoors. Key attractions here include the charming towns of Kecskemét, a place known for its impressive Art Nouveau architecture, and Lajosmizse, home to a zoo, fascinating museum and the only existing remains of a puszta church.


    What to do in Hungary

    Lake Balaton - HungaryBrimming with unique attractions, exciting activities, absorbing museums and endless landscapes (most notably the Great Plain), Hungary is a multi-faceted tourist destination that effortlessly blends western modernism with plenty of eastern mystique. The country has many iconic sights, such as the Parliament building beside the Danube in the heart of Budapest and the old castle quarter high on a hill on the other side of the river. But many visitors (particularly from overseas) are drawn to the Tokaj wine region to enjoy the unparalleled scenery and famous wines, particularly in and around the ancient town of Eger.

    • Budapest: Straddling the 'blue' Danube, the Hungarian capital is essentially two cities packed into one. Arguably the most beautiful place in central/eastern Europe, its main features include authentic Turkish baths, striking Art Nouveaux architecture and enchanting river islands right in the centre of town. First-time visitors normally flock to Castle Hill to wander around the medieval fortress perched high on the west bank of the River Danube. Inside you'll find the Hungarian National Gallery and the Castle Museum, while the view across the river to the city's imposing Parliament building is a real treat.

    • Eger: Flanked by two of Hungary's most striking mountain ranges, Eger lies at the centre of a region noted for its beauty and unspoilt nature. It is alo worth visiting for its colourful houses, old churches and full-bodied red wines. Blessed with an abundance of beautifully-preserved baroque architecture, Eger surprises visitors with its relaxed, almost Mediterranean atmosphere. Don't miss the wine cellars selling the city's famous Bull's Blood wine.

    • Lake Balaton: Besides being Hungary's top summer holiday destination, this vast lake in the heart of the country is the largest outside Scandinavia. Catering for locals and tourists alike, the mountainous terrain on the northern shore is a major wine region, while the flat southern shoreline is dotted with towns and lively beach resorts (particularly during the peak months of July and August) where young children can swim in warm, shallow, family-friendly waters.

    • Hortobágy National Park: Located in the Great Plain, Hortobágy National Park (known locally as Puszta) is the country's largest expanse of protected countryside. Home to numerous species of rare birds, its main attractions include a wild animal park, rodeo shows and a stud farm. In 1999 UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site on account of its traditional forms of land use, such as the grazing of domestic animals, which have been practiced in this pastoral society for more than two millennia.

    A bit of history

    Hungarian people from the Urals arrived in the Carpathian Basin in 895-896 before conquering the territory and settling there. 100 years later the country's first king, Stephen I, founded the Hungarian state and integrated the country into the European Christian nations. One of the most glorious eras was the time of the Hunyadis in which Matthias Corvinus the Righteous reigned as the greatest Hungarian king ever, leading Hungary to become one of the most important Central European countries. Hungary suffered enormous damage and loss during World War II, including a death toll of around one million souls. The Soviets drove the Germans out of the country in 1945 and stayed in Hungary for the next four and a half decades, incorporating Hungary into the Soviet bloc until the revolution of 1956 when the country began the process of freeing itself from Soviet rule. After joining NATO in 1999, it became a member of the European Union in 2004 and held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in the first half of 2011.


    Frequently Asked Questions about travelling in Hungary

    Contact the Auto Europe Rental SpecialistsNow that we’ve given you some inspiration and ideas for a fascinating road-trip in Hungary, you might still have a couple of questions about travelling around this incredible country. In the section below, you will find a selection of our most frequently asked questions regarding car rental in Hungary, as well as a few phrases that might prove useful during your travels. You'll find plenty of advice on which vehicles will be best suited to your forthcoming journey, whether or not you will require a visa and what power supply is most common in Hungary, plus a whole lot more. Should you require personal assistance from one of our staff, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling +44 123 3225 114 or by sending us an e-mail to reservations@autoeurope.co.uk. You'll also find plenty of advice and other car hire-related information in our popular travel tips section where we cover a wide variety of topics ranging from full protection to all the rules and regulations regarding minimum and maximum age requirements and any driving restrictions that might apply in Hungary, etc.


    What type of car hire is best for your trip to Hungary?

    Auto Europe has all sorts of options available to travellers looking to make the best choice for a low-cost car rental in Hungary. For a few days’ sightseeing in and around Budapest, we suggest one of our Mini-, Economy- or Midsize-category vehicles which are smaller, easier to park and use less petrol. Our wide selection of Large-category cars provides plenty of scope for people planning a road-trip to Lake Balaton south-west of the capital, or to the country's enchanting wine regions to the north-east. And there's nothing better than a sumptuous SUV for visiting the Great Plain, one of the most scenic parts of the country. To find the vehicle most suitable for your trip, please take a look at our detailed car hire category section where you'll get advice on all the features and benefits of each respective category.

     

    What is the currency in Hungary?

    The currency in Hungary is the Forint (HUF). You will find ATM machines in the main cities.

     

    What time zone is Hungary in?

    Hungary is in the Central European Time Zone, putting it one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1) and two hours ahead of GMT during British Summer Time (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October), so remember to set your clock when driving around with your car hire in Hungary.

     

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in Hungary?

    The electricity in Hungary runs at 220 V. The Continental two-round-pin plug is standard.

     

    Do I need a visa to travel to Hungary?

    British passport holders do not need a visa to visit countries in the Schengen Area short-term after Brexit. The UK has now joined a group of visa-exempt third countries which means that, although the UK is now a third-nation, its citizens are not subject to visa requirements.

    Should you require assistance from the consulate during your travels, please be informed of the location for the British Embassy in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, which operates an emergency 24-hour telephone number (+361 266 2888).

    British Embassy Budapest
    Füge utca 5-7
    1022, Hungary
    Telephone: +36 (1) 266 2888

     

    Which are the most common phrases in Hungarian?

    It is said that the Hungarian language (Magyar) is one of the most challenging languages to learn. Fortunately for British travellers, English is spoken regularly in Hungary, especially among younger people. Below you will find some Hungarian words and phrases that can come in handy when travelling outside of urban areas.

    Good morning - Jó reggelt
    Good afternoon - Jó napot
    Good evening - Jó estét
    Good night - Jó éjszakát
    Goodbye - Viszontlátásra
    Please - Kérem
    Thanks - Köszönöm
    You're welcome - Szívesen
    Excuse me - Elnézést
    Sorry - Bocsánat
    Yes - Igen
    No - Nem
    Entrance - Bejárat
    Exit - Kijárat
    Good - Jó
    Bad - Rossz
    Drinking water - Ivóvíz
    Toilet/Washroom - WC/Mosdó
    How much does it cost? - Mennyibe kerül?
    Do you take credit cards? - Hitelkártyát elfogadnak?
    Where is the toilet/washroom? - Hol van a WC/mosdó?
    I don't speak Hungarian - Nem beszélek magyarul


    Useful Links

    Official Tourism Website of Hungary

    Gov.uk Hungary Travel Advice