My first book of 2018 has stirred up some trouble for me – I really want to travel to Hungary now!
Hungary – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs Culture by Eddy Kester and Brian McLean is the cause of this sudden urge of wanderlust. It offers practical advice and important insights into different aspects of Hungarian life, as well as a brief historical overview.
I opened the first page of this book expecting a standard tourism book but it was so much more. It provided me with a good understanding of the history and culture of Hungary, which was interesting for two reasons: one, I travelled to Budapest for just 3 nights but it fast became one of my favourite European cities. The second level of interest came more as I read the book and started to notice the similarities between Hungary and Ireland: economic hardship, “brain drain”, friendly locals. I learned a lot of interesting facts from the guide, enough that I could get a fairly decent score if I ever found myself in the midst of a Hungary-based quiz round.
If you are looking for simple lists of things to see and do, then maybe this book is a bit too much for you. It has some great recommendations but they are slotted into the text rather than in list form (although, I felt this format helped build up a better, atmospheric picture of the country for me). However, if you want to learn the most appropriate way to act at a business meeting with a Hungarian, how to tip correctly or need help pronouncing those tricky Hungarian words, then pick up this Culture Smart edition.
This guide is perfect for those who really want to gain an understanding of Hungary before travelling there – either for a quick visit or long-term living. It is also great for a nerd like me who just want some facts about a country they think is fantastic.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.