Today we are going dive into what makes Hungary truly unique, from its fairytale-like architecture to its captivating wine regions.
Here are 15 facts about Hungary that you more than likely did not know.
- Facts About Hungary
- 1. It is home to Europe’s first official wine region
- 2. Budapest has an underground cave system
- 3. You Can Ski in Hungary
- 4. It has Never Hosted an Olimpic Games Despite Winning
- 5. The Rubik’s Cube was invented in Hungary
- 6. The Hungarian Language is like no other in Europe
- 7. Hungary is Home to The Largest Lake in Central Europe
- 8. The third-largest Parliament Building in the World is in Budapest
- 9. Hungary Has 10 National Parks
- 10. Hungary is Home to 22 Wine Regions
- 11. It is Famous for Thermal Baths and Spas
- 12. Hungary is Bordered by Seven Countries
- 13. Hungary’s Unique Ruin Bars
Facts About Hungary
1. It is home to Europe’s first official wine region
One surprising fact about Hungary is it is home to one of the oldest wine regions in the World. The Tokaj Region was founded in 1737, meaning it is even older than those of Bordeaux!
Due to the country’s unique climate, they can produce a range of different grapes from dry whites to fruity reds.
Because of this, it is clear to see why Hungary is known as one of the top wine producers in the world!
2. Budapest has an underground cave system
Here’s another, Hungarian fact you probably didn’t know about!
Beneath Budapest lies an extensive cave system with over 200 individual caves. Making it the largest system in Europe.
This is becoming an increasingly popular activity for adventure lovers, with many taking part in daily guided tours.
Here, they can navigate the winding system with a guide and really get to explore a whole new part of the city.
Not only are the caves an exciting tourist attraction they also served a great purpose in WWII when they were used as air raid shelters to protect citizens during bombing raids.
It was also a common place for Hungarian fighters to house weapons and gear.
3. You Can Ski in Hungary
As far as Hungarian facts go, this is one many are not aware of but you can actually ski in Hungary.
Now, I will admit, that Hungary is not exactly considered to be home to some of Europe’s top ski resorts there are a few places in which you can catch some fresh powder while visiting.
One of the most notable ski areas in Hungary is Mátraszentistván Ski Park, just a short hour and 30 minutes drive from Budapest.
This resort is home to some beautiful landscapes and easy-to-moderate ski runs. Perfect for beginners who just want to enjoy a day on the slopes.
But, I would not recommend visiting for anyone who is expecting conditions and ruins that compare to Austria or Switzerland.
4. It has Never Hosted an Olimpic Games Despite Winning
When it comes to the Olympic Games, Hungary holds a pretty impressive track record by winning over 511 medals as of 2023.
However, despite these wins, the country has yet to actually host an Olympic games, making it the most successful country to not host the event.
5. The Rubik’s Cube was invented in Hungary
A fact I found rather interesting is, that the world-famous Rubik’s cube was actually created in Hungary in 1974.
The now-famous toy was designed by Hungarian architecture professor, Erno Rubik, as a way of teaching his students spatial relationships.
Hungary is quite proud of this invention, and to this day, the country still celebrates with regular Rubik’s Cube competitions held in Budapest each year. The city is also home to a Rubik’s cube mural and museum.
6. The Hungarian Language is like no other in Europe
The Hungarian language, known as Magyar locally, is truly unique in the context of European languages.
The language is part of the Finno-Ugric family, and shares more ties with Asian and Middle Eastern languages than those of Europe.
It is known for its complex grammar structure and rich vocabulary which makes it a rather difficult language to learn and understand.
7. Hungary is Home to The Largest Lake in Central Europe
Lake Balaton, is a popular attraction amount both locals and tourists. Home to beautiful scenery, beaches and wine regions.
But, that is not all the lake has to offer, it is also the largest lake in Central Europe with a surface area of 592 square kilometres, so it is no wonder that it attracts so many visitors each year!
8. The third-largest Parliament Building in the World is in Budapest
It is not a secret, that the Parliament building in Budapest is one of the most beautiful landmarks in the country. But, did you know that it is also the 3rd largest parliament building in the world?
The building was completed in 1904, with 600+ rooms, 20 kilometres of stairs and 2772 windows!! Just to put into perspective just how big it really is.
It is a popular spot for tourists to visit, all capturing snaps of the Gothic-style architecture. It is also popular among those looking to take a guided tour of the building.
If you plan on visiting Budapest, I recommend visiting the parliament at night because that is when the building really puts on a show. Illuminated in the night sky.
9. Hungary Has 10 National Parks
There is more to Hungary than Budapest, and while the surrounding areas are nowhere near as popular on an international scale. They are still stunning and well worth a visit!
The country is home to 10 national parks, each with its own unique charm and natural wonders.
These parks range from the flat Great Plains in the south to the rolling hills and valleys in the north.
Each park offers a unique exploration opportunity, from birdwatching in Hortobágy National Park, the country’s oldest national park, to marvelling at the largest stalactite cave of the Carpathian Basin in Aggtelek National Park.
10. Hungary is Home to 22 Wine Regions
Not only is Hungary home to the first official wine region there are also 22 other official wine regions worth exploring.
Hungarian wines are gaining recognition and are praised for their quality, variety, and unique flavours.
As already mentioned they have the Tokaj Region, known for its sweet dessert wines, and Villány, famous for its red wines made from indigenous grapes.
Another famous region is Eger, known for its red blend known as Bull’s Blood. The Kunság region is known for producing mostly dry whites.
11. It is Famous for Thermal Baths and Spas
In Hungary, thermal baths and spas are not just a luxury but also part of their culture and history.
The country is home to over 1,000 natural springs that have been used for healing purposes since the Roman Empire.
There are over 100 thermal baths in Budapest alone, including the famous Széchenyi and Gellért Baths, offering a relaxing experience for locals and tourists alike.
12. Hungary is Bordered by Seven Countries
Hungary is a landlocked country that borders 7 other European countries, including Austria, Slovakia Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
Due to its location, Hungary is greatly influenced by its surrounding neighbours in history, culture and diversity.
13. Hungary’s Unique Ruin Bars
Ruin bars are one of the unique attractions of Hungary, particularly in the capital city, Budapest.
These bars, which are typically located in previously abandoned buildings have been transformed into stylish places for locals and tourists to safely socialise at night.
However, these bars are also rather popular in the daytime. They tend to host an array of community events, art exhibitions, and markets. Making them one of the top tourist activities in the city.