Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos Kadar in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called “Goulash Communism.” Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.

In Budapest, a new tour company leads visitors through an old World War II-era military hospital and bunker under Castle Hill. Just up the street from the Great Synagogue, Budapest’s Jewish community recently re-opened the Rumbach Street Synagogue, designed by the great Viennese architect Otto Wagner in the late 19th century.

In Eger, a delightful new Marzipan Museum shows off truly impressive sculptures by local marzipan artist Lajos Kopcsik, including a sword, minaret, gigantic wine bottle, suitcase, Russian stacking dolls, old-time phonograph, grandfather clock, giant bell … and paintings galore (such as Van Gogh’s sunflowers and Picasso’s musicians). Who’d have thought candy could be great art?

More information:

Even more information:

  • The Backpacking Site: Hungary – General information with details about travel documents, transport, mobile phone usage, and levels of criminal activity.
  • Hungarian Tourism Ltd. – General information on travel to Hungary, hotels, travel tips, North American tour operators, news and free brochures.
  • ITIS Hungary – Detailed travel guide for Hungary, and transport information.
  • Lonely Planet – Hungary – Comprehensive facts and advice for traveling along with background material on the culture and history of the country.
  • Siofok – Touristic, cultural and economic information.
  • Tiszaújváros – Official web guide of Tiszaújváros, a small town in the North-East of Hungary.
  • Travel.State.Gov – Hungary – Offers travel information including Quick Facts, embassies and consulates, entry and exit requirements, safety and security, local laws, health, transportation and Fact Sheet. From the U.S. Department of State.
  • World Travel Guide – Hungary – Tourist and business travel information with facts on climate, visa, health, passport, currency and customs requirements.

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