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Tourism In Hungary Statistics 2024: The Hungary Travel Guide

Courtney C.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Courtney C.

Last updated : Apr 18, 202418 min read

General

Hungary Tour Guide

 

Did you know that the Hungarian Parliament building was awarded the title of top tourist attraction by Stasher tourism? For a political building to take this honor, it goes to show how grand architecture and history are in Hungary.

 

Is Hungary good for tourists? Right off the bat, the answer is yes, but if you’re wondering “what makes it amazing”, and ‘How many days are enough for Hungary’ or ‘What is the best month to visit Hungary?’, these are just some of the questions answered in this article to help you with your travel planning. You’ll also get some great tourist tips, know when to hire a Hungary tour guide, and how to navigate the Pearl of the Danube, so let’s get started! 

 

Hungary By The Numbers: A Statistical Snapshot of Visitor Trends

 

As the 17th largest country in Europe, Hungary is home to 9,683,000 people. It’s known for its popular capital, Budapest, with nearly all tourists who visit the country also visiting the capital.

 

The Heart Of Europe is popular, but how many tourists does Hungary get a year? Well, since 2009 (not including 2023 and including pandemic levels), Hungary has averaged 46 million tourists a year, with this trend seeing a positive incline before COVID-19 and experiencing a resurgence each year since. 

 

 

But which countries visit Hungary the most? Out of the 46.3 million tourists who visited Hungary in 2022 (compared to 61.4 million in 2019), Slovakia was the country that visited Hungary the most, with 9.1 million visitors. Want to know the rest of the top 5? Drumroll please… 

  1. Slovakia - 9.1 million inbound visitors 
  2. Romania - 7.5 million inbound visitors 
  3. Austria - 6 million inbound visitors 
  4. Serbia & Montenegro - 2.7 million inbound visitors. 
  5. Germany - 1.2 million inbound visitors.  

 

Why Do People Visit Hungary?

Hungary is predominantly known for Budapest, seeing as it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Europe. It’s known for its thermal spas and numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Parliament Building, the Buda Castle Quarter and the M1 underground.

 

For those reasons, Hungary’s most popular tourist regions are Budapest, Central Danube, Lake Balaton and Western Transdanubia. Tourists often visit the wine regions for wine tastings (how about a Budapest wine tasting tour?), horseback riding or bike tours through the rural landscape — it's absolutely magical.

 

There are no longer any Hungary travel restrictions, so if this hasn’t convinced you enough to visit, Budapest is among Condé Nast Traveler’s top 2024 destinations.

 

Travel Q&A: What Are 5 Facts About Hungary?

 

 

 

1. Almost 400 species of birds breed in Hungary, making it one of the best birding areas in Europe.

2. The Hungarian Parliament is the third-largest parliament building in the world.

3. Hungary was communist from the end of WWII until 1990, where it’s now a democratic republic.

4. The first subway line in continental Europe was built in Budapest.

5. Budapest is made up of two parts — Buda and Pest — which are separated by the Danube River.

 

Hungary's Urban Gems: Discovering the Rich Tapestry of Its Cities

 If you’re exploring more of what Hungary has to offer, here are a few gorgeous cities to check out (see where they’re located above on our Hungary map).

 

  • Budapest: A city rich in history, boasting UNESCO World Heritage sites like Buda Castle, and the Budapest History Museum. Explore Pest's attractions, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the vibrant Jewish Quarter with the world's largest synagogue. Only staying in Budapest? Read our travel guide for Budapest’s 6 Hidden Gems and Unusual Places to Visit
  • Debrecen: Welcome to Hungary’s second-largest city, home to the country's oldest university. Kossuth ter in the city center features the neoclassical Reformed Great Church, symbolizing Protestantism and the 1848 Hungarian Declaration of Independence.
  • Szeged: A lively university city on the Tisza River, known for charming squares like Dom Square and Szechenyi Square. Enjoy cultural events, music concerts and festivals, including a festive Christmas market in December.
  • Esztergom: Former capital from the 10th to the 13th centuries, showcasing medieval history with Europe's largest basilica. The basilica features the world's largest canvas painting and treasures like an Egyptian-style crypt and the Bahccz Chapel, offering panoramic views from its dome after a climb of 400 steep steps.

 

Travel tip: Want to learn more? Check out our Top 5 Popular Destinations in Hungary.

 

Culinary Adventures: A Taste Of Hungary's Unique Flavors

Alright, so in Hungary, you’re undoubtedly going to get hungry (we had to, sorry!), So, what famous food in Hungary should be on your bucket list? I remember when I visited Budapest in 2019 and stayed at an Airbnb as a solo traveler — which is totally safe, by the way, it’s ranked 18 on the Global Peace Index after all! —  and my host was incredibly welcoming. The best part, though, he gave me a gigantic list of restaurants to visit, both in the area and around the city. Safe to say, I was well-fed on that trip.

 

Here’s a list of some classic Hungarian foods that you don’t want to miss while traveling around Hungary:

 

 

  • Gulyásleves (Goulash Soup): Dive into a steaming bowl of this famous savory dish, where tender meat and vegetables are served in a rich broth seasoned to perfection.
  • Pörkölt: A hearty, thick and flavorful stew featuring a medley of meat, vegetables and the unmistakable kick of paprika, a key ingredient in Hungarian food.
  • Halászlé (Hot and Spicy Fish Soup): Heat things up with this famous fish soup, an aromatic symphony of flavors enhanced by the bold punch of hot paprika.
  • Chicken Paprikash: Featuring chicken in a creamy paprika sauce for a mix of sweet and savory that'll leave you craving more.
  • Lángos (Deep-fried Pastry): Up your street food game with this deep-fried pastry crowned with the irresistible combination of garlic, sour cream and cheese.
  • Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake): Treat yourself to a cylindrical masterpiece adorned with an array of toppings of your choosing, from sugar to jam, Nutella and even a scoop of ice cream.

 

In saying that, be sure to have a chat with a local guide and ask them for their favorite dishes or restaurants for you to try. I’m sure they’d love sharing their culture, plus you get a list of new places to go — a win-win!

 

Travel Treat: Hungary’s Fantastic Food Markets

Are you the type of person who loves to roam around markets while traveling? Here are some of the best food markets in Hungary to check out:

 

 

  • Great Market Hall (Central Market Hall): Budapest's iconic Great Market Hall, beginning in 1897, spans three floors and 10,000 square meters, offering everything from fish, meat and groceries to pastries, sweets and local street food.
  • Rákóczi Square Market: With its delightful blue-yellow hall and high ceilings, this historic market has been open since 1897 and features fresh produce, specialty meats, cheese and wines, often sold by vendors with decades-long ties to the venue.
  • Lehel Market: Vibrant and funky, Lehel Market is a popular spot in Budapest for fresh groceries and treats across two floors, boasting colorful displays of honey, wines, spices and fresh produce, along with the must-try lángos.
  • Szimpla Sunday Farmer’s Market: Hosted in Budapest's oldest ruin pub, Szimpla Kert, this Sunday market offers a cozy atmosphere for locals to purchase honey, vegetables, spices and specialties directly from producers, all while enjoying live music and family-friendly activities.

 

Travel Tips: Cheers! Don’t toast with beer! While in Hungary, make sure you hold your alcohol intake and don’t get too intoxicated, but also remember to accept Palinka (Hungarian brandy) when offered.

 

All this food to eat and sights to see require time, so how many days should you stay in Hungary? 7–10 days is ideal, but it depends on your interests and what you want to do. Unsure how to plan your itinerary? Check out this guide for How Many Days You Need to Fully Enjoy Budapest.

 

From Buda to Pest & Beyond the Capital: Navigating Hungary

Tourism in Hungary has a lot to offer, plus, it’s easy to get around! There are, unfortunately, no rail lines from the airport to Budapest, but there are two regular bus lines that come every 20 to 30 minutes, taking about 35 to 45 minutes. There is also an airport minibus that can take you to your accommodation on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

 

Airport aside, traveling through Hungary is incredibly efficient and affordable, with monthly passes covering all modes of transport available.

 

  • Trains: All rail lines fan out from Keleti, Deli and Nyugati stations in Budapest, with major cities in Hungary and other European cities linked to Budapest by intercity and express train lines. You can use Google Maps to check routes to and from destinations, and some seats require tickets. You can buy these online or at railway stations.
  • Metro: There are four metro lines in Budapest’s city center, with Line 1 being mainland Europe’s oldest underground railway.
  • Buses: The bus network spans the entire city, reaching more obscure locations that trains don’t reach. City-to-city tickets can be bought directly from the driver.
  • Trams: Some Hungarian cities, like Budapest, have trams and trolley-bus lines, with Budapest home to route 4/6, the busiest tram line in the world.
  • Taxis: These are notorious for trying to overcharge foreigners, so make sure the meter is turned on and running correctly, or agree on a fare before the start of the ride.
  • Ride-share apps: while there aren’t many, Fotaxi, City Taxi and Bolt are three thriving in Budapest, giving you more control over routes and prices.
  • Driving: Travelers need an International Driver’s Permit to drive in Hungary, with Hungarians driving on the right side of the road. Traffic is heavy in major cities and can be stressful, especially with parking. With public transport being so accessible, driving is generally not necessary in Hungary for visitors.
  • Bicycle: The EuroVelo No. 6 international bike route crosses Hungary across the Danube, and one of the most beautiful day trips from Budapest is the Danube Bend. Margaret Island and Buda Mountain are also great trips. Budapest also has the MOL Bubi public bike sharing system, LIME e-scooters or BLINKEE electric mopeds.

 

Perfect Timing: Choosing The Best Season To Experience Hungary's Charms

 

 

Hungary experiences all the seasons, so it’s time to figure out which one is the best to visit in.

 

Summer: Hungary experiences average daytime temperatures of 26 to 28oC (79 to 82oF) in the summer. The end of spring and start of summer is the period when it rains the most, so be sure to bring an umbrella. In July 2022, Szeged recorded a temperature of 40.1oC (104oF).

 

Autumn: Temperatures drop quite dramatically in autumn, from 22.9 (73oF) in September, 16.7 (62oF) in October to 10.3 (51oF) in November. It also begins to rain less during this time.

 

Winter: Winter sees average daytime temperatures of 4.5 (40oF), 3.4 (38oF) and 6 (43oF) in December, January and February respectively. In January 2022, the northern city of Debrecan recorded a temperature of -12.4oC (10oF)

 

Spring: In spring, temperatures gradually rise from 11.8 (53oF) in March, 17.9 (64oF) in April and 22.3 (72oF) in May. May is the rainiest month of the year, but these three months see a lot more sunshine than winter. March and April, however, are actually the driest months, averaging 6 days of rain compared to May’s 10.

 

This shows that Hungary does generally not have extreme climate conditions, being in a moderate zone within the Northern Hemisphere.

 

 

The best time to travel in Hungary is between May and September. This is also because these months see the most sunshine per day, ranging between 7 and 10 hours per day, compared to just two and three in November, December and January.

What to attend: Hungary countryside tours give you easy access to different regions of Hungary and allow you to make the most of your trip.

 

Dos & Don'ts For A Smooth Cultural Experience

While travelers aren’t expected to know all etiquette and rules when visiting countries, it’s polite to still know some to help make your trip more comfortable.

 

 

 

Future Forecasts: Predicting Trends for Tourism in Hungary

Tourism dropped during worldwide restrictions in 2020, nearly halving from 61.3 million in 2019 to 31 million in 2020. This has slowly increased to over 36.6 million in 2021 and 46.3 million in 2022.

 

What was Hungary’s tourism forecast for 2023? Excitingly, the three summer months of 2023 saw 6.2 million tourists in Hungary, which exceeds pre-pandemic levels, showing that tourism in Hungary is in full swing.

 

Hungary is expected to reach US$1,555.000m in revenue for the travel and tourism market in 2023, which is incredibly exciting.

What’s even more exciting is that while arrivals were expected to decline in 2023 due to high inflation and rising cost of living in main European source markets, Hungary has exceeded expectations in the tourism sector.

 

Staying Safe: Hungary Edition

 Worried about safety in Hungary? Don’t be, as the country is currently stable politically and is generally a very safe country, but regular travel safety precautions are advised. 

 

Even violent crime is very low, with the homicide rate in Hungary being 0.83 incidents per 100,000, one of the lowest in the world.

 

Do keep in mind that Ukraine is a bordering country to Hungary and the Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing, so don’t cross the border. As for within the cities, petty crime and theft can happen, especially on public transport and in tourist areas, so always have your belongings secured. 

 

As touched on above, in the Pest district, always check prices of food and drinks before you order so that you can be aware of your total bill when paying, and don’t say thank you until you have received your change. 

 

Conclusion

We hope by now you’re itching to make your Hungary holiday plans, so why not start planning now? Start with hiring a Hungarian tour guide, then decide on your itinerary to experience everything is amazing country has to offer.

Budapest Tour Guide - Gabor D.

Gabor D.

Hungary

Hungary my motherland is always been my home and my love. As a private tour guide I promise not to only show you its main attractions but to give you perspective how we do live, who we are, what we experienced during the last few decades. I am offering personalised, fully customised, tailor made tours for individuals, friends, family members.                                                                                                                                  

Budapest Tour Guide - George rashad S.

George rashad S.

Hungary

Dear Visitors! I am happy to welcome You on my page! I am a historian and a licensed tour guide in Hungary. As a tour guide my main goal is to get the most of the dear visitor's time, during their visit in the most convenient way possible. That is why my tours are personalized with flexible departure times and routes. I'm fond of history and I am fascinated by the various cultures. I graduated as a historian. Being a tour guide, I found what I was looking for. It is a great feeling, when I can present the values of Hungary, share interesting stories and information to visitors who long to see and know more, while I also constantly expand my skills and get to know new people. For me, the real success is the joy and satisfaction of my guests. I work in the field of tourism for more than 10 years. My historic and cultural tours embrace the most beautiful and the most important attractions of Budapest, which treasure and revive the history of Hungary. The walking tours provide an exquisite opportunity to immerse you in the urban maelstrom, gain insight into people's everyday lives, try out the developed public transport network of Budapest, including Europe's second oldest tram. In case you would rather sit back and enjoy the sightseeing in comfort, you can choose one of my driving tours. I wish you wonderful time in Hungary! Best regards, George                                                                                                                                 

Budapest Tour Guide - Tiberiu C.

Tiberiu C.

Hungary

Szia! Hi! Hallo! Ceau! My name is Tiberiu(s), or Tibi for short, and I am an IT Service Manager who found his passion in tour guiding over 5 years ago. With late-afternoon and weekend availability (full time as of June), I am more than excited to take you on a mini-journey, including not only the main attractions of the city, but also the lesser-known ones including some tastings. I am also more than happy to adapt the tours to your needs and we may even go outside of the city, if you'd like to, since I own a car. I am also available for one or the other daytrip in or outside of Budapest, just let me know about 1-2 weeks in advance, so I can plan my schedule accordingly. Before booking though, please contact me online in advance, just to make sure. "In the end... we only regret the chances we didn't take" (Lewis Caroll) I want to make memories for people from all over the world! And most important of all, I like to give them an actual taste of our city. You just can't visit Hungary and not try some of our traditional foods (not for veggies or vegans though). Hope to meet you soon and "Viszlát", as we say in Hungarian!                                                                                                                                 

Zala Tour Guide - Viktor K.

Viktor K.

Hungary

The two biggest problems in my life are, that I was born too soon to become a space-cowboy and too late to become a roman legionary soldier. Since Tour guiding was the closest profession to both of these above mentioned things, I became one. Although I finished the university as a communications expert and journalist in Hungary, it seems they did not prefer my honesty, so I didn't have too many prospects in that field. Without a clue of what to do next, I embarked on a journey to find some answers. I soon found my ambition in Tour-guiding and ended up working on a cruise ship, then as a freelancer tour-guide, and then as an adventure tour-guide in Norway. I've been working in the tourism industry since 2012 and ever since, it''was my dream to create an authentic company of my own and to show the beautiful things of my home country. My travels took me to more then 40+ countries. [And I still have both of my kidneys] Sadly during my journeys, I have discovered that out of 100 companies 99 are simply tourist traps, who scam their customers with some fake "experience". But I also saw, that the authentic and quality tour operators are the longest lasting companies with 20+ years. I aspire to become like that 1 in 100 companies. I believe in win-win situations. I'm a social guy. I like to be around people and to show them around. I like to have deep and honest conversations about things and I love to meet some truly amazing guests. There is nothing that you cannot talk about with me. I like this job so much, that I would even do this job for free, but since I cannot buy food with respect, love, or honesty, I do need something more tangible. Anyways…why are you wasting your time reading about me? Go book a tour and we will have all the time in the world to get to know each other and this beautiful Country.                                                                                                                                 

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