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Hungarian

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Basic information about Hungary


Official name: Hungary

Time zone: CET (GMT+1)

Area: 93,030 km(divided into 19 counties)

Major rivers: River Danube (417km) River Tisza (597km)

Population: 9,830,485

Largest lake: Lake Balaton (598 km2)

Official language: Hungarian

Highest point above sea level: Kékes (1014 m) in the Mátra Hills

Form of state: Republic

Member of: OECD, NATO, EU, Schengen Convention

Capital city: Budapest (population 1,700,000)

National Parks: 10

Currency: Forint (HUF)

World Heritage Sites: 8

Climate and Weather

Hungary is located in Central Europe and it is protected from extreme weather conditions by the surrounding mountain ranges, the Alps and the Carpathians. Hungary has a relatively dry continental climate. The yearly precipitation is 495 mm on average. The most rainy months are May and June with almost double precipitation than in January, February, and March. Average temperatures range from -1°C in January to 21°C in July. The number of sunny hours is around 2025 a year but can show great fluctuation each year.

Language

The official language of the country is Hungarian (magyar), which forms part of the Finno-Ugric language family. Like Finnish and Estonian, it belongs to the Uralic language family, with its closest relatives being Mansi and Khanty. It is one of the few languages of Europe that are not part of the Indo-European family so it is not easy to be familiar with at the first time.Hungarian is spoken by 10 million people in Hungary but there are significant number of Hungarian speakers in Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Israel, the U.S., and Australia.

’Hungaricums’

Special Hungarian things: Hungarian Paprika, Makó Onion, Wintersalami, Pálinka, Tokaji Aszú (wine), Porcelain of Herend, Folk Art of the Matyó, Busó Festival, Táncház Method.

Electricity

Electricity is the standard European 220 volts in Hungary. We have a plug with two round prongs and recessed sockets in general.

Religion

Hungary is a historically Christian country but everyone is free to practise their own religion.

The cost of living

It depends partly on your own spending habits how much money you will need during your stay in Hungary. In general, living expenses are reasonable in Hungary especially in comparison with Western European countries. BanksBanks are usually open Mon. to Fri. 9.00-16.00. You can exchange money at any banks, travel agents and larger post offices. They may offer different deals concerning the rate of exchange and the fees charged, so you are advised to look around in the city before exchanging foreign currency. EuroCard, Master- Card and Visa Electron are the most popular bank/credit cards in Hungary, and you can easily find ATM machines in Kecskemét to withdraw money from your home account. 

Public transport

Bus tickets can be purchased at any tobacconist’s or newsstand. Season tickets are also available and highly reccomended. 

Shops

Most shops are open Mon. to Fri., 9.00- 18.00, and Sat., 9.00-13.00. Large shopping centres have extended hours of operation or are open non-stop.In bigger shops you can pay with your bank card.Market: The biggest market in Kecskemét is in Budai utca by the Teacher Training Faculty where you can purchase local produce every day of the week.

Traditional Hungarian cuisine

Traditional Hungarian food is often spicy since hot paprika, which gives a unique taste and a fiery colour to our dishes, is commonly used. Other essential ingredients accounting for a special flavour are sweet paprika, ground black and white pepper, onion, garlic, sour cream, cottage cheese (sometimes sweetened), smoked bacon and a variety of herbs. Though most authentic Hungarian dishes require lard, nowadays most restaurants and housewives use vegetable oil instead of pork fat.Some must-try Hungarian specialties are halászlé (fisherman’s soup), ’Jókai’ bableves (Jókai bean soup), Újházi tyúkhúsleves (’Újházi’ chicken broth), pörkölt (a ragout made from pork, beef, mutton or chicken with onions and paprika powder), paprikás (made in the same way as pörkölt but sour cream is mixed in the paprika and onion sauce), nokedli (small dumplings), goulash (a soup of thick consistency eaten asa main dish), túrógomboc (cottage cheese dumplings), szilvásgombóc (plum dumplings), palacsinta (pancake either with sweet filling e.g. sugared cottage cheese, jam, sugared cocoa or cinnamon powder or stuffed with meat ’Hortobágyi’ pancake), rétes (strudel with various fillings e.g. cottage cheese, apple, poppy-seed and sour cherry) and Somlói galuska (sponge  dumplings with chocolate sauce, rum and whipped cream) etc.Sports facilities in KecskemétSwimming Pools Kecskeméti fürdő(Csabay Géza krt. 5.) Református Gimnázium tanuszoda (Csányi János körút 8.)Ice-skating Skating Rink (Műjégpálya), Szent László krt. 64.Different squash clubs and fitness centers in the city.