25 Interesting Facts About Hungary

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Last updated: July 2, 2018

Are you looking for interesting facts about Hungary? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s a list of 25 Hungary facts that you probably didn’t know, and further down in the article you can also read some more general facts about Hungary such as total population, capital, biggest lake, biggest mountain etc. 

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you. How many of these facts about Hungary do you already know? Share your results in the comment section at the end of the article!

1. They’ve won more than 465 Olympic medals

Did you know that Hungary has won the second most gold medals in the Olympic summer games of all countries per capita? They’ve won gold medals in every Olympics they’ve competed in.

And what makes it an even more interesting is the fact that Hungary was banned from the Olympic games 1920 and joined the Soviet-led boycott of the summer Olympics 1984.

READ MORE:  Top Things To Do In Budapest

2. It is considered rude to clink your beer glasses

According to the legend, when the 1848 Hungarian revolution against the Habsburgs was defeated, 13 Hungarian generals were executed, with the Austrians clinking their beer glasses after each execution.

After this, Hungarians vowed to not cheer with the beer for 150 years. That time has passed, but it’s still a custom.

hungary facts - dont clink beer glasses

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3. The Hungarian language is truly unique

The Hungarian language is said to be the hardest language to learn, and that might be true, especially in Europe as there is no other language that is like it. The main reason for this is because the language originates from the steppe of Central Asia and the ancestors of the Magyar tribes who founded Hungary.

One of the many fascinating facts about Hungary!

4. The first foreign fast food restaurant was Mcdonald’s

Back in 1988, shortly before the fall of communism in 1989, Mcdonald’s became the first foreign fast-food restaurant that established themselves in the country. However, it wasn’t the first fast-food restaurant in the country because there was also a local fast-food chain called city grill and another one called the paprika.

5. It is one of the oldest countries in Europe

Hungary was founded back in 895, which means it’s older than countries like France and Germany.

6. There are cowboys (csikos) in Hungary

Hungarians rode into Europe on horseback, and still today, you can see the cowboys in the plains of Puszta.

Definitely one of the more unique facts about Hungary!

hungarian cowboys

Photo: miquelito / Shutterstock.com

7. Budapest has the highest number of thermal springs in the world

There are more than 1500 spas in Hungary, but the capital takes the prize when it comes to the number of thermal springs. No wonder that people have come here to enjoy the healing waters for thousands of years!

Each day, 70 million liters of thermal water rise to the surface of Budapest.

8. You can’t name your child unless it’s approved by the government

There is a list of pre-approved names that you can name your child, but if you want to name your child with a name that’s not on the list, you’ll have to submit an application.

READ MORE:  55 Reasons why everyone should visit Hungary at least once

9. The Hungarian alphabet has 44 letters

As mentioned, the Hungarian language is truly unique and nothing like the other European languages. Did you know that there are 44 letters in the Hungarian alphabet?

10. 27% VAT is collected in Hungary

This is the highest amount of VAT collected in the world.

11. The first communist-bloc country to open its borders with Western Europe

Hungary opposed the Soviet regime during the cold war, for example, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. However, it remained a communist country until 1989 when it finally re-opened its border with Western Europe.

12. There are many Hungarian inventions

You’ve probably heard about the Rubik’s cube, but did you know that it’s a Hungarian invention? Other notable inventions from Hungary include The ballpoint pen, holography, thermographic camera, digital computing and the first functional helicopter.

rubiks cube - facts about hungary

13. Balaton Lake is the largest lake in Central Europe

Hungary might be a land-locked country without an ocean, but it’s home to the largest lake in Central Europe, and during summertime, you can come here for a beach holiday.

14. Home to the world’s first official wine region

France, Spain, and Italy might be more famous for their wines in general, but in Tokaj, there is something special. Tokaji Aszu is also known as the King of wines. And it is here you can visit the world’s first official wine region.

Louis XIV of France said the following about Tokaji Aszu- “Wine of Kings, the King of Wine”

15. The national dish of Hungary is gulyás

You’ve probably tried goulash already in your home country. It’s a world-famous Hungarian dish, but I can assure you that you haven’t tasted the real deal unless you’ve been to Hungary.

hungarian goulasch

Bonus Fact

There is a Hungarian equivalent of the boogeyman known as “Rézfaszú bagoly”, a giant owl with a copper penis

READ MORE:  Top Things To Do In Budapest

10 x Quick facts about Hungary

  1. The highest point in is Kékes at 1,014 meters in the Mátra Mountains
  2. It’s common practice to write the last name first and the first name last
  3. They have won gold medals in every Olympics they’ve competed in
  4. The country has more than 1500 spas
  5. There is a total of 13 Hungarian Nobel Prize Winners
  6. Paprika is very important
  7. Water polo is a national sport
  8. Hungary is the birthplace of famous composers like Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály, and Franz Liszt
  9. Literacy of the total population is 99%
  10. The national liquor Palinka is said to cure all ails

General facts about Hungary

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Hungary that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population:  9,690,988.
  • Highest Mountain: Kékes at 1014 meters above sea level.
  • Land area: 93,028 km2
  • Borders: Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Ukraine
  • Biggest Lake: Balaton – 592 km
  • National Day: 20 August.
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
  • Primary minister: Viktor Orbán.
  • Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF)
  • Official language: Hungarian.
  • Official Website: Kormany.hu
  • Member of EU: Since 2004.
  • Member of Nato: Yes.
  • National song: “Himnusz” (Hymn)
  • Time zone: CET (UTC +1), summertime, CEST (UTC +2)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +36
  • Country Code: HU
  • Capital: Budapest

THE BIGGEST CITIES IN Hungary

  • Budapest
  • Debrecen
  • Szeged
  • Miskolc
  • Pécs
  • Györ
  • Nyíregyháza
  • Kecskemét

More Articles About Hungary

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How many of these Hungary facts did you already know? And do you know some other interesting facts about Hungary? Leave a comment below and share your results and tips!

June 7th, 2018|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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10 Comments

  1. Shiro095 06/08/2018 at 9:56 am - Reply

    One correction – csikós is more like horseboys, as they were in charge of the horse herds. Doesn’t make them look any less cool!

  2. Anna 06/08/2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

    There is another very important and rarely known fact about Hungary. After the second World War almost the two third of the country has been taken as a punishment. The decision was made in Trianon and since than it really hurts the hungarians national feelings. (And that decision is why we don’t have a coast anymore)

    • Attila 08/27/2018 at 5:16 am - Reply

      It was after the first world war in 1920 when the Trianon agrement took pkace.

  3. Erica 06/08/2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    Dear Anna, the Trianon decision was signed after the FIRST WW, at 1920. Your comment is a shame for all of hungarians.

  4. Zsolt 06/08/2018 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Anna, Trianon was after the WWI in 1920. Just saying.
    One more thing, clinking with beer is not considered as rude anymore. At least not so often as it was 20 years ago :)

  5. Michelle 06/09/2018 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Interesting fact no. 26: Can’t get over Trianon even after (almost) 100 years.

    • Esther 06/16/2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      It is hard to get over it for those hungarians who lives in the neighboring countries.

  6. Barnaky Miklós 06/17/2018 at 10:29 am - Reply

    “It’s common practice to write the last name first and the first name last”: it’s not only a practice, that is the official way. We call them vezetéknév (surname or last name) and keresztnév (given name or first name), so this order sounds funny only when you translate them. And when you think of it, this method actually does make sense: begin with the larger group (define the family), followed by the more specific one (identify the person). I’m quite sure that’s the reason to put a name like ‘Spielberg, Steven’ in the alphabetic list like that, and this is why one can say: ‘The name is Bond… James Bond’.

    • Bogi 09/05/2018 at 12:45 am - Reply

      I think you’re right, and this could be the reason for the order of dates year/months/days, too.

  7. Zsuzsanna 06/19/2018 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Sorry, but You forget from the biggest cities Hungary: Székesfehérvár, the Capital in Year 1000

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