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Economy of Hungary

The economy of Hungary is a medium-sized, structurally, politically and institutionally open economy in Central Europe and is part of the European Union's (EU) single market. Like most Eastern European economies, the economy of Hungary experienced market liberalisation in the early 1990s as part of the transition from socialist economy to market economy. Hungary is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1995, a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1996, and a member of the European Union since 2004.

Hungarian economy prior to World War II was primarily oriented towards agriculture and small-scale manufacturing. Hungary's strategic position in Europe and its relative lack of natural resources have dictated a traditional reliance on foreign trade. In the early 1950s, the communist government forced rapid industrialization after the standard Stalinist pattern in an effort to encourage a more self-sufficient economy. Most economic activity was conducted by state-owned enterprises or cooperatives and state farms.
Social and economical changes have already taken place starting from 1968. This year the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (HSWP) introduced the New Economic Mechanism which had three main fields.

State enterprises were more free in investments and hiring. They also got greater autonomy in internal decisions thus making them more efficient. Limited number of small private businesses were allowed to operate in the private sector, too.Prices were put in three categories: fixed prices determined by the ministry (mainly raw materials), limited prices (which included basic aliments and could move in a certain price window), and completely free-floating prices.Liberalised import which improved the efficiency of enterprises and made Hungary a part of international flow of goods.Starting from the '70s Hungary's foreign debts rose from $1 billion in 1973 to $15 billion in 1993 because of the wide social welfare system, consumer subsidies, and unprofitable state enterprises which were core elements of HSWP First Secretary János Kádár's "Goulash communism". Joint venture law was introduced as well as income tax and Hungary built a two-tier banking system.

Because of these preliminary changes, the change of regime in 1989 went smoothly in Hungary. The government and the opposition met in the Hungarian Round Table Talks from March to September 1989 where the ground rules of the transition were declared. The first democratic elections were held in April 1990 and brought the victory of Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) with József Antall as prime minister.

If you want to know more from Hungary you can visit the country and stay in a studio of Budapest. Budapest has a lots of comfortable apartment in the inner city of Budapest.

Islands of Budapest

Seven islands can be found on the Danube: Hajógyári sziget (literal translation: Shipyard Island), Margitsziget (Margaret Island), and Csepel sziget (this island is a separate district of Budapest, the XXI., while the other islands are parts of other districts, the III. and XIII. respectively), Palotai-sziget (in fact, it's a peninsula today), Népsziget (connected to the above, but mostly surrounded by water), Háros-sziget and Molnár-sziget.

Notable islands:

  • Margitsziget is a 2.5 km long island (and 0.965 km² in area) The island mostly consists of a park and is a popular recreational area for tourists and locals alike. The island lies between bridges Margaret Bridge (south) and Árpád Bridge (north). Dance clubs, Swimming pools, an Aqua park, athletic and fitness centers, bicycle and running tracks can be found around the Island. During the day the island is occupied by people doing sports, or just resting. In the summer (generally on the weekends) mostly young people go to the island at night to party in its terraces, or to just 'chill' with a bottle of alcohol on a bench or on a grass (this form of entertainment is sometimes referred to as bench-partying)
  • The Csepel-sziget (pronounced CHE-pel see-get) or Csepel Island is the largest island of the River Danube in Hungary. It is 48 km long; its width is 6-8 km and its area comprises 257 km², whereas only the northern tip is inside the city limits.
  • Hajógyári-sziget (or Óbudai-sziget) is a man built island, located in the third district. This island hosts many activities such as: wake-boarding, jet-skiing during the day, and dance clubs during the night. This is the island where the famous Sziget Festival takes place, hosting hundreds of performances per year and now around 400,000 visitors in its last edition. Many building projects are taking place to make this island into one of the biggest entertainment centers of Europe, the plan is to build Apartment buildings, hotels, casinos and a marina.
  • Luppa-sziget is the smallest island of Budapest, located in the north region.

If you find a local budapest tourist guide, you can visist all of the islands.

Shopping in Budapest: The central market and Vaci street

The Cover Market and Vaci street

The Central market is one of the main Budapest’s tourist attractions. It is the the largest and oldest covered market in the city. Located at the end of Vaci utca affects the visitors for its exterior architecture and the size but also for its irresistible interior. At the entrance you will be overcome by the spectacular colors and smells of the local food and souvenirs. The Cover market is settled just at the end of Vaci Street which is the main pedestrian and the most famous street of the city center. here there is a huge choice of restaurants and shops. Vaci Utca is one of the fundamental shopping street in Budapest. If you are looking for a classic Hungarian product, buy Paprika at the Central market, Rubik’s cube or hungarian famous porcelains. While if you are looking for something different there are lots of great young and progressive shops where it is possible to find designed cloths and jewels.

Lake Balaton in Hungary

Lake Balaton (Hungarian Balaton German or Plattensee Balaton) is a freshwater lake of Hungary and the largest lake in Central Europe. Its characteristics make it a fishing and tourism of Hungary important. Lake Balaton stretches in a general WSW-ENE along the southern foothills of the mountains Bakony Hungary. 78 km long with a width varying from 1.5 km to 15 km, the lake is fed by thirty small springs and streams. Zala is the largest of its tributaries. Before reaching the lake, it flows through a wetland (south west of the lake), now fitted, called Kis-Balaton (the "Little Balaton"). The outlet of the lake is the channel Sió which joins the Danube. The output rate is controlled by a lock. The south shore, flatter, is lined with several resorts (Siofok example). The north shore is rather reserved for spas, as Balatonfüred. The Kis-Balaton is a bird sanctuary housing various species of herons, egrets and other waterfowl. Many tourists are also attracted to the lake Balaton by the scenic beauty, as well as its reputation as a "romantic lake" 1.Fishing is another local economic activity, 40 species of fish live in the lake (including pike, carp and catfish). One of the local specialties is also a soup of fish paprika1. Lake Balaton was sung by Michel Jonasz (album Change everything). It was also the subject of a piece of DJ Eric Prydz (aka Pryda). There is a beauty contest called Miss Hungary Balaton.Lake Balaton has particularly inspired the Hungarian artist József Egry1 2.In winter, frost turns the water on which to operate tanks ice. In 2004, it hosts the World Championships in ice tank.

11th - 17th century exhibition

The exhibition begins in the Arpad era and features one of the museum’s most valuable exhibits, the crown of Constantine IX Monomachus, decorated with enamel work. Also on display in this section are the funeral decorations of Bela III, Romanesque sacred vessels, weapons and an interesting collection of coins. The period of Angevin rule (see p18 ) coincided with the birth of the Gothic style, which is represented here by some excellent examples of gold work. The next two halls explore the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg (see p24) and the achievements of Janos Hunyadi (see p24). On display here are copies of portraits of King Sigismund by Albrecht Durer and a richly decorated ceremonial saddle. There are also several platinum and gold pieces, illuminated manuscripts and documents. The lifestyle of peasants from this era is illustrated, as well as the history of the royal court. The reign of Matyas Corvinus (see pp24–5) and the Jagie¬¬o dynasty (see p18) marks the decline of the Gothic period and the birth of the Renaissance. Exhibits from this era include a 15th-century glass goblet belonging to King Matyas, late Gothic pews from a church in Bartfa, armour and weapons, as well as a 16th-century dress belonging to Maria Habsburg. Magnificent examples of sculpture, art and artifacts from the 16th and 17th centuries follow. Of interest are items that survived the Turkish occupation (see pp26 –7), especially the everyday objects and weapons. A separate hall is dedicated to the Transylvanian dukedom and the important historical role that it played. Exhibited here are vessels and jewellery elaborately crafted in gold, 17th-century costumes, and original ceramics produced by the people of Haban, who settled there in the early 17th century. This last section of the exhibition ends in 1686, at the time of the liberation of Budapest tours by the Christain armies after the Turkish occupation. In this part of the museum there are also portraits of influential Hungarians from the periobud, and an interesting exhibition of jewellery dating from the 17th century

Rail travel

Budapest has direct rail links with 25 other capital cities. Every day, more than 50 international trains, many of them express services, arrive and depart from the city’s four railway stations. Some trains terminate here, while others enable passengers to join connecting services. Hungarian trains are widely considered to be a very efficient means of getting around, and their reputation is well deserved. Most importantly, they invariably depart and arrive at the right time. Transfer from Budapest to Vienna, the main communication hub for western Europe, depart approximately every three hours. The fastest trains run at top speeds of 140–160 km/h (85–100 mph). The travelling time is an efficient 2 hours 50 minutes. The “Transbalkan” train, which also has car carriages, runs from Keleti pu to Thessaloníki in Greece every day. Detailed information on all domestic and international rail travel running to and from Budapest can be obtained from either Keleti pu or the MÁV (Hungarian Railways) ticket sales office, which is centrally located at No. 35 Andrássy út. It is worth knowing that there are several concessionary fares available. Foreign visitors to Hungary can buy a season ticket that is valid for between seven and ten days and offers unlimited travel throughout the country. There are also a number of Europe-wide passes that allow you to travel cheaply on trains throughout Europe and Hungary. Local trains can be either “slow” (személy) or “speedy” (sebes), but both invariably make frequent stops. A much better option if time is tight is for you to take the fast (gyors) train. There are also modern Intercity trains, which take passengers to Pécs, Miskolc, Debrecen, Szeged, Békéscsaba and all the larger cities in Hungary in around 1–3 hours. Seat reservations, costing a small extra charge, are required on these clean and comfortable trains.

Royal Palace and Budapest History Museum

The roayal palace has borne many incarnations during its long life. Even now it is not known exactly where King Béla IV began building his castle, though it is thought to be nearer the site of Mátyás Church (see pp82 –3). The Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg built a Gothic palace on the present site, from which today’s castle began to evolve. In the 18th century, the Habsburgs built their monumental palace Budapest-Vienna. The current form dates from the rebuilding of the 19th-century palace after its destruction in February 1945. During this work, remains of the 15th-century Gothic palace were uncovered. Hungarian archeologists decided to reveal the recovered defensive walls and royal chambers in the reconstruction.


Since unifaction of Budapest-Krakow in 1873, historic artifacts relating to Hungary’s capital have been collected. Many are now on show at the Budapest History Museum (also called the Castle Museum). During the rebuilding that followed the destruction suffered in World War II, chambers dating from the Middle Ages were uncovered in the south wing (wing E) of the Royal Palace. They provide an insight into the character of a much earlier castle within today’s Habsburg reconstruction. These chambers, including a tiny prison cell and a chapel, were recreated in the basement of the palace. They now house an exhibition, the Royal Palace in Medieval Buda, which displays authentic weapons, seals, tiles and other early artifacts. On the ground floor, Budapest-Prague in the Middle Ages illustrates the evolution of the town from its Roman origins to a 13th-century Hungarian settlement. The reconstructed defensive walls, gardens and keep on this level are further attractions. Also on this floor are the Gothic Statues from the Royal Palace, dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. These were uncovered by chance in the major excavations of 1974. On the first floor, Budapest in Modern Times traces the history of the city from 1686 to the present.

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