Tourism in Hungary

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There is a long history of tourism in Hungary,[1] and Hungary was the world's thirteenth most visited tourist destination country in 2002.[2] Tourism increased by nearly 7 percent between 2004 and 2005.[3] European visitors comprise more than 98 per cent of Hungary's tourists. Austria, Germany, and Slovakia make the largest numbers of visitors to the country.[1] Most tourists arrive by car and stay for a short period of time.[4] Hungary's tourist season is from April through October. July and August are the best tourist months.[1] Budapest is the country's most popular tourist destination.[2]


Most visitors staying in Hungary on short term basis (not counting visitors staying outside commercial accommodation and day trip visitors) in 2014 were from the following countries of nationality:[5]

Rank Country Number
1  Germany 555,433
2  Austria 294,824
3  United Kingdom 292,342
4  Italy 237,086
5  United States 230,621
6  Romania 230,436
7  Poland 228,606
8  Czech Republic 216,223
9  Russia 193,252
10  Slovakia 153,729

Tourism in Budapest

View of Budapest

Budapest became one of Central Europe's most popular tourist attractions in the 1990s.[1] Attractions in the city include Buda Castle which houses several museums including the Hungarian National Gallery, the Matthias Church,[6] the Parliament Building and the City Park.[1] The city has many museums, three opera houses, and thermal baths.[6] Buda Castle, the Danube River embankments and the whole of Andrássy Avenue have been recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.[7]

Hungary has an estimated 1,300 thermal springs, a third of which are used at spas across the country. Hungary's thermal waters and spa culture are promoted to tourists. Only France, Japan, Bulgaria, Iceland, and Italy have similar thermal water capacity. Hungary's thermal baths have been used for 2,000 years for cleansing, relaxation and easing aches and pains. The Romans were the first to use Hungary's thermal waters in the first century, when they built baths on the banks of the Danube River.[8] Budapest lies on a geological fault that separates the Buda hills from plains. More than 30,000 cubic metres of warm to scalding (21° to 76 °C) mineral water gushes from 118 thermal springs[9] and supply the city's thermal baths.[7] Budapest has been a popular spa destination since Roman times.[10] Some of the baths in the city date from Turkish times while others are modern.[9] They have steam rooms that utilize the healing properties of the springs.[10] Most of the baths offer medical treatments, massages, and pedicures.[9] The most famous of Budapest's spas were built at the turn of the 19th century.[10]

There are two hundred known caves under Budapest, some of which can be visited by tourists[7] and are a popular tourist attraction.[11] In the Buda hills there are caves that are unique for having been formed by thermal waters rising up from below, rather than by rainwater. The Pálvölgy Stalactite Cave is a large and spectacular labyrinth. Discovered in the 1900s, it is the largest of the cave systems in the Buda hills.[12] The Szemlohegy Cave has no stalactites and has fewer convoluted and claustrophobic passages than the Pálvölgy Cave. The walls in this cave are encrusted with precipitates formed by warm water dissolving mineral salts. The air in the cave is very clean and its lowest level is used as a respiratory sanatorium.[13] The Matyas Cave in the outskirts of the city has a crawling-room-only section called the "sandwich of death."[14]

Regional tourism

Medicinal Bath of Hévíz

Lake Balaton in western Hungary is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. It is the second most important tourist destination in Hungary. 2.5 million tourists visited the lake in 1994.[15][16] Hungary's other tourist attractions include spas, excellent facilities for activity holidays, and cultural attractions such as the villages of the Great Hungarian Plain and the art treasures found in Budapest.[4] Hungary has more than 400 camping grounds.[17] There are more than 2,500 km of dedicated bicycle lanes in the country.[18] Fishing is popular in Hungary and almost half of the country's 130,000 hectares of rivers and lakes are used by anglers. The country has excellent opportunities for birdwatching,[19] and horse riding and hunting are also popular.[20]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Hudman, Lloyd E.; Eva H. Essa; Richard H. Jackson (2002). Geography of Travel & Tourism. Thomson Delmar Learning. pp. 284–285. ISBN 0-7668-3256-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hall, Derek R. (2004). Tourism and Transition: Governance, Transformation and Development. CABI Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 0-85199-748-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Lyman, Rick (2006-09-03). "Budapest Is Stealing Some of Prague's Spotlight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Boniface, Brian G.; Christopher P. Cooper (2005). Worldwide Destinations: The Geography of Travel and Tourism. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 210. ISBN 0-7506-5997-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Tourism in Hungary 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bachmann, Helena (2002-03-18). "Beauty and the Feast". Time. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Sights". Budapest Tourism Office. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Schweizer, Kristen (2004-03-06). "Hungary: 'Mediterran' thermal spa water park". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fallon, Steve (2003). Budapest: Steaming Special Section on Thermal Baths. Lonely Planet. p. 97. ISBN 1-86450-356-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Krezinger, Szonja (2008-05-14). "Your tour guide to Budapest". Metro World News. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Swanson, Brandon (2006-06-05). "Digging the way to a new market". The Prague Post. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Hebbert, Charles (2002). The Rough Guide to Budapest. Rough Guides. pp. 66–67. ISBN 1-85828-889-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Hebbert, Charles (2002). The Rough Guide to Budapest. Rough Guides. p. 68. ISBN 1-85828-889-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Bowes, Gemma (2006-02-26). "20 Urban adventures". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Lake Balaton". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-05-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Hall, Derek (2003). Tourism and Sustainable Community Development. Routledge. p. 39. ISBN 0-415-30915-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Johnstone, Sarah (2005). Europe on a Shoestring. Lonely Planet. p. 585. ISBN 1-74059-779-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Johnstone, Sarah (2005). Europe on a Shoestring. Lonely Planet. p. 586. ISBN 1-74059-779-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Fallon, Steve; Neal Bedford (2003). Hungary. Lonely Planet. p. 55. ISBN 1-74059-152-6. line feed character in |author2= at position 5 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Fallon, Steve; Neal Bedford (2003). Hungary. Lonely Planet. p. 56. ISBN 1-74059-152-6. line feed character in |author2= at position 5 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links