Hungary is a landlocked country in central Europe. The foundation of Hungary was laid in the late 9th century by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád in the Honfoglalás (“homeland-conquest”). Hungary is a popular tourist destination, attracting 10.675 million tourists a year (2013).
39 interesting and fascinating facts about Hungary:
its people, history, economy, contributions to science and arts and more…
1. Hungary was formerly a part of the Roman Empire, after the fall of which, ‘the Huns’ – people of the country at that time – gave the country their name – Hungary.
2. It is one of the oldest countries in Europe. Comparatively, the area occupied by Hungary is slightly smaller than the state of Indiana. Hungary is also one of 50 nations that lead the world in industrial carbon dioxide emissions.
3. Hungarian is the direct descendant of the language spoken by the Huns. It is not an Indo-European language. In addition to their native language, many Hungarians speak English, German, French or (since World War II) Russian.
4. Communist rule became prominent in the country after the Second World War. By the late 1980s, the country owed $18 billion, the highest per-capita indebtedness in Europe.
5. Hungary joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.
6. There are more than 1500 spas in the country with Roman, Greek and Turkish architecture.
7. Hungary is known for its Nobel Prize winners. There are a total of 13 such winners. They have won Nobel Prizes in every category except ‘Peace.’ All of the Nobel Prize winners, however, emigrated from the country.
8. Almost 5% of its GDP is spent on education, the result of which is their 99% literacy rate. Hungary has about 77 institutions of higher education, including 10 universities and nine technical schools. There were 91 males for every 100 females in the country in 2014.
9. Hungarians have won gold medals in the Olympics every time they have competed. According to population size, Hungarians are just behind Finland in the tally of most gold medals won. The Budapest Grand Prix, the only Formula-One motor race in Eastern Europe, was inaugurated in August 1986.
10. It is among the thirty most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Facts about Hungarian history
11. They have had a university since 1367, which is their oldest university – the University of Pecs.
12. They host the largest cultural and musical festival in Europe – the Sziget Festival. The Budapest Spring Festival is another such festival, attracting musicians and artists from all over the world. The cost of staying in Hungary was between $93 and $204 per day in 2003.
13. Hungarians write their last name first and first name last. Confused? They introduce themselves in this formal way. However, people call each other by their first name, but in public introduction, they use the last name first.
14. There are 22 distinct wine regions and eight grape varieties in Hungary, which is why it can also be called a wine country.
15. Budapest, the Hungarian capital, has the highest number of thermal springs in the world. 70 million liters of thermal water rise to the earth’s surface daily. These hot springs are good for health, and have been used as medicinal baths since the times of the Romans. Budapest is located in the north central part of the country.
16. The Hungarian parliament in Budapest is the world’s third largest parliamentary building and is the tallest building in the capital city, as well. It is also counted among the oldest legislative buildings in Europe.
17. You cannot name your child in Hungary unless it is approved by the government. They have an extensive list of names, and if the name of your choice is missing from the list, fill the form for approval with the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
18. Hungary became a democratic republic in October, 1989.
19. The 20th of August is the day of foundation of the Hungarian State, which is a holiday in Hungary.
20. Kékes, at 1,014 m (3327 ft) in the Mátra Mountains is the highest point; and the lowest point is the Tisza River, at 78 m (256 ft) above sea level. The largest lake is Balaton, which has an area of 601 sq km.
Facts about Hungarian people and their inventions!
21. Hungarians have also contributed significantly to mathematics.
22. Did you know – the BASIS programming language, the Telephone Exchange and the electric motor were also invented in Hungary?
23. Their water polo team is the best in the history of the sport. The proof is their 15 Olympics medals.
24. And they play football very well, too! Legend Ferenc Puskás is among the top footballers of all time.
25. Hungary is at the third spot behind Greece and Bulgaria in terms of the total number of smokers in a country.
26. The world’s highest denomination notes ever were issued in Hungary with a face value of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 pengo (one quintillion pengo).
27. 27% VAT is collected in Hungary, which is highest in the world.
28. The highest female suicide and highest death rate by cancer also exists in Hungary.
29. Hungary also has one of the oldest metro railways in the world, dating back to 1896.
30. Germany is the biggest export partner of Hungary.
31. Hungary’s Franz Liszt was considered to be the greatest pianist of all time. He was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and conductor. Hungary renamed their Budapest International Airport in his honor for the anniversary of his 200th birthday, in 2011. It is the most important center for domestic and international flights.
32. Hungarians are reputed to be the only people who can enter a revolving door behind you and emerge ahead.
33. Hungarians are very fond of red pepper powder.
34. The next time you are in the country with a bunch of friends and drink beer outdoors, do not clink those beer glasses. Hungarians vowed not to clink glasses after their generals were executed by Austrians, who later celebrated by drinking beers and clinking their mugs.
35. Johnny Weissmuller, who is known for playing Tarzan in the films of 1930s and 1940s, was born in Hungary.
36. The world-famous escape artist Harry Houdini was also born in Budapest, Hungary.
37. Albert Szent-Györgyi, the discoverer of Vitamin-C, was also born in Hungary.
38. Béla Lugosi, the original Dracula, was also a Hungarian.
39. Hungarians are brainy people. They have invented some of the most popular and useful things ever. The helicopter, the ball point pen and the Rubik’s cube are all Hungarian inventions.
Fast facts about Hungary
|Total area||93,028 sq km|
|Population||9,897,541 (July 2015 est.)|
|Borders||Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croasia, Slovenia, Austria, Ukrain|
|Life expectancy||75.69 Years (2012)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Climate||temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers|
|Terrain||mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border|
|Birth rate||9.16 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
|Death rate||12.73 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
|Sex ratio||0.91 male(s)/female (2015 est.)|
|Government type||parliamentary republic
|National anthem||"Himnusz" (Hymn)|
|National symbols||Holy Crown of Hungary (Crown of Saint Stephen); national colors: red, white, green|
|Industries||mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals), motor vehicles|
|Exports||$97.57 billion (2015 est.)
machinery and equipment 53.5%, other manufactures 31.2%, food products 8.7%, raw materials 3.4%, fuels and electricity 3.9% (2012 est.)
|Imports||$92.92 billion (2015 est.)
machinery and equipment 45.4%, other manufactures 34.3%, fuels and electricity 12.6%, food products 5.3%, raw materials 2.5% (2012)
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$26,200 (2015 est.)
|Internet country code||.hu|
|Time Zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|Internet users||7.209 million
percent of population: 72.8% (July 2015 est.)
|Drives on the||Right|