Many Hollywood movies show families sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Suddenly they hear someone knocking on the door, and there he is, Santa Claus. He has a bag full of presents and Christmas is here. This normally happens on December 24th but in some places on December 25th. In other places, Santa Claus comes on his sleigh during the night, making sure that all presents are in place by the time everybody wakes up on December 25th. What’s going on in Hungary? It is actually very different!
Hungary has some similarities with the Netherlands because their Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) arrives with presents on December 5/6. In Hungary, all kids wash their shoes on December 5th, knowing that Santa Claus will arrive during the night with sweets and other nice things during the night (if the shoes are nice and clean). In other words, Santa Claus comes on December 6th in Hungary. For many people in the Netherlands, the big Christmas present thing ends on December 6th, but that isn’t so in Hungary.
Jesus brings the presents on December 24.
There are different traditions, but many add to the magic the fact that the angels bring the Christmas tree to the different houses. Then you have the interesting thing. If you visit Budapest on December 24 and walk up and down the streets between 12.00 and 15.00, you will see lots of parents and/or grandparents out walking with kids. Why is that? They need to leave the house around this time in order for Jesus to come to the houses with all the presents.
As the kids return, the tree is decorated, and hopefully, there are lots of presents beneath it.
What does it mean that Jesus brings the presents?
First of all, it isn’t a tradition among kids to tell their parents and family what they want to get from the different persons in their surroundings. They only prepare a list that they tell their parents about, who later tell Jesus about all those wishes. Under the Christmas tree, you will seldom see stickers saying “To Tom”, and “From Mum&Dad.” The reason is simple, Jesus brought the presents, so it would be “wrong” to add such name stickers to the presents.
As the children get older, they understand what is really going on, but most Hungarians love this tradition, and they speak with glimpses in their eyes about the time when they believed Jesus was the one actually bringing the presents.
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a city full of culture, history, and beauty. But sometimes, getting out of town and exploring the countryside is lovely. Luckily, plenty of day trips from Budapest allow you to do just that. Here you will find several suggestions located less than one hour from Budapest. We have also added information about a couple of cities in Hungary worth visiting, even though they are further away from Budapest.
The easiest way to discover Hungary is by car. You can easily rent a car at the airport or by asking the reception at your hotel for help. Of course, traveling by train or bus is also possible, but discovering Hungary and the vicinity of Budapest is a way more time-consuming activity if you use public transportation.
But what should you see and where should you go if you want to discover and explore the Hungarian countryside?
Places worth visiting in Hungary close to Budapest
Visegrád is a small town located on the Danube Bend in Hungary, and it’s a popular day trip destination from Budapest. There are plenty of things to do and see in Visegrád, making it an excellent choice for tourists.
Here are some of the top activities and attractions to consider while visiting Visegrád:
Visegrád Castle: The town’s main attraction is the impressive Visegrád Castle, which dates back to the 14th century. The castle is perched high on a hill and offers stunning views of the Danube Bend.
The Royal Palace: Located next to the castle, the Royal Palace was once the residence of Hungarian kings. Today, visitors can explore the palace ruins and learn about its history.
Solomon Tower: This tower is part of the castle complex and offers panoramic views of the Danube Bend and the surrounding countryside.
Hiking: Visegrád is surrounded by beautiful hills and forests and has plenty of hiking trails. The trails range from easy to challenging, and they offer stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
Szentendre is a picturesque town just a short distance from Budapest, making it a great tourist day trip destination. There are several reasons why Szentendre is a popular choice among tourists:
Charming Architecture: The town’s architecture is a unique blend of Hungarian and Balkan styles, which gives it a distinct look and feel. The colorful buildings, narrow streets, and baroque churches make it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.
Art Galleries and Museums: Szentendre is known for its thriving art scene, with several galleries and museums scattered throughout the town. The Hungarian Open Air Museum, located just outside of town, is also worth a visit.
Danube Promenade: The town sits on the banks of the Danube River, and the promenade offers a beautiful view of the river and the surrounding countryside. Several cafes and restaurants along the promenade make it a great spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Traditional Hungarian Crafts: Szentendre is famous for its traditional Hungarian crafts, including ceramics, embroidery, and leather goods. Visitors can purchase these handmade items at the town’s many shops and market stalls.
Serbian Orthodox Church: The Serbian Orthodox Church, located in the center of town, is a beautiful example of Balkan-style architecture. It also houses a museum with exhibits on the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Hungary.
Would you like to enjoy a magnificent little city between Budapest and Györ? Tata is a pearl primarily known for its lake. If you want a nice walk, this is the perfect place to get one. The walk around the big lake is approximately 7.5km. While enjoying the fresh air, you can see a castle from the 14th century (also used during the recording of the Netflix series The Witcher), an Eszterhazy castle, and much more.
Tata also has a second park with another lake not far from the main lake. This park is also beautiful, making it a perfect solution for those who want a shorter walk but still with magnificent scenery.
The city might not be the most interesting, but the castle with its beautiful park might catch your interest.
The castle in Martonvásár is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture and is located just a short distance from Budapest. It was built in the early 19th century for Count Antal Grassalkovich, a wealthy Hungarian nobleman. The castle’s interior includes several ornate rooms, including a grand ballroom and a library. Today, the castle is open to the public and serves as a museum, showcasing the life and times of Count Grassalkovich and his family.
Beethoven and the Grassalkovich Castle have an interesting connection many may not be aware of. Count Antal Grassalkovich II, who owned the castle in the early 19th century, greatly admired Beethoven’s music. He even invited Beethoven to visit the castle in 1800, a significant honor for the composer.
Beethoven stayed at the Grassalkovich Castle for several weeks, and during his visit, he composed several pieces of music. One of the most notable pieces he composed during his stay was his Sonata for Piano No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, also known as the “Pathétique” Sonata. This piece is one of Beethoven’s most famous and is considered a masterpiece of the classical period.
If you visit this area, we recommend driving some more kilometers towards the south to visit the city of Velence and bring a swimming suit to swim in the Velence lake (if the weather supports that idea).
Only ten kilometers from the city center in Budapest you find Budaörs. This is considered by many to be a part of Budapest, and it feels like it is in many ways. Here you find stores such as IKEA, Decathlon, Auchan, Jysk, and many others, but it is also a perfect area for hiking and enjoying the fresh air.
There are several tops here worth climbing, and even though they aren’t very high, they will still give you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction as you reach the top.
Gödöllö might not be the most interesting destination for a tourist, but it has a fantastic castle that makes it worth the ride anyway. You can travel to Gödöllo using public transportation, something that comes as a big plus (travel with the red metro to Örz Vezér tere and then travel with the HEV from there until the end station called Gödöllö).
The Gödollö Castle is a stunning baroque-style palace located in the town of Gödollö, just a short distance from Budapest. The palace was built in the 18th century and was the summer residence of the Hungarian royal family. It is considered one of Hungary’s most significant cultural and architectural monuments.
The palace’s interior is richly decorated with ornate frescoes, intricate woodcarvings, and stunning chandeliers. Visitors can explore the palace’s many rooms, including the royal apartments, the grand staircase, and the ballroom, one of Europe’s largest.
The palace also includes several beautiful gardens and parks that visitors can explore. For example, the Great Grassalkovich Park, which surrounds the palace, features a stunning fountain, a rose garden, and several walking paths.
Turul bird (Tatabanya)
The Turul bird is a large, mythical bird believed to be the guardian of the Hungarian people. Hungarian folklore often depicts it as a powerful creature that symbolizes strength, freedom, and victory. In Tatabánya, there is a giant statue of the Turul bird located on the Gerecse Mountain, a popular hiking destination for visitors.
Hiking in Tatabánya is popular, with several trails available for all skill levels. The Gerecse Mountain is a favorite among hikers with its stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the Turul bird statue at the top. You can also find the Szelim cave and a big lookout tower close to the statue, making this area ideal for a half-day excursion from Budapest.
Would you like to walk in a city with real stores instead of walking around in the forest somewhere? Székesfehérvár is an actual city with a real city center. It isn’t even close to the size of Budapest, but that gives it more intimacy and a different kind of peace.
Would you like to see even more as you travel to Székesfehérvár? One of the nicest places worth visiting is the so-called Bory castle. This is located a little bit outside the main city center. It is a beautiful castle telling a story about a man madly in love with a woman.
Other cities in Hungary definitely worth a visit.
Are you eager to see and experience even more? Don’t you mind driving more than one hour by car to get to your destination? Here you have even more suggestions.
This charming town is located in the north of Hungary and is known for its baroque architecture and historic castle. It’s also famous for its wine, particularly the red blend known as Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood of Eger).
As a visitor to Eger, you should visit the castle and the Szépasszonyvölgy (a valley packed with wine bars). Many people decide to spend a few days in Eger due to the beauty of the city and all the programs available in the area.
Hungary’s largest lake is located just a couple of hours from Budapest, and it’s a popular destination for swimming, boating, and sunbathing in the summertime. In addition, you can walk, run, or bicycle around the entire lake (more than 200km), or you can visit one or more of the cities separately.
The most popular city closest to Budapest is Siófok. Other cities around Lake Balaton are Balatonfüred, Tihany, Keszthely, Heviz, and Balatonlelle.
This small town is home to a Benedictine abbey designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The abbey dates back to the 10th century and is an important cultural and religious center in Hungary.
The town only has a little to offer besides the Benedictine abbey. If you want to combine a Pannonhalma visit with another program, we recommend visiting the city of Györ, which is close to Pannonhalma.
This city in southern Hungary is known for its vibrant art scene and historic architecture. Highlights include the early Christian tombs and the Mosque Church, built during the Ottoman era.
The city center is beautiful, but we can also recommend hiking in the area around the TV tower of Pécs. The city has a delightful zoo and several attractions making it a perfect destination for all kinds of travelers.
If you’re interested in wildlife, head to Hortobágy National Park, which is home to a wide variety of birds and other animals. There are also traditional Hungarian shepherd shows and horse shows in the park.
We hope these suggestions have made planning your trip to Budapest and Hungary easier. Of course, the Hungarian capital has a lot to offer, and you can read about many of the most popular activities and attractions in Budapest here in our Budapest Guide. But if you want to see even more of Hungary, we hope this article has inspired you.
If you have any remaining comments or questions, please write them below.
The city of Györ is approximately 125km from the city center of Budapest. The town is well known for its beauty and being the home of one of the best female handball teams in the world. Many people drive next to it as they come to Budapest from Bratislava or Vienna by car, but few people decide to spend some hours in the city. But, Györ is worth visiting, and here we will give you information about the city’s most important Christmas markets.
As mentioned, Györ is located along the M1 highway connecting Budapest with cities such as Bratislava and Vienna. It takes about 80 minutes to get to the center of Györ from Budapest, and you need almost the same time to travel to Györ from Vienna.
If you want to watch a handball match or a football match in Györ, the football stadium and the handball arena are located next to the road connecting the city center with the highway, so they are both very easy to find.
If you arrive by train, you will find yourself perfectly located immediately, so you are ready to explore the city at once. Those arriving by car will need to find a parking lot somewhere. The city is divided into zones, and the most expensive is priced at 520 HUF per hour. It is free to park in the city on Sundays.
Where are the Christmas markets in Györ located?
Christmas market by the City Hall.
There are three important areas that you need to explore if you want to experience Christmas and the Christmas markets in Györ. The first is located by the railway station. On a nice big square next to Hotel Rába (a nice place to stay while in Györ), you will find this market.
Above, you can see an image of the city hall in Györ. This is on the other side of the road from the Christmas markets, and it is located next to the railway station. At this market, you will find quite a lot of souvenirs and handmade artifacts. You will, of course, also find something to drink and eat.
If I had to give a ranking of the three Christmas market options in downtown Györ, this would probably end up as the least interesting. But maybe you will disagree with me on that?
When you are finished looking around at the square, you can easily move on to discover more Christmas markets in the city of Györ. Below you can see a map presenting the three main areas for the Christmas markets in Györ. We have already taken a look at the one opposite the city hall. What about the others?
Christmas market in Baross Gábor út.
If you head to Baross Gábor út (which starts next to the Christmas market we already discussed), you can walk in a very nice pedestrian street. This is nice for shopping all year round but especially nice during the Christmas markets. In this period, stalls are located all along the street, and here you will meet locals and tourists drinking hot wine, eating roasted chestnuts, tasting lángos, and enjoying other sweets.
The street looks nice during the daytime, but like everywhere else, the real Christmas market atmosphere comes when it is dark and the lights are turned on. If you want to grab something to eat very fast (and not eat on the Christmas market), then you can find several bakeries, a Mcdonalds’, and several other options in this street besides what the Christmas market has to offer.
You should absolutely walk here to look around. The street has a friendly atmosphere, and it is lovely to see a mixture of locals and tourists eat, drink, and enjoy life as you walk up and down the street.
Dates for this Christmas market: November 26, 2023 – December 23, 2023.
Christmas market at Szechenyi Square.
If we had to pick one Christmas market in Györ, this would be our favorite. Luckily, we don’t have to choose, meaning we can visit everyone. But this is still the one with the nicest atmosphere and with the “nicest” Christmas atmosphere. There aren’t hundreds of stalls here, but you can buy food, drinks, and handicrafts from approximately 25-30 stalls. Besides this, you have activities and lovely decorations making it a fantastic place to visit.
As you can see from the pictures above, the Christmas market at Szechényi Square is beautifully decorated, and it has effects that wildly cheer up kids coming along. It might be that the decorations will change from year to year, but this is still a place that takes the holiday effects and decorations seriously. Of course, kids always love to meet Santa Claus, and the little railway for children at the square always forces parents to spend more money than initially planned as they visit the square. But that’s what Christmas is all about.
Szechenyi Square Christmas market dates: November 26, 2023 – December 23, 2024
Santa Claus will come to the Santa house on December 6 to give presents to kids in the area. The lights on the advent wreath are lightened every Sunday at 17.00.
Christmas market at Dunakapu Square.
This isn’t even visible on the map above, but it is probably the biggest and most popular location in Györ. Do you know why? Here you will see programs such as fire juggling, there is a Ferris Wheel at the location, you have the chance to use a dodgem, and there is a Merry-Go-Round for kids. Besides this, you have the traditional stuff required for something to be a fantastic Christmas market. In other words, do not miss out on Dunakapu Square if you come to check out the Christmas markets in Györ.
Dunakapu Square Christmas market dates: November 26, 2023 – January 1, 2024
What should you buy at the Christmas markets in Györ?
We have a long and thorough article about the Christmas markets in Budapest here in our Budapest Guide. There you can see a long list of recommendations concerning what to eat and drink and buy at the Christmas markets in the Hungarian capital. The truth is, you will find mostly the same products at the Christmas markets in Györ. In other words, this is a place to taste Hungarian gastronomy and buy handicrafts. You will find more products aimed at tourists in Budapest, while there will be more products aimed at locals in Györ.
One thing many people buy is sweets of all sorts. There are lots of gingerbread cakes available, decorated with different colors. You can also find handmade chocolate pralines filled with marzipan, cognac, whiskey, rum, nuts, and other delicious stuff. The chocolate pralines in the picture above are quite expensive, but they are still cheaper at the Christmas markets in Györ than they would be if you bought them at the Christmas markets in Budapest.
As mentioned, you will find more products aimed at locals as you visit the Christmas markets in Györ. Above, you can see a picture from a stall selling tea, tea boxes, and tea cups. This is something that locals, as well as tourists, will find tempting. It is a perfect present to buy for someone else, and it might be tempting to bring some bags of tea, combined with a nice box, and a cup for yourself as well. This is especially nice, knowing that these are not mass-produced cups and boxes, meaning that you will have something created by hand someone somewhere in Hungary!
There are also Christmas decorations for sale at the Christmas markets in Györ. Some of these are universal, meaning that they are suitable for Christmas trees all around the world. Some are aimed at locals since the text printed on the objects is Hungarian. No matter what, these are souvenirs that will remind you of Györ and Hungary as you return home, and as you can see above, they are not very expensive either (1200 HUF = 3 Euro, at the time of writing).
Are the Christmas markets in Györ cheaper than the Christmas markets in Budapest?
The general answer to that question is yes. We cannot give an answer promising that everything will be cheaper, but generally, most products are cheaper in Györ than in Budapest. Why is that? The products are similar, but the rental prices are lower for the stalls. Of course, the revenue is much higher in Budapest, but still – you will spend less in Györ.
It is also a major difference that you will meet more locals in Györ than in Budapest. Why is that? The prices at the Christmas markets in Budapest (the two central markets) are so expensive for locals that they don’t really care about them anymore. As a result, you will meet other tourists as you visit them. But, as you visit the Christmas markets in Budapest located outside the main tourist area, you will immediately meet locals again, and that is true about the Christmas markets in Györ as well.
Where to live in Györ?
Would you like to discover Györ and the Christmas markets in quietness and peace without stressing? Then you should spend a night in the city so you can explore everything the city has to offer during daytime and nighttime. The city has a beautiful zoo and lots of attractions worth visiting, so you don’t need to worry that you will be bored. But, where should you live?
Below you can see a map showing the city center of Györ with hotels and apartments. All the accommodation options there are very well located in the city center, meaning you can reach the Christmas markets, the railway station, and all sorts of attractions easily.
The prices are estimations of what it will cost to book a hotel or an apartment in Györ on your selected dates. This will help you find a place to stay that isn’t too expensive and that will let you have money left to spend at the Christmas markets after paying for your hotel or apartment.
Where to eat in Györ?
The obvious answer is that you should eat at the Christmas markets! They have delicious food and you will taste some of the most popular meals in Hungary. You can find lots of warm meals at the Christmas markets, and you can also find sweets to eat for dessert.
But, if you want to dine in a normal restaurant, there are several you can choose from in the vicinity of the Christmas markets in Györ.
Komedias restaurant: This is a trendy restaurant among locals, simply because it has great Hungarian food at prices they can afford. It isn’t a place for a business dinner in a luxurious environment, but if you just want Hungarian food at great prices, this is a good place to go.
Szalai vendeglö: It is very similar to the Komedias restaurant in many ways. Once again, you can eat traditional Hungarian meals, but with some more modern courses available. The price level is quite okay. If you want a nice lunch menu, this is a great place to go between 11.00 and 15.00.
From June 19th, it will be free for EU members to visit Hungary. That is, if you live in an EU country, you can freely travel to Hungary and enjoy your summer holiday eating Goulash soup in Budapest, or swimming in the beautiful Lake Balaton.
This is fantastic news and something we have been waiting for a long time.
A frequently asked question has been about the UK. Are people in England part of the European Union, or are they not? Can people from the UK come to Hungary? According to official sources, people form the UK are still not allowed to enter Hungary. You can read more here and here.
But, what about Norway? What about Iceland? And what about Switzerland?
Those countries are no exception, meaning that people from these countries are also allowed to enter Hungary from June 19th. As a result, you can book your flight tickets, get in your car, and be ready to come and visit Budapest and Hungary once again. If you come from one of these countries, you will not need to enter a quarantine after your arrival to Budapest.
Let us hope it will remain like this for a long time. But, if a second wave will come this autumn, the borders will most likely close again. You can find updates and more information at www.budapestguide.org.
The Hungarian minster of Foreign Affairs (Peter Szijjarto) announced yesterday that people from Germany can now freely enter Hungary. This is good news for Hungarians living in Germany who wants to come home, and it is awesome news for Germans who want to come to Budapest for their summer holiday.
Hungary is slowly opening up their borders, and last week, it was made possible for people from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria to visit Hungary without limitations. Now the same can be said about people from Germany.
This is good news, not only for those visiting Budapest, but also for those who want to spend their summer holiday by Lake Balaton. This is a very popular area among German tourists in the summer, and it is now once again a perfect destination for those who want to spend their summer holiday by the Hungarian “sea.”
For more information about visiting Hungary and whether or not you are allowed to visit Hungary, visit www.budapestguide.org. There you can also ask questions if you have such on the topic of visiting Budapest and Hungary.
The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced Friday evening during a live speech at Facebook that the schools and kindergartens in Hungary will be closed from March 16th.
He did not give any information about the duration, but he did expect it to be a question of months and not weeks! The universities were closed earlier this week, and now the kindergartens and schools follow in the same example.
For those attending school, there will be online courses and digital teaching. In other words, this is not a holiday, but they will study from home instead.
Viktor Orban also said that it is very important that the parents try to solve the problem of watching out for the children at home. It might be tempting to ask the grandparents for help, but considering that the virus is more dangerous for those who are old, he encouraged everyone to try to solve this without involving the grandparents.
Every day we are given information once about the progress of the coronavirus in Hungary. The daily update on March 12th tells us that three new people have been infected by the virus.
The three new people are:
A lady who has been isolated in the Szent Janos hospital for days.
A person from Iran who has been infected by one of the other people from Iran.
A Hungarian man who was infected during a recent trip to Israel.
As of today, all theaters, and cinemas are closed. Children are still attending schools and going to kindergarten. Both parents and teachers hope that the government will decide to close school and kindergartens as well, but still, that is not happening in Hungary, even though it has happened in neighboring countries such as Austria, Romania, Slovakia, and Poland.
Is it safe to visit Hungary? Should you worry about your upcoming travel to Budapest? The latest updates about the coronavirus in Hungary!
Many people are worried because of the coronavirus. But, is it safe to visit Hungary in the middle of this? What do the Hungarian people think about the coronavirus? Here you can read the latest news and information about the virus and its status in Hungary.
The article is updated frequently, so just return for the most recent updates. It is also recommended to check our blog for updated articles related to visiting Budapest in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
What’s up with the coronavirus in Hungary?
Hungary opens to all EU citizens – June 18.
From tomorrow, everyone with a EU passport (living in an EU country), and those from Serbia, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland can enter Hungary.
We do not update this article frequently anymore, so we suggest paying attention to the “blog” instead where we publish new posts. If you want information, we also recommend that you visit www.budapestguide.org where you can find rules and regulations for entering Hungary depending on your country of origin.
Currently people from Austria, Serbia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Germany can come to Hungary and Budapest without entering a quarantine. This is great news for those who want to visit Hungary during the summer of 2020.
Budapest is opening – June 3.
Many of the companies doing boat trips on the Danube are open again. Most restaurants in Budapest are open again. In other words, you can have a good time and visit Budapest and enjoy the famous goulash soup and more if you come to Budapest right now.
But, pay attention to the rules, because you will still be required to enter a 14-day quarantine if you arrive from many countries.
When will the tourists come to Budapest again? – May 29.
Restaurants are now allowed to open, not only with customers outside, but also inside the building. The waiters’ are required to wear a mask. Hungary has also made a deal with Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic, making travels between the nations easier, without the requirement to spend time in quarantine as you visit the other countries. Of course, the rules are not 100% easy to understand, meaning that you should still be careful and ask for further help before you plan your trip.
Once again, Budapest is opening and so is Hungary. But, there are still some more things that needs to be done before Hungary will totally open up for tourists.
Budapest is opening again – May 18.
It has been a while since our last update. Not much has happened. Budapest has been in lockdown, but as of today, restaurants (outdoor areas), stores, malls, and similar areas can open again. There is still a need to keep a 1,5m distance, and a mask is required. Outside Budapest, things have been like this for a week already, and hopefully, Budapest will return back to “normal” before the summer season and tourists once again can arrive to Budapest.
It is expected to come a second wave of the virus in September, but airlines will start their flights between Budapest and other destinations again.
Things are not changing much – April 24.
There are soon 2500 people infected with the virus in Hungary. The government is believing that the virus will peak around May 3rd. Rumors say that school might open again later in May, but nothing has been said for sure yet.
The numbers are growing – April 15.
We don’t update this article so frequently anymore, as not much is happening. The numbers have been growing lately. We saw 200 new cases in one day last week, but in general, the numbers are between 50 and 100 each day. The total number of infected people in Hungary is now 1579.
Many popular locations in Hungary are closed for tourists. As a result, you are not allowed to visit Szentendre, other popular sites along the Danube, and many other locations.
Only 11 new cases in the last 24 hours – April 6.
The number of people with coronavirus in Hungary grew to 733 on Sunday. But, by Monday morning, the number has “only” grown to 744. That means 11 new cases has been diagnosed in the the 24 hours. Some people believe the low numbers are due to few tests, or are the Hungarian restrictions actually working? Do not forget, the streets and tourist attractions are almost empty. More pictures will be posted later today.
April 3 update
The number of people infected is now 625. That is a growth of 40 people since yesterday (when the number was 585). If you want to watch some pictures from empty tourist attractions in Budapest due to the coronavirus, check this article.
Restaurants are mostly closed in Budapest, and only people from Hungary or people with a work-permit in Hungary are allowed to enter the country.
April is here! – April 1.
Spring has come to Budapest and the colors are beautiful. Unfortunately, there are no tourists in Budapest able to take joy in what they see. But, since Hungarians are still allowed to go for a healthy walk, some Hungarians even visit the Gellert hill to enjoy the beautiful view and the colors.
There are now 525 people with the virus in Hungary, a growth of 33 people since yesterday.
A map of Hungary – March 31.
The total number of people infected by the coronavirus in Hungary is now 492. They are spread throughout the entire country. Here you can see a map showing the status as of March 31.
The Coronavirus in Hungary – March 30.
As of Monday, March 30, the number of people with coronavirus in Hungary is 447. That is an increase of 39 since Sunday. Hospitals are preparing for a massive invasion of patients. In other words, it is expected for the numbers to grow more rapidly in the coming days and weeks.
The new number is 300 – March 27.
The official number of people in Hungary with the coronavirus is 300. According to the leadership of the country, they believe that the virus will peak in June. In other words, things will not turn back to normal in the near future.
There are now 261 people diagnosed with the covid-19 virus in Hungary. The virus can be found in all the municipalities in Hungary (19 in total).
Ten dead because of the virus so far – March 25.
As of March 25, a total of 10 people have died because of the coronavirus in Hungary. The number of people diagnosed with the virus is 226. Tourism is dead, meaning there are no tourist activities available in Budapest, even though many stores are open until 15.00.
Updated statistics – March 24.
20 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since yesterday. The total number of deaths is 8.
The numbers are growing – March 23.
There are now 167 people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary. That is an increase of 36 people since yesterday, the biggest increase in one day so far. 16 people are “healed” from the virus, while 7 people have died because of the virus.
As of today, it will be easier to be tested for the coronavirus, as more doctors should be able to actually take the blood sample and send it to the laboratory. If that happens, the numbers will most likely grow more rapidly in the coming days.
30% increase in one day – March 22.
The total number of people infected by the virus in Hungary is now 131 (the official number). That is approximately a 30% increase compared to yesterday’s number that was 102.
A total of six people have died because of the virus in Hungary.
It is still less than 100 infected – March 20.
The number of people infected by the coronavirus is now 85. In other words, it is a very low number compared to many other countries in Europe. The government expects the number to grow rapidly, but we still haven’t seen rapid growth.
Hotels are closing daily, restaurants are closing daily, and tourist programs are mostly unavailable.
06:15 – Yesterday’s announcement was not about what most people expected, that we are not allowed to walk the streets with no purpose at all. Instead, it was about finances and that people will get much better conditions on their loans until the end of the year.
Stores in Budapest are out of flour, sugar, toilet paper, and similar products. You might be lucky and find something now and then, but in general, it is hard to find!
What’s happening today? – March 18.
15:30 – The announcement came but without sound. So, only those able to read lips know what the announcement was all about. We will have to wait some more before we know what Viktor Orban said.
14:00 – The number of people diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus is now 58. Not much has happened since yesterday, but at 15:00, the Hungarian Prime Minister will make an important announcement. It is expected that he will tell people that they are no longer allowed to walk around outside, except for when they need medicines, groceries, or when they go to work. We will update the article once the announcement has been made.
No more tourists – March 17.
08:30 – The number of people infected by the Covid-19 virus in Hungary is now 50.
06:45 – The Hungarian borders are now closed for tourists. Only people from Hungary are allowed to enter the country.
Most restaurants in Budapest will be closed from today. Sir Lancelot, Karpatia, Aszu, and other restaurants that have tried to keep open, will no longer be able to do so after the regulation that says that all restaurants have to close at 15.00. The fact that no more tourists are allowed to enter the country didn’t help much either.
People with some sort of medical experience and education are also invited to volunteer and help out in the treatment of people with the virus.
06:10 – The first person died because of the coronavirus in Hungary yesterday. According to the official statistics, there are now 32 people diagnosed with the virus in Hungary.
Today is the first day when all schools will be closed. Pupils will study at home. The Hungarian TV channel M5 will be used to show material useful for the students studying from home.
Once again, many restaurants in Budapest will remain closed from today, the Gellert Spa, the Rudas Spa, the Szechenyi spa, and other thermal baths will also be closed from today.
The Hungarian national day – March 15.
March 15 is one of three Hungarian national days. But, there will be no celebrations, and there will be no festivities today. Yesterday, 11 new people were diagnosed with the virus (the biggest number in one day so far).
The virus has already had a negative impact on restaurants in Budapest. Yesterday we received reports that some restaurants will close for several months, as they cannot afford to have people working when no guests visit. Many restaurants are still open and available, but you will meet more and more restaurants with closed doors if you try to visit restaurants all around Budapest in the coming weeks.
Important information for tourists!
The thermal baths in Hungary will close from March 15, and the zoo in Budapest will also be closed for visitors. Some of the boat trips on the Danube are still available.
The biggest increase so far – March 14.
21:00 – Five new people are diagnosed with the coronavirus. The total number is now 30.
10:00 – There are now a total of 25 people who have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus in Hungary. The six people are all Hungarians, and no other information has been given about them.
Tourist programs are still available and restaurants remain open in Budapest.
10:30 – The number of infected has increased to 19. Three new Hungarian men are diagnosed with the virus. They are all treated in the Laszlo hospital.
6:30 – According to the last official update (given yesterday evening at 22.30), the number of people infected in Hungary still remains 16. However, some people worry as the lady who was diagnosed with the virus yesterday got the virus without meeting anyone else who is supposed to have the virus.
If you come to Budapest, you can still go on different boat trips on the Danube. They are limiting the number of passengers on the boats, making sure that they follow all the guidelines of the government. You can read more about the boat trips on the Danube in Budapest right here.
Hungary is stepping up against the coronavirus – March 12.
Three new people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in Hungary today. One person comes from Iran and got the virus from the other Iranians with the virus. The second person is a Hungarian lady who has been isolated in a Budapest hospital for several days, and today the blood test results came back with positive results. The third is a Hungarian man who recently returned from a trip to Israel.
Based on the decision to close universities and several other restrictions, the grocery stores were run down yesterday. Once again we could see empty shelves and empty freezers, as people quickly bought all the groceries they need for a longer amount of time.
The border controls are once again active on the borders between Hungary and Slovenia and between Hungary and Austria. This is to stop people arriving from Italy who might carry the virus. It is only allowed for Hungarians in Italy to return home, but if they do, they will be forced into a 2-week quarantine immediately (either at home or in the hospital depending on their state).
Since indoor gatherings of more than 100 people aren’t allowed, most theaters, cinemas, and similar activities will be closed. Most boat trips on the Danube run with smaller boats, meaning they are still running. Restaurants are also running as usual.
Everyone coming to Hungary from Italy will be forced into a 2-week quarantine, either at home or in a hospital (depending on whether they are ill or not upon arrival to the country). All gatherings of 100 people or more indoor are forbidden, and outdoor events with more than 500 people present are also forbidden.
The number of infected people is 13 in total. Considering that the largest parts of the infected are university students with an international background, all universities have to proceed with teaching online, instead of meeting in the actual buildings. Schools and kindergartens remain open since there are no signs of the virus spreading in such environments (yet).
The number of coronavirus tests made in Hungary jumped yesterday, as the rules for who can be tested has been changed. The employees of a hospital are currently in quarantine while waiting for their test results, as they all met without the 70-year-old Coronavirus infected Hungarian before he was diagnosed with the virus. An update will most likely come around 10.00 today with updated numbers and more information.
The Coronavirus in Budapest – March 10.
Based on information released at 10.00 today, there are a total of 12 people infected with the virus in Hungary. The three new are all from Iran, making the number of Coronavirus infected people in Hungary to 8 people from Iran, 1 from Great Britain, and 3 from Hungary.
The number of infected people was raised to 9 yesterday. There are still no signs of the fact that the virus is spreading rapidly among people, so all schools are running, kindergartens are open, the universities are holding lectures, and restaurants, boats on the Danube, and tourist attractions are available as always. But, there are fewer tourists coming, meaning that those working with tourism is suffering because of the lack of tourists coming. But, that is something not only businesses in Budapest and Hungary notice, but everyone working with tourism worldwide.
The Coronavirus in Budapest – March 9.
It is still very quiet in Hungary. According to the last official update made on March 8th at 11.45, there are 7 people infected with the virus in Hungary, and the number of blood samples made is below 400. But, it can be felt on tourism that people travel less, and thus, you will have no trouble finding a free table in your favorite restaurant anymore. But, all activities are available, all stores are open, and all Hungarians live life the way they are used to.
All flight connections between Northern Italy and Hungary have been stopped.
The Coronavirus in Hungary – March 6.
There are now four people reported in Hungary with the Coronavirus. One is the girlfriend of one of the Irani students, while the other is a man in Debrecen who commutes between Debrecen and Milano because of his job.
A tourist group of 15 people from Japan who were coughing was also taken to control yesterday. We don’t know anything else about their symptoms, nor about the results of the tests yet.
Even though all tourist attractions are open and all activities are available as they normally would be, many restaurants and hotels report about canceled trips and canceled table reservations.
Coronavirus report on March 5.
It is very hard to find hand sanitizers in stores in Budapest. The two Iranian students who are infected by the virus got the virus during a trip to Iran. One is studying in the city of Györ, while the other studies pharmacology in Budapest. Due to the virus, the Budapest student should have stayed home from the university the first two weeks after his arrival to Budapest (that was university regulations because of the virus), but he didn’t keep the regulations. As a result, he was attending lectures for an entire week at the university before he stopped.
The university was supposed to have a big event this weekend, but they have decided to cancel it. The class of the Iranian student in Budapest has been quarantined (16 pupils in total), and will not attend any classes in the next 2 weeks.
Extra Coronavirus report on March 4th
Today at 18.30, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reported about the first two people in the country who have been infected by the Coronavirus. They are students from Iran, and they are currently in the Szent Laszlo hospital. No information has been given about how they got infected with the virus yet, so we don’t know if they were infected in Budapest, or if they were infected in Iran (or somewhere else). One of them has a girlfriend who has also been taken into isolation, and the other has a wife who has been taken into isolation. Several tests were made on them to confirm that they were actually infected by the virus.
We will be given daily reports at 12.00 from the committee responsible for handling the Coronavirus in Hungary.
Two travelers who were caught with the virus in the Czech Republic, are reported to have visited several tourist attractions in Budapest before they went to Brno, and then to Prague. They visited the Szechenyi Thermal bath, some ruin pubs and more. The Szechenyi thermal bath has raised the level of chlorine in the water due to the virus.
Coronavirus report on March 4.
There are still no people infected by the virus in Hungary. Some people are worried about the Ministry of Internal affairs simply not reporting incidents. But, there are no stories from people actually telling that they have been infected (nor telling about people they know who have been infected), so hopefully, Hungary is still one of the few countries in Europe with no people infected by the virus yet.
Coronavirus report on March 3.
British Airways, RyanAir, WizzAir, and other flight companies have canceled flights between many travel destinations worldwide. However, Hungary still hasn’t got any cases of the coronavirus, meaning that most flights to and from Hungary are operating as normal. There are not that many articles about the coronavirus anymore in the Hungarian newspapers, and people seem to have forgotten a bit about it.
In other words, life is normal and tourists come to the city and enjoy themselves! Of course, things can change quickly (like they did in Northern Italy), but currently, there are no cases of the virus in Hungary.
Coronavirus report on March 2.
Hungary still remains one of the few countries in Europe without anyone infected by the coronavirus. There might be people who are infected, but there are still no confirmed occasions of the coronavirus in the country yet.
As a result, tourists are still coming to Hungary in a large number. All the tourist attractions are open, the river cruises run as normal, guided tours are available, and you can easily enjoy wine tasting programs and beer programs if you decide to visit Budapest and Hungary at the moment.
Coronavirus report on February 29.
Things are still the same in Hungary. The flu season is here, but there is still nobody officially infected by the Coronavirus. Tourists are still coming daily and all tourist activities are available like they normally are.
Coronavirus report on February 27.
Not much has happened since yesterday. But, the stores are mostly out of flour, rice, spaghetti, and similar products. WizzAir has also announced that they will cancel all flights between Italy and other countries in the period between March 10th and April 4th.
Coronavirus report on February 26.
Everyone is speaking about the virus and everyone is preparing for the virus. You can read about the virus in all the online newspapers and even though there aren’t any reported incidents of the coronavirus in Hungary still, most people believe it is just a matter of time.
A school-class who visited Italy is in quarantine in the Szent Laszlo hospital, but none is still reported to actually be infected with the virus.
However, many people prepare for an outbreak, and as a result, you can see in several stores that rice, flour, spaghetti, and similar products are missing. There are no signs of panic yet, but people are preparing for what might turn into harder days and weeks.
Due to a long time of incubation of the virus, there might be people carrying the virus in Hungary, but they haven’t been treated yet or gotten any symptoms yet.
The Hungarian flight company WizzAir reported that they carried a passenger with the virus on a flight between Craiova in Romania and Bologna in Italy. The flight has been taken out of use since this happened.
After their somewhat big success during the European Championship in football in 2016, the Hungarians are hungry for more. The fact that three matches during the European Championship actually will be played in Hungary, makes it even more interesting. But, how can the Hungarians get to the European Championship in football?
The legendary Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskas has given name to the biggest football stadium in Hungary. It has recently been renovated, making it a fantastic arena for big football matches. And believe us, this will be an arena for awesome matches during the European Championship, with or without the Hungarians. How come?
The group that will play three matches at the Ferenc Puskas stadium consists of three teams so far; France, Portugal, and Germany. The matches in this group will be played in Germany and in Hungary, meaning that there will for sure be a match between France and Portugal at the stadium during the championship. That is gonna be wild! But, is there a chance that we can see the Hungarians at the stadium as well during the European Championship?
How and when can the Hungarians get to Euro 2020?
The Hungarians still have the chance to qualify, because of the new Nations League system. But, they still have two matches left that they need to win, and neither of those should be considered easy matches.
First of all, on March 26th, they need to beat the Bulgarian square in Bulgaria. The match will start at local time 20.45. Even though the Bulgarian team is a good team, this is a task that they might manage, at least if they have a good day.
If the Hungarians win against Bulgaria on March 26th, the final task will be on March 31st against the winner of the match between Romania and Iceland. As we all know, this sounds quite a bit harder, and both the Icelandic squad and the Romanian squad are a couple of levels up from the quality of the Bulgarian players.
But, if we go back four years in time, we also know that the Hungarians are capable of playing very well under pressure (as when they won against Norway in their two play-off matches in order to get to the European Championship in 2016 in France). So, nothing is impossible. But, there will for sure be some tough moments in order for the Hungarians to get that far!
How to watch the Hungarian matches online?
The matches in which Hungary will play, first against Bulgaria, and then hopefully, against the winner of the Romania/Iceland match, can be streamed on M4 in Hungary. This is a free channel in Hungary, but it can also be accessed quite easily from abroad.
I don’t believe they will have much of a chance if they actually get there, but it would be amazing to see the players present. And as they managed to surprise and win the group in 2016 (which also consisted of Portugal, Iceland, and Austria), they might be able to grab some points in the Euro 2020, even if their opponents will be Portugal, Germany, and France!
Do not forget, we can help you with lots of programs if you come to Hungary to watch the European Championship in football. We can pick you up at the airport, arrange a delicious beer dinner, or maybe let you enjoy a wine tasting program? Look around in our Budapest Guide for even more information!
The Witcher is the name of a brand new Netflix series that many believe can turn into the next Game of Thrones (when it comes to popularity). The series never managed to enchant us, but still, it is amazing to recognize lots of Hungarian locations as you watch the series on Netflix.
Henry Cavill is the biggest star of The Witcher, and he plays the role of a fighter who fights against trolls, magical creatures, and then takes a nice reward for doing so. There is much more to the story than this, but that is the main object of his life as we meet him in the first episodes of the show. But, there will of course be romance, action, wars, battles and so much more as you stream The Witcher on Netflix.
But, what is the very interesting thing about the show? A whole lot of scenes and parts of The Witcher are recorded in Hungary, and some of them even in Budapest. As a result, you might actually recognize some of the spots if you have a sharp eye. But, it isn’t easy, because often they have added effects to the pictures making it harder to discover the similarity, even if you have actually been to the place.
Some places used for the recording of The Witcher in Hungary
A fantastic place to visit when in Hungary is the Turul bird, raging over the city of Tatabanya along the highway connecting Vienna and Bratislava with Budapest. And, not far from this mythic bird, you can find the Szelim caves. And guess what, this is the home of a big dragon in The Witcher. In real life, the cave looks something like this.
But, in The Witcher, this is the home of a dragon, and there are at least a couple of scenes that have been recorded at this location. And it is not the only example.
Not far from Tatabanya, you can find the beautiful city of Tata. It has a magnificent lake which is perfect for a stroll (7,5km to walk around the lake), and by the lake, you can also find an old castle which has been used in the series on Netflix. This is a must-see place in Hungary, so make sure to visit Tata and the castle during your stay in Hungary.
And, once you are in the area, make sure to travel on to Komarom. Here you can find an old fortified area, and the main gate of this fortress has also been used in The Witcher and can be seen in the final episode of season 1 on Netflix.
These are just some examples. Besides this, there is also a location called the “Fake castle of Eger”. This is located not far outside Budapest, and this has also been used in the recording process. Here you will see a big battle taking place, and even though it is hard to recognize, you might do so if you have actually been there and see it in real life.
Another location is the Jaki chapel. This is located in Budapest, as a part of the Vajdahunyad castle. This might be the easiest location to visit, and you can see it as The Witcher goes to talk with Stregobor in the first episode of season 1. Another close location is the Skanzen outside Szentendre. This is a open-air museum showing how Hungarians lived and what they did earlier. This has also been used for the recording!
Look around in the Budapest Guide for inspiration, cool programs, interesting tours, and so much more!
Can I watch The Witcher only on Netflix?
Maybe you have been to Hungary already, but you haven’t seen The Witcher yet. Where can you stream it? This is a Netflix original show, and the only place to stream it (legally) is on Netflix. So, you will need a Netflix subscription, and then you can stream it all across the world. There is no need for changing your Netflix region nor anything like that, because this is an original series that can be streamed in every single Netflix region out there.
Is it worth it? Is it better than Game of Thrones? To be honest, I am not the person to tell. I am not a big fan of The Witcher nor of Game of Thrones. But, if you liked one of them, there is a big chance that you will like the other one as well.
If you have comments or questions about The Witcher, the locations used for recording all around Hungary, or maybe you have discovered even more places in use, write a comment and let us know about it!