7 things you'll miss as a Hungarian abroad

2 minute read

###At least 31,500 Hungarians left Hungary in 2014, up by almost 50% from 2013.

While Hungarians are quick to adapt to other cultures, there are still many aspects of Hungarian society - and food and drink - you'll miss when living abroad.

We chatted to Hungarian expats and TransferWise to find out what's hard to get used to when you make the move.

Here's what they said:

####Bath Houses

hungary bath house budapest

Yes, other countries have spas and saunas.

But nothing quite compares to the sprawling public pools in ornate Art Niveau buildings filled with perfectly heated thermal water.

Budapest (also known as “The City of Baths”) alone sits on 125 thermal springs. These baths are used by nearly everyone, from those seeking a hangover cure to those seeking to a heated hibernation from the wintry weather.

####Hungarian Hospitality

hungarian goulash

Hungarians are renowned for being vendégszerető (guest loving).

Visit any family’s home in the countryside, and they’ll provide you with so much food that you can barely walk after the feast. In many countries, food is a quick fix, but in (aptly named) Hungary, it’s practically a religion.

Weekend guests can usually expect a three course meal plus dessert.


Hungary paprike

No dish in Hungary is complete without this bright powder, produced from grinding pods of a paprika plant.

It’s used in everything from pasta dishes to some alcoholic beverages. It’s also rich in Vitamin C, which was not surprisingly discovered by Nobel Prize-winning Hungarian scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi.

####No Taboo Topics


Hungarians love intense discussions about nearly everything, including typically taboo topics.

That’s why it’s not surprising that a 2007 Gallup opinion poll ranked Hungary as the fourth “least bored country in the world.” This rich intellectual spirit causes Hungary to revere its engineers and scientists the same way other countries look up to their actors and athletes.


palinka hungary

The drink Palinka has been described as rubbing alcohol with an added taste of apricot, best consumed far from any open fire.

Despite (or sometimes because of) its fierceness, the fruity brandy remains beloved, and is seen as a cure from everything from headaches to nervousness. Make sure to take some with you when you travel.

####Hungarian Sausage


Expats tell us that other meats taste bland compared to Kolbasz, the Hungarian signature sausage.

Made with ground beef, lamb or pork, they include an array of seasonings including paprika, nutmeg, garlic, white wine and pepper. It's another thing to add to the list of supplies you need when friends from home come to visit.

####Liberal Attitudes

sunbathe lady

When the weather finally gets warm in Hungary, you’re likely to see more public displays of affection.

More so than perhaps anywhere else in the world, including some, um, more passionate displays in city parks. At most lakes, women take a cue from the French and typically sunbath sans a shirt.

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