Interesting Facts for Kids
Hungary: Parliament in Budapest and Fisherman's Bastion
Our Hungary facts were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids and shall provide insights into the geography of this Central European country.
- Population: 9.7 million people live in Hungary (2020)
- Capital: Budapest with 1.7 million inhabitants
- Name: Magyarorszag
- Government: Parliamentary Republic
- Language: Hungarian
- Literacy: More than 99% can read and write.
- Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 37%)
- Currency: Forint
- National anthem: Himnusz (federal hymn)
- National symbols: red, white and green (national colours) Holy crown of Hungary (Saint Stephen's crown)
- National Day: 20 August (Saint Stephen's Day)
- History: Magyar tribes settled as early as in the 9th century AD in the region. The kingdom of Hungary was founded by Stephen I in the year 1000. Mongols and Ottomans invaded the country over the centuries. Hungary was part of the Habsburg Empire between early 18th century and Worldwar I. As the country claimed independence as a republic again after the war and with the Peace Treaty of Trianon in 1920 the country's borders were redesigned. After the end of Worldwar II, the country became communist. In 1956, the people of Hungary started a revolution against the stalinist regime. The Revolution ended with the Communist regime gaining control again - again supported and backed by the Soviet Union. On 23 October 1989 the Hungarian communist regime fell and the first democratic elections took place in 1990.
Hungary Facts | Geography of Hungary
Where is Hungary? Hungary is a landlocked country in Europe and is a member country of the EU.
Hungary is one of the few landlocked countries in central Europe - together with Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
Hungary shares borders with seven countries: Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and Austria (see them on the map - clockwise from the top/north).
Map of Hungary
The longest border is shared with Slovakia and is about 627 km/ 389 miles in length.
Hungary is a mostly flat country with plains, called Puszta, in the eastern and the southern parts and hills and mountains along the Slovakian border and in the western parts.
Hungary Physical Map
Hungary can be compared in size with the state of Indiana in the USA.
The country has predominantly a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.
Hungary Facts | Geo Superlatives
- Hungary's capital city is Budapest which is also the biggest city in Hungary with 1.7 million inhabitants. Budapest is located on both sides of the Danube River and has three parts, grown over the centuries from three cities: Buda, Pest and Óbuda.
- The Danube is Hungary's second longest river. The longest river in Hungary is the Tisza. It passes Hungary over a length of 966 km/ 600 miles on its way from Ukraine to Serbia. The Tisza flows through the Great Hungarian plains and Hungary's third largest city Szeged.
Szeged on the Tisza River
- The highest mountain in Hungary is the 'Kekes' with 1,014 m/ 3,326 ft.
- The largest lake in Hungary is Lake Balaton. The lake is popular with watersports enthusiasts and surfers.
- Hungary has many thermal springs. Lake Héviz near Lake Balaton is the largest thermal lake in the world. Thermal water is used extensively for spas and public baths in Hungary. There are about 1,500 thermal springs and over 400 public baths in the country. The Széchenyi Baths in Budapest are the largest spa bath complex in Europe.
Thermal bath in Budapest
Attractions and Landmarks
Budapest castle hill
- Budapest: The metropolitan city is located along the Danube. The Hungarian parliament is in the commercial lower part of the city called Pest. Here you find the main business district, the museums and Heroes Square as well as the famous Fashion Street district with all the shopping malls. On the other side of the Danube you will find Óbuda which includes a popular entertainment district with little shops, coffee shops and bars and ancient ruins of a Roman amphitheatre at Aquincum. The Buda section includes the castle, the cathedral and the scenic Fisherman's Bastion.
Budapest Fisherman's Bastion
- Hortobágy Puszta: This is one of the eight UNESCO world heritage sites of Hungary. The vast plains are covered by wetlands, pastures and grazing areas of sheep and cattle. The grazing season lasts from April to October after this the plains are deserted. Larks, owls, swallows and cranes are most commonly seen birds in the wetlands. Cranes are the emblem of the park and a visitor centre informs about the 15 different crane species.
Vast plains exist in eastern Hungary
- Debrecen: Hungary's second largest city is known for its university. This is Hungary's oldest universities and operating already as an institution for higher education since 1538.
Debrecen university building
- Esztergom: This city above the Danube river in western Hungary is home to the largest church in Hungary and seat of the Catholic church in Hungary. The Esztergom basilica is widely known for its huge altarpiece, that is the world's largest painting on a single canvas. The painting depicts the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Basilica of Esztergom
- Pécs: The small city in Southern Hungary is known for its main square, called Széchenyi Ter, which is unique in that its central building is a mosque that stems from Ottoman conquest in the 16th century. This mosque has been converted in a church in 1702 when the Habsburg-Hungarian troops reconquered the city. This mosque is one of the largest buildings and important Turkish architecture left in the country.
Main city square in Pécs
- Eger: This medieval city also houses the third largest church in Hungary - after the Basilica of Esztergom and the Matthias Church in Budapest. Eger castle dates back to the 13th century. Eger Basilica was built in the 1830s.
Hungary Facts | Hungarian People
About 70 % of the people in Hungary live in urban centres. The population is distributed quite evenly over the country.
The largest cities in Hungary are Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc and Pecs. Budapest is the only city with more than 1 million inhabitants, all other cities house less than 300,000 inhabitants.
Boldog Névnapot means Happy Name Day
In Hungary it is customary to celebrate the name day (névnapot) and the birthday of a person. Name days are based on religious traditions and historical figures and events.
For example, 29 June is the Day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, thus on this day people with the name of Péter or Pál will be celebrated. See the Hungarian name day calendar here. When is your name day?
Did you know that the magic cube (or Rubik's cube) and the (biro) pen were invented by Hungarians?
Hungary Facts | Hungarian Language
Hungarian is the official and most spoken first language in Hungary. There are several minority languages spoken including German, Serbian, Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian. Hungarian is an Uralic language, and not related to any European language except for a distant relationship to the other Uralic languages Finnish and Estonian.
Most of the word roots come originally from the Uralic (21%), Slavic (20%) and German languages (11%).
The Hungarian writing system was established during the reign Stephen I with Latin alphabet and left to right writing. Before 1000, Old Hungarian runes were used and the writing was from right to left!
Here are some Hungarian words for you:
- igen means yes
- nem! means no!
- Mennyi? means How much?
- Köszönöm! means Thank You!
- Szeretlek! means I love you!
- The typical greeting in Hungary is "Szia" which means "Hello".
Hungary Facts | Hungary Economy
Hungary is one of the most developed countries of the former eastern communist countries. The country has a highly developed car manufacturing industry with Daimler, Audi, Open and Suzuki having production facitilites in the country. The electronics and pharmaceutics sectors also employ large numbers of people.
Hungary is also famous for the precious ceramics from Zsolnay and Herendt manufactures, paprika spice and handcrafted tablecloths and of course, paprika spice. Hungary even has two museums devoted to the spice - one in Szeged and the other one in Molnar.
Wheat, corn, sugar beets, sunflower seeds and potatoes are among the main agricultural products of Hungary.
Sunflower field in Hungary
The main trading partner of Hungary is Germany with over 26% for both import and exports. Austria (for imports and exports) and Romania (for exports) also are on top of the list.
Hungary is part of the European Union since 2004, however, it has not joined the monetary union yet and still uses the Forint as currency.
Hungary Facts | Hungarian Food
The Hungarian main dishes contain meats, mainly pork, chicken or beef as well as root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions and beets as well as a variety of beans. Dairy products also feature widely in the Hungarian cuisine.
Gulyás is considered by many the national dish of Hungary.
Popular Hungarian food specialties include:
- Gulyás: This meat and vegetable soup in a spicy tomato and paprika sauce is referred to as goulash and one of the most well known Hungarian dishes.
Traditional Gulyás (Goulash) soup
- Pörkölt: meat stew with vegetables eaten with potatoes or dumplings
- Palacsinta: thin pancakes, similar to French crêpes, filled with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings
- Lángos: fried yeast cakes served with sweet (chocolate or sugar or fruits) or savoury toppings -such as on the photo served with garlic and cheese
- Dobos cake: multi-layer sponge cake with chocolate buttercream filling and caramel topping.
Hungary Facts | Hungary Animals
Hungary has a varied wildlife. Lynx, wolves and bears are endemic species to Hungary. There are over 400 species of birds and some of the best areas for birdspotting are in the Hortobágy National Park.
In Hungary you will see grey longhorn cattle, that are endemic to the Puszta. Sheep, donkeys, goats and horses can also be seen there. Performances of the Herdsmen that show traditional sheep herding activities can be experienced in the Hortobágy Puszta as well.
Resources for Hungary Facts
Resources for our Hungary Facts page were:
- Central Intelligence Agency. "Hungary." WorldFactBook. Last update 10 June 2020. Last accessed 3 July 2020
- Budapest Official Tourism Portal. "The History of the City." BudapestInfo. Last accessed 3 July 2020
- EUGO Hungary. "Main industries." EUGO. Last accessed 3 July 2020
- Zoe Johnson. "25 fascinating things you probably didn't know about Hungary." The Telegraph. 23 October 2017. Last accessed 3 July 2020
- Hortobágy National Park Directorate. "National Park Visitor Centre." Hortobágy NP. Last accessed 3 July 2020
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