Hungary

Landlocked Hungary lies in the central Danube Basin and is divided into three major geographic areas: the Great Plains in the central and eastern part of the country; the Transdanube, a hilly region lying west of the Danube River and extending to the Austrian foothills of the Alps; and the Northern Hills, a mountainous region beyond the northern boundary of the Great Hungarian Plain.

For a small country, Hungary is rich in biodiversity and is home to such species as: roe deer, wild boar, fox, mouflon, imperial eagle and great bustard. The Great Plain region is an important breeding ground and migration stop for a number of migratory bird species.

Air and water pollution are some of Hungary’s most serious environmental problems. Water quality in the Hungarian part of the Danube has improved over the years but is still plagued by pollutants from industry and large-scale agriculture.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / John E. Newby
Shallow wetland, Kiskunsàg National Park, Hungary.
© WWF-Canon / John E. Newby

Country Eco-tips

Energy and Water
  • Tap water (csapvíz in Hungarian) throughout the country, including Budapest, is safe to drink. Many Hungarians, however, favour carbonated mineral water or bottled spring water.
  • It is generally safe to swim in the Danube, but local pollution hotspots downstream of big cities and the mouths of polluted tributaries should be avoided.
 
[Back to top]
Recycling
  • There are “recycling islands” in many parts of Budapest for bottles, coloured glass, clear glass, paper and aluminum cans.
  • Visszavalthato is a deposit-return system where a store will charge you a small amount as a deposit on the bottle which you get back when you return the empty bottle to the shop.
 
[Back to top]
Transport
  • Budapest has one of the best public transport systems in Europe with an efficient network of buses, trolleys, trams and subway. For more information and schedules, visit: http://www.bkv.hu/english/home/index.html
  • Riding on bike paths, built in the last few years, is one of the best ways to see Budapest - there are currently about 180 kilometres of bike paths in the city.
  • The Hungarian national train company, MÁV, has an extensive rail system throughout the country and connects with the European rail network in all directions.
  • There are some ferries on the Danube and Tisza rivers, including a hydrofoil service on the Danube between Budapest and Vienna from early April to October.
  • Hungary contains 1,600km of navigable waterways. The Danube and Tisza rivers are key international routes while the Drava is used for internal transport.
[Back to top]
Food
  • The proportion of bio-cultivation in Hungary is small when compared to Western Europe, but organic farming is growing.
  • Hungary’s supermarkets offer a range of organic foods, mostly imported. But Hungarian organic products, particularly meat and milk, can be found. Look for the Hungarian organic certification label.
[Back to top]
Green Spots
  • Aggtelek National Park: Covering an area of 20,000 hectares, this national park, situated in the northern border close to Slovakia, is known for its stalactite caves. The main attraction is the impressive 25km-long Baradla cave system. Twenty-one of the 28 European bat species are found in the park.
     
  • Danube-Ipoly National Park: The national park lies north of Budapest and includes large areas of the Pilis and Börzsöny Hills between the Danube and Ipoly rivers. The alluvial forests which border the riverbank give the area a unique landscape. The Pilis biosphere reserve, the Szemlohegy Cave, and the Alcsut Arboretum are part of the national park.
  • Danube-Drava National Park: Located in southwest Hungary, the majority of the national park sites are within the Danube and Drava floodplain areas. The Danube-Drava is a great place for bird watching and walking through unique floodplain forests.
  • Lake Hévíz: Located in mid-west Hungary - a 2-hour drive from Budapest - this is the largest thermal lake in Europe. The lake is surrounded by a 60ha nature area.
  • Városliget: The largest park in Budapest, this vast green area houses a zoo, botanical garden, lake, museums, historic sites and more.

    Information on other Hungarian national parks can be found at: http://waterfire.fas.is/Hungary/NationalParksofHungary.php
[Back to top]
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the above information. However, WWF makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding errors or omissions and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use.
  • Send us your tips

  • Please enter the code pictured below into this field:*

    captcha
    reload image
  • * Required information

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required