Hungary is a quintessential Eastern Bloc country that's come into its own. The Danube River snakes through, bisecting the capital city into its founding towns of Buda and Pest. Each side retains a distinct character to this day. Architecture aficionados would be wise to wallow in the city's splendour: from Baroque to Bauhaus - and even Soviet Brutalism - countless buildings are ready for their closeup. You must also check out Budapest's baths (not the gay kind). With 1000 natural springs in the nation, and 118 in the city alone, they're a huge part of Hungarian culture. Since the country still has its own currency, it also offers great value versus other European nations.
Population: 9.8 Million
Currency: Forint (HUF)
Time Zone: CET (UTC+01:00)
The LGBT Factor
On the upside, homosexuality is legal and discrimination is not. You can also change your gender without reassignment surgery or hormone therapy. Common law relationships are recognized, and single gay people can adopt or pursue IVF. However, same-sex couples don't enjoy full rights and privileges, including marriage and adoption rights.
There's a small but thriving queer scene in downtown Budapest - they even have baths (the gay kind). You don't need to suppress your sexuality, but it's still Eastern Europe, so PDAs may not be well received. Outside the city centre, conservative attitudes prevail.
The Best Time to Visit
Hungary has a typical European continental climate. Winter can hover around freezing, with occasional snowfall. Summer's are generally warm but not too hot. This makes March through November a fine time to visit, though bigger crowds define the summer months.
The Shock Factor
Hungary is a developed nation with the comforts of home. It is generally safe to visit. That said, pickpockets and scams can be found anywhere popular with tourists. Avoid unsolicited suggestions from cab drivers, overly friendly girls on the street (we're gay - that's easy), and restaurants with shifty or missing prices. Finally, it's best to leave valuables at home or in your hotel room.
If your passport is from the USA, Canada, or Europe, you can stay up to 90 days without a visa. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the traveller's responsibility. For more info, click here.
The WHO suggests immunization against Hepatitis A and B, rabies, and influenza before visiting Hungary. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as we cannot provide vaccination recommendations.