Hungary, to natives it is known as Magyarország, Land of the Magyars, is a landlocked country in the Carpathian Basin of Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. Hungary has been a member state of the European Union since May 1, 2004.



Approximately slightly more than one half of Hungary’s landscape consists of flat to rolling plains of the Carpathian Basin: the most important plain regions include the Little Hungarian Plain in the west, and the Great Hungarian Plain in the southeast. Transdanubia is a primarily hilly region with a terrain varied by low mountains. These include the very eastern stretch of the Alps, Alpokalja, in the west of the country, the Transdanubian Medium Mountains, in the central region of Transdanubia, and the Mecsek Mountains and Villány Mountains in the south. Hungary is divided in two by its main waterway, the Danube (Duna); other large rivers include the Tisza and Dráva, while Transdanubia contains Lake Balaton, a major body of water. The largest thermal lake in the world, Lake Hévíz, is located in Hungary.

After Iceland, Hungary has the world’s largest reserve of surface thermal water: hundreds of springs help thousands in recovering. Lake Balaton, Central Europe’s largest lake, is a favourite get-away for families with young children, fans of yachting and lovers of the beach.




20080720_1509_av_Twin_CitiesDebrecen is the second largest city in Hungary after Budapest. Debrecen is the regional centre of the Northern Great Plain region and the seat of Hajdú-Bihar county. It was the largest Hungarian city in the 18th century and it is one of the most important cultural centres of the Hungarians. Debrecen was also the capital city of Hungary during the revolution in 1848-1849 and by the end of the World War II in 1944-1945.

Debrecen is twinned with the following cities: Cattolica (Italy), Jyväskylä (Finland), Klaipéda (Lithuania), Lublin (Poland), New Brunswick (USA), Oradea (Romania), Paderborn (Germany), Patras (Greece), Rishon LeZion (Israel), Setúbal (Portugal), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Shumen (Bulgaria), Syktyvkar (Russia), Taitung City (Taiwan), Toluca (Mexico).


Chiefly thanks to the reformation and the prestigious Calvinist College, founded in 1538, Debrecen has been the intellectual and cultural centre of the surrounding area since the 16th century. Over the centuries, the College was transformed into a University and its intellectual life developed a sphere of influence between Eger and Oradea. In 1949-1950, several departments of the University were shut down, due to Communist takeover, with many students and teachers being expelled. The University of Debrecen, as it is now called is still widely recognized work of architecture (mostly thanks to its main building). The university has many departments and is a major research facility in Europe. The University is well known for the cactus research laboratory in the botanic gardens behind the main building.


The University of Debrecen

MTA Atomki, the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, was founded in 1954 by Alexander Szalay.

MTA Atomki

MTA Atomki

Researchers at MTA Atomki have never believed in borders between scientific fields. In the 60 years of the history of the Institute, the interdisciplinary approach has always been strong, and proved to be successful as well. In the early years, as an example, the investigation of nuclear decay led to an indirect proof of the existence of the neutrino. Recently, this achievement was the basis for an award from the European Physical Society (EPS), which designated MTA Atomki as one of the Historic Sites in Europe.

Today, we continue our scientific research in the same direction. Our laboratories and teams – though independent – can combine to solve problems effectively. These efforts are marked by grants – from the ERC to EUROCORES – just to mention a couple.

Modern science is without borders, and so is Atomki, with its hundreds of collaborations from all over the world. Atomki researchers are among the thousands who have been hunting for the Higgs boson at CERN, and Atomki with its small-scale Accelerator Centre also hosts researchers supported by the European Transnational Access (TNA) scheme.


Some other interesting places


Chain Bridge (Budapest)


It is the capital of Hungary, and seat of Pest megye (county). The city is the political, administrative, industrial, and commercial centre of Hungary. The site has been continuously settled since prehistoric times and is now the home of about one-fifth of the country’s population. Citing the city’s unparalleled panorama, UNESCO declared Budapest, Hungary’s capital, “the Pearl of the Danube”, a World Heritage site.


Lake Balaton

The “Hungarian Sea”, is the people’s name for the 50 mile (80 km) long lake with silky green-yellow water in the middle of Transdanubia. Lake Balaton is one of Hungary’s most precious treasures and most frequented resort.


Balaton Lake

It is the largest lake in Central Europe.

The southern shores are ideal for small children because of the shallow water. On the north shore the water gets deeper immediately. The summer water temperature of around 26 °C is warmer than the air in the morning and in the evening. The water and the silky mud of the lake are very good remedies for nervous complaints, anemia and nervous fatigue.

Rich vineyards in the region produce an assortment of excellent wines that go very well with the delicious local food. Large numbers of inns and restaurants welcome guests from home and abroad.



Tokaj wine cellar

Tokaj is a historical town in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, Northern Hungary, 54 kilometers from Miskolc the county town. It is the centre of the famous Tokaj-Hegyalja wine district which got its name after the town.

Tokaj-Hegyalja is a historic wine region located in present-day Northeastern Hungary. Hegyalja means “Foothills” in Hungarian and was the original name for the region. The region consists of 28 named villages and 7,000 hectares of classified vineyards, of which an estimated 5,000 are currently planted. Tokaj is unique among the world’s wine regions in having been declared a World Heritage Site. However, its fame long predates UNESCO recognition as the region is home to the world’s oldest botrytis wine: Tokaji Aszú.


The wine-growing area was first mentioned by the name Tokaj in 1067. The town itself was first mentioned in documents in 1353. Its first castle was a motte, which was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Hungary.


Good to know

Hungary 10.04 million
Budapest 1.82 million
Debrecen 204.124 thousand

Hungarian (German and English are widely understood.)

Roman Catholic 65%
Protestant 25%

Hungary has a Continental Climate, with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The average annual 9.7 °C (49.5 °F) and the average temperature in the summer is 27 to 35 °C (81 to 95 °F). The average yearly rainfall is approximately 600 millimeters (24 in).

Greenwich Mean Time + 1 hour
CEST (Summer Time) GMT +2 hour

The voltage is 230 V/50Hz with European two-prong plug. Electrical equipment of 110V/60Hz requires the use of an adapter and/or voltage converter.

The unit of currency is Hungarian Forint (HUF). In Hungary the abbrevation of Forint is Ft.
Coins: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 HUF.
Bank notes: 500, 1  000, 2  000, 5  000, 10  000, 20  000 HUF.
For up-to-date exchange rates check, e.g.:

Banks, Currency Exchange
Banks are open typically Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All banks are closed on Saturdays. Money can also be exchanged at exchange offices, hotel reception desks and travel offices. Currency exchange machines and ATMs operate after hours in Budapest and other cities. It is recommended that all money exchange receipts be kept. Exchange rates at airports and railway stations might be worse than at other exchange offices.

Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Checks
Major credit cards (AmEx, Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard, Diners, Cirrus) can be used in the member shops and businesses. Look for the logo displayed at the entrance.
ATMs operate 24 hours a day. Major credit cards and banking cards are accepted.
There is usually a commission of 1% for cashing travelers checks at banks. Please note that most stores will not accept travelers checks.
You can use your bank or credit card to get cash at post offices throughout Hungary. More than 3200 post offices nation-wide provide this service.

Telephone, Fax
Hungary’s country code 36. International pre-dial 00 + country code + local number. Domestic long distance pre-dial 06 + area code + local number.

Important telephone numbers


Nationwide Emergency Call Number:
Fire Department:
Directory Assistance:
International Directory:


Working days and hours
Typically from Monday to Friday and from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Visa regulation
Hungary is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Agreement. For visa requirements see:
The Schengen visa regulations apply to all citizens of the countries for which entry visas are requested. The Conference Organizers will provide invitation letters if needed to facilitate visa issuing procedure. Please send your request for an invitation letter together with a recommendatory letter from your employer or director or supervisor.