Economy of Hungary

Hungary continues to demonstrate economic growth as one of the newest member countries of the European Union (since 2004). The private sector accounts for over 80% of GDP. Hungary gets nearly one third of all foreign direct investment flowing in to Central Europe. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totalling more than US$23 billion since 1989. The Hungarian sovereign debt’s credit rating is BBB+ as of July 2006, making Hungary the only other country in the EU apart from Poland not to enjoy an A grade score. Inflation and unemployment have been on the rise in the past few years, and they are expected to rise further. Foreign investors’ trust in the Hungarian Economy has declined, as they deem that the stringency measures planned in the 2nd half of 2006 are not satisfactory, their focus being mainly on increasing the income side rather than curbing government spendings. Economic reform measures such as health care reform, tax reform, and local government financing are being addressed by the present government.

The Hungarian government has expressed a desire to adopt the euro currency in 2010. However, foreign analysts widely criticised that date as highly unrealistic given the current shape of the economy in relation to the Maastricht criteria; their assessments suggest that a date of 2013-2014 for Euro adoption is more realistic. Some analysts even go as far as to suggest that Romania and Bulgaria, who joined the EU in 2007, might beat Hungary to euro adoption.

The economy today is growing in Hungary,  a lot of new apartments in Budapest appeared. In addition, the so-called video guide system also appeared that serve as a great pastime for Budapest tourists.

Culture of Hungary

The music of Hungary consists mainly of traditional Hungarian folk music and music by prominent composers such as Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. Hungarian traditional music tends to have a strong dactylic rhythm, just as the language is invariably stressed on the first syllable of each word.

Hungarian cuisine is also a prominent feature of Hungarian culture, with traditional dishes such as goulash (gulyás or gulyásleves) a main feature of the Hungarian diet. Dishes are often flavoured with paprika. Stews are often to be found with typical elements such as pork or beef, for example as used in pörkölt.

Hungary is famous for its excellent mathematics education which has trained numerous outstanding scientists. Famous Hungarian mathematicians include Paul Erdős, famed for publishing in over forty languages and whose Erdős numbers are still tracked; János (John) Bolyai, designer of non-Euclidean (or “absolute”) geometry in 1831; John von Neumann, a pioneer of digital computing; Eugene Wigner; and many others. Erdős, von Neumann, and Wigner, like other Hungarian Jewish scientists, fled rising anti-Semitism in Europe, and made their most famous contributions in the United States.

Hungarians are very proud of their inventions. These include the noiseless match (János Irínyi), the Rubik’s cube, the krypton electric bulb (Imre Bródy, 1891–1944), and the aforementioned non-Euclidian geometry. A number of other important inventions, including holography, the ballpoint pen (invented by the eponymous Laszlo Bíró), the theory of the hydrogen bomb, and the BASIC programming language, were invented by Hungarians who fled the country prior to World War II.

Hungarian literature has recently gained some renown outside the borders of Hungary (mostly through translations into German, French and English). Some modern Hungarian authors became increasingly popular in Germany and Italy especially Sándor Márai, Péter Esterházy, Péter Nádas and Imre Kertész. The latter is a contemporary Jewish writer who survived the Holocaust and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2002.

The older classics of Hungarian literature and Hungarian poetry remained almost totally unknown outside Hungary. János Arany, a famous nineteenth century Hungarian poet is still much loved in Hungary (especially his collection of Ballads), among several other “true classics” like Sándor Petőfi, the poet of the Revolution of 1848, Endre Ady, Mihály Babits, Dezső Kosztolányi, Attila József and János Pilinszky. Other well-known Hungarian authors are Zsigmond Móricz, Gyula Illyés, Albert Wass, and Magda Szabó.

One of the most famous Hungarians is the footballer Ferenc Puskás (1927 – 2006). He scored 84 goals in 85 internationals for Hungary, and 511 goals in 533 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues. Puskás played the 1954 World Cup final against West Germany. In 1958, after the Hungarian Revolution, he emigrated to Spain where he played in the legendary Real Madrid team that also included Alfredo Di Stéfano, and Francisco Gento.

Hungarians are also known for their prowess at water sports, mainly swimming, water polo and canoeing; this can be said to be surprising at first, due to Hungary being landlocked. On the other hand, the presence of two major rivers (the Duna and the Tisza) and a major lake (Balaton) give excellent opportunities to practice these sports.

Budapest by night

One of the best attraction of Budapest is its entertainment. The nightlife of the capital is plenty in concerts, theater and opera pieces, bars and clubs. The Opera House is famous all over the world not only for its elegant and beautiful architectonic features but also for the great quality of its program. It’s impossible to come to Budapest while there are no festivals or concerts and Hungary is very proud of this. There are different events every night… live music, dance events, folk festivals, wine festival and much more….

If you like jazz music could be nice to go to the restaurant Jazz Garden where it’s possible to have dinner hearing the best  jazz musicians of Hungary. But if you instead like more rock-blus music the right place is the Old man’s Pub…. an authentic pub with great food and beverage! Budapest is also well-known because of the ruin pubs like Szimplakert or Instant. It is the center of tourism in Budapest. In these original bars you can try and taste the famous hungarian beers and the traditional spirit (palinka) and…. of course…have a lot of fun!