Brief History

Hungary has a rich and complex history dating back to the 9th century. The Magyar tribes, who migrated from the east, established a state in the Carpathian Basin in the late 10th century. Hungary became a kingdom in 1000 AD under the rule of King Stephen I, and its territory expanded significantly over the centuries. In the 16th century, Hungary came under Ottoman rule, which lasted for more than a century and left a lasting impact on the country’s culture and society. Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918.  Following World War I, Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory, including areas with significant Hungarian populations, under the Treaty of Trianon. This was a significant blow to Hungary’s national pride and identity, and it continued to have a lasting impact on the country’s political and social landscape. Hungary became a communist state after World War II but transitioned to a capitalist system in 1989. Today, Hungary is a member of the European Union and a parliamentary republic.

National Flag

The current version of the Hungarian flag evolved from the tricolor of the 1848 revolution. It was later adopted as a state flag in 1957, and is has been the flag of independent Hungary since 1990. The colors descend from the original Hungarian coat of arms.


Hungary is a landlocked country, meaning that it does not border any ocean or sea. The Danube and Tisza rivers, which flow through Hungary, are central to its geography. The entire country of Hungary is part of the Danube drainage basin, and more than half of the country is part of what is known as the Great Hungarian Plain—a wide flat area of land.

World Land Mass Ranking: 110th

Highest Mountain: Kékes, 1,015 m (3,330 ft)

Longest River: Danube, 2,850 km (1,770 mi)

Main Languages


Hungary Population: 9,678,000 (as of 2023)

Capital City: Budapest

Capital City Population: 1,752,286 (as of 2017)


Hungary has a predominantly temperate, seasonal climate—with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. The low elevation and lack of any coastal borders allow for Hungary to have predictable weather patterns.

Key People

Béla Bartók

Franz Liszt

Eva Gabor

Viktor Orbán

  • Cuisine

    Hungarian cuisine features rich and hearty dishes with a focus on meat, vegetables, and spices, particularly paprika. Goulash is perhaps the most famous dish, along with chicken paprikash, stuffed peppers, and deep-fried langos. Pastries like chimney cake and strudel are popular desserts. Hortobágyi palacsinta, a savory crepe filled with meat and topped with sour cream, is a specialty of the town of Debrecen. In Sopron, you can find a variation of the dish called Soproni Hortobágyi Palacsinta, which includes a unique blend of herbs and spices. Wine is also an important part of Hungarian culture, with many excellent varieties produced throughout the country.

  • Sports

    Hungary has a strong tradition of sports and has produced many world-class athletes in a variety of disciplines. Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in Hungary, with the national team having reached the World Cup final in 1954. Water sports are also popular, with Hungary having a strong tradition in swimming, diving, and water polo. Hungarian swimmers have won numerous Olympic medals, and the water polo team is one of the most successful in history, having won multiple Olympic and World Championship titles. Other popular sports in Hungary include handball, basketball, and athletics. The country also has a strong tradition in combat sports, particularly wrestling and fencing.

  • Culture

    Hungarian culture is a blend of various influences, including the traditions of the Magyar tribes who originally settled in the region, as well as the influences of neighboring peoples such as the Ottomans, Austrians, and Slavs. The country’s rich artistic and literary heritage includes the works of renowned composers like Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók, as well as writers like Sándor Márai and Imre Kertész. Folk music and dance also play an important role in Hungarian culture, with traditional instruments like the cimbalom and violin being commonly used. Hungarian culture has also been shaped by its tumultuous history, with a strong sense of national identity and pride developing in response to periods of foreign rule and territorial loss. Today, Hungary is a modern and vibrant country, with a rich and complex culture that continues to evolve and thrive.

10 facts about Hungary

1. The inventor of the Rubik’s cube was Hungarian.

2. Goulash is a world-famous Hungarian dish.

3. The Great Hungarian Plain is home to many different animals.

4. Hungary became part of the European Union in 2004.

5. Sunflowers are an important Hungarian crop.

6. Hungary fought alongside the axis powers in World War II.

7. Budapest is actually made up of three ancient cities.

8. Some Hungarians herd curly-haired pigs.

9. Hungary is famous for its thermal hot springs.

10. Hungary is home to the largest lake in Central Europe.

Q&A Corner

1. On which continent is Hungary located? +
2. What are the two major Hungarian rivers? +
3. How many people live in Budapest? +
4. When did the Ottoman Empire rule Hungary? +
5. What is the Great Hungarian Plain? +
6. Name a key/famous citizen of Hungary ? +
7. Name an important Hungarian sport? +
8. What is one famous dish in Hungarian cuisine? +
9. When did Hungary transition to capitalism? +
10. Who is Viktor Orbán? +