caravanning
Caravan Sites




Driving
Vehicle documents
Visitors from countries that subscribe to the Vienna Code do not need an International Driving Permit. Check with your motor vehicle insurance company regarding any documents you will need and whether additional insurance is required. Third-party cover can be bought at the border. You must carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, and spare bulbs for front and rear lights, and have flexible mud-guards fitted on your rear bumpers. The international registration letter of your country of residence must be displayed at the rear of your car. It is illegal to bring cans of petrol into Hungary.


Rules Of The Road
Always carry your full valid driving licence (or International Driving Permit, if necessary), vehicle registration documents, and insurance documents with you at all times. Traffic drives on the right in Hungary. At junctions priority is given to drivers coming from the right, unless otherwise indicated. Trams always have right of way. You are not allowed to drive if you have consumed any alcohol. Seat belts are obligatory, and children under 12 are not allowed to ride in the front.


Roads, Tolls And Speed Limits
Roads in Hungary are divided into four categories: motorways, highways, secondary roads, and minor roads. The only toll roads are the section of the M1 between the Austrian border and GyÞr, and the M5 between Budapest and Kecskemét. Speed limits are 120 kilometres (74 miles) per hour on motorways; 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour on principal highways; 80 kilometres (49 miles) per hour on other main roads; and 50 kilometres (31 miles) per hour in built-up areas.


Driving Tips
In Budapest, call FÞvinform, tel: +36 1 117 1173 for information on driving conditions; elsewhere, call Útinform, tel: +36 1 322 2238. Information is given in English and German between 08.00 and 18.00. When driving in the countryside, watch out for horse-drawn carts, trucks, and bicycles.

Assistance
Emergency phones are positioned every two kilometres (1.2 miles) on motorways. For 24-hour assistance in English, dial 088 outside Budapest, or contact MAK (Magyar Autoklub), Rómer Flóris u. 4/a, Budapest, tel: (01) 252 8000

Ferries
Ferry services run on the River Danube between Budapest and Esztergom, and between Budapest and Vienna. For 24-hour ferry information, contact Útinform, tel: +36 1 322 3600/322 7052.

 
ADVICE AND INFORMATION

Landlocked Hungary stretches from the Austrian frontier, across the rolling hills of Transdanubia, to the endless horizons of the Great Plain. In the north, the River Danube and a chain of forested uplands form the boundary with Slovakia. To the south, the land lies open to the plains of Croatia and Serbia. The metropolitan delights of Budapest and the shores of Lake Balaton, the “Hungarian Ocean”, are well known, but Hungary has much more to offer than its capital city and its great lake. Pastoral traditions are still in evidence in the Great Plain, where steppe-like landscapes are preserved in the world-famous Hortobágy National Park. The uplands are a wonderful recreational asset for city-dwellers, especially the Danube Bend region. Provincial towns in Hungary have a strong individual identity, from industrial Miskolc to 2,000-year-old Pécs.At the end of the 9th century AD, Hungarian tribes crossed the Carpathian Mountains and took possession of the Danube basin. Successive invasions, by Mongols in the 13th century, then later by Turkish forces, Habsburg king-emperors, and Soviet tanks, have moulded Hungarian history, bringing devastation or unwanted occupation to the land and its people. Before World War I, Hungary was three times the size it is today, and consequently many Hungarians live outside the country's present borders. In 1989, Hungary precipitated the collapse of Communism by dismantling border barriers and allowing East Germans to flood into the west. The country was an early post-Cold War candidate for membership of the European Union and became a member of NATO in March 1999.Hungarian cultural life blossomed in the 19th and early 20th century, with international figures emerging in music, art, and architecture. Franz Liszt was one of the finest romantic composers of the 19th century, while Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók were noted for their 20th-century interpretation of Hungarian folk music. In the late 19th century, Mihály Munkácsy was famed for his large-scale realistic paintings, and Victor Vasarely was a major exponent of Op Art in the 1960s. Two of architect Frigyes Schulek's mock-medieval designs, the Fishermen's Bastion and Matthias Church, are among Budapest's most famous monuments. Despite the fine poetry of János Arany and Sándor PetÞfi, and the novels of Mór Jókai, Hungarian literature is less known outside the borders.

Budapest
Ancient Buda on a hill to the west and modern Pest to the east, spanning the mighty Danube, form one of the great metropolitan cities of Central Europe. Buda's Castle Hill is the usual starting point for exploring this vibrant city. The buildings, destroyed in World War II have been painstakingly restored. The great Gothic Matthias Church, and the Fishermen's Bastion, offer wonderful views over the Danube. Beyond the huge Royal Palace with its museums and galleries are the dramatic cliffs of Gellért Hill, topped by the giant Freedom Monument in commemoration of soldiers who died fighting the Nazis. The broad boulevards of Pest are lined with imposing edifices like the National Museum and the extraordinary Museum of Applied Arts, one of the city's many fine art nouveau buildings. Pedestrians throng the fashionable shopping street of Váci utca or stroll along the Danube Embankment, where the neo-Gothic parliament building has pride of place.


Pécs
This attractive southern city with its universities and colleges has the confident air of a provincial capital. The Turkish presence is more marked here than anywhere else in Hungary, the most prominent building in the main square being the Pasha Kasim Mosque, now a Christian church. Fine buildings of many periods dot the townscape; the four-towered cathedral goes back to the 11th century, and close by are important Roman remains. The city is sheltered by the Mecsek Hills, their lower slopes covered with vineyards. Wine is also produced in the Villány region to the south-east.
Entry Requirements
Citizens of the European Union (EU) do not need a visa to enter Hungary for stays of less than six months. Other nationals should consult the Hungarian embassy or consulate in their country of residence before departure, for information regarding visa requirements.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Ambulance: 104
Police: 107
Fire brigade: 105

Time Zones
Central European Time (GMT plus one hour). Clocks are put forward one hour from the last Sunday in March to the Saturday before the end of October.

Transport
Metro, buses and trams
Trolley buses and buses operate in most Hungarian towns and cities. Yellow trams (villamos) run in Debrecen, Miskolc, and Szeged, as well as in Budapest. Express buses (numbered in red) stop only at main stops. The numbers of those travelling between main termini only are prefixed with an "E". Strips of tickets are sold at street kiosks and tobacconists. These can be used on buses, trams, trolley buses, and the metro. Tickets valid for 24 hours or longer are also available. The Budapest metro, which has three lines, operates from 04.30 to 23.10. Stations are marked with a large red "M". You can buy tickets at ticket windows, street kiosks, and tobacconists. These are good for one line only but can be used for up to an hour, during which time you can break your journey as often as you like.

Before you go get covered for all events

Electrical Devices
The electrical current is 220 volts AC. Round, two-pin plugs are standard. An adapter is essential for UK and Irish appliances.



Money
Notes and coins
The official monetary unit is the forint (Ft). Notes come in denominations of Ft 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, and 50. Coins are issued in Ft 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1.


Currency Exchange
Travellers cheques are the safest way to carry money, and you should buy these in your own country before you leave. You can exchange these at banks and shops in the main tourist centres. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club are widely accepted except in more rural areas. Current exchange rates are listed in the major newspapers. Travel agencies such as IBUSZ charge commission (usually 1 percent) to change money and do not always accept travellers cheques. You will find bureaux de change in all large towns, but check the rate and commission charged: you will probably get a better deal in a bank, especially on small transactions. Banks are open from 08.00 to 15.00 Monday to Thursday, and 08.00 to 13.00 on Fridays. ATMs are increasingly common, and you can obtain cash from banks with major credit cards. You can also cash Eurocheques to the value of Ft 18,000 per day at some banks.


Tipping
Waiters, hairdressers, and taxi drivers expect a tip of 10 to 15 percent of the bill.

Public Holidays
1 January: New Year's Day
15 March: Day of the 1848 uprising against Austrian rule
Easter Monday
Whitsun Monday
1 May: Labour Day
20 August: Constitution Day
23 October: Republic Day
25 and 26 December: Christmas
(Note that when a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, the Monday or Friday becomes a holiday too.)

Travellers With Disabilities
For information on accommodation and travel within Hungary for travellers with disabilities, contact the Hungarian National Tourist Board in your own country before departure. The Hungary Camping Guide, published by the Hungarian Tourist Board, lists 30 campsites suitable for travellers with disabilities. They also publish a brochure describing Hungary's many thermal spas, renowned for their curative treatment