Local Customs and Etiquette

Navigating Cultural Norms for a Respectful and Enjoyable Hungarian Experience

Hungary, known for its rich history and vibrant culture, is also where local customs and etiquette play a vital role in social interactions. Visitors are encouraged to respect and follow these customs to immerse themselves in the local culture fully. Here’s a guide to understanding the principal customs and etiquette in Hungary.

Greetings and Address

It is customary in Hungary to greet each other with a handshake. For closer acquaintances, it’s typical for men to kiss women on both cheeks. Using titles when addressing someone is an important part of Hungarian etiquette. Always use the person’s title followed by their surname until invited to do otherwise.

Respect for Traditions

Hungarians are proud of their history and traditions. Respect for national symbols, historical monuments, and public performances is expected. Engaging with the festivities and appreciating Hungarian customs can be a delightful experience during national holidays and traditional events.

Dining Etiquette

If you’re invited to a Hungarian’s home, it’s customary to bring flowers, wine, or chocolates for the host. Don’t start eating until your host has started. Complimenting the food is considered good manners. Also, Hungarians usually toast before drinking alcohol, and it’s essential to maintain eye contact during a toast.


Punctuality is highly valued in Hungary. Whether it’s a business meeting or a casual get-together, arrive on time.


Hungarians value politeness in social interactions. Saying “please” and “thank you” is important and shows respect and good manners.

Respect for Public Spaces

Maintaining cleanliness and respect for public spaces, including public transportation, parks, and monuments, is crucial. Littering is frowned upon and can be subject to fines.

Understanding and respecting these customs and etiquette will enrich your experience and allow you to connect more meaningfully with the Hungarian people and their culture.