Backpacking Hungary

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!



Hungary is one of those countries in Europe that are often overlooked. However, Hungary has so many beautiful and surprising facets that it is definitely worth a trip. The country has impressive architecture, many cultural treasures, and a variety of different landscapes. Have fun discovering our ideal backpacking route of Hungary.


Important Basics

Official Language ( Hungarian )
EnglishHungarian
HelloHelló
GoodbyeViszlát
Thank youKöszönöm
YesIgen
NoNem
Capital city

Budapest

Form of government

Parliamentary republic

Best Time to Visit

May to September

Fun Facts
  • Rubik’s cubes were invented in Hungary.
  • August 20th is Hungary’s national holiday. It celebrates the country’s foundation with street parties and fireworks.
  • If you’re planning on learning Hungarian, we’ve got some bad news for you – Hungarian is one of the world’s hardest language to learn.

Cities

Budapest

Of course, your journey starts in Budapest, the capital of the country.

Budapest has managed to assert itself between the other cool capitals of Europe. The city is no longer in the shadows, as it can easily keep up with Vienna (because of the architecture), Berlin (because of the party scene), or Prague (in terms of price).

It's best to take a few days to discover the countless treasures of this city of around 2 million inhabitants.

You might trip over a few pair of shoes while walking through the old town along the Danube. The art installation of 60 pairs of shoes on the banks of the Danube is a monument to victims of the Second World War. Two major monuments of the city are hard to miss: the Fishermen's Bastion and the Buda Castle. From the Bastion, you’ll have an incredible view over the city while also feeling like you were transported back to a past century. The Buda Castle was built in the 13th century and is now part of the world cultural heritage. It also houses the Hungarian National Gallery. On your cultural trip, make sure to visit the Great Synagogue. Saying it’s big isn’t an overstatement, as it is the second largest Jewish church in the world.

With so much culture, you can get hungry – and you are in luck. Budapest doesn’t disappoint either when it comes to food. In the big market hall, there is a huge choice of Hungarian delicacies. At the market stalls you can try your hand at whatever you feel like. Are you looking for a really unique location for a small beer? Then you have to visit Szimpla Kert. The huge industrial building in the Jewish Quarter is like a labyrinth of bars, art, and junk, making it the perfect location to turn night into day.

You’ll get to meet other backpackers by staying at one of Budapest’s countless hostels. You can stay downtown and can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €16 a night.

Balaton

Your journey continues to Lake Balaton. The journey takes about 3 hours by train and costs €6.

Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Europe and a popular summer holiday destination. Revfülöp is one of the smaller towns on the north shore of the lake and still offers everything your backpacker heart desires. The nature in this region is simply breathtaking. From the Revfülöp mountain, at the foot of which the town lies, you have an incredible view over the almost 200 km long lake and the surrounding villages. In addition, there’s plenty of vineyards on the mountain, so a hike is definitely worthwhile.

Since the region around the lake is very flat, a bike is the ideal means of transport to explore the area. For example, you can cycle a few kilometers, refresh yourself in the pleasantly cool lake and then take a boat back to your starting point.

In the center of Revfülöp there are several restaurants where you can recharge your energy reserves after the bike ride. How about a portion of goulash and a glass of wine from one of the local wineries?

You can get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €12 a night at one of the city’s hostels.

Debrecen

You’ll take a trip across the country to reach your next destination – Debrecen. It’s faster to go by train, and this way, you’ll also be able to enjoy the stunning landscape. The trip costs about €20 and lasts 5 hours.

With only 200,000 inhabitants, Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary and is a popular city for young Hungarians to study. Therefore, you will find a colorful nightlife, hip bars and many leisure activities besides the impressive architecture. The town's landmark is the protestant church built in 1922 and from the two church towers you have an incredible view over the wide plains of the region. Just outside the town you will find absolute peace and quiet in the Hortobágy National Park. The park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and serves to protect the native plant and animal species.

In spring and summer there are many festivals in and around Debrecen. Every year the Campus Festival brings together national and international artists and turns the city into a hotspot for music lovers.

You can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €11 a night at one of Debrecen’s hostels.

Holloko

You’ll continue your trip to the north of the country, near the Slovakian border and through the Cserhat Mountains. You’ll take the train and the bus for about 5 hours for €15.

The village of Holloko is a living relic from a time long gone. The typical white Palóc houses with their wooden verandas and slate roofs are hundreds of years old and are under the protection of the UNESCO world heritage. The locals here are committed to preserving their traditions and you can see young and old in their traditional dress, and in the guest houses you can enjoy traditional Hungarian cuisine such as Polác stew.

Holloko literally translates as “Raven Stone”, because according to the legend, a young girl was kidnapped by a lord of the castle. The girl's nurse, with the help of the devil himself, was able to free the girl, as the devil sent his sons in the form of ravens to remove the stones of the castle where the girl was held. A truly historical city.

There are no typical backpacker hostels in Holloko, but there are some cosy guest houses. A night in a double room will cost you €25.

Visegrad

From Holloko we continue to the next historical town – Visegrad at the Danube bend and the Danube Ipoly National Park. The bus ride takes only about 2 hours and will cost you €10.

Visegrad is best known for its citadel, a self-contained fortress that used to be of great importance in times of war. Once a year, the palace organizes games, and knights and jugglers of all kinds show off life in the fortress. There are exhibitions and workshops all year round, where you can try your hand at archery, for example.

Due to its strategically ideal location on the Visegrád Mountains and the Danube, the town was already important during the time of the Roman Empire and has always proved to be a base for military undertakings.

In the city center, make sure to visit the Görgey House. It is the house where the Hungarian general Artúr Görgey lived during the time of the freedom fights between 1948 and 1949. In Hungary, opinions are divided about whether he is a hero or a traitor, and in the exhibition, you can make your own picture of his life and deeds.

You can get a double room for 22€ per night at one of the town’s guesthouses, and after everything you’ve seen, you’ll probably dream of knights and damsel.

From Visegrad you can easily take the train to Budapest airport and start your journey home.


Budapest

Budapest

Of course, your journey starts in Budapest, the capital of the country.

Budapest has managed to assert itself between the other cool capitals of Europe. The city is no longer in the shadows, as it can easily keep up with Vienna (because of the architecture), Berlin (because of the party scene), or Prague (in terms of price).

It's best to take a few days to discover the countless treasures of this city of around 2 million inhabitants.

You might trip over a few pair of shoes while walking through the old town along the Danube. The art installation of 60 pairs of shoes on the banks of the Danube is a monument to victims of the Second World War. Two major monuments of the city are hard to miss: the Fishermen's Bastion and the Buda Castle. From the Bastion, you’ll have an incredible view over the city while also feeling like you were transported back to a past century. The Buda Castle was built in the 13th century and is now part of the world cultural heritage. It also houses the Hungarian National Gallery. On your cultural trip, make sure to visit the Great Synagogue. Saying it’s big isn’t an overstatement, as it is the second largest Jewish church in the world.

With so much culture, you can get hungry – and you are in luck. Budapest doesn’t disappoint either when it comes to food. In the big market hall, there is a huge choice of Hungarian delicacies. At the market stalls you can try your hand at whatever you feel like. Are you looking for a really unique location for a small beer? Then you have to visit Szimpla Kert. The huge industrial building in the Jewish Quarter is like a labyrinth of bars, art, and junk, making it the perfect location to turn night into day.

You’ll get to meet other backpackers by staying at one of Budapest’s countless hostels. You can stay downtown and can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €16 a night.

Balaton

Balaton

Your journey continues to Lake Balaton. The journey takes about 3 hours by train and costs €6.

Lake Balaton is the largest freshwater lake in Europe and a popular summer holiday destination. Revfülöp is one of the smaller towns on the north shore of the lake and still offers everything your backpacker heart desires. The nature in this region is simply breathtaking. From the Revfülöp mountain, at the foot of which the town lies, you have an incredible view over the almost 200 km long lake and the surrounding villages. In addition, there’s plenty of vineyards on the mountain, so a hike is definitely worthwhile.

Since the region around the lake is very flat, a bike is the ideal means of transport to explore the area. For example, you can cycle a few kilometers, refresh yourself in the pleasantly cool lake and then take a boat back to your starting point.

In the center of Revfülöp there are several restaurants where you can recharge your energy reserves after the bike ride. How about a portion of goulash and a glass of wine from one of the local wineries?

You can get a bed in a 6-person dorm for €12 a night at one of the city’s hostels.

Debrecen

Debrecen

You’ll take a trip across the country to reach your next destination – Debrecen. It’s faster to go by train, and this way, you’ll also be able to enjoy the stunning landscape. The trip costs about €20 and lasts 5 hours.

With only 200,000 inhabitants, Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary and is a popular city for young Hungarians to study. Therefore, you will find a colorful nightlife, hip bars and many leisure activities besides the impressive architecture. The town's landmark is the protestant church built in 1922 and from the two church towers you have an incredible view over the wide plains of the region. Just outside the town you will find absolute peace and quiet in the Hortobágy National Park. The park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and serves to protect the native plant and animal species.

In spring and summer there are many festivals in and around Debrecen. Every year the Campus Festival brings together national and international artists and turns the city into a hotspot for music lovers.

You can get a bed in an 8-person dorm for €11 a night at one of Debrecen’s hostels.

Holloko

Holloko

You’ll continue your trip to the north of the country, near the Slovakian border and through the Cserhat Mountains. You’ll take the train and the bus for about 5 hours for €15.

The village of Holloko is a living relic from a time long gone. The typical white Palóc houses with their wooden verandas and slate roofs are hundreds of years old and are under the protection of the UNESCO world heritage. The locals here are committed to preserving their traditions and you can see young and old in their traditional dress, and in the guest houses you can enjoy traditional Hungarian cuisine such as Polác stew.

Holloko literally translates as “Raven Stone”, because according to the legend, a young girl was kidnapped by a lord of the castle. The girl's nurse, with the help of the devil himself, was able to free the girl, as the devil sent his sons in the form of ravens to remove the stones of the castle where the girl was held. A truly historical city.

There are no typical backpacker hostels in Holloko, but there are some cosy guest houses. A night in a double room will cost you €25.

Visegrad

Visegrad

From Holloko we continue to the next historical town – Visegrad at the Danube bend and the Danube Ipoly National Park. The bus ride takes only about 2 hours and will cost you €10.

Visegrad is best known for its citadel, a self-contained fortress that used to be of great importance in times of war. Once a year, the palace organizes games, and knights and jugglers of all kinds show off life in the fortress. There are exhibitions and workshops all year round, where you can try your hand at archery, for example.

Due to its strategically ideal location on the Visegrád Mountains and the Danube, the town was already important during the time of the Roman Empire and has always proved to be a base for military undertakings.

In the city center, make sure to visit the Görgey House. It is the house where the Hungarian general Artúr Görgey lived during the time of the freedom fights between 1948 and 1949. In Hungary, opinions are divided about whether he is a hero or a traitor, and in the exhibition, you can make your own picture of his life and deeds.

You can get a double room for 22€ per night at one of the town’s guesthouses, and after everything you’ve seen, you’ll probably dream of knights and damsel.

From Visegrad you can easily take the train to Budapest airport and start your journey home.

Hungary Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home – ​​Budapest
Home – ​​Budapest
Flight
50
8-person dorm
16
2. Budapest
Budapest
-
8-person dorm
16
3. Budapest
Budapest
-
8-person dorm
16
4. Budapest – Révfülöp 
Budapest – Révfülöp 
train
6
6-person dorm
12
5. Révfülöp
Révfülöp
-
6-person dorm
12
6. Révfülöp
Révfülöp
-
6-person dorm
12
7. Révfülöp - ​Debrecen
Révfülöp - ​Debrecen
train
20
8-person dorm
11
8. Debrecen
Debrecen
-
8-person dorm
11
9. Debrecen
Debrecen
-
8-person dorm
11
10. Debrecen- Holloko
Debrecen- Holloko
train+bus
15
Double room
25
11. Holloko
Holloko
-
Double room
25
12. Holloko- Visegrad
Holloko- Visegrad
Bus
10
Double room
22
13. Visegrad
Visegrad
-
Double room
22
14. ​Visegrad-Budapest-Home
​Visegrad-Budapest-Home
train+Flight
55

Total price.

Flights 100,00
Transportation 56,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 211,00
Total367,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Continental Breakfast: in Hungary, breakfast consists of eggs and cheese and sausage in a really continental way. Often a sweet pastry is also enjoyed, along with various fruit juices and coffee.

Soups

Halászlé: this is a fish soup, which is refined mainly with hot spices.

Gulyás: this goulash soup is popular among locals, especially in the countryside. It is often served with potatoes.

Main courses

Langos: a streetfood that resembles pizza. The dough can be served sweet or salty, according to your taste.

Töltött Káposzta: these rolls are made from cabbage leaves, which are then often fried and filled with minced meat. They are then served with a spicy sauce.

Pörkölt: the kettle goulash is a real specialty and often served at family dinners. Add some bell peppers, corn, and tomatoes, and you got yourself an amazing goulash.

Túrós Csusza: a cottage cheese dumpling, usually topped with a sauce and diced bacon.

Drinks & Snacks

Gesztenyepüré: a dessert that you really can’t miss. It’s a chestnut puree with cream. Simply delicious!

Barack: the Hungarian apricot brandy is a must during your trip!

Beer: the beer is also a classic that you must try. The most famous brands here are Arany Aszok and Dreher.

Hungary

The exchange rate for 100 Hungarian Forint is about 0.25€ (as of June 2022) See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living

Food

Free time

Personal hygiene

Dos

Don’t go over the speed limit: Hungary has a strict speed limit, which you should adhere to if you go on a road trip, for example.

Tipping: it varies a lot in Europe, but in Hungary tipping is appropriate and sometimes even expected.

Checking prices: it is always better to check the prices on the bill, as there are often mistakes or fraud.

Distance from street vendors: especially in the big cities, often it happens that vendors want to sell you something they seem to offer for free. Keep your distance!

Don'ts

Toasting with beer: in Hungary it is impolite to toast with beer bottles. With other alcoholic drinks it is no problem, but with beer you should better refrain from doing so.

Alcohol in public: in Hungary you can expect a fine if you drink alcoholic beverages or smoke in public places.

Paying in Euros: some shops offer it, but this is a rip-off and you pay much more than the original price.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

Yes

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Travel documents must be valid for the entire duration of your stay. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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