• major tourist attractions
• main places of interest
• Hungary as a destination
Hungary is situated in the heart of Europe and it covers an area of 93.000 square kilometers. It has a population of about 10 million inhabitants and has been a republic since October 23, 1989, when it adopted a new Consitution.
To the west, Hungary borders Austria; to the south, Slovenia, Croatica and Serbia; to the east Romania and the Ukraine; and to the north, Slovakia.
Most of the country is flat. The hills in the western part of the country lead to the Alps, while higher hills lying to the northeast are part of the Carpathian Alps. The biggest river is the Danube, the highest point in Hungary is a peak in the Mátra Mountains called Kékestető. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, it’s a popular holiday resort with Hungarians and other Europeans alike.
The climate of Hungary is temperate, with distinct seasons.
The capital of Hungary is Budapest with about 2 million inhabitants: it is the political, economic, commercial and cultural centre of the country. It is also one of the most important railway junctions in Europe. It lies on the two banks of the River Danube. Buda and Pest were two towns before 1873 when the two parts of the city and Óbuda were officially united.
Other major cities are Miskolc, Debrecen, Szeged and Pécs.
While Hungary is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in Central Europe (90% of the population are Magyars), it does have a number of different minorities, the largest of which are the Gypsies.
Hungary is a parliamentary republic. There are parliamentary elections every four years, and the leader of the winning party is asked by the president to form the government. The president is elected by the parliament every five years.
Hungary is divided into the capital, 19 counties, 22 towns of county rank and 23 districts in Budapest.
I live in Budapest in the 17th district. It’s a greenbelted location and it’s far from the city centre and it’s more peaceful and healthy.
There are several attractions in Budapest:
Matthias Church: a 700 year-old gothic church on Castle hill, re-built in the last century. Many kings were crowned here.
City Park: the largest open space in Budapest, it contains the zoo, funfair, and a castle specially built to show the many styles of Hungarian architecture.
Elizabeth Bridge: the only bridge to be re-built in modern style after the War, it was the first cable bridge in Europe and is famous for its slender, graceful lines.
The Royal Palace: originally a castle from the 13th century, it was re-built as a magnificent residence for the monarchy in the 19th century and now houses the National Gallery.
Parliament: the seat of the Hungarian government, building began in 1885 and finished in 1905.
Chain Bridge: the first permanent link between Buda and Pest, it was the brainchild of István Széchenyi and was designed and built by two British engineers, both named Clark.
The Citadel and Liberation monument: a Habsburg fortress on the highest hill of the Danube bank, with the statue commemorating the release of Hungary from Nazi domination at the end of the World War II.
Heroe’s Square: flanked by the Fine Arts Museum and the Art Gallery, the central column carries the Millenium Monument and stands in front of a semi-circle of statues of great historical figures.
Margaret Island: in the middle of the Danube, and nearly two miles long, it is a spacious and varied leisure park with its own spa.
The Fishermen’s Bastion: visitors are usually amazed to learn that this was only built in 1903. it offers excellent views of the city.
Hungary joined to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1999), so our safety and future increased because this organization is a military union.
We joined to EU (European Union) too in 2004 but till now I haven’t felt the effect of the connection. Probably Hungary has more financial aid but there isn’t more workplace and better salaries.