Whether you are visiting or moving permanently, there are a few things that you should never do in a new city out of respect or due to social protocol. Hungary is no exception to such rules, and there are things that you should never do if you are in Hungary.
- Clink glasses with beer
This one goes back to a very long time ago when Austria and Hungary were one country. So, the story goes that Hungary started the revolution to be free of Austria, which Austria shut down, and so when Austrians went back, they clinked their glasses to celebrate. Hence, in defiance, Hungarians decided not to clink their glasses for the next 150 years, which ended in the 1980s, but some Hungarians still prefer not to do it.
- Do not make the weird joke about being Hungary
Seriously, it is not funny. You are not being cool; no one appreciates it. No one thinks it is clever past the age of 5. So, I would suggest letting that one go. No one likes it if you walk into a restaurant and just go ‘I am Hungary’. Seriously, please stop.
- Tipping is nice
This one is not necessary per se because most places include tips, but it is nice to show appreciation to people who help you, right? So, just be nice and tip more than 10%. Additionally, if you want your change back, do not say thank you. If you say thank you, it means you are done. The money is theirs now.
- Never refuse palinka
As if anyone ever says no to palinka. In Hungary, there is a saying that goes: a little bit of palinka is medicine, a large amount is remedy. In accordance with the social protocol, though, palinka is consumed among multiple people, so if a Hungarian offers to get a shot of palinka, do not say no. It is rude.
A few special mentions before the final one would be not calling Hungary Eastern Europe as that annoys people quite a lot. Always validate your ticket unless you want to pay a fine in a foreign country, and do not confuse Budapest with Bucharest.
- Do not mispronounce Budapest.
I know you are probably thinking, what? Let me explain. So the letter S in Hungarian is pronounced as ‘sh’. So, Budapest becomes Budapesht. It is not that hard, and it is always nice to say things the right way. So, keep in mind the phonology lesson and always say it the right way, or you could really annoy some people.
It is not much, but it is honest work, and a move or a visit could go so much more smoothly if you just look into these things. None of these is compulsory; they are just some tips and tricks to make life easier.
- Intriguing things you didn’t know about Budapest! – VIDEO
- The Times Expert Traveller’s guide to Budapest
For more information, check out the video: