Reception booklet LC BME 2014/15

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This is the official reception booklet for interns who wish to participate in our incoming Global Community Development Programs.

Transcript of Reception booklet LC BME 2014/15

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Content 3) LC BME 4) Hungary 5) Budapest 12) Countryside 16) Hungarian Cuisine 18) Public transportation 20) Telephone 20) Money and Banks 21) Time zone and Climate 21) Electricity 21)Greetings 22) Vocabulary


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The Local Committee of BME was founded in 2007 in the Budapest University of Techonology and Economics, one ofthe most prestigious universities in the country. Since that time our LC has developed a lot and reached significant growth in memberhsip and also in all of the AIESEC programs. We are committed to ensure the satisfaction of our stakeholders and provide a life-changing experience while we are alway striving to be better and get closer to our vision: Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s Potential This is who we are and we are Growing to Infinity!

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Hungary Hungary (Magyarország):

o A country in Central Europe

o Founded in 895

o 2000 year old Roman ruins and 400 year old Turkish

o Hundreds of therapeutic mineral springs

o The official language is Hungarian

o The major rivers in the country are the Danube and the Tisza which divide Hungary into 3 parts.

Hungary is bordered by 7 countries:

o Slovakia

o Ukraine

o Romania

o Serbia

o Croatia

o Slovenia

o Austria


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Budapest „The pearl of Danube”


The city is divided into two parts, the hilly side of Buda on the western bank and the flat plain of Pest on the eastern bank of the river Danube. These two parts of the city were once separate towns and were merged together with Ancient Buda (Óbuda) only in 1873.

Buda Castle The name Buda Castle covers more than a castle or the Royal Palace in the capital city; it extends to the historical quarter full of sites. On bright spring days people invite friends for a "walk in the Castle", i.e. to wander around the Castle Hill quarter. The most exciting way of getting to the Castle is by taking the funicular, a little cable car up the Castle Hill. The Royal Palace is situated on the southern part of Castle Hill. The medieval palace that stood here was destroyed during the battles against Turkish invaders, leaving only the fortified walls as a memento. The site was then filled in to lay the foundations of the new grandiose Baroque palace started by Maria-Theresa and expanded on Hungarian initiative in the 19th century. The Palace itself was gutted during the Second World War. Unfortunately there is no place in the Palace today that would allow the visitor a glimpse of the lavish suites and interiors of past royals. Today, it functions as home to important cultural institutions and museums.


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Bordered by the Small Boulevard (Kiskörút: Károly körút, Múzeum körút) and the river Danube, the city centre is located where the medieval town of Pest used to be; however, it reflects the atmosphere of the turn-of-the-century metropolis. The city centre encompasses Vörösmarty Square, the Municipal Concert Hall, the Inner City Parish Church and Ferenciek Square. Walking through the Danube Esplanade you can see a beautiful view of Buda side with Gellért Hill, the Castle Area and the Chain Bridge. It’s especially beautiful at night when the whole Buda side is lightened.

The Fishermen’s Bastion

It was completed in 1902 on the site of a former fish market - this is where the name comes from. It has never served a defensive purpose: it is an excellent lookout place. The floodlit row of bastions offers a panoramic view onto the other bank of the Danube. The cityscape opening up from there has been part of UNESCO's World Heritage since 1988.

The Matthias church

It bears the name of its biggest Maecenas, King Matthias, who married twice in this shrine. The cathedral is almost as old as the Royal Palace and has been the venue of several coronation ceremonies. Every king and époque left its mark on the building until the Turks occupied Buda in 1541 and converted the temple into a mosque, whitewashing - and thus preserving - its medieval frescos. The Matthias Church gained its current form at the turn of the 19th and 20th century when a lot of smaller buildings attached to it earlier were pulled down and the church was reconstructed in characteristic neo-Gothic style. In addition to the usual biblical scenes, its frescos tell of the most important events in Hungary's history. The magnificent acoustics make it a popular concert venue.


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Chain Bridge

It was the first bridge over the Danube in the country. Budapest owes its construction to Count István Széchenyi who had to wait a week before he could cross the river to bury his father. That was when he decided to build a permanent crossing for the city. Architect William Clark and namesake Adam Clark supervised construction works; the bridge was finally completed in 1849. It has since rightly became a symbol of Budapest city, a magnificent sight when illuminated at night.


Built at the turn of the century, the building of the Parliament quickly became a dominant sight and symbol of Budapest and the Danube panorama. A typically Eclectic edifice with a lot of small spikes and stone lace ornamentation, it is one of the most decorative structures of the capital. It also ranks as one of the biggest national assemblies in the world. Majestic stone lions flank the VIP entrance-taking visitors to the magnificent staircase leading to the cupola room, home of the most elegant state receptions. Two symmetric wings open up from here, for what used to be the Lower and the Upper House of the pre-communist parliament. The rich interior and gorgeous decoration of the Parliament building are well worth seeing as part of a guided tour, and you can also admire the Hungarian holy crown.


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Gellért Hill

The hill (that some believe used to be the meeting place of witches) today offers the most beautiful panoramic view of the city. The hill was named after Bishop Gellért (Gerald) renowned for propagating Christianity in Hungary. Tradition has it that he was sealed up in a barrel and thrown into the river Danube from the hill by insurgent pagan Magyars rebelling against Christendom after the death of our first king St. Stephen. The terraces of the Citadel built on the hilltop offer the best view of the city, and telescopes help one to catch all the details. The Austrians built it after the repression of the 1848–1849 War of Independence to provide military control over the town. Liberation Monument, the statue of a woman visible from almost any point in town, was erected in 1947 to commemorate liberation from Nazi occupation. Firework rockets marking August 20 every year are launched from this point on Gellért Hill, as well as from some bridges and boats on the Danube.

Margaret Island

Budapest's finest green spot is Margaret Island (Margit-sziget) located in the middle of the river Danube between Margaret Bridge and Árp ád Bridge. Originally there were three islands here, the islands of Spa, Pictor and Rabbits. These were framedwith a common concrete shore as part of river regulation efforts in the 19th century and so the 2.5-kilometre-long island was formed. The island was already inhabited by Roman times; in the middle Ages monks preferred the island for its calm and kings for its excellent hunting. The island bears the name of Margit (Margaret), daughter of King Béla IV (Adalbert), who renounced the world and entered the island's convent after surviving the rampage of the Tatars in the 13th century. The Turkish occupation in the 15th century put an abrupt end to the cloister island's blossoming. After centuries of neglect, the island was reborn in the 19th century when an open park and entertainment centre was opened to the general public. This was made possible by the Margaret Bridge embranchment built to the island in 1900, opening the island to pedestrians.


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Andrássy Avenue

Budapest's first elegant metropolitan avenue was artificially constructed in the late 19th century after the unification of Buda and Pest. The avenue sets off as a typical downtown main road with high-rise apartment houses and continues as a wider, spacious, greener tree-lined avenue bordered with majestic villas. The Millennium Underground stretching under Andrássy út was put in to service in 1896 as the first underground train system on the Continent, carrying passengers over the four kilometres in less than ten minutes. Today, the subway transports passengers in modern carriages but through authentically refurbished tunnels. Visitors are invited to stop off at the stations every now and then to look at the little exhibitions at each station.

Hungarian State Opera House

Budapest is proud of possessing one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. The opening performance of the Opera House was held in the neo-Renaissance building, the jewel of the Andrássy Avenue, in 1884 after nine years of construction. The staircase and the auditorium of the palace were designed by one of the best architects of those days. The first director was Ferenc Erkel, Gustav Mahler held this post for several years, and Puccini directed the premiere of two of his operas here. Renowned guest conductors include Otto Klemperer, Sergio Failoni and Lamberto Gardelli. It is still one of the best opera houses in Europe. Well worth a visit, even for those who do not especially like operas.


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Heroes’ Square

Budapest's grandest square closes off Andrássy út, with the City Park right behind. Marking the end of stylish Andrássy út, this monumental edifice is a majestic memorial of the thousand-year history of Hungarians in Europe. Each part of the monument represents an important section of Hungarian history. In the focus of the semicircular colonnade stands the bronze statue of Archangel Gabriel on a 36-meter-high column, which was awarded a Grand Prix at the Paris World Exposition in 1900. According to an old Hungarian legend, the angel appeared in the dreams of first Hungarian king Saint Stephen and gave him the holy crown. The equestrian statues of the seven legendary chieftains who lead migrating Hungarians to the Carpathia Basin stand on the pedestal of the obelisk. The two circular perstyles present statues of famous kings, emperors and personalities of Hungarian history. The two old museum buildings on either side further heighten the solemnity and pomp of the statue park: the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art.

City Park

One of the largest parks in Budapest, the City Park lies north of Heroes' Square. Bordered by a winding avenue featuring its key sights, the park is full of playgrounds, sports fields, small gardens and green esplanades. The City Park is home to the Municipal Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the Transport Museum, a Municipal Circus, a Funfair, an Aviation Museum located in the concert facility Petőfi Hall and the Széchenyi Medicinal Baths and Swimming Pool. The world famous Gundel Restaurant is the first sight of interest on the inner avenue. Built at the turn of the century, this fine restaurant and its garden have gained an international reputation and has become one of the highest standard restaurants of the capital. There is also a beautiful internal lake in the Park known as the City Park Pond, a preferred site for rowers in the summer and an excellent ice-rink in the winter. This is the largest outdoor skating-rink in Central Europe featuring special night-lights and a disco to attract those hunting for Saturday night fever on ice.


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Széchenyi Bath and Spa

It is one of Europe’s largest bath complexes. The atmosphere of Roman bathing culture may be felt in its light, spacious pool halls, while Greek bathing culture is reflected in the tub baths, but traces of Nordic traditions may also be found in the heat chambers, saunas and dipping pools. This first spa of Pest owes its existence to the well dug by Vilmos Zsigmondy in 1879. The present bath building was constructed in 1913. The swimming pool was built in 1927, but it was only open from May till September until the 1960s, when, in 1963, it was made suitable for winter swimming as well. Since then it has been open throughout the year. The two `public bath` units were established also in 1927; today housing the mixed baths and the complex physiotherapy units (day hospital).

Vajdahunyad Castle

It’s probably the most fascinating edifice in the City Park. The castle was originally built of timber and cardboard for the World Exhibition organized in 1896 to mark the thousandth anniversary of the arrival of the Magyars in the Carpathian Basin. Its aim was to give the visitor an insight into Hungary's architectural past. Every section of the edifice is different, featuring a small-scale reproduction of various buildings in the country representing different historical and architectural styles. The castle is a true representation of a thousand years of Hungarian architecture in one single monument, and was such a success at the exhibition that it had to be rebuilt later in brick and stone. Today Vajdahunyad Castle is the home of the Hungarian Agricultural Museum

For more information check:


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Major cities of Hungary

Győr The city is situated halfway between Budapest and Vienna, at the junction of the Moson-Danube, Rába, Rábca and Marcal rivers. In Rom an times there was a significant settlement there called Arrabona. The founder of the Hungarian state, King István I. declared it a bishopric and a centre of bailiff. The monuments of the historical downtown are mainly from the Baroque age. Győr has always been a commercial centre at the crossroads of main roads, railways, river junctions and in the last century it became one of the most important centres of industrial life.

Sopron A historical jewellery box and a gateway to the Austrian Alps. This small, mainly commercial town is called "Civitas Fidelissima" since the dwellers decided that Sopron should belong to Hungary after the WW I. The Fire Tower, the symbol of the city stands beside the castle wall and bears the features of subsequent styles of architecture starting with the Roman times built basement. When you have seen all the nice museums in the narrow streets of the downtown you can take a short excursion to Lake Fertő or go out to have delicious dinner in a private restaurant. The surrounding mountains with the nice forests "Lővérek" give a good opportunity for the lovers of the fresh air to bike or take a walk.


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Eger lies in the northern part of the country surrounded by the mountains of the Bükk. It is an old historical town. In 1552 Captain Dobó defended the fortress of Eger from the Turkish army. It ended in a great victory of the inhabitants, who are still proud of it. Nowadays the town is famous for the historical monuments – the Cathedral, the Fortress, the Turkish minaret –, its spa and the wine. We advise everyone to visit the wine cellars in the valley of "Szépasszonyvölgye" (Valley of Beautiful Woman), where you can taste all the famous wines of Eger like the Bull's Blood or the Merlot. The downtown of Eger has a special baroque atmosphere, where you can take romantic walks or have some rest and drink in one of the local pubs.


The peaceful university town can be found on the once winding river Tisza, near the southern border. It is famous for its fish restaurants and is also a favoured bird watching area due to the nearby lakes. Not to mention the salami! The summer festival with the open-air theatre and the accompanying sport events attract a lot of people. The town was completely destroyed by the flood of the river a century ago but it was rebuilt in a Parisian style with the help of European capitals.


Miskolc is an industrial centre on the north-eastern part of the country. The most important sights are the Tower Avas (which is the symbol of the city), Greek Catholic Church (with Europe's most beautiful icon collection), the theatre (this was the first one made of stone in the country) and the Castle of Diósgyőr, which was built in the fourteenth century, when the residence of king Louis I. was here. It is still in relatively good state of preservation. Miskolc lies in a beautiful valley and the surrounding Bükk Mountains give great opportunities to hike and have long walks.


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It is mystical how this insignificant village became one of the biggest cities of Hungary, centre of spiritual and political movements after a few centuries - although she has neither mountains nor rivers. The town was the heart of the historical Hungary; it is called "Calvinist Rome" and has been the capital of the country two times - in critical times when Hungary could be safely governed only from here. The emblem of Debrecen is the Reformed Big Church, which was probably built between 1291 and 1311 by local landowners. From the towers you can see the beautiful landscape of the town.


It ranges from the edge of the Hajdúság to the Tisza River; it is a calciferous, grassy desert of 115 km2. In order to protect its natural values, flora and fauna it was declared the first Hungarian National Park in 1973 and it is a World Heritage Site as well. Systematic horse breeding reaches back to the 17th century; the stud of Hortobágy is today the biggest hot-blooded farm in Hungary. Equestrian tourism is becoming more and more popular in the world.. The performance of the horsemen, however, is equally spectacular for those to whom it never occurred to ride a horse.


One of the oldest towns of Hungary. Sometimes it is called the town of queens, as in the old times (some hundred years ago) Hungarian queens used to live here. Veszprém can be found in between the picturesque Lake Balaton and the quiet Bakony hills. One can reach both places from Veszprém within one hour.. Things that you must see, when in Veszprém, are the Castle, with a wonderful view of the old town, and its museums with reminiscences of the past life of Hungarians in the Bakony hills and around Balaton. Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, and as Hungary does not have access to the real sea it is called the “Hungarian sea”.


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Lake Balaton

It is the freshwater largest lake in Central Europe and one of its foremost tourist destinations. Millions of people come here every summer to enjoy the "Hungarian Sea". The silky-green, shallow waters are warm enough to swim in from May to October. Other attractions include windsurfing, sailing, fishing, water sports, as well as wineries on the north coast, and nightlife on the south shore. The region holds countless unique recreational facilities, secrets and experiences for the visitors.


Pécs is the fifth largest town of Hungary, it is in the south-west of the country. It lies on the southern slopes of the Mecsek Mountains, in clear weather the Croatian hills can be seen on the other side of the border. Because of the exceptional situation of the town its weather has a Mediterranean character. The cultural and scientific life (university, academy) is outstanding. Recently the town went through several changes, there are many western investors, who see the possibilities of the town's development in trade. During the summer the town is a tourist centre. Pécs was awarded the European Capital of Culture title in 2010.


Useful Weblinks and More Information To find out more information about Hungary; its cities, its culture and general information – you may wish to visit some of these web links. It is also recommended that you buy a travel guide to Hungary before you leave home, for example the Rough Guide or the Lonely Planet. All of these will provide you with more information about the cities and towns of Hungary. What to do and see; where to go and other practical advice.

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Hungarian Cuisine Soups:

o Goulash soup (Gulyás leves)

o Halászlé (a famous hot and spicy fish soup with hot paprika)

o Újházy-tyúkhúsleves

o Jókai bableves (a bean soup named after the author Mór Jókai)

Main courses:

o Töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage)

o Pörkölt (meat stew - similar to ragù)

o Chicken Paprikash called Csirkepaprikás (a stew with a lot of sweet paprika,

cream or sour cream called tejföl)

o Lecsó (mixed vegetable stew)

o Paprikás krumpli (paprika-based stew with spicy sausage and potatoes)

o Túrós csusza. (noodles with quark cheese called túró - served savoury with

bacon or sweet)


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Sweets and cakes:

o Dobos torta (sponge cake layered with chocolate paste and

glazed with caramel and nuts)

o Linzer torta (a tart with crisscross design of pastry strips on


o Madártej (Floating island, a dessert made of milk custard with

eggwhite dumplinds floating on top)


Hungarian wines:

o Tokaji - white dessert wine

o Bull's Blood - dark, full-bodied red wine


o Unicum

o Pálinka, a range of fruit brandies

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Public Transportation and Getting Around

In the capital city, you will find several types of public transportation. We have metros, currently we have 3 and the 4th one is under construction.




and HÉV alias “suburban railway


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Budapest in general has a very good transportation system and you can reach any part of the city with only a little walk. As you can see the transportation is colour-coded. Trams are yellow, trolleys red, buses blue and the HÉV is green.

The 3 metro lines are colour-coded as well, but not according to the wagon. The first and oldest underground (M1) is yellow. The other two are (M2) red and (M3) blue and the one being built right now will be (M4) green.

You will find that three metros all cross or connect at one stop called Deák Ferenc tér in the middle of the city. If you get lost, just try to get back there, and then you can find your way again.

The transportation usually works until around 11:30 pm (23:30) in the evening. After that the night buses take over. The night bus system is also well developed, mostly going along the path of the main metro, tram and bus lines.

Cities outside Budapest Most of the cities outside Budapest have a good transportation system of buses and trams. Which type of transport is in use depends on the city. Metros are only in Budapest and do not be surprised that the smaller cities do not have a night bus system.

Travelling Around Hungary

When you want to travel between cities in Hungary, there are usually two ways: trains and buses.

For the train schedule and ticket prices check:

It is preferable to use the trains as they usually take less time. You will also find the international train schedule here.

If you decide to take a bus anywhere, go to:

Unfortunately the domestic schedule is only in Hungarian, but you will find the international schedule here also.


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Useful information Telephone

In Hungary, like in most other countries, domestic calls are a bit different than international calls. To call to Hungary you have to dial 0036-, then the network and then the number. Network refers to mobile network or if you are calling a landline, then the calling number of the given city. Inside Hungary you can also use the prefix 06 instead of the 0036.

Emergency and Useful Telephone Numbers:


Hungary is not in the Euro area yet, so we still have our own currency, which called the Hungarian Forint (HUF). We have coins of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 HUF and paper money of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000 and 20 000 HUF. When you exchange money, please do so at an official exchange place or bank! Please do not change money on the streets or with taxi drivers. You are bound to be fooled.


Banks in Hungary are usually open from Monday to Friday. They usually open at 8:00 and close at various times. On Monday they are usually open until 17:00-18:00 (5-6pm). On Friday they close earlier around 15:00 (3pm). Tuesday to Thursday they are usually open until 16:00 (4pm). Make sure you check the times! Some are open on Saturday mornings at the malls also, but the bank you will be using: UniCredit is not open at all during weekends.


Police: 107 Firemen: 105

Ambulance: 104 Phone enquiries:


Special Information: 197

International: 199

General emergency: 112

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Time Zone

Hungary is on Central European time (CET): GMT + 1 hour. Summer time (March to the middle of October): GMT + 2 hours.


Generally winters are -5 – -10 degrees Celsius in January as the coldest (it can go down to -20 though) and summers are 36-38 degrees Celsius in July and August for one or two weeks. These are of course extremes. Winter is an average of about 0 degrees or -1 or -2 and summers are between 28-35 degrees Celsius.

Electricity Hungary’s electricity network operates at 230 volts. Plugs are the regular two pin continental types.


Greeting Each Other You will find that women in general and men and women greet each other with a kiss on each cheek. Kissing between men is not usual unless they are relatives. Men usually shake hands. In formal conditions women usually just nod to greet each other, while men still shake hands. Of course, if people meet each other for the first time, they will shake hands no matter who or what.

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Useful words Hi/Hello/Bye Szia!

Good Morning! Jó reggelt!

Good Afternoon! Jó napot!

Good Evening! Jó estét!

Good Night! Jó éjszakát!

Good Bye! Viszontlátásra!

Thank you Köszönöm

Sorry Bocsánat

Excuse me Elnézést!

Cheers Egészségedre

How are you? Hogy vagy?

Well, thank you! Köszönöm, jól!

Like shit! Szarul!

And you? És te?

Vegetables Zöldség

Fruits Gyümölcs

Washing Powder Mosópor

Stop/Station Megálló

Fabric Softener Öblítő

Soap Szappan

Shampoo Sampon


Final Stop/Station Végállomás Next Következő Bus Busz Tram Villamos Trolley Troli Metro Metro Street Utca Train Station Pályaudvar Airport Repülőtér Bread Kenyér Milk Tej Eggs Tojás Rice Rizs Potatoes Krumpli Butter Vaj Jam Lekvár Meat Hús Chicken Csirke Turkey Pulyka Cheese Sajt Sugar Cukor Flour Liszt Coffee Kávé Tea Tea Two beers please! Két sört kérek! Where is the toilet? Hol van a WC?

1 – egy

2- kettő

3 – három

4 – négy

5 – öt

6 – hat

7 – hét

8 – nyolc

9 – kilenc

10 - tíz